A post by RedState.com's Erick Erickson that Rush Limbaugh is hyping falsely claims that a memorandum from the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will "purge the federal government of Republican civil servants" and "forc[e]" former Bush administration political appointees who currently have positions in the federal civil service "out of their jobs."
In fact, the OPM memo does nothing of the sort. It merely beefs up current OPM rules aimed at preventing political appointees from "burrowing in" to the civil service, thereby receiving the job security benefits that civil servants -- but not political appointees -- receive. While the memo states that agencies must seek permission from OPM to hire people as civil servants if they have been political appointees "within the last five years," nothing in the memo creates authority for anyone to fire current federal employees. Therefore, the OPM memo does not "purge" anybody.
The Fox Nation is currently highlighting a November 6 Red State post titled "Another Czar Bites the Dust" that claims that "Internet Czar" (actually, special assistant to the president for science, technology, and innovation policy) Susan Crawford was the latest "body tossed under the insatiable Obama bus."
So according to the active imaginations of right-wing bloggers, the announcement that Crawford will leave the White House (sometime in January) is their latest victory in the Fox-led witch hunt against supposed "czars." The only problem with that theory is that there isn't any evidence that it's true, and there is significant evidence that it's not.
The Washington Post first reported Crawford's planned departure in an October 27 piece that undermines the right-wing media's narrative of a "czar" forced to resign amidst growing public outcry. According to the Post, "Crawford will leave her position in January to return to the University of Michigan Law School where she is a tenured professor, according to the Obama administration." The Post reported that Crawford "has been on temporary leave from the university to serve in the White House" but that her "sabbatical, which began two months after she received tenure at the University of Michigan, will end in January." The Post quoted an Obama spokesperson saying:
Susan has done an outstanding job coordinating technology policy at the National Economic Council where her expertise on issues from intellectual property to the Internet has been invaluable. ... We understand that she needs to return to her responsibilities in Ann Arbor, but we will miss having her wise counsel in the White House.
So what evidence do right-wing media have that the Post report is wrong or that the Obama administration is lying about why Crawford is leaving? Well, the Red State post that Fox Nation highlights cites two sources: a November 2 "Washington Prowler" column in The American Spectator and a November 5 post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog, which in turn cites only the Spectator column. And here's what the Spectator claims:
Crawford resigned, citing the need to return to her tenured position at the University of Michigan law school, but White House sources say that when Crawford signed on to the administration, she told them the university had given her a two-year waiver before requiring a return. "There may have been miscommunication there, but we thought it was two years," says the White House source. Similar waivers -- usually two or three years -- were given to a number of academics who joined the Bush Administration in various positions back in 2001.
Crawford's exit comes at a time when some Obama Administration aides, after seeing the fallout from the resignation of Van Jones and the spotlight placed on leftists inside the administration, like Anita Dunn, wonder if it is too late to pull back many of the more radical aides now placed in a number of different cabinet level departments, including the Department of Justice, and the Energy and Education departments, and federal agencies. "They haven't done us any good on any level," says the White House aide. "And now they are just a bunch of targets on our back that we can't shake."
So that's it. A right-wing gossip column claims to have somehow obtained a statement from an anonymous "White House source" saying something that appears to contradict what the White House is telling actual journalists.
As any regular reader of the Spectator knows, however, highly improbable anonymous quotes are a staple of the Washington Prowler column. For example, "Allahpundit," a conservative writer for Michelle Malkin's Hot Air blog, has made the following observations about the reliability of the Prowler's reporting:
There's another apparent problem with Fox Nation's latest tale. The Washington Post first reported Crawford's planned departure the evening of Tuesday, October 27. But Glenn Beck -- who had criticized Crawford a couple times in the past, and who was on the air that entire week -- never declared victory. He never even mentioned on Fox News that she planned to step down. In fact, a Nexis search reveals no examples of anyone on Fox News discussing Crawford's departure.
If this really was the great right-wing victory Fox Nation now wants us to believe it was, wouldn't Fox News hosts have mentioned it two weeks ago?
Media figures continue to falsely claim that a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the House health care reform bill would only have the effect of prohibiting government money from being used to pay for abortions, echoing a myth previously advanced about a proposed amendment to a prior version of that legislation. In fact, language in the current House bill already segregates federal money so it cannot be used directly to fund abortions, and the proposed amendment would effectively ban abortion coverage for some who have it now.
From Redstate.com managing editor Erick Erickson's Twitter feed:
Following Democrat Bill Owens' November 3 victory in the contested NY-23 Congressional race, right-wing bloggers have sought to highlight the "under-reported fact" that Bill Owens "campaigned against the public option." However, while Owens modified his position on the public option during the course of the campaign, he has expressed support for a public option since September, and on October 30 Owens endorsed the public option in the House health care reform bill.
From Erick Erickson's November 5 post on RedState.com:
Last Thursday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) urged Americans to go to Washington today and protest Obamacare. Well, Mark Levin picked up the charge and others joined her.
Today, thousands will pour into Washington to tell Nancy Pelosi and the Congress to send Obama to a death panel (that's section 1233 of the original legislation). If you need details on where to go in D.C. or if you can't go, but want to show up at your Congresscritter's local office, go here.
And Americans owe a huge thank you to Michele Bachmann for sounding the call to action.
UPDATE: Erickson has since changed the text of his post. Below is a screenshot of the original.
Several conservative commentators have touted a Gallup poll finding that 20 percent of respondents identify themselves as "liberal," 36 percent as "moderate" and 40 percent as "conservative" to criticize President Obama and his agenda and to claim America is ideologically a "conservative" country. But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and other polling has found that a strong majority favors the more progressive position on a number of issues.
Right-wing bloggers have recently attacked Newt Gingrich for endorsing Republican Dede Scozzafava over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special election to fill Army Secretary John McHugh's (R-NY) vacated congressional seat. On her blog, Michelle Malkin said "no thanks" to the possibility of a Gingrich 2012 presidential run, noting that he is the "most prominent GOP endorser of [the] radical leftist NY-23 congressional candidate," while at RedState.com, Erick Erickson reportedly wrote -- before removing the post -- that Gingrich "stands athwart history and pees on the legacy of 1994."
Following the release of the 1,502-page Senate Finance Committee health reform bill, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy parroted conservative bloggers' complaints that the bill is excessively long. Specifically, Gingrich repeated RedState managing editor Erick Erickson's claim that the bill is longer than "the last two Harry Potter books," while Doocy amplified HotAir blogger Allahpundit's criticism that "[a]t a steady clip of two minutes per page, working a full eight-hour day, you'd be through it in just under a week."
After Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted for the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) stated that she "share[s] the goal of passing health care reform," several right-wing radio hosts have launched sexist attacks against the senators. For instance, Rush Limbaugh proclaimed that "the voice of the new castrati" applauded Snowe's support of health care reform and declared, "Women, damn it," in response to Collins' statement, and Michael Savage asserted, "Jezebel is Olympia Snowe."
In recent weeks, the right-wing media have embarked on a witch hunt against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, often advancing the repeatedly debunked falsehood that Jennings failed to report or even encouraged a 15-year-old student's relationship with an adult or the baseless smear that Jennings has "advocate[d]" for the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Media Matters for America has compiled some of the most egregious attacks on Jennings that conservative media figures have made based on these smears, including calling Jennings "sick and immoral," a "pervert," someone who "facilitated" statutory rape, and "a zealous advocate of NAMBLA."
From Erickson's October 9 RedState.com blog post:
Friday, October 9th at 8:22AM EDT
I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.
The deadline for nominations was two weeks after he was sworn in as President.
So in less than two weeks of entering office, Obama did something to qualify. What was it? Not closing Gitmo? Continuing the Bush administration's policies in the War on Terror but no longer using the name? Or pronouncing a policy of abject American capitulation to our enemies?
The Peace Prize reaffirms it s a joke. But now a sad joke.
Somewhere Bill Clinton's head just exploded.
Some conservative media figures are spoiling the celebration for others who have taken joy in the International Olympic Committee's decision to award the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro rather than Chicago, whose bid for the games was supported by President Obama. While Glenn Beck crowed that the IOC's decision was "so sweet," and Rush Limbaugh stated, "I don't deny it. I'm happy," Joe Scarborough argued that "middle Americans that swing elections" will see conservatives celebrating Chicago's defeat and say, "My God, the Republicans have gone off the deep end."
Oh what a wicked web we weave when first we … well, you get the picture.
RedState's Erick Erickson, whom we humorously errr conclusively tied to ACORN just two weeks ago, has now tied Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to the dreaded ACORN. I guess that means ACORN has deep ties to everyone in the Republican Party?
From his Twitter profile:
Maybe this is what happens when all journalistic standards are thrown out the window in a wild game of guilt by association.
Conservative media figures have celebrated the International Olympic Committee's elimination of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and used the event to bash President Obama, who flew to Copenhagen to lobby IOC members on behalf of Chicago's bid. For instance, Glenn Beck called the news that Chicago's bid had failed "so sweet," Rush Limbaugh declared himself "happy" and "gleeful" with the results, and Matt Drudge proclaimed: "World rejects Obama."