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Thursday, February 9, 2012
Joseph Farah (!) Complains About Plagiarism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 7 WorldNetDaily article attacks the British newspaper the Daily Mail for "publishing a copycat version" of Reza Kahlili's fearmongering attack on Iran without giving WND credit. The article includes this quote from WND editor Joseph Farah: "I have been working in daily newspapers and journalism for more than 35 years, yet I have rarely witnessed such shameless and blatant plagiarism in my life."

Apparently, Farah has never read his own website. We've documented numerous examples of plagiarism at WND -- at least one of which was committed by Farah himself.

Will Farah hold his own website (and his own work) to the same standards he holds the Daily Mail?


Posted by Terry K. at 5:24 PM EST
The MRC's Media-Hating Thugs
Topic: Media Research Center

Los Angeles Times reporter Ashley Powers tells of her experience of being kicked out of a Nevada presidential caucus meeting simply for being a reporter, even though she had the right to be there:

After about 10 speakers touted their presidential favorites – most of them backed Mitt Romney – the caucus chairwoman, whose name I didn’t catch, announced that no reporters were allowed in the room. The voters sitting near me, who knew I was a reporter, called out that I was taking notes.

The caucus chair, who was standing at the front of the room, repeated: No. Press. Allowed. I said that wasn’t true and held up my press pass.

The chair asked who I was.

“Ashley Powers from the Los Angeles Times.”

To understand what happened next, some context is in order. There is a wing of the Nevada GOP that is very concerned – critics would say paranoid – about outside forces messing with the balloting process.

Awhile back, state party officials suggested registering voters on caucus day. The same tactic handed Democrats 30,000 new voters in 2008, and helped pave the way for President Obama’s commanding victory in the state. But some members of the Nevada Republican Party, convinced same-day registration would lead to voter fraud, protested furiously enough to kill the proposal.

So the verdict on my presence was loud, and near-unanimous.

“BOOOOOOO!”

“You’re a bunch of liars!” someone shouted.

“Spy! She’s a spy!” someone else said.

A woman waved a button at me, which said: DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA.

Tough crowd, I thought.

Then a man walked over to me and said if I didn’t leave, he’d call security. So I left the room while voters cast their ballots.

"Don't Believe the Liberal Media" is, of course, the mantra of the Media Research Center, and that button the caucus-goer menacingly waved at the reporter presumably came from the MRC.

The MRC loves it when its signs carrying the phrase pop up in the media it hates. Is the MRC proud that is slogan was used to intimidate a reporter? We suspect they are, though this instance probably won't be touted at NewsBusters.

Engendering hatred of the media, after all, is what the MRC is all about.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
WND Promotes Anti-Obama Banner Flown Over Enclosed Stadium
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember when WorldNetDaily was so proud of flying a birther banner that few people would see because the flyover took place above an enclosed stadium (and then so proud of the ridicule WND generated for this failure of logic that it was desperately spun as meaning that the stunt worked)?

Well, they're at it again.

A Feb. 6 WND article by Bob Unruh touts how an "Imeach Obama Now" banner "was in the sky over the Super Bowl, in a banner sponsored by a couple of dozen individuals who gathered under the Stop Obama Now slogan." Unruh doesn't mention the inconvenient fact that Lucas Oil Stadium is enclosed; he tries to spin away this failure by emphasizing that the banner was flown around "for several hours in view of tailgate parties, downtown Indianapolis and along freeways before the game started."

Unruh ups the ludicrousness factor by portraying this meaningless, wasteful stunt as having the same value as the ads that ran on TV during the game, which were seen by millions:

Sometimes as much hype is created over the advertisements during the Super Bowl as the game itself, and this year it was Ferris Bueller and Honda, Audi and its vampires, Coke, Pepsi, Clint Eastwood and Chrysler, Donald Trump and Century 21, Skechers, Best Buy and impeachment.

Sorry, Bob, but that's a desperate reach even by WND standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:34 AM EST
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
NEW ARTICLE -- The Great Gingrich Hype Machine, Part 2: Newtmax!
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax ramped up the Gingrich-fluffing in the runup to the Republican presidential primary in its home state of Florida -- to little effect. Plus: Donald Trump heaps one final indignity on Newsmax. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EST
MRC's T. Boone Pickens Fellow Defends Oil Pipeline
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is well-oiled, if you will, by the oil and gas industry -- so much so that MRC VP Dan Gainor holds the title of T. Boone Pickens Fellow.

So it's no suprise that Gainor would pen a Feb. 6 MRC Business & Media article defending the Keystone XL pipeline and attacking President Obama for not approving it.

That's what he's being paid to do, after all. Otherwise, he couldn't be the T. Boone Pickens Fellow.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:27 PM EST
WND Publishes Activist's Fearmongering About Iran As 'News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily published a Feb. 5 "news" article by Reza Kahlili claiming that "The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people." Unmentioned by WND: Kahlili is a fearmongerer people usually laugh at.

According to the Washington Post (h/t Media Matters), Kahlili is actually a pseudonym -- WND declares him to be "a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. He has a history of making wild claims involving Iran:

Reza Kahlili, a self-proclaimed former CIA "double agent" inside Iran's Revolutionary Guards, appeared in disguise at a Washington think tank Friday claiming that Iran has developed weapons-grade uranium and missiles ready to carry nuclear warheads.

The pseudonymous Kahlili, whose previous accounts have been greeted with widespread skepticism, also said Iran was planning nuclear suicide bombings with "a thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the U.S."

[...]

Several current and former U.S. intelligence officials in the audience "rolled their eyes" at Kahlili's claims, said one observer who was present.

Some in attendance compared Kahlili with Ahmed Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile who helped convince the George W. Bush administration that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the claims were proved false.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, who was not present, challenged the some of Kahlili's implications.

"As our government as a whole has made clear, Iran's nuclear program is a high-priority security issue. It would be wrong for anyone to suggest that the United States doesn't recognize that."

There's no indication that WND made any effort to verify Kahlili's claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EST
AIM Awards Go To Even More Dubious Hacks
Topic: Accuracy in Media

From a Feb. 1 Accuracy in Media press release:

Accuracy in Media will honor Dana Loesch and Sharyl Attkisson for their outstanding contributions to journalism in a ceremony taking place at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference. The Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award is named for AIM’s founder, who was America’s original media watchdog.

“Accuracy in Media could not be more excited about the 2012 Reed Irvine Awards,” Chairman Don Irvine said. “AIM continues to be impressed with the leadership Dana Loesch has shown to grassroots citizen journalists. Her fearless challenges to biased media narratives are fine examples of citizens rising up in the name of fairness and accuracy. Loesch represents the essence of our Grassroots Journalism Award.

“For much of her 30 year career as a news anchor and reporter, Sharyl Attkisson has offered a clear example of what an investigative journalist should be doing. She has flown in a B-52 on a combat mission over Kosovo, shed light on TARP, dared to report on Operation Fast and Furious and has recently exposed dubious green energy loans from the Obama Administration. We are honored to present her with the Investigative Journalism Award.”

In the tradition of such previous recipients as Tucker Carlson and Ken Timmerman and Andrew Breitbart and Marc Morano, AIM has picked another set of real winners for its most prestigious (if you can call it that) award. As Media Matters details, Attkisson has promoted the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism and  issued a factually deficient report on purported "New Solyndras" which included companies that hadn't received federal money and companies that hadn't actually gone bankrupt.

As for Loesch, her "fearless" behavior includes accusing NAACP Ben Jealous of being a drunk, likening Al Gore to Leni Riefenstahl, and wishing she could urinate on dead bodies like Marines do.

Another class act there, AIM.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 AM EST
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
MRC Upset That NY Times Fact-Checked Romney
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center may be running a "Tell the Truth!" campaign, but as we've documented, it opposes telling the truth when it comes to Republican presidential candidates.

The latest example is a Feb. 6 MRC TimesWatch post, in which Clay Waters is distressed that the New York Times  committed the shocking act of fact-checking Mitt Romney's claim that President Obama's economic policies "made it worse."

Waters framed the fact-checking as the Times "rushing to Obama’s aide [sic] after a mild attack by Mitt Romney." At no point did Waters challenge the facts forwarded in the fact-check.

At the MRC, "Tell the Truth!" really means "don't report anything negative about a Republican."


Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EST
Tim Graham Anti-Gay Freakout Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham -- who is quite the homophobe -- has been on a gay-bashing tear of late.

In a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post, Graham fretted that Yahoo! would bow to "pressure" by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and delete anti-gay comments on its website.

There is nothing wrong with taking down comments wishing violence on gay people. Censor away. But would GLAAD also like to take down comments suggesting homosexuality is wrong? Anyone who follows them would strongly suspect that when companies like Yahoo! bow to GLAAD pressure, it's not just about eliminating violent comments, but all "anti-LGBT comments."

Could one suggest song titles like "Naked Love" are too risque for kids? This might even include comments suggesting a performer like Lambert is a screechy, egotistical hack -- in other words, the kind of commentary Simon Cowell gets for canning Paula Abdul.

As Equality Matters notes, Graham is essentially arguing that gay-bashing bullies get off easy.

In a another Feb. 3 post, Graham had a freakout over the fact that "CNN and HLN will be the networks hosting this year's glitzy Manhattan $150-a-head fundraiser for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association" and that "lesbian activist/CNN Headline News anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell" will be co-hosting it. Graham also dinged another co-host, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, for having "hosted the CNN special with the physiologically impossible title 'Gary and Tony Have a Baby.'"

In a Feb. 4 post, Graham bashed NPR for interviewing RuPaul, "cable television's most famous drag queen," for a full "12 and a half minutes."

And on Feb. 6, Graham groused that the Washington Post, in an article on schools teaching kindergarteners about different types of families, "featured happy color photographs of two lesbian moms." Graham huffed that "It’s apparently never too young to push social liberalism and call it 'anti-bullying education,'" insisting that "liberals capitalize on 'highly publicized teen suicides tied to anti-gay bullying.'" He furthered complained about "organized advocates of pre-kindergarten gay education."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:53 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The country needs a tough fighter. There is a war on the American people; we are under attack from within, and the Republican establishment has been meek, cowed, defeated. Gingrich is fierce. We need a fighter to go toe-to-toe against the silver-tongued snake in the White House.

[...]

Also, a debate between Gingrich and President Barack Hussein “Uh Uh Uh” would be thoroughly delicious. And good for you.

-- Pamela Geller, Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column

Speaking of the man who is destined to take his place with the likes of James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding and Jimmy Carter as America’s most inept one-term presidents, Obama has been accused of picking winners and losers in the business world by subsidizing the winners with our tax dollars. Furthermore, cynics claim that he selects them solely on the basis of the owners’ financial contributions to his re-election campaign. Pshaw! Even someone as openly partisan as I am can see how unjust that is. If that charge had any merit at all, Solyndra, as well as several other green energy concerns handpicked by this administration, would be flourishing. So where, I ask on Obama’s behalf, are all these alleged winners? Instead, I say that Obama has exhibited the exact same questionable instincts when picking winners in the world of commerce that he’s shown in picking Cabinet members, friends and religious mentors.

-- Burt Prelutsky, Jan. 24 WND column

Giving its crack editorial staff due credit, I believe Newsweek almost had it right in it’s cover-story headline, which read: “Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?”

In fact, with just a bit of editing, I was able to straighten out the wording for them: “Why are Obama’s supporters so dumb?” Why do they not see that by continuing to demand that the welfare state expand, their children and grandchildren are destined to live under tyranny?

-- Robert Ringer, Jan. 25 WND column

Four more years under an unrestrained Barack Obama and we will not be able to recognize this country. In the name of “social justice,” he is committed to leading us down the road to his version of a socialist utopia.

-- Jane Chastain, Jan. 25 WND column

Obama, his sick and twisted BATF, his attorney general and, yes, even his hectoring wife, are tyrants who want you disarmed so they can better push you around. If Obama gains four more years in power, they will work even harder to disarm us and subjugate us, thus making us all suffer.

-- Phil Elmore, Jan. 25 WND column

From financial aid (for foreign students) to an affirmative-action placement in Harvard Law School, Barry Soetoro is a Frankenstein of the state’s creation. If not for government, Obama would have never managed to write himself into history. As a product of the state, Barry Soetoro sees it as the source of all possibilities.

-- Ilana Mercer, Jan. 26 WND column

Many people are convinced that this president has done more to destroy the United States in three years than all the other presidents combined. The only hope of preventing another four years of even more drastic destructive policies is the election of one of the four remaining Republican candidates. The two front-runners are using their time and resources, even on national television where they can be seen by the public, arguing over whether Newt’s consulting contract with Freddie Mac is “lobbying,” or whether Mitt is a moderate. Wake up gentlemen; the target is Obama!

-- Henry Lamb, Jan. 27 WND column

But we as humans, being the revolutionaries Jesus wants us to be, must do all that we can to save our promised land. We cannot allow our so-called president, Barack Hussein Obama – with his now not too latent anti-Semitic and pro-Muslim policies and actions implemented by the equally ethically compromised Hillary Clinton as secretary of state – to join with radical Islamists to destroy our land of Israel.

-- Larry Klayman, Jan. 29 WND column

While “We the People” falter, distracted by endless crises and frustrated by endless hard times, that’s how fast Barack Obama has assembled a payback presidency, a dictatorship contemptuous of the Constitution and the Congress.

I tremble as I write, for His Excellency (HETPOTUS)is not to be trifled with.

The governor must show proper respect when greeting him on the tarmac as Air Force One swoops in to grace the Arizona backwardness with a whirlwind visit.

Reporters must not notice the 22 vehicle imperial motorcade of gas guzzlers leaving the Nevada UPS facility where HETPOTUS lectured the employees on the need to please Mother Gaia by converting their diesel-fueled trucks to natural gas. A company that does this conversion work, largely owned by George Soros, is also pleased.

With His Excellency’s every public appearance as scripted as a Kim Jong Il rally, American citizens must burst into applause at his every utterance, his every inspired gesture, lest His Wisdom fail to feel the love he is due from his subjects. Any adoration malfunction will make the TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) very unhappy.

[...]

As I write, I wonder: How long will I be free to make fun of the growing dictatorship of Barack Obama? For growing it is. And tyrants are not known for their sense of humor.

-- Roger Hedgecock, Jan. 29 WND column

Obama cannot tell the truth if it interferes with his goals. He doesn’t flinch from equivocation to impress selected audiences. He makes and breaks promises and totally ignores the reality of what he’s done. He audaciously insults people and groups that don’t meet his political standards and ignores questioning of anything he’s done or said.

Move along now, nothing to see here.

No, nothing, except the evisceration of the Constitution, our history of laws and basic human rights by a man who places himself above all that, despite his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend.

Barack Obama operates on one premise: I get what I want when I want it – and if I don’t get it, I’ll take it.


Beware, Americans. If Obama is re-elected, his second term will be like nothing this country has ever experienced.

Katie, bar the door!

It will be anything goes, and the people be damned.

The country, too.

-- Barbara Simpson, Jan. 29 WND column

The elitist faction that engineered Barack Obama’s occupation of the White House is clearly determined to overthrow government of, by and for the people founded upon the God-acknowledging principles of America’s Declaration of Independence and established by the Constitution of the United States. 

-- Alan Keyes, Feb. 2 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EST
MRC's Gainor Launches Ad Hominem Attack on Group Exposing Anti-Muslim Film
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor uses a Jan. 31 MRC Culture & Media Institute article to go on a tirade against the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University for helping to expose the New York Police Department's use of a rabidly anti-Muslim film, "The Third Jihad," to train police officers. But he can't identify anything the Brennan Center actually did wrong.

Gainor complained that the New York Times highlighted how the Brennan Center played a role on "gaining police documents" on the the police department's use of the film, adding, "Nowhere in any of the reporting, did the paper mention that the Brennan Center has received $7,591,129 from the George Soros-run Open Society Foundations."

Gainor didn't explain why the Soros funding is at all relevant to the Brennan Center's work on exposing "The Third Jihad," beyond claiming that "Soros foundations have advocated for Islamic causes."The fact that Soros money helped gain the release of those police documents doesn't make those documents any less true.

Gainor also misleadingly describes "The Third Jihad" as being about "the dangers of radical Islam." As the Times reported, the film "casts a broad shadow over American Muslims. Few Muslim leaders, it states, can be trusted." Gainor does not dispute the Times' characterization of the film.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 AM EST
Monday, February 6, 2012
WND Covers for Arpaio in Homeschoolers' Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We aready know that WorldNetDaily is trying to buy a favorable outcome for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" birther investigation through fawning coverage of Arpaio and by raising money to cover the investigation. Now WND is hiding the involvement of Arpaio's office in a lawsuit involving homeschoolers.

A Feb. 4 WND article by Bob Unruh details how "The Home School Legal Defense Association has filed a petition asking the justices to review the case of John and Tiffany Loudermilk," who they saygave in to a search of their home "after social workers used an anonymous tip to threaten to handcuff them and seize their five children, and then summoned deputies to do that."

As is Unruh's style, he lavishes attention on the Loudermilks' side of the story, completely ignoring the authorities side of the story. But aside from a references to the Loudermilks' "Maricopa County home" Unruh has hidden the fact that the Arpaio-led Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is one of the targets of the lawsuit, which is called Loudermilk v. Arpaio.

Unruh writes: "Named as defendants are Deputies Joshua Ray, Joseph Sousa, Richard Gagnon and Michael Danner, social workers Rhonda Cash and Jenna Cramer, and Assistant Attorney General Julie Rhodes." But Arpaio is a defendant too. Why did Unruh leave him off that list, when he listed Arpaio as a defendant in an April 2010 WND article on the case?

These omissions smack of WND continuing to curry favor with Arpaio by whitewashing his misdeeds.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EST
Trump Cuts Newsmax Out of the Loop on Romney Endorsement
Topic: Newsmax

For as much fawning over Donald Trump as Newsmax has done, you'd think that would have earned Newsmax a scoop on Trump's presidential endorsement.

Apparently not -- Trump completely ignored Newsmax in announcing his endorsement of Mitt Romney.

Newsmax did rush out an article on the morning of Feb. 2 to shoot down reports that Trump was going to endorse Newt Gingrich. But that came from "a senior source with the Gingrich campaign," not Trump.

Several hours after Trump's endorsement, Newsmax published an article by Martin Gould on it that appears to have drawn from reports by other news organizations, and no apparent contact with Trump himself.

Does this mean that the slobbering love affair between Newsmax and Trump is over? What will Ronald Kessler, Trump's biggest, most slobbering cheerleader of Trump's presidential ambitions, do now?

Oh, wait, we already know the answer to that: fawn over Romney.

UPDATE: As a final insult, Romney had refused to take part in Newsmax's planned Trump-hosted debate in December. Gingrich's willingness to do so was cited by Newsmax as a reason for endorsing him.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:25 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 9:25 PM EST
Farah's Disingenous Attack on 'The Daily Show'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah used his Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily column to grace us with the reason he turned down an interview on "The Daily Show":

About a week ago, WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, the author of “Manchurian President” (This one is such an important book on the subject I am making it available to you for a limited time for only 99 cents!) and “Red Army,” contacted me about pinch-hitting for him on the show. “The Daily Show” needed someone stateside to deal with this pressing question. When the WND marketing team talked to producers, it was agreed that “The Daily Show” interviewer and crew would conduct the shoot in our corporate offices in the Washington area.

But there was just one condition we insisted upon. Since it would be recorded for television in my office for an hour of which 30 seconds or one minute would be used, we informed the producers that WND would be simultaneously and unobtrusively recording the entire interview as well. My purpose was clear: I wanted to be able to show what was left on the cutting room floor.

Surprise, surprise – that was a deal-killer.

Farah is misleading, of course. As his admission that the interview was to take place at WND's "corporate offices in the Washington area" (Why so vague about where WND's offices are, Joe? The address is on your website) this wasn't going to be a sit-down in-studio interview with host Jon Stewart -- whose name Farah misspells -- which are almost always posted in their entirety on the "Daily Show" website. The show was apparently going to put together a humorous segment about people who insist that Obama is a socialist.

Farah then rants:

People often ask me why I am not on television much any more. This is part of the reason. It’s one thing to do live television, where the deck might be stacked against you, but there’s no editing. It’s another to subject yourself to the not-so-subtle manipulations of creative video propaganda. If Americans eager to see their mugs on TV were willing to lay down some ground rules before appearing, we might be able to bring some balance and fairness to the media.

This whole argument is utterly disingenuous of Farah. Does WND allow its interview subjects to record their interviews so they can show what was left on WND's cutting room floor? Probably not. More often than not, it simply chooses not to interview at all anyone who's not sympathetic to WND's far-right agenda, as Bob Unruh's one-sided articles demonstrate.

So, Mr. Farah, let's not pretend that your website has any meaningful journalistic standards, because it doesn't. WND's plagiarism epidemic alone proves that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EST
NewsBusters Knows Nothing About Saul Alinsky
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has spent the past couple of weeks ranting about Saul Alinksy. One thing is clear, though: NewsBusters has no idea who Saul Alinsky actually is.

In a Jan. 22 post, Noel Sheppard asserted that "if the media had fully reported Obama's ties to Alinsky and other left-wing radicals in 2008, he never would have beaten Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination." In fact, Alinsky died when Obama was 10 years old and the two never met; thus, Obama has no "ties to Alinsky."

On Jan. 24, Matt Hadro was upset that "CNN's Soledad O'Brien would not brand Saul Alinsky as a leftist radical, and neither would she say President Obama was influenced by his writings – but she had no problem tying Alinsky's controversial beliefs to the Tea Party movement on Monday's Starting Point." Hadro didn't dispute the truth of what O'Brien did report about Alinsky, but did whine that it was a "neutral take."

Also on Jan. 24, Tom Blumer attacked a public radio report on Alinsky, taking offense at its description of Alinsky as "quite a pragmatic, quite a conservative guy." Blumer responded:

In "Rules For Radicals," as quoted here, Alinsky betrayed the fact that he considered half of the American labor movement insufficiently radical, disdainfully characterizing the American Federation of Labor half of what is now the AFL-CIO as "conservative and archaic" because it "clung to craft unionism." The fact is that the AFL's founder, Samuel Gompers, "improved the lives of millions of working men and women ... (and) rightly deserves to be called the greatest friend labor has ever known."

Blumer is selectively quoting Alinsky. In the section of "Rules for Radicals" from which Blumer plucks out the three words "conservative and archaic," Alinsky is discussing how thet AFL was not interested in unionizing workers beyond the craft unions it was familiar with during the 1930s, while the more "radical" CIO "espoused industrial unionism." Alinsky was discussing the AFL's management and expansion philosophy, not its political persuasion.

Blumer does more out-of-context quoting of Alinsky: "As to whether Alinsky was aligned with the bedrock conservative principle that individuals and families should be left to make their own decisions about their lives, he wasn't: 'The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.'"

But the full quote from "Rules for Radicals" puts those words in a different context:

Great dangers always accompany great opportunities. The possibility of destruction is always implicit in the act of creation. Thus the greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.

From the beginning the weakness as well as the strength of the democratic ideal has been the people. People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people. One hundred and thirty-five years ago Tocqueville gravely warned that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene. Citizen participation is the animating spirit and force in a society predicated on voluntarism.

We are not here concerned with people who profess the democratic faith but yearn for the dark security of dependency where they can be spared the burden of decisions. Reluctant to grow up, or incapable of doing so, they want to remain children and to be cared for by others. Those who can, should be encouraged to grow; for the others, The fault lies not in the system, but in themselves.

Here we are desperately concerned with the vast mass of our people who, thwarted through lack of interest or opportunity, or both, do not participate in the endless responsibilities of citizenship and are resigned to lives determined by others.  To lose your "identity" as a citizen of democracy is but a step away from losing your identity as a person. People react to this frustration by not acting at all.  he separation of people from the routine daily functions of citizenship is heartbreak in a democracy.

It is a grave situation when a people resign their citizenship or when a resident of a great city, though he may desire to take a hand, lacks the means to participate. That citizen sinks further into apathy, anonymity, and depersonalization. The result is that he comes to depend on “public authority” and a state of civic-sclerosis sets in.

From time to time there have been external enemies at our gates; there has always been the enemy within, the hidden and malignant inertia that foreshadows more certain destruction of our life and future than any nuclear warhead. There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of man’s faith in himself and in his power to direct his future.

Alinsky sounds almost like a tea partier there, doesn't he?

Speaking of which, Tim Graham simply refuses to admit that right-wingers like the tea party are using "radical-left theorist" Alinsky's community organization tactics.

In a Jan. 27 post, Graham freaked out at the idea, as expressed by a Washington Post blogger, that "if Alinsky were alive today, he’d surely be camped out in front of the White House, using every trick in his book, 'Rules for Radicals,' to point out the many ways in which the president is not an infiltrator of the dreaded establishment, but the personification of it." Graham huffed: "The charge against Obama did not begin with Obama as president. They begin with Obama's time as a community organizer in Alinsky's Chicago." Graham then irrelevantly quotes right-winger Stanley Kurtz trying to make the Obama-Alinsky connection.

In a Jan. 31 post, Graham was offended that an Alinsky biographer -- who Graham doesn't seem to think knows very much about Alinsky -- claimed that Alinsky was not "terribly ideological," which happens to be true. Still, Graham whines: "Could we please stop trying to imply he wasn’t a radical leftist writing to a radical audience?"

Again, Graham was offended that it was pointed out that right-wingers use Alinsky's tactics, adding, "How this makes Alinsky less radical is anyone’s guess." Well, right-wingers are using Alinsky's tactics, not only does it mean that Alinsky can't be that radical, it means that Alinsky's radicalness is irrelevant.

Graham seems to have forgotten that. Or perhaps he and his fellow NewsBusters are too invested in the idea of Alinsky as bogeyman that they don't want their readers to know the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:46 AM EST

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