Columnists With Short Memories
David Limbaugh and a bunch of writers at Accuracy in Media and (of course) NewsMax either conveniently forget the recent past or just say really dumb things.
By Terry Krepel
David Limbaugh can't quite seem to follow his own advice.
In his April 11 column (posted on WorldNetDaily), he laments the alleged difficulties Democratic presidential candidates will be having against George W. Bush. To wit: "How would you like to have to justify such silly, illogical positions as 'I oppose the war, but support the troops?'"
Limbaugh just can't remember that many Republicans are on record taking exactly that position when President Clinton supported the NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in 1999. The Democratic National Committee has documented the many ways in which Republicans violated the never-criticize-the-president-when-our-boys-are-in-harm's-way credo it has bashed Democrats for violating of late; if you delve deeper, you'll find the "silly, illogical" magic words being uttered by no less than Tom DeLay: "While we may not support the president's ill-advised war, we do support our troops."
For further evidence of Limbaugh's memory span, we can also delve into his own article archive, in which he also beats up on Clinton while the Kosovo operation was going on; in an April 6, 1999, column, Limbaugh called it "a military attack destined to fail because of his unwillingness to sacrifice the narcotic of public approval by sending in ground troops."
he tries to make a case for not getting involved in Kosovo in the first place. While he does concede that ethnic cleansing master Slobodan Milosevic is "an evil man," he also tries to make his case in an April 2, 1999, column. "The point is that absent the atrocities, it would be difficult to deny that Serbia has every right to take the necessary steps to retain the important Kosovo province within its domain," he wrote.
Limbaugh also laughably states in an April 9, 1999, column: "Of course, Republicans shouldn't choose this time when our soldiers are in harm's way to opportunistically score political points for Clinton's woeful mishandling of the matter." And Republicans did so well following that, didn't they?
Last time we checked, Milosevic was no longer ruling Serbia and was, in fact, on trial for war crimes, so something about the NATO bombing campaign must have worked. Not that you'll hear Limbaugh admit it.
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Perhaps the dumbest thing posted recently on Accuracy in Media: A March 5 article in which Michael Lind, a senior fellow at something called the New America Foundation, claims that journalists belong to an affluent class in America that employs immigrant maids, nannies and gardeners, and therefore do not oppose illegal immigration because they benefit from it so much.
"I’ve been in journalism for most of the past two decades. Most journalists, most editors, most TV producers are employers of immigrant labor," Lind is quoted as saying.
What brand of journalism has Lind allegedly been employed in? It apparently does not involve any existing plane of reality. (According to his bio, it involves stints at the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and The National Interest -- as far removed from workaday journalism as one can get.) Take it from someone who has actually been slogging in the trenches of journalism for 15 years -- "most" journalists are not hoity-toity quiche-eaters looking for cheap immigrant labor to farm out their menial tasks. The reality is journalism is a notoriously low-paying industry, and "most" journalists in fact don't make all that much more -- and in some cases, less -- than your stereotypical immigrant. An entry-level reporter at a small newspaper really does make less than the average worker on the production line at a beef- or poultry-processing plant, an industry notorious for attracting illegal immigrants.
Speaking of stereotypes, it's time for Lind to lay the rich-journalist one to rest.
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The second-dumbest posted recently on Accuracy in Media: A March 28 article by Paul Walfield, "a freelance writer and a California attorney," beating up the media for daring to report things other than what U.S. officials want them to say.
Aside from the usual blathering about "blatant, unabashed lies, half truths and intentional misinformation to promote an agenda," Walfield makes this declaratyive statement: "The facts on the battlefield are simple, and readily available from the Pentagon." Does Walfield really believe that the Pentagon will tell him the truth about what is going on, especially when it has a documented history of lying to reporters and the country to make it look good?
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Speaking of lying to the country, that occurs in another article posted April 3 on Accuracy in Media, this one by Rachel Mardsen of the Free Congress Foundation. She states that "The media has set up its viewers to witness an easy offensive that would be met with little resistance and few challenges," forgetting that it was neoconservatives like Ken Adelman (who called it a "cakewalk") and Richard Perle (and even Donald Rumsfeld) who sold the Iraq war as "an easy offensive that would be met with little resistance and few challenges."
AIM's own Notra Trulock repeats the same canard in an April 15 article.
All the media did was compliantly quoted them. Isn't that what conservatives want from the media -- to never question anything conservatives say?
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Paul Walfield -- Mr. the-Pentagon-tells-the-truth quoted earlier -- wrote a piece for CNSNews.com back in February. In it, he feigns shock and outrage that those on the left might have animosity on the right. More accurately, he plays the guilt-by-association card, concluding from a single Web site that "the Left sees the Right as not only bigots, misogynists, haters of art, child beaters, Bible thumpers and just about anything else they disdain. ... The frightening part is that the Left views the Right not just as a political opponent but an impairment to 'progress.'"
The implication here is that conservatives would never paint liberals with such a broad brush, which is nowhere close to the truth. Conservatives engage in leftist-bashing all the time, and Walfield contradicts his own allegedly higher purpose by presenting a single slanted Web site as representative of the views of all on the liberal side of the political spectrum.
A couple other recent examples of this come, unsurprisingly, from NewsMax. A wildly, hilariously slanted April 4 story has no real purpose other than to beat up on National Public Radio, complete with phrases like "the taxpayer-supported drones at National Pinko Radio" and "hourly NPR propaganda reports - oops, 'newscasts.'" and "NPR's core audience of intolerant Guilty White Liberals." No animosity there, eh, Mr. Walfield? It takes a lot of reading between the ranting to figure out that for all NewsMax's blather about the story's subject (a disc jockey who got fired from an NPR affiliate station; there's no evidence NPR itself was involved), not to mention a visit to the station's Web site, to figure out that the guy was fired for not doing the job he was hired to do. You'd think that NewsMax, conservative, pro-business types that they are, would support an employer's perogative in dealing with an insubordinate employee.
The second NewsMax article comes from one Wayne Allyn Root, who plays the same game Walfield does in extrapolating a single incident while a college student 20-plus years ago into a conclusion that the so-called "liberal" media is "so radical, so extreme, with an agenda so out of the mainstream and a prejudice against conservative Republicans so strong and so vicious that it borders on outright hate and loathing." Again, the animosity Root has toward people who don't agree with him is unmistakable.
Root goes on: the children of those college students of yore, he asserts, "now attending Columbia or Harvard or Princeton would undoubtedly cheer and whoop loudly and emotionally at the death of an 'ignorant' and intolerant opponent." Conservatives would never be so cruel were a liberal to die, right?
Wrong. Here's what the conservatives at Free Republic had to say about Rachel Corrie, an American college student killed while protesting the destruction of a Palestinian house by Israelis:
This, apparently, is what Root would prefer.
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And finally, the strangest conservative spin on anti-war protests:
Steve Marr wrote in an April 3 article for WorldNetDaily's BizNetDaily that anti-war protesters who block streets and snarl traffic are really only hurting small businesses. "There has been some physical damage, but most damage is caused by loss of business. Small coffee shops, retailers and others, already on the edge, have lost one or two days sales, placing additional pressure on already strained shopkeepers," he wrote.