One year ago, New York City launched its bike share program to the chagrin of a Wall Street Journal editorial board member who claimed it was a "totalitarian" instrument of "aesthetic torture" that has "appalled" New Yorkers. However, the program has survived conservative attacks on it and proven immensely popular, with nearly 9 million rides in its first year.
Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of Wall Street Journal's editorial board, made waves last year by railing against the launch of Citi Bike, New York City's bike share program. In a video op-ed on WSJ Live, Rabinowitz derided the "totalitarian"-backed program that has "begrimed" NYC neighborhoods, saying the city is "helpless" to the wishes of its "autocratic" mayor and the bike lobby.
Even after Rabinowitz' argument was mocked on both the Colbert Report and The Daily Show, Rabinowitz stuck to her vendetta, dubbing the bike racks "instruments of aesthetic torture," and her colleagues defended her. She is not alone among conservatives for displaying an irrational hatred of bicyclists. Soon afterward, Fox Business' Melissa Francis called the Citi Bike racks a "nuisance" and an "eyesore," putting it frankly: "I hate these bikes." But they have proven to be the exception rather than the rule.
Rabinowitz claimed that she represented "the majority of [NYC] citizens" who are equally "appalled" by the bike share program, but polling has shown the opposite with even the Wall Street Journal itself dubbing the bike share "popular." Before the program was launched, polls from Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute found that 74 percent of New Yorkers polled agreed the bike rental program was a "good idea." One month after its launch, the same institute found that only 20 percent were opposed to the program, with the majority of every "age, income party, gender and educational group" supporting the program:
Conservative media have been facilitating a witch hunt against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming that her public statements regarding the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, were untruthful and misleading. In fact, Rice was using talking points that had been approved by the CIA, and she repeatedly emphasized that the information was preliminary.
From the Department of Bad Timing comes Dorothy Rabinowitz's Wall Street Journal column today, which vociferously denounces the White House for allegedly masterminding a cover-up regarding last month's Benghazi terrorist attack. The bad timing? Her piece arrives the same day a Wall Street Journal newsroom report completely undercuts the right-wing allegation that the White House deliberately covered up information about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
Monday's Journal report follows up on the newspaper's article last Friday, which also poked holes in the Republican claim that the White House somehow knew, immediately, the true origin of the chaotic attack that claimed the lives of four Americans.
Today's contradiction leaves readers with the odd choice of believing Rabinowitz's unsubstantiated claims of a wide-raging White House conspiracy, or believing the newspaper's detailed newsroom account, which undermines partisan claims that President Obama and the White House lied to the American people about what officials knew about the Benghazi assault.
Rabinowitz's column is just the latest effort by the right to push the agreed-upon cover-up claim that the White House knew the Benghazi attack was an act of terror that did not stem from protests about a YouTube video that insulted Islam, and rather than admit during the campaign season that the U.S. consulate had been the target of a terrorist attack, Obama and his senior officials hid the truth.
Specifically, partisans suggest U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice knew the Libya attack had been terrorism-related when she appeared on Sunday morning talk shows on September 16, but claimed the attack had been spurred by the YouTube video.
Calling Rice's Sunday television appearances a "farce," Rabinowitz insists, "the administration's prolonged efforts to muddle the picture of the Benghazi attack raised proper suspicions."
Widespread reports in the last week however, have derailed the notion of the cover-up, with several news organization reporting that the intelligence community told the White House repeatedly, and for days, that the Libya attack did not appear to be an organized terrorist attack. It was only after Rice appeared on television on September 16 that intelligence reports given to the White House began to change.
According to the Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz, President Obama's views on terrorism are so far removed from the rest of America that, metaphorically speaking of course, he's an "alien," Got it? He's not from here, doesn't have our interests at heart, and someone should probably contact the Men in Black. As we noted, her column was far more wedded to her "alien" narrative than to the facts, which indicate that if Obama is from Mars, President Bush is too.
Unfortunately, the esteemed Wall Street Journal editorial page didn't provide the illustration that Rabinowitz' column truly deserves. For that, News Corp gives us Fox Nation:
Straining to paint President Obama as "alien" and out of touch with the rest of America on terrorism, the Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz misrepresented remarks made by Obama officials -- going so far as to fabricate a quote she attributed to John Brennan. Rabinowitz also attacked the administration's descriptions of terrorism when in fact, similar language was used by the Bush administration.