One year after the inauguration of President Obama, right-wing media -- in particular Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Big Journalism -- marked the anniversary with a series of articles fondly reminiscing about the Bush administration, in which they often attempted to rewrite the history of Bush's policies and also attacked Obama.
From Jim Hoft's January 21 Gateway Pundit post:
It seems like forever.
A year ago President George W. Bush left the White House. Since that time the unemployment has nearly doubled, the national deficit has tripled, government has grown in leaps and bounds, and the current president has blamed his predecessor for every problem he has encountered. President Obama even blamed George Bush for the Coakley loss yesterday in Massachusetts.
Don't expect to read anything this honest in the US papers...
George W. Bush liberated 60,000,000 Muslims from tyranny- More than any leader since World War II.
The Telegraph gives an honest review of the Bush years.
Jules Crittenden adds that it is also with tremendous grace that George Bush has accepted his designated role as villain, fall guy, punching bag.
Today again we thank President George W. Bush.
Fox Nation and Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft have seized on comments made by Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley during a January 14 radio interview to falsely claim that Coakley said "devout Catholics" should not "work in emergency rooms." In fact, as the context of Coakley's remarks makes clear, she was discussing individuals who would refuse to provide certain emergency medical procedures and treatments -- including emergency contraception -- to patients on the grounds of their religious beliefs, not all "devout Catholics."
Right-wing media outlets have used a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Pennsylvania State University scientist Michael Mann to study the effects of climate change as an excuse to revive debunked claims about emails that were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, some of which were written by Mann. Those debunked claims include: that Mann used "'tricks' to finesse his data"; that scientists including Mann discussed "efforts to interfere with the peer review process to stifle opposing views"; and that climate scientists like Mann have "knowingly perpetrated a fraud on the global community" with regard to climate change.
Right-wing media outlets have continued to attack Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley for her recent comments about terrorism in Afghanistan, often by distorting her remarks on the subject. But the context of Coakley's comments make clear that she was referring to Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan -- echoing numerous military experts' statements regarding Al Qaeda's diminished presence in Afghanistan.
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley said that the "Taliban" are no longer in Afghanistan, and Hoft added that Coakley is "not just wrong- She's dangerous." In fact, the context of Coakley's comments makes clear that she was talking about Al Qaeda, not the Taliban; indeed, military experts, including Gen. David Petraeus and national security adviser James Jones, have stated that Al Qaeda's presence is diminished in Afghanistan, and intelligence officials reportedly estimate that there are fewer than 100 Al Qaeda members there.
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing anti-gay "hate group" Mass Resistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults"; in fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively.
Conservative media figures, including Rush Limbaugh and Jim Hoft, have suggested that the recent escape of three prisoners from the privately managed Tri-County Detention Center in Illinois demonstrates that Guantánamo detainees should not be moved to Illinois' Thomson Correctional Center, as the Obama administration has proposed. But federal officials have stated their intention to enhance the Thomson facility's security to levels exceeding that of the Supermax prison in Colorado, which currently holds numerous terrorists and from which there has never been an escape; moreover, a 2001 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) study found that privately managed prisons have higher escape rates than federal prisons.
On the January 3 edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume commented that his "message" to Tiger Woods -- who Hume mentioned is "said to be a Buddhist" -- would be to "turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world." Since then, several conservative commentators have endorsed Hume's remarks or defended them from criticism.
From Jim Hoft's January 3 Gateway Pundit post, headlined "After Passenger Saves Plane From Terrorist Bombing- New Rules Require Heroic Passengers to Stay Seated During Last Hour of Flight":
It's an Obama World... Up is down, big is small, losing jobs is creating or saving jobs, and heroes are asked to be seated.
Yesterday, Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam, told CNN how he helped the cabin crew to subdue Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old who reportedly ignited a small explosive device on board the plane Friday as it prepared to land in Detroit.
In response to this courageous act of heroism, the Obama Administration enacted new policies today. The new rules will force heroic passengers to stay in their seats for the final hour of their flight before landing.
From a December 20 post by Gateway Pundit titled, "DC cop brings gun to snowball fight (video)":
Barack Obama gave his marching orders this year:
Obama: "They Bring a Knife...We Bring a Gun"
Obama to His Followers: "Get in Their Faces!"
Obama on ACORN Mobs: "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"
Obama To His Mercenary Army: "Hit Back Twice As Hard"
It looks like some people took him seriously.
A DC cop pulled a gun at a snowball fight in Washington DC yesterday.
Right-wing blogs Gateway Pundit and Say Anything recently seized on an Associated Press article which reported that 20 states facing budget strains have cut back on free cancer screenings, such as mammograms, to claim that the declines followed recommendations made by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in November. In fact, as the AP article made clear, this statistic came from an American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network survey, which was conducted from July 2008 to April 2009, months before the USPSTF issued its recommendation.
Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft is again attempting to link Department of Education official Kevin Jennings to a workshop for high school students which included explicit discussions of sex that took place at a 2000 GLSEN/Boston conference. Hoft's new "Explosive" claim is that a Massachusetts teacher who "wanted to remain anonymous out of safety considerations for herself and her family" claims "that there is 'no way' that Obama's Safe School Czar did not know about the pornographic and sexually explicit material that was presented and discussed at the conference." Of course, neither Hoft nor the anonymous teacher provide any actual evidence that Jennings knew the specific explicit content that would be discussed at that workshop When Jennings was made aware after the fact, he reportedly criticized it.
In his latest smear of Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft wrote that Jennings' "Teen Conference Literature Pushed Anal S*x in Parks With Strangers," citing a booklet that he claims "children who attended Kevin Jennnings' GLSEN 2005 Conference also left with."
The anti-gay right's newest line of attack on Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings is that he "knew" in advance about the content of a seminar held at his organization's 2000 conference, in which two Massachusetts Department of Education employees engaged in explicit discussion of sexual practices with a teen audience. But the evidence those right-wing sources are hanging their hats on is extremely thin - even for them.
WorldNetDaily and Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft are both claiming that one of those instructors is on the record stating that Jennings knew. Both are pointing to a blog post by the anti-gay hate group MassResistance which states, "Of course Jennings and the Massachusetts Department of Education knew beforehand what the 'sexuality educators' would discuss with children at the 'fisting' workshop. The instructor Margot Abels said so herself."
But the statements MassResistance cites Abels reportedly making only indicate that her immediate supervisors in the Department of Education were aware of her work - not Jennings or other GLSEN officials. MassResistance emphasizes Rod Dreher's Weekly Standard report that "Abels fumed to the press that the education department had known perfectly well what she had been doing for years and hadn't cared until the tapes had surfaced." They also point to a report in the conservative Mass News, which states that Abels told the LGBT newspaper Bay Windows that "she had the support of state officials during her seven years at the state Department of Education," and quoted her statement that "Maybe David Driscoll [Commissioner of Education] didn't always know everything that we did, but certainly our supervisors did."
So no, Abels hadn't "said so herself" that Jennings "knew beforehand" the contents of her workshop.
The other piece of "evidence" MassResistance and their allies in the right-wing blogosphere are pointing is as follows:
Jennings, after all, worked hand in hand with the Mass. Department of Education from the beginning, as co-chair of the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth education committee, which set up the statewide program, "Safe Schools for Gay and Lesbian Students" in the DOE. That is the program the fisting workshop instructors worked for.
In fact, as the bio on Jennings' website indicates, he left that commission years before the 2000 conference. Unless these people are alleging some massive conspiracy in which Jennings plotted out the details of the workshop discussion years in advance (and I suppose we can't really rule out that sort of logic from them), this line of reasoning falls apart pretty quickly.
For that matter, even if Jennings had been aware of the general contents of Abels' presentation (and there's no actual evidence to that effect), that still wouldn't in any way support the argument that he was aware of the specific discussion the right-wing finds so offensive before it happens. What we're left with is still that Department of Education officials held the seminar at GLSEN's conference, Jennings criticized them, and they were fired or resigned.
In short, the right is dredging up a ten-year-old instance that was widely reported at the time, and using innuendo and faulty logic to try to smear Jennings with it. But I guess we couldn't have expected any less.