Since 2008, Las Vegas Review-Journal publisher Sherman Frederick has written numerous blog posts and columns advancing conservative attacks on President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid, and other Democrats. These blog posts and columns are rife with smears, factual errors, and conspiracy theories.
Frederick falsely claims all domestic terrorist attacks since 9-11 took place “on Obama's watch.” In his January 3 column titled “Obama can't keep us safe,” Frederick falsely claimed that “the two cases of domestic terrorism since 9/11” happened “on Obama's watch.” In fact, while Frederick downplayed the number of attacks on the United States under former President Bush, there were numerous post-9-11 terrorist attacks attempted during the Bush administration, including the attempted detonation of an explosive device on an airplane by shoe bomber Richard Reid, the 2002 attack against the El Al ticket counter at LAX, the DC-area sniper, the 2006 UNC SUV attack, and the anthrax attacks.
Frederick says he has “zero confidence” in the “science” of global warming. In a March 2 blog post, Frederick wrote: “Dunno about you, but the revelations coming out of what is now commonly called 'Climategate' give me zero confidence in the 'science' of global warning [sic].” In fact, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human-caused global warming is real. Moreover, FactCheck.org analyzed the emails and concluded that claims that the emails show climate change science is fraudulent are “far wide of the mark,” adding that “many of the e-mails that are being held up as 'smoking guns' have been misrepresented by global-warming skeptics eager to find evidence of a conspiracy. And even if they showed what the critics claim, there remains ample evidence that the earth is getting warmer.”
Frederick suggests cold weather casts doubt on global warming. In a February 28 blog post, Frederick wrote:
A few errors here and there don't change the overall facts of cataclysmic global warming, says Al Gore's in the New York Times today.
You can read his defense here. In the meanwhile, buddy, can you spare a blanket? It's crazy c-c-c-cold today.
In fact, local weather phenomena do not disprove scientific consensus that global warming is real.
Frederick hopes for "[n]ew climate data that disproves the folly of global-warming." In a November 29, 2009, column, Frederick offered a Thanksgiving toast to, among other things: “New climate data that disproves the folly of global-warming and lays bare the political agenda of the socialists among us. Thanks for the 'two-fer,' Mother Nature!”
Frederick falsely suggests “card check” eliminates the secret ballot. In a November 29, 2009, column, Frederick offered a Thanksgiving toast to, among other things: “Workplaces free from 'card check' legislation. May good people everywhere retain the right to determine their fate in fair elections held by secret ballot.” In fact, currently it is employers, not workers, who have the right to demand a secret ballot; the Employee Free Choice Act would strip employers of that right but employees would be able to utilize the “secret ballot” election process.
Frederick falsely suggests health care bills will treat “illegal aliens” better than U.S. citizens. In a November 29, 2009, column, Frederick expressed desire for a “health care 'reform' bill that treats American citizens better than illegal aliens.” In fact, neither the House nor the Senate bill provided for subsides for those “not lawfully present” in the United States to receive coverage.
Frederick: “Next stop” on “Obama freight train to socialism” is "[r]ationed health care." In a June 21, 2009, column, Frederick wrote:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is portrayed as grown too big to fail, and he's convinced everyone who's anyone in my home city of Las Vegas to join him on the Obama freight train to socialism. Next stop: Rationed health care, union card check and $10-a-gallon gasoline. All aboard!
Republicans offer our only hope in slowing the Obama “change” juggernaut before the America of unbridled optimism and opportunity goes the way of the buffalo. I don't want my great-grandchildren growing up in cradle-to-grave government care, where only the privileged few may afford a car, or own a home, or get non-rationed health care.
In fact, insurance companies already ration care. Insurance companies acknowledge that they ration care, restricting coverage of procedures and tests like MRIs and CAT scans and denying coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
Frederick advances conspiracy theories
Frederick reprints right-wing email questioning Obama's passport. In a May 27, 2009, blog post titled “The 16th question: Obama's passport,” Frederick wrote:
One wise Las Vegan (he won't let me use his name, but any politician would know who he is and stand in awe) says that in addition to my "15 questions" for President Obama, I should ask a 16th question ... and that question is this: "What passport did Mr. Obama use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi?"
Where what he sends to back up the validity of that question. I pass it along to you without comment.
Frederick then reprinted a right-wing email -- which has been debunked -- that stated: “Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a 'natural born' American citizen between 1981 and 2008. Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.”
Frederick's conspiracy theory: Reid behind Tea Party candidate running against him. In a February 22 blog, titled in part, “Reid's sneaky 'Tea Party' candidate,” Frederick wrote:
And finally, don't fail to read this morning's story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on this so-called Tea Party candidate who is allegedly going to run against Harry Reid.
Repped by a Democrat, a Las Vegas businessman no one has heard of has found the statewide organization to potentially get the “Tea Party” on the ballot and run as its standard bearer.
C'mon, man! You buying that?
Nationally, the Tea Party movement has avoided party status and candidates. Except Nevada? You gotta believe the Reid campaign, or some form thereof, is behind this tactic.
And frankly, it's a brilliant tactic. If Reid can get the Tea Party name on the ballot, it will absolutely shift some votes away from the Republican candidate, who in a head-to-head matchup right now beats Reid hands down.
Frederick's smears and attacks
Frederick: “The War on Terror has been totally mishandled by this administration, making us all less safe.” In a February 11 blog post, Frederick wrote:
No question Team Obama fumbled just about every ball thrown to them in their first year.
The War on Terror has been totally mishandled by this administration, making us all less safe.
Frederick: Drudge “cleverly right” with headline attacking health care. In a March 21 blog post, Frederick wrote: "Drudge's headline tonight has it cleverly right: 'A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFIRMARY'."
Frederick reprints entire GOP press release attacking Reid. In a February 24 blog post, Frederick wrote:
How bare-knuckles rough will it get in Harry Reid's race for U.S. Senate?
Spittin' blood rough as indicated by this press release this afternoon from the Sue Lowden, one of several Republicans hoping to gain the GOP nomination.
Frederick then reprinted Lowden's press release attacking Reid and accusing him of “living off the Nevada taxpayer his entire adult life, gladly accepting generous pay raises and writing government-run health care bills that he won't even enroll in himself.”
Frederick runs photo of large sign “Elect Anyone Butt Harry Reid.” In a January 24 blog post titled, “Reid trouble illustrated,” Frederick ran a large photo of a trailer with the words “Elect Anyone Butt Harry Reid.”
Frederick promotes Dick Morris column: “Pelosi and Reid Plot Secret Plan for Obamacare.” In a January 25 blog post titled, “Reid's kamikaze Obamacare plan,” Frederick promoted a column by Fox News contributor Dick Morris on Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid's “secret plan for Obamacare.”
Frederick promotes tea parties, Sarah Palin
Frederick: Tea Party Express tour “shaping up to be a political Woodstock for concerned Americans.” In a February 23 blog post, Frederick promoted the Tea Party Express and attacked Reid:
On Saturday, March 27, the “Tea Party Express” will begin its “Just Vote Them Out!” tour starting in Searchlight, Nev, home of the poster child for angry voters in America, Sen. Harry Reid.
Sarah Palin will help kick off the tour.
Looks to me like it's shaping up to be a political Woodstock for concerned Americans.
You can get the details here. And, of course, the Las Vegas Review-Journal will be delivering full coverage in the morning newspaper and our website,which you can find here. Both the newspaper and the website are the largest respectively in Nevada. And, Tea Party folks will be interested to know that, yes, this is the newspaper Harry wished would go out of business. You can find my response to that outrageous statement here.
Frederick: Obama's legacy will depend “on how badly he wounds the American economy and how quickly Sarah Palin can fix it.” In a March 3 blog post, Frederick wrote:
This will no doubt evoke a knee-jerk reaction from Bush haters but the thoughtful takeaway goes to the honesty of the Bush Administration.
Twenty years from now, we'll remember the Bush years as good and brave years.
The four years of Obama fumbling, however, will all depend on how badly he wounds the American economy and how quickly Sarah Palin can fix it.
Frederick: “Sarah Palin for President!” In a February 7 blog post titled “Sarah Palin for president!” Frederick wrote:
She was the queen of the tea party in Nashville.
What's the wisdom of the blog hive? Is she ready?