During the 2004 election, FrontPageMag managing editor Ben Johnson issued an attack booklet, "57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving," which contained numerous false claims: It linked her to causes to which she has not donated money, ascribed donations to her personally when she was merely one of several trustees of the donating group, and insinuated that she bought the endorsement of a major environmental group for her husband, Sen. John Kerry.
Even though the 2004 election is long over, Johnson felt the need to make more baseless allegations against her. He's coming out with a new booklet, "Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Radical Gifts."In a Feb. 12 interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Bill Steigerwald (reprinted Feb. 13 at FrontPageMag), Johnson rehashes old smears and creates new ones.
Johnson repeats his attack on the Tides Center, suggesting that Heinz Kerry's donations to it went to "radical causes." As we pointed out back then, the Heinz-linked donations were earmarked to specific environmental causes in Western Pennsylvania, and none were donated to "radical causes."
Johnson follows up with another distortion: that Heinz Kerry "brought a wing of the Tides Center to Western Pennsylvania specifically to fund projects in the area, but they give 10 percent of their income to local radical organizations." As we also detailed, that 10 percent is actually an administrative and overhead fee, not a donation to "radical causes."
Johnson also came up with some new smears as well. He described the Three Rivers Community Foundation as a nest of "far-left radicals – not simply liberals or liberal Democrats, but, in fact, many of them are socialists or explicitly communist anti-Americans." In fact, among the causes the Three Rivers Community Foundation supports include:
- The Latin American Cultural Union a project that "encouraged and supported youth and family responsibility and leadership."
- YouthPlaces, "a youth and community-driven program designed to serve minority, low-income 12-18 year old at-risk youth in public housing communities."
- Chain of Hope, "a self-help group for the mentally ill."
- The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburg, which "received a grant in 2001 to increase the center's ability to communicate with sight- and hearing-disabled members of the GLBT community."
Yeah, real anti-American. Nevertheless, Johnson adds that "Among those grass-roots organizations" that the Three Rivers Community Foundation supports "is ACORN, the voter-fraud organization."
Needless to say, Steigerwald was merely serving up softballs and had no intention of holding Johnson accountable for his false claims.