James Walsh takes a break from hating immigrants in his Aug. 24 Newsmax column, devoting it instead to bashing a Tampa-area newspaper prior to the Republican National Convention in that city next week.
Walsh asserts that the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) is "nown locally as the 'Florida Pravda,'" something he provides no evidence for. He also insists that it's "an ultra-liberal anti-Republican paper," though Walsh demonstrates only that it has criticized Republicans, which hardly makes it "ultra-liberal."
The paper's actual record belies Walsh's smear attempt. Would an "ultra-liberal" newspaper have investigated a Democratic member of Congress for accepting a car from a West African financier for whom the member of Congress had mounted a lobbying campaign to keep the him out of prison? Probably not.
After first going back to the 1960s for things to attack the Times over, Walsh jumps to opinion columns published in the past week. He nitpicks one Times columnist for daring to criticize Paul Ryan:
Times columnist Bill Maxwell attacked Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for being a radical devotee of Ayn Rand, an author who saw laissez-faire capitalism as the ideal economic system.
Ryan says he respects some but not all of Rand’s positions, differing with her in part because he is a Catholic. Ryan believes education decisions are better handled at state and local levels than at the federal level. Maxwell says, “Do not believe him, especially when it comes to public education, higher education in particular.”
Walsh omits the fact that Maxwell pointed out that Ryan is hiding his devotion to Rand now that he's a VP candidate:
Ryan, first elected to Congress in 1998, has said during interviews that he started reading Rand in high school and credits Atlas Shrugged for triggering his interest in economics. "I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make my interns read it,'' he told one interviewer. "Well … I try to make my interns read it."
Now, because he wants to be vice president and is under the harsh light of the media, Ryan is trying to partially distance himself from Rand. "I reject her philosophy," he told National Review recently. "It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview."
Walsh's unsubstantiated claims and selective quoting in the service of pushing the "liberal media bias" meme would make him an ideal employee at the Media Research Center.