John McCormack

Tags ››› John McCormack
  • Lies, Body-Shaming, And Character Attacks: Right-Wing Media Indignant During DNC's Second Night

    Blog ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    During the second night of the Democratic National Convention, conservative media figures reacted on Twitter by spreading debunked lies about Planned Parenthood, criticizing Lena Dunham's body, and attacking Bill Clinton.

    Right-Wing Media Attack Planned Parenthood And President Cecile Richards

    Conservatives Body-Shame Lena Dunham 

    Right-Wing Media Criticize Bill Clinton

    Right-Wing Media Attack Planned Parenthood And President Cecile Richards

    Conservatives Body-Shame Lena Dunham 

    Right-Wing Media Criticize Bill Clinton


  • Pundits Across Political Spectrum Blast Trump For Declining To Disavow Support From KKK

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    On the February 28 edition of CNN's State of the Union, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump declined to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Media are lambasting the presidential hopeful for not unequivocally distancing himself from the support of white supremacists, saying his failure to do so "is disqualifying," likening it to "a Todd Akin moment," and arguing that Trump's non-response shows he is catering to racists and xenophobes.

  • Rewriting History: Conservatives Attack Obama For Withdrawing All Troops From Iraq

    Iraqi Government Wanted U.S. Forces Out

    ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Right-wing media personalities blamed President Obama for recent violence in Iraq, blaming the rise of violent militants in the country on Obama willfully refusing to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to leave behind some American forces and instead redeploying all U.S. troops. In reality, the Iraqi government refused to negotiate a viable SOFA with the U.S. despite Obama's efforts to maintain a military presence.

  • John McCormack, Hack

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Here, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack writes of the possibility that Republicans might offer incoming Democratic Senator Joe Manchin "his pick of committee assignments" or "support for one of his pet projects" without so much as hinting that there would be anything wrong with such offers.

    Here, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack pretends to think that the White House offering Joe Sestak a job to get him out of a Senate race would be a scandal -- "bribery," in fact. (Here, too.)

    Here, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack pretends to be outraged at the (thoroughly bogus) possibility of the White House "selling judgeships for health care votes."

    Here, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack refers to provisions in legislation designed to win the support of specific senators as "corruption."

    Now, what's the difference between the "corruption" and "bribery" John McCormack just spent two years pretending to be outraged about and the potential offers to Manchin that don't bother him a whit? Right: the potential offers to Manchin would be coming from Republicans, so they're OK.

  • Weekly Standard peddles yet another bogus scandal

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The Weekly Standard's John McCormack does his best to create a scandal out of a comment allegedly made by an Obama administration official about Koch Industries, the massive energy company that uses use the fortune it accumulated in part by stealing oil from US taxpayers and Indian lands to provide millions of dollars in funding for the conservative movement. But, as is often the case, McCormack's best isn't good enough.

    The attempted scandal stems from an August 27 background briefing in which Obama administration official supposedly said: "So in this country we have partnerships, we have S corps, we have LLCs, we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax. Some of which are really giant firms, you know Koch Industries is a multibillion dollar businesses." Supposedly this is scandalous because it raises questions about how the official is aware of Koch's tax status.

    McCormack's source for the Obama administration official's alleged statement is Koch Industries senior vice president and general counsel Mark Holden. But even Holden is apparently unwilling to allege any wrongdoing by the Obama administration: "I'm not accusing any one of any illegal conduct. … I don't know what [the senior administration official] was referring to. I'm not sure what he's saying. I'm not sure what information he has. … [I]f he obtained it in a way that was inappropriate, that would be unlawful. But I don't know that that's the case."

    Holden's unwillingness to actually allege any wrongdoing might have been a sign that there's less here than meets the eye, but McCormack credulously writes: "Holden claims that the revelation of tax information could have been improper, depending on how the information was obtained by the White House."

    "Could have been"? "Depending on"? Can McCormack possibly include more wiggle-words? Yes he can: "Holden says that to his knowledge the tax status of Koch Industries has not been previously reported in the press."

    But surely John McCormack didn't just take Holden's word for that? Surely he looked into it himself? Ah, no:

    So, questions remain: Why won't White House officials say if the quotation about Koch Industries is accurate--or even if a transcript of the briefing exists?

    And, if the quotation is accurate, why won't they say how the White House obtained tax information on Koch Industries?

    But, as Politico's Ben Smith reports, obtaining the tax information isn't hard: It's on Koch's public web site:

    [A]nother administration official said in an email this morning that the White House got the information from testimony before the the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) and from Koch's own website.

    [The official writes:] This issue was raised repeatedly by outside experts that testified before the PERAB and Koch was cited to the PERAB as an example by outside commenters to the group. We assume it came up from publicly available information such as the Forbes magazine annual report listing Koch as one of the largest private companies in the nation or the fact that a high fraction of the largest companies within Koch Industries are listed on the Koch website as LLCs, LPs or other frequent pass-through entities. If this information is incorrect, we are happy to revise statements.

    Sure enough, if you go to and click on "Fact Sheets," then on "Koch Facts," you'll see a list of Koch companies, many of which contain labels like "LLC" and "LP." Here are a few examples:

    No wonder Holden wasn't willing to allege wrongdoing by the White House. The supposedly top-secret information is readily available on Koch's web site!


    The Weekly Standard doesn't believe its scandal-mongering; neither should you

    John McCormack, the reporter who cried "Bribe!"

    The Weekly Standard Walk-back

    Weekly Standard subsidizes operations by selling drugs?

  • "I think you're an ass": Conservative media finally discover their colleagues are frauds

    ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    In the run-up to Delaware's Republican Senate primary, conservative media figures noticed that their colleagues are "lazy and unfair" "idiot[s]" and "mouthpieces for the Republican establishment" who engage in "ranting, not serious arguments" and whose commentary consists of "smear tactics," "mischaracterizations," "exaggerated claims," "slander," and "attributing sinister or corrupt motives to those who disagree with them."

  • John McCormack smears Elena Kagan

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Speaking of shameless demagoguery, The Weekly Standard's John McCormack writes:

    Kagan Defends Discriminating Against Military at Harvard

    In fact, Kagan didn't discriminate against the military, she ended the military's exemption from Harvard's anti-discrimination policy.

    It says a lot about McCormack that he thinks ending an entity's exemption from an anti-discrimination policy constitutes discriminating against that entity.

    Though, in fairness (I guess?) to McCormack, there's ample evidence that he doesn't actually believe the nonsense he writes.

    UPDATE: McCormack also referred to Kagan's "anti-military policy," another bit of dishonest demagoguery. Applying the same rules to the military that are applied to other entities isn't "anti-military." It's "pro-consistency."

  • Right-wing media respond to Romanoff with falsehoods, including false allegations of a crime

    ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

    Right-wing media have falsely claimed that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election, and have falsely alleged or suggested that the White House committed a crime in doing so. In fact, both Romanoff and the White House have said no formal job offer was made, and legal experts have repudiated the claim that this practice would constitute a crime.

  • John McCormack, the reporter who cried "Bribe!"

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    You might not expect a magazine that once ran a 3,229-word cover story decrying an investigation into the outing of a CIA agent as the "criminalization of politics" to be particularly upset over the possibility that a White House official offered a Senate candidate a job. But the Weekly Standard is nothing if not, uh, flexible in its outrage.

    And so, having published Fred Barnes' 2006 apologia for the kind of leak that former President George H. W. Bush once declared the work of "the most insidious of traitors," the Weekly Standard is now home to John McCormack's hilarious efforts to drum up support for a bribery investigation predicated on an unnamed White House official's alleged offer of an unspecified job to Joe Sestak. Because, you know, outing a CIA agent is fine; that's merely politics -- just don't offer someone a job!

    I say "hilarious" for two reasons. First, the alleged offer is a bit of a non-starter as political scandals go. White House officials have been known to try to "clear the field" for their preferred candidates in campaigns for as long as anyone can remember -- and when Karl Rove and Dick Cheney did it, it was portrayed as a sign of their effectiveness. I don't remember calls for bribery investigations when Team Rove convinced Richard Vinroot to drop out of the 2002 North Carolina Senate race -- or when the RNC sent Vinroot $200,000 to pay off his campaign debt a couple of weeks later. (A Nexis search for Vinroot's name in the Weekly Standard library yields no hits.)

    But now John McCormack wants you to think that offering a candidate a job is the worst thing since Watergate. And that brings me to the other reason this is so funny: John McCormack.

    See, McCormack sees -- or pretends to see -- illegal White House bribes every time he turns around. Just a few months ago, he was peddling the baseless allegation that the White House tried to buy Rep. Jim Matheson's vote on health care reform by nominating his brother to a federal judgeship. McCormack quickly walked back that ludicrous claim, just as his former Weekly Standard colleague Michael Goldfarb had to walk back his ludicrous claim that the White House threatened to close a Nebraska Air Force base to win Ben Nelson's support.

    I can't wait for McCormack's next theory -- it'll probably be something about how Rahm Emanuel offering a visiting congressman a cup of coffee constitutes an offer of a bribe in exchange for a vote on financial reform.

  • The Weekly Standard Walk-back

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    When Weekly Standard blogger Michael Goldfarb was mocked last December for making a far-fetched claim about the White House threatening to close an Air Force base in order to secure Ben Nelson's support for health care reform, Goldfarb quickly began walking back his claim, then abruptly stopped talking about it altogether.

    So when I saw Weekly Standard writer John McCormack's baseless suggestion that the White House nominated Rep. Jim Matheson's brother for a judgeship in order to win Matheson's support for health care reform, it looked like history was repeating itself.

    And sure enough, McCormack promptly began walking back his claim, telling Fox News viewers the next day there "probably" wasn't an "explicit" quid pro quo. The day after that, McCormack wrote that the "most likely" scenario was that "White House officials simply hoped that if they scratched Matheson's back with the nomination, he would scratch theirs with a vote for the health care bill." Then McCormack went silent on the matter.

    So, here's how this played out:

    March 3: McCormack writes "Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?" and "Scott Matheson appears to have the credentials to be a judge, but was his nomination used to buy off his brother's vote?"

    March 4: McCormack admits there was "probably not" an "explicit quid pro quo."

    March 5: McCormack writes that the most likely explanation is that the White House simply "hoped" Matheson would vote for health care reform.

    March 6 - Present: Silence.

    Now, ideally, the Weekly Standard wouldn't run around peddling baseless conspiracy theories in the first place. But since they do, it's good to know they've perfected The Weekly Standard Walk-back.

    And I'm willing to meet them halfway, by acknowledging that they probably don't subsidize their magazine publishing by selling intravenous drugs to six-year-olds.

  • Right-wing media continue baseless smear that Obama is "offering judgeships to secure health care votes"

    ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    Right-wing media figures have continued to attack President Obama's appointment of Scott Matheson to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, suggesting that the appointment was made to influence his brother, Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-UT) vote on health care reform. Those pushing the smear have cited no evidence to support their claims and have acknowledged Matheson's qualifications for the job; indeed, his appointment enjoys broad support and, according to Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, "has been in the works for a long time" and was not made in exchange "for votes on health care."