A July 23 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham attacks the Washington Post for alelgedly calling an anti-immigrant blogger in Virginia a "mouse-pushing crackpot" in a profile of the man -- even though he admits that the article points out "that he can’t be dismissed as a crackpot if he’s actually shaping public policy" in the county where he lives.
But even that misstates what the Post article said: that the blogger, Greg Letiecq, "is not some mouse-pushing crackpot with a keyboard and an Internet connection. In the past 18 months, Letiecq has leveraged his blog to help elect allies, kill off opponents' campaigns and shape local public policy. Peers call his site the most influential local blog in Virginia." Yes, the article specifically said that Letiecq "is not some mouse-pushing crackpot."
Graham then goes on to defend Letiecq from the accusation that he claimed, in the Post's words, that "Illegal immigrant ice cream vendors might be spreading leprosy in Manassas" and that Letiecq's blog "often mak[e] up in passion what it lacks in proof." Graham wrote: "On the weird-sounding item on leprosy in your ice cream, the actual blog item doesn’t sound as weird as Miroff's freak-show carnival barking would suggest. "
In fact, the actual blog item -- headlined "You Want Leprosy With That?" and attacking food cart vendors as disease-ridden illegals -- is based on a recitation of claims made in a 2005 WorldNetDaily article taken about a Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report by Madeleine Cosman attacking illegal immigrants. As we've reported, the JAPS is little more than a conservative publication gussied up with a medical spin, published by the equally conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Further, Letiecq unquestioningly repeats Cosman's claim that "in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy" -- a claim that has been proven false. Letiecq also links to a 2004 Rutherford Institute column by John Whitehead making the same claim.
So, Graham doesn't think it's "weird" to repeat false claims to support inflammatory accusations? Sheesh.