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  • Manufactured New Black Panther story reaches stage three of right-wing propaganda machine

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    As Media Matters' Simon Maloy aptly noted, the current Fox News driven story that a Department of Justice "whistleblower" is alleging that the Justice Department dropped voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party because the Obama administration is biased towards black people follows a familiar pattern of right-wing media freak out:

    1. Right-wingers shout loudly about bogus story.

    2. Fox News picks up bogus story, reports on it incessantly.

    3. Right-wingers and Fox News start complaining that "liberal media" are ignoring bogus story.

    4. Other outlets are shamed into covering bogus story, mini-frenzy ensues.

    5. Pundits credit Fox News for "being ahead of the curve."

    6. Responsible media outlets determine bogus story is bogus long after damage is done.

    7. Repeat.

    We are definitely in stage three.

  • Wash. Times Kuhner develops Kagan Derangement Syndrome

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    My colleague Ben Dimiero has pointed out that blogger Pam Geller posted a photoshopped a picture of Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform in an unhinged attack against Kagan.

    But Geller appears not to be alone in having developed Kagan Derangement Syndrome. Today, Jeffrey Kuhner uses his Washington Times column to accuse Kagan of treason.

    Kuhner repeats many myths and falsehoods about Elena Kagan, including the myth that she supported Shariah at Harvard, the myth that she favors government redistribution of speech, the myth that she banned military recruiters on Harvard's campus, the myth that she "manipulated medical findings" related to so-called "partial birth abortion," and the myth that she is unqualified.

    But Kuhner appears angry that his debunked claims against Kagan aren't whipping people up sufficiently. He writes "If the Republicans cannot stand up against such a blatantly unqualified nominee and irresponsible ideologue, it is time conservatives consider abandoning the GOP and creating a third party."

    Clearly frustrated by such inaction, Kuhner upped the rhetoric about ten notches, claiming that Kagan's actions toward military recruiters constituted "treason":

    Moreover, her decision to bar military recruiters was not simply a matter of political judgment. It was an act of treason. At the time, America was fighting two bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops were dying. Ms. Kagan sought to deny access to potential military recruits when they were most needed.

    Of course, the number of law students who joined the military did not decrease during Kagan's tenure as Harvard Law School dean. But that fact doesn't mesh with Kuhner's argument against Kagan's nomination, which now rests on the accusation that she's guilty of a crime punishable by life imprisonment (or arguably even death).

  • Wash. Times twists facts to bash Kagan, Sotomayor

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    A Washington Times editorial rehashed false attacks on Elena Kagan and falsely claimed that Sotomayor's dissent in a recent case relating to gun laws shows that she "lied" in her confirmation hearing about her views on the Second Amendment. In fact, the dissent is not inconsistent with Sotomayor's testimony.

  • Right-wing media push Kyl's flatly denied claim that Obama said he won't "secure the border"

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    Right-wing blogs have seized on Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) claim that President Obama is refusing to "secure the border" in order to force the GOP to support comprehensive immigration reform -- a claim the White House has since flatly denied. Indeed, the Obama administration has already taken numerous steps to boost border security but argues that "truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution," which is a view shared by immigration experts as well as several Republicans.

  • Right-wing media absurdly declare Obama admin acted in "illegal," "unconstitutional" manner by "forcing" BP to create escrow account

    ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

    Right-wing media have absurdly claimed that the Obama administration is "illegal[ly]" "forcing" BP to fund a $20 billion escrow account for victims of the oil spill, with some suggesting the administration's actions were "unconstitutional." However, BP agreed on its own to establish the account after negotiations with the White House.

  • Washington Times offers web space for "Tea Party Report" blog

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    As if the up-for-sale newspaper's coverage of the Tea party movement wasn't enough of a love letter, the Washington Times is offering up web space for a new blog devoted entirely to the movement under the title "Tea Party Report."

    Tellingly, the new endeavor is described thusly:

    Real news, opinion and true-life tales from everyday Americans on the frontlines of the Tea Party Movement. This is your story.

    That should give you all that you need to know about the blog's objectivity. So, what should readers of the "Tea Party Report"expect?

    Mediaite.com's Tommy Christopher reports on one of the new blog's contributors:

    According to a press release, self-described "Tea Party Founder" Dale Robertson has joined the Washington Times' "Tea Party Report" blog. Robertson, you may recall, was thrust back into the limelight in March, when he was quoted by the paper as never having seen any racial slurs at Tea Parties, despite having been photographed holding a sign that featured the N-word. He told us the photo was a fake, which our expert then disputed, before a sea of journalists came forward to point out that Robertson had already admitted to holding the sign. Update: The Times has pulled the column, but Robertson has also popped up on The Hill.

    Christopher then posted an updates to his initial piece:

    Earlier today, we reported that Dale Robertson, the self-styled "Tea Party Founder" who's infamous for being photographed holding a sign featuring the n-word, is touting himself as a columnist for The Washington Times' Tea Party Report blog. Now, following publicity from this blog and several others, it appears the Times has pulled Robertson's column.


    Update: The column is back, with a disclaimer:

    DISCLAIMER: The Tea Party Reports is edited by Bill Kelly and Laura Grock and features numerous independent voices in today's Tea Party movement. Tea Party guest submitters are in no way affiliated with The Washington Times and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person other than the contributor (- 5/21/2010).

    Update 2: A spokesperson for the Tea Party Report tells me that they have no official relationship with Dale Robertson, and have asked his PR flack to stop "misrepresenting" this. The Tea Party Report staff, she informs me, are also not employees of the Washington Times. The paper simply provides them space to publish their blog.

    In summary: A right-wing newspaper owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon who likes to think of himself as the returned son of god is offering up space on its website for what amounts to be little more than a Tea party fanzine where people like Dale Robertson are considered appropriate contributors.

    Ladies and gentlemen, behold "conservative journalism."

  • Washington Times echoes anti-Muslim commentator in attack on Miss USA

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Today the Washington Times is out with an editorial echoing the attacks of right-wing, anti-Muslim commentator Debbie Schlussel on Rima Fakih, the newly crowned Miss USA.

    As Media Matters noted, Schlussel said Fakih's win was the result of the "politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate" in America and calling her a "Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah supporter with relatives who are top terrorists."

    Enter the Washington Times editorial:

    Miss Fakih, who as Miss Michigan took the Miss USA crown last weekend, was born in southern Lebanon and, as commentator Debbie Schlussel has reported, has extensive family connections to Hezbollah. But that reportage has been overshadowed by the more politically correct "first Arab-American Miss USA" storyline, dovetailing as it does with President Obama's efforts to promote Islam at home and abroad.

    The first Arab-American to win the Miss USA crown was really Julie Hayek in 1983. However, Miss Hayek was a Lebanese Christian, and the notion of Christian Arabs is probably too complicated for the liberal media to bother explaining.

    The Times goes further in its attacks, raising the notion that Fakih beat out Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard because Woolard had indicated her support for the controversial new Arizona Immigration law:

    This year's victim was [Woolard], who was hit with a hot-button question regarding Arizona's new law against illegal immigrants. She said she was "a huge supporter of states' rights" and that the Arizona law was "perfectly fine." Miss Woolard had been leading Miss Fakih by a wide margin through the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition, but - like Miss Prejean last year - the Okie finished as first runner-up.

    The judges passed up the opportunity to ask Miss Fakih about her views on radical Islamic terrorism or whether Israel has a right to exist.

    Of course, it mattered little to the Times that Woolard has rejected the idea that she lost to Fakih because of her answer, saying, "I don't believe that answer cost me the crown."