Saturday, July 31, 2010

Media Matters: Conservatives' perpetual dishonesty machine

July 30, 2010 3:37 pm ET

Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh regularly tout their supposed accuracy and often claim their critics never prove them wrong. Fittingly, this in itself is a complete falsehood. Limbaugh and Beck are working for a living, but have been rewarded for their perpetual wrongness by assuming the role of the two most important cogs in the conservative media.

Every day, the conservative noise machine -- Fox News, Beck, Limbaugh, and other prominent conservative talk radio hosts and bloggers -- hurl false accusations with the hopes of damaging the Obama administration.

Democrats, and progressives politically. Make no mistake: this is the primary motivation for the majority of the stories they promote. Pesky things like "facts" and "reality" are, at best, a trivial concern.

Often, these attacks are baseless, easily debunked, and laughably absurd -- yet conservative media outlets rarely (if ever) offer corrections when they are proven wrong. Instead they either double down on their attacks or simply ignore that they were wrong in the first place and move on to the next overhyped bit of nonsense.

While it may seem like a minor story in the grand scheme of things, one example from this week perfectly exemplifies the utter lack of journalistic standards endemic to conservative media.

Early this week, conservatives were in their usual panic mode over what they claimed was evidence that the Obama administration "backed" or "preferred" the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the terrorist better known as the Lockerbie bomber.

Fox News twisted reality to claim that the "U.S. Backed Freedom, Not Prison, for Bomber."

Matt Drudge splashed a huge headline across his website announcing that the "White House Backed Release Of Lockerbie Bomber." Pam Geller -- whose deranged rantings have earned her frequent appearances on Fox News and bylines on Andrew Breitbart's "Big" websites, Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller, and the American Thinker -- called for a "special investigation" and a "charge of treason" for Obama.

Rush Limbaugh -- while bragging, as he often does, that he was "executing assigned host duties flawlessly" with "zero mistakes" --claimed that Obama "backed the release" of the Lockerbie bomber because he wanted to "make nice with the Muslim world."

Late Monday, when the State Department released the administration's correspondence with the Scottish Ministry of Justice, it confirmed in unambiguous terms that the administration was "not prepared to support Megrahi's release on compassionate release or bail," and that "it would be most appropriate for Megrahi to remain imprisoned for the entirety of his sentence."

The Obama adminstration stipulated if he were to be released, he should remain in Scotland.

The Andrew Breitbart attacks on Shirely Sherrod are another example of the inherent dishonesty of conservative media. In this case, Sherrod is getting a lawyer and will sue Breitbart for defamation of character and libel for his media distortions of her comments. The RNC is conducting a special wing ding for Breitbart to help him with his forthcoming legal expenses.

Perhaps more lawsuits will stop what can only be described as a coordinated conservative media disinformation campaign. Progressive bloggers like Rightardia are also pushing back by ridiculing the absurdity of conservative media and their corporatist spokes people. Corporatist is a polite word for fascist.

The GOP is declining in the polls and Rightardia thinks the Republican desire to privatize Socail Security may be the issue that is hurting them. Until now the "Party of No" has taken few positions. Rightardia thinks it is peculiar that President Bush who had a GOP congress for six years was unable to privatize Social Security. Yet the 60 pound weakling of a GOP we have in Washington decided to make this an election issue.

Rightardia thinks this is the wrong issue for the GOP and the timing couldn't be better for Democrats.
Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson convened a fiscal summit in April through his Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Peterson has wanted to privatize Social security for years so Wall Streeters like himself can loot the Social Security Trust Fund. It appears the GOP is getting its marching orders from Peterson. 
Peterson is a former CEO of the now-defunct Lehman Brothers and former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

He underwrites the foundation with his own funds — and his agenda is no secret. He wants aggressive cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as the creation of a commission that would have legal authority to create a plan to reduce the deficit and then simply present it to Congress for an up or down vote with no debates and no amendments.

That sounds democratic, doesn't it. Obama can't even get an up and down vote from the senate on his nominations for federal judgeships.

Good luck on that idea, Mr. Peterson! You may have unwittingly brought down the Republican Party in the next election.


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