After three weeks, still no sign of Horowitz's and Poe's “exhaustive” rebuttals to Media Matters' debunking of The Shadow Party

Three weeks after promising an “exhaustive” and “full-blown” response to Media Matters' extensive critique of their new book, The Shadow Party, David Horowitz and Richard Poe have yet to issue one. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Poe wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal containing a straw man argument to attack Democrats.

On August 2, Media Matters for America posted an extensive critique of David Horowitz's and Richard Poe's new book, The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party (Nelson Current, 2006), exposing the book's “doctored quotes, shoddy scholarship, factual errors, and baseless insinuations on matters both small and large.” Responding to Media Matters, Horowitz and Poe both promised “exhaustive” and “full-blown” rebuttals. One week later, the promised refutations were nowhere to be found, though Poe updated his original post in response to an August 9 Media Matters item noting the absence to date of the promised rebuttal, claiming that they were taking so long because he and Horowitz were “preparing an effective rebuttal -- that is, a rebuttal which is concise, well-crafted, copiously documented and intellectually honest -- rather than one which is verbose, rambling, confusing, digressive, sloppily composed and filled with cheap sophistry, as was Media Matters' original Bill of Particulars.” Poe added: “Let me assure our friends at Media Matters that, when they finally receive our rebuttal, they will regret having asked for it.”

Three weeks after Media Matters' original critique, there is still no sign of the “concise, well-crafted, copiously documented and intellectually honest” rebuttal from Horowitz or Poe for which Media Matters would “regret having asked.”

On August 10, one day after declaring that Media Matters would “regret” its pursuit of their promised response, Poe posted yet another update to his blog, claiming: “We are attempting to carry on a rational discussion with the folks at Media Matters, that is, a discussion which proceeds step by step, one issue at a time. Evidently, they are not interested in having such a discussion.” First they promised to respond in one fell swoop; then they claimed to be engaging in a “step by step” discussion to address “one issue at a time.” Which is it?

Since that time, Horowitz and Poe have popped up in the media to continue their smear campaign against George Soros and Media Matters. Most recently, The Wall Street Journal published a letter from Horowitz and Poe written in response to Soros's August 15 Journal op-ed (subscription required) on the “counterproductive and self-defeating policies” inspired by the “war on terror.” Horowitz and Poe wrote:

Has the Democratic Party become a cult? And is left-wing billionaire George Soros its guru? ( “A Self-Defeating War,” editorial page, Aug. 15). The chorus of hosannas with which left-wing bloggers now greet Mr. Soros's silliest utterances -- and the faithfulness with which Democratic leaders repeat them -- suggests that the answer to both questions is yes.

Take the current Democratic mantra that if there are terrorists in the world, George Bush has created them. This is a familiar Soros-ism. As he has done many times before, Mr. Soros decries President Bush's characterization of the global conflict as a “war on terror” as “a misleading figure of speech applied literally [which] has unleashed a real war fought on several fronts -- Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia -- a war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians and enraged millions around the world ... we can escape it only if we Americans repudiate the war on terror as a false metaphor.”

The Islamic jihad was on the march -- and killing Americans -- for 20 years before George Bush employed the metaphor. Back in 1979, the streets of Tehran were already filled with a million frenzied Muslims chanting “Death to America,” and the 9/11 attacks were themselves hardly in response to anything the American president had said.

But because this judgment is the considered wisdom of a billionaire whose network controls the purse strings of the Democratic Party, this is now the foreign policy of the liberal opposition. When George Soros speaks, Democrats listen.

Horowitz and Poe's claim is a straw man -- neither Soros nor the Democratic Party has argued that President Bush has created all the terrorists in the world, much less made the argument a “Democratic mantra.” Indeed, the portion of Soros's op-ed they quoted in their letter in no way supports their claim that this argument “is a familiar Soros-ism.”