Tim Graham uses a Sept. 17 NewsBusters post to defend Dinesh D'Souza's bizarre, error-ridden attack on President Obama in Forbes magazine, in which D'Souza declares that Obama's policies should be understood as a manifestation of his African father's "hatred of the colonial system." Graham's defense, though, is less about addressing anything D'Souza says and more about attacking the article's critics.
After the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took D'Souza to task for highlighting Obama's upbringing "off the American mainland, in Hawaii" by noting that Hawaii "may be off the American mainland, but it is hardly out of the American mainstream," Graham huffed:
This is again, not a "fact," but a spin. Hawaii is clearly more than 2500 miles form the mainland. As much fun as reporters make of hicks in Kentucky or Alabama, suggesting they are out of the mainstream, it's just as fair game to question the "mainstream" cultural viewpoint of Hawaii. If the red states are "less than cosmopolitan," the blue states are "less than nationalistic."
When Kurtz highlighted the Columbia Journalism Review's criticism of D'Souza's piece, Graham didn't address any of those criticisms but instead retorted, "The Columbia Journalism Review is a left-wing rag." His evidence? The same CJR writer also criticized Rick Santelli's tea party-inspiring rant as, in Graham's word, "comical." No, Graham doesn't address anything the CJR writer actually said there, either.
Graham seems not to understand that ad hominem attacks are not actual media criticism.