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An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia

Exhibit 46: Mychal Massie's Thesaurus

Why does the WorldNetDaily columnist use so many big, obscure words? Perhaps to mask his numerous false and misleading assertions -- not to mention that he's spouting claims that originated with a "white nationalist" group.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/5/2008


Mychal Massie likes to go big.

as ConWebWatch has noted, the WorldNetDaily columnist and chairman of the black-conservative group Project 21 (operated by the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research) has no problem hauling out dead segregationists in the service of a petty political attack. Indeed, in one of the biggest, most blatant acts of ConWeb hypocrisy, Massie attacked Rep. Charles Rangel for saying that "George Bush is our Bull Connor," calling the remark "racial demagoguery" and "hate speech" -- even though less than a year earlier, Massie made a similar comparison to Connor, saying of Sen. Harry Reid: "His Uncle Bull Connors [sic] and his Uncle Orval Faubus must be proud of him," followed a couple months later with an assertion that Democratic critics of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "are fully representative of Bull Connor and Orval Faubus."

Massie never explained why his invoking of Bull Connor was not "racial demagoguery" and "hate speech," let alone apologize for his remarks.

Aside from big hypocrisy, Massie also loves big words. Reading his WND columns, one can picture a well-thumbed thesaurus sitting next to whatever writing instrument he makes use of.

Massie's favorite five-dollar word is "Erebusic," which he has used at least five times in his column. While the dictionary does note the existence of Erebus -- "a personification of darkness in Greek mythology" and "a place of darkness in the underworld on the way to Hades" -- it contains no provision for using the name as a adjective.

Here are some more big Massie words:

It's not only Massie's ability to thumb through a thesaurus that's impressive. He has also used as evidence sources that aren't particularly found of people like him.

In his April 8 column, Massie cited not one but two VDare blog items by Steve Sailer to buttress his argument that Michelle Obama is a "bitter" woman "driven by anger, resentment and blind racial entitlement."

This would be the same Steve Sailer who has written in defense of the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its support over the years of the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others dedicated to proving the genetic superiority of certain races. The same Steve Sailer who runs the Human Biodiversity Institute, which has been called a eugenics think tank. The same Steve Sailer who wrote of blacks stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina: "The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society."

And this would be the same VDare that has proclaimed itself to be a "white nationalist" website. Quite interesting company for Massie, a black man, to be keeping.

Massie revealed another interesting acquaintance worthy of defense in his April 17, 2007, column. After stating that Don Imus -- who had just been fired from his radio and TV jobs for calling the members of a championship basketball team "nappy-headed hos" -- "doesn't need me to defend him, and this piece is in no way intended to do so," Massie, of course, went on to do precisely that:

However, no matter how insulting his comments were, they didn't sanction rape, murder, drugs and killing police. Albeit off color, they were said in the context of what he annually earned CBS $20 million for doing – being an edgy, push the line, condescending, fading radio personality. His words weren't six plus minutes on a CD that glorified drugs, guns, and bump and grind.

Note to Massie: If you're equivocating Imus' remarks, you're defending him.

Massie is also fond of the personal smear. Here's what he wrote about Hillary Clinton in his Feb. 12 column:

It's time for Hillary to hoist up the trousers of her sansabelt suit, stiffen the old upper lip and make the iron maidens and harridans of the world proud. Hillary possesses all the charm of Grendel's little sister, would he have had one – a trait that would not go unnoticed in dealing with radical Islamic factions, should she employ her true nature.

In his Dec. 18, 2006, WorldNetDaily column -- headlined "Another threat named Hussein" -- Massie attacked Obama as "the extreme socialist liberal version of former Vice-President Dan Quayle, but without the substance," claiming without evidence that Obama is a "supporter of sex education for grades K-5."

On the subject of diversity, Massie wrote in a Feb. 20, 2007, column:

I have repeatedly argued that the level of bigotry inherent in diversity should be glaringly obvious. It is a perverse form of Hitlerian motivations vis-à-vis attempted social engineering for no other reason than to have a color-coded campus matrix. 

Invoking Hitler puts Massie in league with fellow WND writers like Bob Unruh.

In his Jan. 30, 2007, column, Massie defended Virginia state lawmaker Frank Hargrove's statement that those advocating a Virginia state resolution that would apologize for slavery should "get over it." But Massie didn't mention the arguably more controversial statement Hargrove is quoted as saying: "[A]re we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?" By his silence, is Massie signaling that he approves of that statement?

Plus, Massie just gets stuff wrong. In his March 25 column, Massie claimed that Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, "in effect said Natalie [sic: Natalee] Holloway got what she deserved." No, he didn't. According to a Jan. 27 WND article, which first hyped Wright's statement:

"Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn't make news," Wright said in the August 2005 edition of Trumpet Magazine, a publication of his Trinity United Church of Christ.

But, "One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and 'gives it up' while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!" he added. "Maybe I am missing something!"

In a Nov. 6, 2007, column arguing in favor of a law requiring photo IDs to vote in federal elections, Massie repeatedly cited John Fund's 2004 book "Stealing Elections" as evidence that Democrats have "has a long and distinguished history of" voter fraud. But as Media Matters has pointed out, Fund's book uses distortions and half-truths to impugn Democrats and distort events in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, as well as other cases in which he described alleged fraud that was never proven in a court of law (and, in one case, dismissed as "flat-out false" by a Republican state attorney general).

In an April 29 column, Massie asserted: "When the survey question was asked, 'Are [race/gender based] affirmative action programs still necessary?' 68 percent responded "no" with just 32 percent responding 'yes.'" Massie never states what survey that number came from. By contrast, a 2001 National Urban League poll of 800 black adults found that 87 percent of the respondents said that affirmative action in higher education and employment was still necessary, up from 83 percent in 2000.

Massie has also peddled a discredited claim, on Aug. 14, 2007, and Sept. 11, 2007, that "approximately 9,000 Americans" are "killed and murdered by illegals every year." As ConWebWatch has detailed, that claim, originating from Iowa Rep. Steve King, is a grossly inflated number derived from an incorrect extrapolation.

In a laundry list of attacks on Democrats in his Jan. 16, 2007, column, Massie called Sen. Robert Byrd an "unrepentant former Ku Klux Klan officer." In fact, as Slate's Timothy Noah pointed out, Byrd has apologized for his Klan past. Further, Massie glossed over Trent Lott's 2002 comment that if Strom Thurmond had been elected president on his 1948 Dixiecrat segregationist ticket, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over these years" as "jocund comments made at a birthday party." (By the way, Noah noted that Thurmond said as late as 1998 that "I don't have anything to apologize for" regarding his racism; asked if he thought the Dixiecrats were right, Thurmond said, "Yes, I do.")

Hypocrisy, along with big words, are Massie's stock in trade. In a September 2006 column, Massie had asserted that Jesse Jackson"paraded [his] pregnant mistress around the White House" and claimed that Jackson serves "the 'god' of chaos, deceit, lies, whore-mongering, dysfunction, greed and resentment."

But in his Jan. 2, 2007, WND column, Massie eulogized James Brown as "a man who elevated himself leagues above his humble beginnings" offering a message of "self-motivation and meritocracy." Nowhere did Massie mention Brown's troubled private life, which included arrests for drugs and domestic abuse, for which he at one point received a six-year prison sentence (serving 2 1/2 years; he was later pardoned). Reports also indicate that Brown also fathered at least three illegitimate children, so one can presume that Brown was parading pregnant mistresses around as well.

Lest anyone think Massie thought it bad form to speak ill of the recently decease, he had also suggested in a Dec. 5, 2006, column that Sean Bell, the then-recently deceased victim of a hail of 50 bullets from New York policemen, had it coming to him because he "at the very best, left behind children out of wedlock and a life of crime, drugs and guns. ... He had no real job and no real prospects for the future."

Yet another big chunk of hypocrisy -- can't say we didn't see that coming. One has to wonder, though, if someone prone to such hyperbole is the kind of person Project 21 really wants as its chairman.

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