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Do "both sides" really do what Breitbart does?

If I ran the universe, the Shirley Sherrod mess would prompt a real media conversation about these questions: Do both sides really engage in Breitbart-style tactics? Is all "ideological media" created equal?

The discussion of the Sherrod saga has been marked by an inability to distinguish between the media techniques employed by ideologically motivated media on the left, and those used by Breitbart's operation and sometimes Fox. What's not being acknowledged is that the latter camp is far more willing to use tactics that are pretty much indistinguishable from political opposition research.

Here, for instance, is an illuminating exchange between Matt Lauer and The Nation's Katrina Vanden Heuvel on this morning's Today Show:

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: Are we going to be a media system which is vetting and holding standards? Or are we going to be bullied as a country by right wing media, which peddles fear and slander to really destroy President Obama's presidency? Is this White House going to wake up?

MATT LAUER: In the past it's worked in both directions, by the way. Biased media is nothing new.

VANDEN HEUVEL: It's not about bias. It's about a mainstream media with a few exceptions in this case accepting Andrew Breitbart, a journalist who is known to have no crediblity.

Lauer tells us that there's "biased media" on both sides. But while Breitbart may indeed be "biased," that fact has nothing whatsoever to do with what Breitbart did, which is actively mislead his audience. You can be biased without actively misleading.

The conventions of media neutrality apparently require us to keep saying that "both sides do it." But let's drill down on what "it" really is. If by "it" we mean making editorial decisions -- what story to cover, what quotes to seek, who to interview, etc -- that are to some degree rooted in one's political preferences and beliefs, then yes, both sides do it.

But if by "it" we mean purveying information to readers or viewers that's designed only to achieve a political objective, with no effort whatsoever to ascertain its accuracy, true significance, or context, then the answer is: No, both sides don't do it.

Do some left wing commentators say crazy things? Sure. But high-profile commentators on the left, for instance at networks like MSNBC, inarguably hold themselves to a higher factual standard than Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly. (Yes, they apologized to Sherrod. So what?)

What's more, sites like HuffPo and TPM, while perhaps ideologically and politically motivated in some ways, have teams of reporters who are devoted to determining what's fair and accurate before sharing it with readers. These reporters would never run with a video like the one leaked to Breitbart without making a serious effort to contextualize it and determine its significance and accuracy. I challenge anyone to demonstrate that the Breitbart-Fox axis has any real equivalent on the left.

Do both sides do it? I say No, they don't. And if I ran the show more media folks would step up and take a stand on that question one way or the other.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
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Comments

"sites like HuffPo and TPM, while perhaps ideologically and politically motivated in some ways, have teams of reporters who are devoted to determining what's fair and accurate before sharing it with readers. "

Honestly, I can match up Huffington Post and Drudge on any given day on posting the same stories with the similarly misleading headlines to generate clicks, and they both take the same anti-Obama administration slant.

Huffington Post took a shift to openly criticize the admin and Arianna noted this after the election of Obama. She said herself the site was going to become more critical of Govn't.

So, yes, their content might be accurate, but the headlines are as misleading as Drudge on any given day.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 23, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Any chance you could try and get a comment/clarification from Lauder? I wonder if he's up for your challenge? ;)

BTW, if anyone would care to see what exactly the left-version of Breitbart or FOX should be compared to...just hit up Media Matters, which has a great rundown of the types of falsehoods and propaganda that have been created over the past 18 months.

Also, PolitiFact.com is another great resource. Look over the "Pants on Fire" section, and notice the overwelming majority of those on that list are on the right.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

As long as Fox News exists, MSM political journalism is dead.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bravo. Also, if the comparison is Fox v MSNBC, an apples to apples comparison would include Fox and Friends against Morning Joe, and mid-day broadcasts anchored by the brow-beating, conservative talk point machine Megyn Kelly against whoever chairs MSNBC's coverage (the fact that s/he is relatively anonymous says it all).

Posted by: BillB10 | July 23, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-03) suggested TN and other states may have to consider seceding from the union if the federal government does not change its ways regarding mandates.

"I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government," said Wamp during an interview with Hotline OnCall.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/07/health_care_law.php

"Both sides do it"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a whole bunch of CYA.

My guess is that this has little to do with Breitbart and much to do with journ o list.

Mr Sargent, one of the most biased writers I've ever encountered, is hell-bent to cover his butt and that of his very biased colleagues.

Here's a word that should ring a bell with the holier-than-thou liberals in the media: Macaca.

Just exactly how many times did that word appear in the WaPo between the time it was first uttered and election day. Somebody? Anybody? buehler?

Now Mr Sargent wants me to believe that he and his ilk are as pure as the driven snow.

yeah right. The public knows that MR Obama is NOT who they thought he was. And they are coming to the conclusion that they voted for him based on what the press fed them.

And the journ o list story PROVES that the media elites conspired to manipulate the news and therefore the public.

Breitbart's issue is just a handly distraction. but it won't work. Breitbart is hanging tough and we conservatives long ago learned to take the likes of Klein, Sargent & co with a heaping helping of NACL

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Until I see a network other than Fox pimping a political "movement" as Fox did with the Republican fringe TeaBaggers, then no, there's nothing similar in the SCLM.

I'd agree with Lauer that both sides are equivalent when it comes to competency at their jobs, which is purportedly to inform us with factual information. There is too little effort along the entire media spectrum put into fact-checking; this is just laziness and inexcusable. But while I see a lot of that everywhere, I don't see a lot of just making stuff up in most outlets like you see on Fox.

Seriously, dudes, last week Fox showed viewers a picture of monkey with a gun photoshopped into its hand. The only departure from classic Weekly World News was the fact that Fox told their viewers that it was a photoshop of a monkey with a gun in its hand. Because otherwise, they might not have known?

This was in Fox's report on news that the Taliban is training monkey soldiers. Seriously. Monkey soldiers. Swill THAT around in your mind for just a moment.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The problem with false equivalences is that blame for the actions of one side is assigned to both. Therefore, there is no incentive to hold yourself to a higher standard.

Crybaby conservatives have intimidated people like Matt Lauer into giving them constant free passes because they are afraid of being accused of "liberal bias" if they call things fairly. That is like requiring a basketball referee to always call an equal number of fouls on both teams. If he calls more fouls on one side, does that prove bias, or that one side plays dirtier?

Posted by: HeathcliffMaw | July 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I wish someone would ask Matt Lauer if:
1. He really holds no opinions on ANYTHING?
2. If he truly believes that it is not his job to call out bald-faced lies?

Posted by: flounder2 | July 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

skippy, Fox manipulates the news and therefore the public on a daily basis and Media Matters does a great job of highlighting it every day?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You are absolutely right. matt Lauer perpetuates the FoxNews smears by a false equivalency.

They smear and people like Lauer and others pass on the smears and then say all sides do it.

You are consistently excellent, Greg. Thank you.

Posted by: TomP4 | July 23, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

In addition, this also smacks of a pretty typical ploy. I understand the need to diminish the credibility of Mr Breitbart. After all it was his 100K that gave the lie to the original claim of racism hurled at the tea party.

For that transgression alone the liberal media will seek his destruction.

And of course the other issue is that Mr Brietbart can be accused of committing journalism without the approval of the member of the journ o list.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Greg.

Posted by: TomP4 | July 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Racist "white pride" group had a table at a Florida Tea Party

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/07/white_pride_group_urges_tea_pa.php

"Both sides do it"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing:

Monkey. Soldiers.

With guns photoshopped into their hands.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

that gave the lie to the original claim of racism hurled at the tea party.

you mean the lie that forced them to fire their spokesman after he wrote a racist blog post? that lie?

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

yet another witless liberal. Will wonders never cease. Hey Mike, do you honestly think you're proving your intellectual prowess with that? Oh, I know, you think you're the first person on the planet to call me skippy, right?

or maybe you think I'll be cut to the quick and will slink away in face of your enormous sarcasm!

Just too funny.

Got anything intelligent to say? it sure doesn't seem that way based on the above.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

italic tags would be nice

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I saw the same thing on Anderson Cooper360 last night and almost barfed. He was interviewing that weirdo from RedState.com and Donna Brazile about the whole Breitfart/Sherrod episode, and kept insisting that "both sides" did it. Had I been Donna Brazile, I would have taken the bait and said, "Humour me, Anderson. Give me a recent example - or, indeed, any example at all - of the left employing the same tactics employed by Burpbart and his cronies. So, I throw it out to the posters here. Give me an example. Just one.

Posted by: chert | July 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
=============
you mean the lie that forced them to fire their spokesman after he wrote a racist blog post? that lie?

=====================

no, I don't. And you know that. Another witless liberal. There is ample suppy here it seems.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I've become accustomed to not understanding a single word that skipsailing28 writes, but today he threw out a more idiotic post than usual:

"Here's a word that should ring a bell with the holier-than-thou liberals in the media: Macaca."

Am I to understand that skipsailing28 thinks the WaPo shouldn't have covered the embarrassing and incredible spectacle of a would-be Presidential candidate using a racial epithet against a citizen-reporter of South Asian descent?

What are you saying, skipsailing? I don't expect much more than lies from you and your gang, but kindly try to explain your point. I'm confused.

Posted by: chert | July 23, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

During the first 1/2 hour of Anderson Cooper, last night, Cooper said at least a 1/2 dozen times that "both sides do it." No examples.
On NPR' Diane Rheem show today, a caller asked for an example of "both sides do it." Three guests all agreed that, "yes, both sides do it." One gave no examples. One said Dan Rather's Bush/Draftdodger story. The 3rd said "there were other ones even before the Rather thing." Those were the examples of "both sides do it." I and the caller, I'm sure were thoroughly convinced that "both sides do it."

Posted by: peemeaney | July 23, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Macaca"

Jebus, skippy?!?!?! That's the best you've got? The BEST? Sheesh. A Senate candidate calls an American citizen of minority descent a salacious ethnic slur to his face and on camera, and you want to howl that the press reported it? They didn't snip the tape. They played the whole friggin thing.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, the whole debate ends with:

Monkeys. With guns photoshopped into their hands.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

OT

Daniel Schorr, journalist whose tough reporting got him on Nixon's enemies list, dead at 93

Veteran reporter and commentator Daniel Schorr, whose hard-hitting reporting for CBS got him on President Richard Nixon's notorious "enemies list" in the 1970s, has died. He was 93.

Schorr died Friday at a Washington hospital after a brief illness, said Anna Christopher, a spokeswoman for National Public Radio, where Schorr continued to work as a senior news analyst and commentator.

Schorr's career of more than six decades spanned the spectrum of journalism — beginning in print, then moving to television where he spent 23 years with CBS News and ending with NPR. He also wrote several books, including his memoir, "Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism."

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/07/longtime_journalist_daniel_schorr_dead_at_age_93.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Spot on Greg. There is nothing on the left that is even close to the lies and distortions peddled on fox. Yes, the headlines on the huffington post are very misleading at times which are clearly designed to get clicks. News papers are guilty of this too. The difference is that the stories are based in FACTS! Something that fox doesn't have a clue about. If you saw the clip Rachel Maddow provided of Bill O'Reilly trashing her for pointing out his networks lack of journalistic standards, you also saw his response which was to brag about his huge ratings. Ratings are nice but, they don't have a damn thing to do with facts! He didn't and couldn't dispute that. He did what many of the idiot commenters on rightwing sites do. Throw their ratings in your face. That lack of defense is a clear sign of the indefensible! I took a journalism course in highschool and the teacher told us that journalism could be boiled down to an acronym F.A.C.T. which is Fast, Accurate, Concise and True. It would appear that fox and by extension other networks only managed Fast!

Posted by: roxsteady | July 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

My point still stands.

Fox manipulates daily and conservatives just lap it up, smile and move on. They have no qualms they are fed propaganda daily.

Maybe that's why Fox has such high ratings? Conservatives like to be lied to on a daily basis.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for addressing this, Greg.

It's been driving me up the wall the last few days because anytime someone in the MSM says anything remotely critical about Breitbart - it is almost immediately followed with the disclaimer that "this sort of thing goes on on both sides of the aisle". It's like a verbal tic. I think it was last night that I saw Anderson Cooper do it after a story on Breitbart - saying that there were just as many liberal bloggers who do things just as "odious".

And I agree with Heathcliff above - it's a direct result of right-wing intimidation of the MSM. It's just easier to equate the left and the right then to deal with the non-stop pity-party that the wingers engage in.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think it's fascinating that this discussion has finally hit the MSM. I don't know what Matt Lauer's or the Today Show's ratings are compared to cable channels and I think he may have missed the point of the discussion somewhat, but at least people are beginning to question the caliber of the news we're receiving.

There's a difference between bias, we all have it, and reporting accurately. Brietbart distorts the truth for political gain as does Fox and I keep hoping average Americans will begin to see the challenge they face as Fox viewers. It's very difficult to drill down to the truth anymore unless you do an awful lot of independent research.

When we get right wing comments here about 90% are passing along lies and distortions they've read or heard somewhere which have already been disproven. The other 10% enjoy policy debates which we all welcome. It's sad really.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing equates the racism of "Macaca", shown in its entirety, and in context, with the gross and obvious perversion of the intentional smear and distortions of Breitbart, one of those who actually got suckered by the Connecticut Frat-boy in the cowboy outfit!!

Snookered by the Lifetime Failure, hoodwinked by Daddy's Boy, . . Breitmart is followed only by those who cannot admit failure.

Posted by: gkam | July 23, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

No, they do not. It is only the radical right that will go so far in its lies and slanders that an innocent woman was fired from her job. That whole Acorn dust up turned out not to be quite true, etc.

Its time to sue the heck out of these folks for slander and libel because that will be the only thing that stops the right wing media machine from lying and defaming for their own gain.

Posted by: cdp326 | July 23, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok, since the "Monkeys. With Guns." thing doesn't seem to be doing it for you all, how about this:

There's a vast gulf of difference in reporting on important events of the day, even through the lens of your own bias, and reporting on anecdotal events you've sought out to support a pre-determined agenda.

And also, as I've always liked to say: if you have lie or distort the facts to make your point, you don't have one.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@skipsailing28 : Breitbart's issue is just a handly [sic] distraction.

Easy for you to say. Breitbart didn't selectively edit and post a video of you that completely distorted the meaning of the statement. Fox news didn't replay the video ad infinitum with headlines calling you a racist.

Breitbart shamelessly smeared the NAACP using doctored video, just like he attacked ACORN with edited video, (of course Faux news took these lies and ran with them...)

"And the journ o list story PROVES that the media elites conspired to manipulate the news and therefore the public."

The journolist story proves that Carlson is an unprincipled, dishonest, whiny hack that won't release the source material that he is excerpting so that readers can judge for themselves whether his conclusions are supported by the emails in the context they were written. And the media "elites"? Bloggers, professors, activists, opinion columnists are the elite? Really?

I thought the media elites were the villagers on the network news shows (Blitzer, Gregory, Hume, Baer(sp), Couric, etc. They are the ones that get paid like elites anyway.) Opinion writers on the national papers (I counted 2 (Klein and Seargent) bloggers on the wapo editorial board out of about 30) are the second tier of elites I guess. College professors, bloggers, activists, not so much.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Michael Moore--he's a pretty close analogy to Breitbart. Some of the "interviews" and other stunts in Fareinheit 911 and his other "documentaries" are just as falsified as Breibart's junk.

Posted by: Dan4 | July 23, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Not really sure who those "high-profile commentators on the left" but Keith O. would seem to be one, and his strawman-based rants seem mostly indistinguishable from O'Reilly et al. Second, the Duke Duke lacrosse-team rape allegations seem to be a somewhat reasonable comparison. It became clear fairly quickly that those allegations were false (or at least highly questionnable) but the reaction time on the part of many of the left-leaning commentators was much, much slower than for right-leaning commentators in the Sherrod case. And, BTW, of course, Vanden Heuvel cannot accuse anyone of bias; she has to take another approach.

Posted by: willdd | July 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The Today Show crushes all comers. That said, Lauer is as guilty as all of the other mainstream media who are afraid of being accused of being in th pocket of the left so they bend over backwards to hand us all the false equivalency crap. They should all stand up to these frauds who have bastardized their profession. Instead, they cave and wonder why we all have such a low opinion of them.
The averages for the week of July 12:

Total Viewers: NBC: 4.71M / ABC: 3.79M / CBS: 2.13M

A25-54 rating: NBC: 2.07M / ABC: 1.45M / CBS: 860K

Fox shows by contrast don't come close to any of the networks but, don't tell Bill O or his idiot viewers:



FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O'Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O'Reilly:
611 422 354 757 579 529 656

Posted by: roxsteady | July 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

This is for Skip and Matt Lauer.

This is from the statement of principles page on the Council of Conservative Citizens website:

"""We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."""

This was their response to the NAACP-Tea Party war of words:

"""This was a great opportunity for the Tea Party movement to show some backbone by laughing in the face of the imbeciles at the NAACP. But did they? Of course not. Predictably, they responded in the same tired, pusillanimous manner with which they always respond to these never ending accusations. Instead of replying with a loud BWAHAHAHA! or a “Yeah? What’s your point?” or “So what?” or “Of course we’re racists -we’re white people."""

Here's a post about their participation in a Tea Party rally in Florida:

Florida CofCC works crowd at TEA Party

"""From a distance, the event could have been mistaken for another Inverness festival as attendees circled full public parking lots trying to find an empty space. It wasn’t a festival, however, that brought the crowds, it was a tea party rally that had conservative voters out wearing Fair Tax T-shirts and displaying anti-Obama signs.

During the event several Republicans running for office made appearances. Marco Rubio, 38, who is running against Gov. Charley Crist for a spot in the U.S. Senate. There were approximately 4500 (conservatively) attendees. Council members passed out 2 boxes of THE CITIZENS INFORMER newspaper, and 250 Council business cards."""

You can find links to these pages from the article I linked before:

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/07/white_pride_group_urges_tea_pa.php

Great folks, eh skippy? Just a little white pride and segregation is all this country needs right skippy?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It's very clear that right wingers (Fox) go to any extent to use distortion in creating fear of liberty and freedom as a way to isolate progressives. It works because the left leans toward an intellectual pole in arguments while the right is anti-intellectual and dogmatic. You cannot reason with a group that does not acknowledge facts and reason.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | July 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

TPM is a site of higher standards and great reporting

However, I consider Huffpo little more then tabloid ginning up misleading headlines and news for hits.
Many are seeing Huffpo as losing credibility

Posted by: vwcat | July 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Dan4 (who wrote):

"Michael Moore--he's a pretty close analogy to Breitbart. Some of the "interviews" and other stunts in Fareinheit 911 and his other "documentaries" are just as falsified as Breibart's junk."

******

Michael Moore holds himself out as a documentary film maker. You're free to go see his films or not and make up your own mind as to the veracity of what he portrays. Breitfart (or is it Burpbart) claims he's a journalist and behaves as though he's one, when, in fact, all he is is a liar (or, right-winger, if you prefer), a charlatan and a provocateur.

Posted by: chert | July 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Jenn: Seriously, dudes, last week Fox showed viewers a picture of monkey with a gun photoshopped into its hand. The only departure from classic Weekly World News was the fact that Fox told their viewers that it was a photoshop of a monkey with a gun in its hand. Because otherwise, they might not have known?

This was in Fox's report on news that the Taliban is training monkey soldiers. Seriously. Monkey soldiers. Swill THAT around in your mind for just a moment."

Jenn, I hear ya. To answer your question, yes, they had to tell the audience it was a fake photo because the Fox audience consists of lemmings. They march in lock step. The go where they are told. They repeat everything practically verbatim. They question nothing.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I forgot.

"Both sides do it"

Both sides hand out boxes of segregationist newspapers at Tea Parties. Right?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As I stated, witless liberals seem thick on the ground here. Nothing new there.

here's this:
============
Am I to understand that skipsailing28 thinks the WaPo shouldn't have covered the embarrassing and incredible spectacle of a would-be Presidential candidate using a racial epithet against a citizen-reporter of South Asian descent?

What are you saying, skipsailing? I don't expect much more than lies from you and your gang, but kindly try to explain your point. I'm confused.

===========================

How to confuse a liberal: provide them with facts.

I asked a simple question. Do you know the answer? Apparently not.

Same thing for all the other liberals who want to take me on. The WaPo has much to answer for with its brazen effort to affect an election. It was blatant liberal bias. All the denial I'm seeing here is just too funny.

soooo, do any of you oh so self affected liberals know the answer to my simple question? How many times did word macaca appeared in the paper between the time it was first uttered and the day of the election?

spare me the righteous indignation. The topic is media bias and you know it. All that other blather is just a poor attempt to change the subject.

I note that none of you have risen to the defense of the journ o list. I'm hardly surprised. Instead you're spluttering in the general direction Breitbart. yeah, like that'll work.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to give odds on how long Shep Smith remains employed by Fox now that Limbaugh is after him?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"you mean the lie that forced them to fire their spokesman after he wrote a racist blog post? that lie?

=====================

"no, I don't. "

enlighten me, skippy: if Mark Williams was fired because of his racist blog post, doesn't that prove that the NAACP was right, that the TP should denounce the racist element within their movement? i think it's good that the tea party followed the NAACP's good advice and got rid of a racist member. you think they should rehire him?

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Both sides certainly do not do it, but the left does have its own set of problems. The biggest one is the It's Never Good Enough line. When the health care debate was on, you had people like Howard Dean calling for the bill (that eventually passed) to be scrapped because it wasn't good enough. Didn't matter that it actually was and is pretty decent. With fin-reg, you had and have people saying it's worthless, you even had a liberal senator refusing to vote for it (pushing Reid to run after Brown to make up that 60th vote, which nudged the final bill further to the right). In the blogosphere, you have progressives pronouncing Obama to be a disappointment as a progressive president, despite the fact that he, well, ran as a moderate. The left is quite honest, but seems to lack cheerleaders.

Take a breath, y'all. In less than one half of one term, Obama has: overhauled health care, expanded employee rights, enacted stronger financial regulations, strengthened federal student loans, stopped the shedding of jobs and started a path to job creation (at a slower rate than anyone would like, to be fair), possibly started the dismantling of DADT, and amazingly, the list actually goes on. All of this taken together is a solid foundation for even stronger liberal policies. But much of this is overshadowed by the banner of It's Never Good Enough, and because the left has few cheerleaders--because so many of these accomplishments get dismissed--it helps perpetuate the sentiment that Obama hasn't done anything worthwhile. That's potent when combined with right-wing lies.

It's a good thing to criticize him, but when there's almost nothing *but* criticism, it's time to take a step back.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 23, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Mike Pence caught lying about the Dems wanting "every income tax bracket" to go up

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jul/22/mike-pence/mike-pence-says-democrats-want-all-bush-tax-cuts-e/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I was coming in to post a thoughtful insight on the annoying false equivalencies that many journalists (including Lauer) seem to be hiding behind nowadays.

Then I read JennofArk's post about FoxNews and Taliban Soldier Monkeys, and I feel a migraine a-coming. My brain needs never to swill that again.

PS: Greg, keep 'em coming.

Posted by: pierogi | July 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

skippy, so far the evidence you have presented about bias at the WaPo in its attempt to effect an election is "Macaca." Period. What else ya got? Was that your ace? Time to play your cards, man, provided that you have any.

BTW, I am not defending WaPo. The only clicks I give them is Greg and Eugene Robinson. Otherwise, pfffft!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Mislead" measn to deliberately lead someone to a false conclusion.

Such as, when MSDNC ran a video of a gun-toting Tea Partier as proof of racism...

cutting off the head of the individual at the top of the frame...

who happened to be a black man.

"Mislead" means deliberately pushing stories and story lines while deliberately ignoring or downplaying others.

All the while pretending to be neutral.

The fact is, if teh MSM were as unbiased as they purport there would be no market for Fox, Limbaugh or alternative media.

Peopel turn to them to get another side of teh story because of the distortion and news black outs by the MSM.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | July 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Moore holds himself out as a documentary film maker."

Michael Moore is also quite critical of Democrats.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

we all remember those successful lawsuits against michael moore, due to inaccuracies in his films. right? right?

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@drjcarlucci

Actually, I remember that video on MSNBC. They showed his face. He wore glasses, they looked like those ugly military issue style (jokingly called BCGs). And they weren't talking about racism then, they were talking about the craziness of bringing weapons to political rallies.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Some of the "interviews" and other stunts in Fareinheit 911 and his other "documentaries" are just as falsified as Breibart's junk.""

I've never seen any evidence of that, but for argument's sake let's accept that as true. Despite that - I have never, ever seen Moore go undercover to "expose" someone, have you? He usually is proud to announce who he is - usually with a bullhorn - if he is chasing an interview. His sitdown interviewees like Charlton Heston could've easily declined to participate - an option that the innocent ACORN employees and Mrs. Sherrod were never given.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Breibart is Glenn Beck's look and sound-alike and plans to cash in on just that. It's The Jerry Springer Newshour.

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | July 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

hey srw3, can you answer my question, or not? All the rest is just blather and denial.

If you think that the entirety of the journ o list emails should be released, why not provide a copy of the email you sent to Ezra Klein demanding that he do so? He's got them all, right? If context is your concern, then get Ezra to pony up.

the undies in a wad squad is out in full force here. Face it, the revelations were damaging to the WaPo, the liberals in the media and thier wannabes in academia.

Your guys come off as ignorant, violent and petulant. Just like many of the commenters here. We conservatives have long understood the tactic but to have the machinery behind it laid bare like this give us the ammunition we need to stay in this fight.

And while you guys are all over politico, why not go look at what Mary Frances Berry had to say about the Tea Party?

Because I'm such a nice fellow and watching you guys squirm is just so much fun, I'll post her comment here:

"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

There ya have it guys. Lying to achieve your goals is just what you do. As Jesus (amazing ain't it? As a practicing Catholic I have no problem using the Lord's name. I don't know why others are such weenies. Don't worry about offending me sue Revenge is God's work honey) said, it little profits a man to gain the world and lose his soul.

The left lost its soul quite some time ago. Isn't it amazing what people can do when they decide that there is simply no room for shame in their lives?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

if you want to see why and how people like skippy and the other trolls here remain so aggressively ignorant of demonstrable facts, go over to redstate.

they repeat and reinforce each others misperceptions, lies and even paranoia. if anyone challenges the rightwing republican teabagger dogma, they are quickly banned and, frequently, their heresy is literally erased from the site.

in short, they ensure that they never have seriously consider any other view that might challenge their misperceptions and outright falsehoods.

then they come to a site like this and it is so different from their cocoon that they simply reject it all out of hand.

hence, they cannot do anything other than believe the following: mark williams is not a racist; sherrod and the audience really are racist because they applauded and stomped their feet and jumped up and down when sherrod called the farmer whitey.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

fwiw, i just mention redstate because that's the rightwing republican site i'm most familiar with. i'm sure you're all aware what i said is true of many, many sites on the right...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Soneone whines: "How many times did word macaca appeared in the paper between the time it was first uttered and the day of the election?"
-----------------------------------

That's irrelevant. That quotation was shown in its entirety and in context. The one of Sherrod was intentionally twisted, perverted, into something exactly the opposite of the point she was actually making.

You and Breitmbart have revealed not the character of Mrs Sherrod, but that of yourselves.


Posted by: gkam | July 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ethan, If I stated that all black people are represented by that madman zulu Shabazz would you agree?

I highly doubt it. So spare me the nonsense about white supremacists. It is ugyly and pointless.

And if that's the best you've got to defend the massive tear in the curtain that is the journ o list revelation you're in for a tough couple of elections.

And finally, what do you think of Senator Webb's WSJ editorial. Kinda hits home for you uber liberals to have a Democrat stand up for whitey, right?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally saying the ugly truth: That Fox and the far right will say anything at all to tear down this administration, with no regard to the story's truthfulness. E.g., Sarah Palin still touting non-existent "death panels." She has had ample time to learn that this is a falsehood, but she obviously doesn't care. And I am aware of NO similar episodes from the left. If anyone can tell me about one, I'm prepared to listen--which proves I'm not from the far right!

Posted by: MaineWoman | July 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

There was a SEGREGATIONIST group at a FL tea party rally.

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/07/white_pride_group_urges_tea_pa.php

Is that a lie too? Another left-wing conspiracy?

"Both sides do it"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

More people ought to read the New Yorker piece on Breitbart. He is fairly open about what he does and why, and who he is. If Politico and Lauer and others think that this is what they themselves do, or what even HuffPo does (I can't really think if a comparable Left site) then they ought to go back and take a Kumon reading course. The fear of calling the Wrong Right Wing for what it does is crippling modern mainstream journalism.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 23, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: I note that none of you have risen to the defense of the journ o list. I'm hardly surprised.

It does seem strange that you have no empathy for an innocent person viciously slandered by a discredited blogger using doctored video. I guess this doesn't bother you. And there is no parallel between this slander and coverage of a senator hurling racial epithets as an American citizen and then blatantly lying about it, by saying he didn't know what the words he used meant.

"Instead you're spluttering in the general direction Breitbart. yeah, like that'll work."

There is nothing to defend concerning the journolist story. If the emails are so damning, why won't Carlson release the threads he is excerpting from? What does he fear in their release?

Incidentally, I have held my nose and read the TC articles. I have yet to find any evidence of:
-false statements about republicans, media personalities, or public officials.
-any effort to coordinate a message
-anything particularly newsworthy other than some of the list members say bad things about some media figures and occasionally politicians.

Today's screed included some selected, edited, quotes about K. Oberman, not a conservative media figure. I thought that they made some valid points about some of his reporting. At the same time, since we don't have the full transcript of the posts in context, its is impossible to say what the consensus opinion (if one was ever reached) of Oberman was or what the majority of posters thought about him and his reporting.

ss28: Where is the story? Professional colleagues express opinions about their peers via email?

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

Btw, teabagger Marco Rubio spoke at that rally where they handed out segregationist newspapers and 250 business cards for their hate group.

Both sides do it, right?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"I note that none of you have risen to the defense of the journ o list."

I have - on several occasions. It's a non-story and no one outside of the wnd/redstate crowd really cares. You all would wither on the vine if there wasn't a constant source of stories to feed your neverending need to feel persecuted. The MSM, the left, the atheists, the ACLU, the immigrants, the Muslims, the NAACP, MSNBC, the NYT, unions, government employees, trial lawyers, teachers, activist judges, George Soros, and so on, and so on.....

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yo Ben, I'm not Buddha pal. You want enlightenment, chant a mantra or whatever.

And then go read the quote from a prominent black liberal that I provided to this group just moments ago.

the agenda is clear. It is a smear tactic of the first order.

Want I should repeat the quote just for you ben? Here ya go sweetie:

"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

its just a smear tactic. Now we know how it works. You're hating it because it is true and you can't defend it.

It is reprehensible but as I noted earlier the lefties lost their soul decades ago.

Got an answer Sue? i didn't think so.

Anybody else got an answer to the question?

I can't here you!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

ethan,

skippy is impervious to the facts. he *knows* the teabaggers are not racist because only liberals, progressives, democrats and non white people can *really* be racist.

evidence of white people being racist is irrelevant and simply does not compute for skippy. mark williams using the word 'colored' and saying black people don't want to work is not racist in his world. it's simply brilliantly satirical political and social commentary.

facts do not matter. like colbert, most rightwing republicans think with their guts and no fact or obvious reality can persuade them.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Whenever we get these idiotic false equivalences, why can't whoever hears them just ask this: "Give me a similar example"?

I can't find where the left is doing stuff like what Breitbart does, and I am at a loss to name a network that touts it like Fox does.

I really believe that we (the left) are much more grounded in reality.

Posted by: threegoal | July 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Ethan, so what?

I'm sure that the ten folks at the last Dennis Kuchnich rally breathed air. So did the German Nazis. Does that make the Kuchinich supporters nazis ethan?

Just too stupid for words.

Judging by the energy that the liberals are pouring into the destruction of the tea party it is safe to conclude that they fear this movement just as much as they fear Sarah Palin.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"ss28: Where is the story? Professional colleagues express opinions about their peers via email? "

The story is an attempt to silence all commentary to the left of Sarah Palin. Good faith arguments have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: zimbar | July 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

so, rehire williams of not?

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

or not

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Judging by the energy that the liberals are pouring into the destruction of the tea party it is safe to conclude that they fear this movement just as much as they fear Sarah Palin."

You're finally right about something - but not for the reasons you think.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 23, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

yet another voice in the wilderness: zimbar.

What you wrote is called denial.

And imputing motives to people is dangerous. How do you know why this was done? Have you done the vulcan mind meld or are just another run of the mill omniscient liberal?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah Ethan, so what?"

Thanks for admitting that you support the racists at the tea parties.

Are you a segregationist?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

skippy,

do you believe obama is not a citizen?

do you think he's a secret muslim?

do you think he wants to initiate sharia law?

do you think his goal is to destroy america?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Greg.

Keep up the good work of pushing the truth about this.

Truth in journalism....what a concept.

Posted by: elscott | July 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My goodness but the clutching at thin reeds here is just too amusing.

As I noted earlier, the tactic is clear, by hurling the slanderous charge of racism the left seeks to stifle speech.

that tells me that the left can't defend their ideas. If they could doing what Berry stated you're doing wouldn't be necessary.

Just how stupid can you get Ethan? Why would anybody respond to your childishness?

since you can no longer lie about people that disagree with you, the only one left you can lie to is yourself.

and hey blahgblogwordpresscom can you answer my question or not? Again, you're just using Ms Berry's secret formula. Hurl an unfounded accusation as an attempt to change the subject. Won't work anymore. The cat is out of the bag.

Why not just ask the direct question: have you stopped beating your wife? Another one grasping at thin reeds here. You can't refute my position, you don't know the facts so all you got left is the comment board equivalent of sticking your tongue out.

How so very adult of you pal.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

Are you a segregationist?

Do you hate black people?

Do you support the Tea Party's inclusion of segregationists at a rally where a mainstream Republican candidate for Senate was speaking?

Simple questions.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

skippy,

your question has been answered time after time. you simply refuse to acknowledge it.

i didn't hurl accusations at you; i simply asked you some questions about prevalent rightwing republican myths.

and you know the reason i asked you those questions is that you have demonstrated that you believe things that have been demonstrated to you to be untrue.

i'm simply plumbing the depth of your self delusion. it's interesting that, despite your protestations to the contrary, your question has been answered multiple times and yet you refuse to answer any questions yourself.

interesting, but certainly not surprising.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

All, check out Sharron Angle's latest:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/sharron_angle_its_up_to_state.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 23, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@ss28:There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. Many? Not even a majority of Americans?

Talk about damning with faint praise.

What is your point? Much (although maybe not a majority) of the American population is prejudiced against racial and ethnic minorities. Its a fact. I don't know where you grew up, but I grew up on the south side of Chicago. Racism, discrimination, and bigotry were daily occurrences there.

When my oldest sister went to high school in the 70's, blacks and whites used different doors and ate at different tables.

Block busting and redlining were a fact of life. When I did my bachelor's thesis on racial change in a Chicago neighborhood, I still met realtors that were steering minority buyers away from certain neighborhoods and toward others. When I bought my first house, many of my neighbors were very suspicious of me because I am not "white."(actually I am as white as I am anything else, but the one drop rule still applies (even today) in the US). Tiger Woods is more Asian than anything else, but is universally referred to as African American. Eventually they got over this and stopped actively shunning me, and I became friends with 1 neighbor. Much later in the 1980's I sold my house to a very nice older black couple. Despite the fact that they actually fixed up the house and kept the yard in better shape than I did, when I went back to visit the neighborhood, all of my neighbors (even the 1 that was more friendly) wouldn't even speak to me on the street.

Granted that was 25+ years ago, but attitudes about race and ethnicity move at a glacial pace. Chicago remains one of the most segregated cities in the North.

If tea partiers are !only! as racist as republicans and "many" Americans, than it definitely has racist elements in it and they should be denounced.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Still playing kids games I see.

No defense of Ms Berry? Shouldn't you be all up in arms because she's advocating that people slander innocent Americans?

Apparently not. I'll stand by my assessment. At this point the left will do or say anything to achieve their goals. I understand that, but as Jesus said, it little profits a man to gain the world and lose his soul.

but Ethan, you probably don't think you have a soul, so anything goes right?

this is a great week for the conservatives in America. The liberal media was tarnished. the left was exposed for the liars they are. How sweet it is.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The right may do more of it, but here's an example of what the left does. All I heard was that Fox News stoked this Sherrod story, constantly talking about it on their news programs until the USDA got rid of her. Olbermann went crazy about Fox, Maddow blamed Fox, too. And then I pick up Howard Kurtz's article Thursday, and he says that Fox News Channel didn't air anything about this story until after Sherrod had been asked to resign. So, in other words, the left didn't put into context that Fox may have been way overplaying this story and not doing proper research, but they were only doing it after Sherrod was fired and had nothing to do with her departure--only Breitbart did.

Posted by: TheFingerman | July 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@z: "The story is an attempt to silence all commentary to the left of Sarah Palin. Good faith arguments have nothing to do with it."

Huh? What is this comment based on?

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I really think you're still applying a false equivalency. Editing a tape to make it sound as though someone said pretty much the opposite of what they did say, would be be out of bounds for even political oppo research. Taking an occasional quote out of context is sleazy enough. People do it but it pushes the limits of acceptability and comes with a high risk of blowback.

But this thing with Breitbart is on a completely different plane. It wasn't just pushing the envelope. They left the envelope in the dust 100 miles back. This was fraudulent and libelous and I would not be surprised if there are grounds for civil suit for Sherrod.

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course both sides do it. The obvious point of comparison is the allegations of tea partiers using racial epithets to Congressmen and spitting on them. Despite multiple cameras from multiple sources, no one has ever been able to corroborate these allegations, yet the left and the major media continue to report them as established fact.

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 23, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

so skippy thinks Mark Williams was railroaded, should be rehired, and articulates the views of most Tea Party members. Got it.

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse


Thursday, and he says that Fox News Channel didn't air anything about this story until after Sherrod had been asked to resign.

In fact, BillO called for her resignation on Monday night.

Fox News amplifies Breitbart's deceptively edited video. On July 19, FoxNews.com reported: "Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy." The FoxNews.com article further reported that "[t]he video clip was first posted by BigGovernment.com" and that "FoxNews.com is seeking a response from both the NAACP and the USDA."

Technically this isn't the Fox news channel, but It certainly is fox news...

1:40 p.m. (approximately): Fox Nation accuses Sherrod of "discrimination caught on tape" before she resigned. Fox Nation linked to Breitbart's Big Government piece and posted the deceptively cropped clips of Sherrod's speech at the NAACP in a post titled, "Caught on Tape: Obama Official Discriminates Against White Farmer":

Kurtz is a no-nothing putz.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Skip, all you have to do is answer the questions to prove you're not a coward.

One more try:

Do you support the Tea Party's decision to include segregationists at a rally where a mainstream Republican candidate for Senate was speaking?

Easy one. Just answer yes or no!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

tom,

c'mon, that's ridiculous. just because it's not on video doesn't mean it didn't happen. and just because no one has produced a recording of it is not evidence that one or multiple recordings exist. i'm certainly not saying that is necessarily the case but, similarly, you can't say it necessarily isn't.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

is not evidence that one or multiple recordings *don't* exist.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

gotta love. The guys here are working hard to prove my point.

let me restate it: the left routinely engages in the lowest most slanderous smear of racism as a means of silencing opposition voices.

it is quite clear that this is all Ethan has. How sad for him. Time to come up with a plan B pal. Ms Berry has told the world what you are up to.

and of course benjoya has no more than ethan. Once more all he's got is a false charge of racism. if that doesn't work (and it doesn't) he's coming up empty.

Either you guys can defend your positions and the results you've obtained or you can't. since both Ethan and Ben are lying publically about me, it is safe to conclude that they cannot defend their positions. How sad for the left. The magical incantation of racism has worked for at least a generation. Now what kids?

Interesting story srw3. But it has nothing to do with what Ms Berry has so clearly stated. Let me pick one sentence and let's see if you can defend it:
"Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

Isn't that exactly the strategy? Of course it is and I suspect you know that. It is exactly what the journ o list guys cooked up and you know that too.

This cat is out of the bag. Now let's watch the Greg Sargent Media Double Standard in action.

A huge splash about something Sharon Angle said. Absolute silence about Ms Berry, while Ms Berry destroys his credibility.

It is pathetic and dishonest. Look at the kids here. Reduced to school yard taunts because the facts at this point are overwhelming.

The press routinely attempt to manipulate the people. Hence the question: how many times did the WaPo print the word "macaca" between the time it was first uttered and the day of the election?

I never said a word about whether the initial use of the word was right or wrong. I'm simply pointing out a sad fact. the WaPo is among the worst and the Macaca incident is proof.

I also never said that racism does not exist in America. What I have said repeatedly, and what events of this week have proved, is that the liberals are more than willing to debase themselves by hurling this slander if they think it will gain them something.

What was that famous question: have you no decency?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, You've proved that you really have nothing on offer. Once you get past the racist smear, you can't actually defend the liberal agenda.

but hey, if all you've got is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail, right?

Just too funny.

and tell me, was Ms Berry right? Are you guys on the left systematically lying about your political opponents because that is easier than defending the results of your cherished policies?

it certainly seems that way to me.

but do carry on Ethan. I'm sure we've not seen the end of your self debasement.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"the left routinely engages in the lowest most slanderous smear of racism as a means of silencing opposition voices."

All I did was ask you a question about an event that took place in Florida!

There was a Tea Party event in Florida.

They included a segregationist group.

Marco Rubio spoke at the event.

Do you support the Tea Party's inclusion of segregationists at a rally where a mainstream Republican candidate for Senate was speaking?

All you have to do is answer yes or no.

Why don't you answer?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Monkeys.

With guns.

Photoshopped into their hands.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Both sides spin. In other words they don't lie they just leave out portions of the truth that could sway you either way. My dad told me - there are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Boy was he smart.

Both side seem to want to envoke FEAR into the person that is listening. What a shame. Not because they do it - because most people become thier sound bytes and seem to form thier opinions based on others opinions.

Posted by: ATL_NATIVE | July 23, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@ATL-N:My dad told me - there are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

As nice as your dad may be he is wrong on this. I say that the earth is about 3 billion years old. You say it is 6000 years old and that cavemen rode dinosaurs. Where is the middle ground?

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I get it. WaPo should've said, "the epithet that was uttered by _____, that begins with 'm' and ends with 'a'. We cannot reprint the word because it has been copywrited by the style police. Carry on."

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | July 23, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

SRW3 wrote:
"I say that the earth is about 3 billion years old. You say it is 6000 years old and that cavemen rode dinosaurs. Where is the middle ground?"

That's because *you* didn't watch every Flintstones cartoon ever produced. :D

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

srw3, it's actually about 4.6 billion years old.

Hey Skip,

If you're still here, I will answer one question you pose to me on Ms. Berry's comments if you answer my one question:

"Do you support the Tea Party's inclusion of segregationists at a rally where a mainstream Republican candidate for Senate was speaking?"

Answer that, post a question about Ms. Berry's comments and I'll respond.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Can you elaborate on your usage of "inclusion" above?

Thnx bro.

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: Let me pick one sentence and let's see if you can defend it:
"Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

Without the context for this remark, I am not going to defend or disparage it, but I will if you provide the link so I can see the entire speech or whatever it was....Cherry picking one sentence out of a larger piece with no context is exactly what breitbart did. Its hard to believe you want to follow in his "journalistic" footsteps.

"Isn't that exactly the strategy? Of course it is and I suspect you know that."

The strategy of who?

It is exactly what the journ o list guys cooked up and you know that too.

A little proof that this strategy (who is strategizing, BTW) was promoted, as opposed to say someone making an observation of fact, would bolster your case.

Its true that if I took your computer away, you would have a much harder time posting, but that doesn't mean I intend to seize your computer.

And the point of my story is that, as you acknowledge, racism is common in the US and it is common in the Tea Party. Denouncing racism when it is publicly displayed is the obligation of any group that wants to be a part of the national dialog and it is clear that tea partiers haven't done this in all cases. Denouncing Williams is definitely a start. I think that Rubio not denouncing the CCC as they were handing out white supremacist literature at his rally is inexcusable.

" Hence the question: how many times did the WaPo print the word "macaca" between the time it was first uttered and the day of the election?"

Do you have the answer to this question? If so, share it. If not find it. But stop demagoguing wapo about it. Wapo is editorially more aligned with fox news than with the american prospect (Note the full support for the Iraq debacle, tax cuts, etc), (klein and Sargeant notwithstanding), but you are just making accusations without doing the leg work to prove them. And it is pretty big news when a prominent senate candidate and possible presidential candidate shouts out a racial slur at a campaign rally. It will probably engender several days of coverage, particularly when Allen denies that he understood what he was saying...

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"Can you elaborate on your usage of "inclusion" above?"

Sure.

What I meant by "inclusion" was that the Tea Party was forewarned about the group's plans to be in attendance, and yet the Tea Party allowed them to hand out two boxes of their segregationist newspaper and ~250 business cards.

That was a January 2010 event.

Another Tea Party event in Sept 2009, also in Florida, allowed them to set up a booth complete with a large color banner with their logo and name. At that event they distributed 3 boxes of the newspaper along with applications to join the group. There is a photo of this on the group's website. Ginny Brown-Waite spoke at this event.

That's what I mean by "inclusion." Pretty much what anybody means when they say "inclusion." These two Tea Party events included a racist segregationist group at these two events at a minimum.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: I looked for the original piece that the quote was taken from, but strangely only that paragraph is cited and only on right wing blogs that don't provide a link to the original. Unless you can provide more context, I won't comment on it...

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Pretty thin reed if your using the ADL link.

Kind of like saying that a pro-abortion rally "included" a pro-life booth near to the entry point to their event.

A one day warning blog post by ADL does not make for much of a heads-up. Did they copy the organizers? Did Rubio even know?
The links don't say.

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Tao, here is a recent posting (July 15, 2010) on the website of the Mississippi chapter of this same group:

"""The university of Texas has stripped the name of one of its founding members from a dorm hall and a park becuase the guy was a klansman in the beggining of the 1900′s. William Stewart Simkins was a confederate colonel and served on the board for the school for many years. Now he will be swept under the rug, but Im sure they will find some building to name after a dead black guy.

We should boycott OLE MISS and the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS for being cowards…………"""

The same website touts a Tea Party event in April of this year.

A different website tells of ANOTHER Tea Party event where the MS chapter of this segregationist "white pride" group was a financial sponsor.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@tao9: Its hard to believe that Rubio's advance team didn't check to see what groups were in the crowd, but I guess its conceivable. I guess the larger question is why didn't the tea partiers themselves tell the CCC to get lost and not hand out literature. Certainly a pro-choice booth set up near an anti-abortion rally would have very few takers and probably couldn't hand out much literature.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

srw,

kind of funny how it so often works out that way, huh?

these people think they have a god given right to their own facts.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 23, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

Full Mary Francis Berry quote here:

http://www.politico.com/arena/perm/Mary_Frances_Berry_91E3D9D5-C40D-440C-9D48-1C50CBC60C87.html

In full. ;>)

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

once more, since the NAACP's comments were so off-base, skippy supports williams being rehired and believe he should be reinstated as his positions reflect those of the Tea Party movement in general. correct me if i'm wrong.

Posted by: benjoya | July 23, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

oops...e instead of i. Sorry, Ms. Berry.

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@tao9: That is one paragraph out of what is most likely a much longer piece. It's not enough context for me to comment on. I want the entire piece and I can't find it. Can you?

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Certainly a pro-choice booth set up near an anti-abortion rally would have very few takers and probably couldn't hand out much literature."

The CCC site says they handed out b-cards and copies of their rag.

Why are y'all so hot to believe their hype?

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Tao,

The LA-Ark-Tx chapter of the group that attended the Tea Parties links to New Nation News. Links at the top of the homepage are calling African-Americans "Negros".

The bulletin board is unreal.

"These filthy creatures live to defile anything whites will touch or eat. This boon should be publicly hung as an example to other n**gers!!"

"You're right, Gman, publicly hanging n**ger criminals is the only solution to the n**ger crime menace."

Pages of comments like that. Those revolting comments were only 2 or 3 clicks from this group's page.

But they're just racists ranting on crime, right?

Reading on:

"""If the Law of TNB holds true in the next two years for a certain major public figure, then I await the first reports of White House TNB. Can you imagine the possibilities? "White House Officials Seize Concealed Oval Office Crackpipe", "Missing Microwave, Expensive Cutlery turn up in Oval Office. Michelle Obama sez, 'Barack wudint do dat, he wudz a honor roll stoodint!""""

Here's another comment about Mark Williams' letter and firing:

"""The way the Tea Party is being handled is textbook Jew 101. They have flung the 'racis' charge and are now making it so the Tea Party dismantles itself."""

Followed by:

"""Mark Williams for President!"""

But yeah. No racism in the Tea Parties. It's a leftie conspiracy.

There's an entire bulletin board of this filth and it's just ONE site out of, I'm sure, many. Truly revolting and heinous.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

The paragraph was it, she was responding at the Politico "Arena."

Here's the link with the Politico question and other responders (scroll down):

http://www.politico.com/arena/archive/an-iced-tea-party.html#91E3D9D5-C40D-440C-9D48-1C50CBC60C87

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious about what ss28's standards would be regarding use of "macaca." If memory serves, the incident was in mid-August, so there were 80-odd days until the election. How many uses would skip consider reasonable in that time? 50? 100? 200? 1000? How many would be overkill, and evidence of bias? 50? 100? 200? 1000?

How about it, skip?

Posted by: rashomon | July 23, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

>>the latter camp [right-wing media] is far more willing to use tactics that are pretty much indistinguishable from political opposition research.

I beg to differ, Greg. Many of the tactics used by so-called liberal media during the 2008 campaign were EXACTLY like the right-wing tactics.

And the Obots who roamed the blogs making vicious attacks on anyone who dared say anything positive about Hillary were EXACTLY like the Bushbots of 2000 who were the reason I even got involved in political commentary in the first place.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: CaroKay | July 23, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Breitbart would make Joseph Goebbels proud. Why tell the truth when lies will suffice? This guy has the credibility of a slug. How can reasonable people disagree when one side continually uses falsehoods in any conversation? Here's my response:

Before you drink that cup of tea.
Let’s take a look at history.
I didn’t hear them say a thing
when Bush was acting like our king.

They’re asking where the money went
Just look what Bush and Cheney spent.
They took a surplus and much more
and spent it on a useless war,

And when our stocks went in the tank,
just who proposed we save the bank.
That happened in two thousand eight
when Bush was keeper of the gate.

And when he left the cupboard bare
They seek to blame Obamacare.
Excuse me while I gag a bit
The bagger is a hypocrite.

They claim to be bipartisan
But only talk republican.
While Mellon Scaife hides out of sight
his money drives them to the right.

They get their news from Fox TV
O’reilly, Beck and Hannity.
And Rush and Sarah Palin too.
No wonder that they have no clue.

And Sarah called: Drill baby drill,
but not a peep when there’s a spill.
And she’s the one they chose to lead?
With her I doubt if they’ll succeed

From government they would be free
and say the want their liberty.
They call for freedom with their voice
then seek to block a woman’s choice.

And then they say our president
is not a real Hawaiian gent.
They say he’s not legitimate
demanding his certificate.

It’s time for baggers to come clean
and tell us who’s behind the scene.
For we can see the guiding hand:
Dick Armey and his merry band.

Posted by: veritepourtous | July 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

OK, E, OK.

I just thinks it's inapposite. And their full movement condemns it.

Just a thought-experiment: I know some NAACP members (don't know a single T-Partier). My NAACP friends are not racists. BUT, are there any racist members of the NAACP? If so, and it cannot be impossible, does that tar my friends? Shall I condemn them if they are aware of any racist members and have done nothing?

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@ss28 and tao9: I don't understand the forum but I guess that is all she said on that subject, aside from both sides throw half-baked charges of racism at each other.

As an observation it is true that discussing racism in the ranks of tea partiers (who are 99+% republican) is better for dems than discussing joblessness.

I don't agree with Berry that this is a purely political strategy of the dems in all or even most cases. Probably there is some desire on the dems part to focus on the defects in the opposition than the continuing economic crisis. And while it is true that both sides hurl racism charges at each other, there is no denying there are some racially tinged signs at rallies and some racially charged materials distributed by some tea partiers. And the William's screed was clearly over the top evil.

I think Berry is making a false equivalence between charges of racism on both sides and one side, republicans and tea partiers sometimes allowing racist elements into their movements.

Whether or not it is a political strategy, it is still incumbent on the tea party leadership (if there is one) to denounce racist elements in their ranks just like it is incumbent on dems to denounce racism if and when it appears at rallies.

I would still challenge Berry to show equivalently egregious instances of racially tinged signs and materials at dem rallies. I don't see any evidence of that.

It is also clear that, even if the tea party movement is not by its nature racist, it is far easier for racist elements to infiltrate the tea party movement because it is 99% white. That doesn't make the movement itself racist, but it does mean that the tea party has to be vigilant about not allowing those racist infiltrators to become identified with the tea party.

"There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. "

This statement, while true doesn't mean that it is OK to not condemn racist signs, remarks, etc. when they appear at rallies.

The continuation of this statement is "America is still to a large extent a country with many prejudiced and sometimes racist people."

As for the forum, I think it sucks. People post all manner of tripe there with no corrections even though there are moderators.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

srw3,
I with U on the whole post above.
Good one.

Posted by: tao9 | July 23, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

@tao9:BUT, are there any racist members of the NAACP? If so, and it cannot be impossible, does that tar my friends? Shall I condemn them if they are aware of any racist members and have done nothing?

Answer, yes racism should be condemned especially when it emerges in the public sphere. And BTW, blacks can be prejudiced against whites, discriminate against whites, but blacks being the non-dominant group in our society can't actually be racist, because racism is the web of legal, cultural, and social institutions and practices that the dominant group imposes on the non-dominant group. Segregated schools are dejure racism. Redlining is defacto racism. Black people resenting all whites is prejudice. Blacks not serving whites is discrimination. But it is not racism.

Posted by: srw3 | July 23, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Great post, but if you wanted people to have this conversation about the media, then why did you spend three days making this about the Obama Administration?

Of course they shouldn't have caved. But it doesn't really matter WHAT they do. This story has happened over and over and over again.

Whose fault is that? Certainly not the Obama Administration's.

Maybe it's yours, too.

Posted by: theorajones1 | July 23, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line there is no equivalent to Rupert Murdoch on the left.

Posted by: notthatdum | July 23, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Those monkeys? The ones with guns photoshopped into their hands? I've got the clip up over at my blog. http://3weirdsisters.wordpress.com

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I've read or skimmed the posts in this thread, and I still have yet to see an equivalent of left-wingers doing what Breitbart did.

All Skip has is some accusation that claims of racist elements in the Tea Party were used to try to change the topic of debate to one more friendly to Democrats. But that's not equivalent. It's a debating tactic; it does not mean that there are not racist elements within the Tea Party, so there is no misrepresentation there (regardless of whether I think that tactic is a good idea or not). Breitbart's factual misrepresentation was either intentional or reckless.

"Spin" takes a fact and presents it in the best light for that side's position. That's different from the outright misrepresentation which resulted from Breitbart's actions.

So has there been an example of equivalence? Not yet that I can see.

Posted by: dasimon | July 24, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

It is an example of false equivalence... Everyone does it is the first refuge of the guilty.

Posted by: srw3 | July 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

srw3: "Everyone does it is the first refuge of the guilty."

And even if everyone did do it, would that make it right?

It's like arguing that a claim of hypocrisy somehow resolves the underlying question.

Posted by: dasimon | July 24, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

And the Washington Post is the Ringleader of the Left Wing Journalist Blog that encouraged the media to call someone on the right side of the isle "Racist" just to deflect criticism of BHO.

Posted by: eddieknoll | July 24, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

"Andrew Brietbart posted an edited clip of Shirley Sherrod. Chaos ensued. Sherrod was fired and it’s the fault of Fox News. Or is it? Herewith a case study of Fox Haters and their noise machine."

"To set the stage, it is necessary to know the true timeline. On the morning of Monday July 19, Andrew Breitbart posted a video clip of Ms Sherrod. Long story short, it did not provide the complete context of her remarks. That afternoon, Ms Sherrod was called repeatedly by the administration and told she was to resign. At this point, this story had not been reported on FNC, CNN, or MSNBC. There was a reason why FNC had not been covering the matter:"
---
'Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news editorial, said the network’s news programs reported the story with caution. “When I heard about this Monday morning and saw it on Breitbart’s website, I said, ‘OK, could be a story, let’s check it out,’ ” Clemente said. “We did the normal fact-finding we would do on any story.” At an afternoon editorial meeting Monday, Clemente urged the staff to first get the facts and obtain comment from Sherrod before going on air, according to internal notes from the meeting that were provided to The Times. “Let’s make sure we do this right,” he said.'
---
"Sherrod resigned, and the news broke on Monday evening. The first mention of the matter on FNC was from Bill O’Reilly. His show was taped about two hours earlier; he played the edited clip, called on her to resign. But by the time it aired, Ms Sherrod had already resigned, and an on-screen graphic noted same. (O’Reilly would later admit his mistake and apologize.) That same night CNN also played the clip in reporting on the resignation, as did Hannity (who discussed it with Newt Gingrich and a bi-partisan panel). It was also mentioned briefly by Dana Perino (subbing for Greta). By Tuesday morning, the NAACP had gone on record approving of the firing. Their statement has been removed from the NAACP website, but it said in part:"
---
'Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.'
---
"Both MSNBC and Fox & Friends discussed these developments. As the LA Times noted:"
---
'The first reported piece on Fox News, by correspondent James Rosen, aired on Tuesday morning, and included a second video clip that added context to Sherrod’s comments.'
---
"Along with the LA Times, reports from Mediaite, the Washington Post, and others make one thing clear: nothing that aired on FNC could possibly have caused Ms Sherrod’s firing, because FNC aired nothing until after she was already gone. That’s not a matter of opinion; it’s fact. So now the fun begins, as the haters kick into high gear."
***
J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!
http://johnnydollar.us/files/100725fhwir.php

Posted by: StewartIII | July 25, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"Ohhhh kaaay. Let’s examine the “higher factual standard” at MSNBC. This would be the news channel that cropped a tape of a man carrying a firearm so they could use it as example of “white men with guns”. Only the guy in the video was actually black. How about Keith Olbermann, who has lied about Scott Brown, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, and so many others? Unlike Bill O’Reilly, Olbermann hasn’t apologized. But Greg, if that’s not enough on the “higher factual standard” of MSNBC, how about an instance of editing that makes Andrew Breitbart look like a piker? Follow. On March 7 2007 MSNBC’s Alison Stewart showed this framegrab from Fox News:"

http://johnnydollar.us/files/liar.jpg

"Here is the conversation between Stewart and her impartial guest, Sam Seder of Air America:"
---
'ALISON STEWART: Fox News felt it was more important for its viewers to understand clearly Lewis “Scooter” Libby not convicted on one count. Hey, everybody, he got off! The TV banner reading “Scooter Libby found not guilty of lying to FBI investigators.” ...
SAM SEDER: I mean, they‘re terrified. That‘s why you see those—that chyron on Fox News, you know, not guilty of one of five charges....
STEWART: Well, as much as the Fox banner that we talked about a little bit was surprising, we‘ll say, deciding Libby not guilty was the lead, because he got off of one of five charges, do they just know their audience?'
---
"Talk about editing a video--all the way down to one frame! And why? Because showing an undoctored video would have make it clear that, contrary to MSNBC’s smear job, Fox News was not saying “he got off” and making that “the lead”. The video that MSNBC didn’t want you to see would have shown that Fox’s graphic was just one of a series that rotated through each charge and gave the jury verdict on each one:"

http://johnnydollar.us/files/libby.jpg

"Say, that’s like the opposite of what MSNBC was claiming, isn’t it? Sort of like what Breitbart did, only worse? But that doesn’t happen on MSNBC because of their “higher factual standard”. Right, Greg? Unlike Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC didn’t apologize, or even correct their story. (For that matter, neither did the site they lifted it from.) MSNBC dispensed with fact checking, context, or looking at the entire tape and rushed the story onto air. Sound familiar, Greg?"
***
J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!
http://johnnydollar.us/files/100725fhwir.php

Posted by: StewartIII | July 25, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"Mr Sargent continues:"
---
'What's more, sites like HuffPo and TPM, while perhaps ideologically and politically motivated in some ways, have teams of reporters who are devoted to determining what's fair and accurate before sharing it with readers. These reporters would never run with a video like the one leaked to Breitbart without making a serious effort to contextualize it and determine its significance and accuracy.'
---
"Um, wasn’t that what TPM did to Peter Johnson Jr? And as for HuffPo, despite their parroting false stories, and attacking people with incorrect facts, is your memory really so short (or selective) that you don’t remember this?"
---
'Huffington Post Smear of John Gibson Uses Doctored Video!'
---
"Yeah, HuffPo really made a “serious effort” to determine the “accuracy” of this video before posting it, didn’t they Greg?"
***
J$P: Fox Haters Week in Review!
http://johnnydollar.us/files/100725fhwir.php

Posted by: StewartIII | July 25, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Matt Laur is a real repub hack. The stuff was on foxs website before she reisgned.

Posted by: jimbobkalina | July 26, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

http://noisyroom.net/blog/2010/07/26/socialist-journolistas/

Posted by: liee | July 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course both sides do it but hit jobs are far more prevalent on the left than right. Read your own paper or watch MSNBC for irrefutable proof.

Posted by: pub123 | July 26, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg. Do the fake bush national guard memos ring a bell? Or the fake McCain affair story? How about the budding journolist controversy?

Both sides do it.

Posted by: Kalvs | July 26, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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