It's been a while since we've written about anything Horowitz-related, mostly because the David Horowitz Freedom Center has long since marginalized itself as little more than a Horowitz cult of personality with an anti-Muslim obsession on the side. But we fefel like we had to weigh in on an Oct. 22 FrontPageMag article by Daniel Greenfield smearing apparently deceased Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Greenfield complains that the Washington Post singled it out for pushing said smears. It's telling that Greenfield doesn't link to the Post article to which he objects so his readers can judge for themselves. Instead, he rants:
Front Page Magazine’s article documented Khashoggi’s extensive terrorist affiliations and his advocacy for Islamist power, and subsequent posts delved into his anti-Semitism and support for Hamas. These were all documented using reputable sources ranging from Khashoggi’s own published writings and interviews, to sources like The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright and the Wiesenthal Center.
The Washington Post had no rebuttal to this array of facts. Instead, it dishonestly used conspiratorial language to cast aspersions on our work, smearing the unchallenged facts in a widely distributed article as part of a “dark whisper campaign.” It argued that some unnamed and unquoted “experts on the Middle East” claimed that Khashoggi had adopted a “more liberal, secular point of view.”
The Post quoted "four GOP officials" who were apparently too afraid to name the names of the "lawmakers and others who are passing around information critical of Khashoggi" because it would expose them as "sources." The “right-wing” sources were Patrick Poole, Mark Levin, and, an article by me that the Post smeared as a “story in far-right FrontPage magazine,” taking issue even with Bosch Fawstin’s artful illustration of “bin Laden and Khashoggi with their arms around each other.”
The hysterically vitriolic tone of the Washington Post piece, its conspiratorial claims of “cadres” mounting a “dark whisper” campaign and hidden “sources” among House Republicans could be mistaken as another routine smear of conservatives. But it’s a about a war for Washington D.C.
Greefield's link on the words "reputable sources" gpes to the similarly right-wing American Spectator, which no rational observer considers "reputable," let alone fair or balanced.
The other main sign that Greenfield really is all about smearing Khashoggi is his edited quote of Khashoggi's statement following the death of Osama bin Laden, with whom Khashoggi had been acquainted before he turned to terrorism, which Greenfield misleadingly painted as an "old friend":
“I collapsed crying a while ago, heartbroken for you Abu Abdullah,” Khashoggi wrote after Osama bin Laden’s death. “You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan.”
Greenfield deliberately cut off the end of Khashoggi's message: "...before you surrendered to hatred and passion." In other words, Greenfield is censoring the fact that Khashoggi hated what bin Laden had become after what he considered to a just cause fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
From here, Greenfield descends into delusions of grandeur regarding himself, his political god and his employer:
The Washington Post believes that it can set the agenda for Washington D.C. And it sees Front Page Magazine'scutting edge investigative journalism and the David Horowitz Freedom Center as a threat.
The Washington Post’s smears in September and October share a common underlying worry that the David Horowitz Freedom Center is reaching Republican House members. And it is trying to intimidate them with slanted stories and anonymous leaks. The Republicans whom the media fears are not the loudest or those who have the most conservative ratings, but those who don’t listen to the media.
That is why the media hates and fears President Trump so much.
The media’s power comes from driving the narrative, not just at the breakfast table, but in the Senate cloakroom, the legislative chambers, and in the Oval Office. The Post’s latest attack on the Freedom Center is an acknowledgement that our stories and speakers are undermining the media’s influence.
Last year, the Washington Post attacked the Freedom Center’s tax exempt status in “How a ‘Shadow’ Universe of Charities Joined with Political Warriors to Fuel Trump’s Rise.”
It warned that the Freedom Center’s 2014 Restoration Weekend had “brought together an array of hard-right activists and a little-known charity whose ideas would soon move from the fringes of the conservative movement into the heart of the nation's government.”
After this profile, identifying the Freedom Center as a key hub for conservative ideas among elected officials, the Washington Post has been launching smear campaigns intended to prevent the Center’s ideas from reaching elected officials. Other media outlets quickly joined in this coordinated campaign.
Greenfield's aversion to directly linking to anything the Post wrote is so extreme that he doesn't link directly to the Post article on the the far-right connextions to the Trump orbit; rather, he links to a Tampa Bay Times reprint of it.
Greenfiled concludes: "The Freedom Center believes in a free press. And it believes that everyone is entitled to the facts." If that was actually true, Greenfield wouldn't be editing Khashoggi's words or be so desperate to smear a man whose death the Saudis apparently made extremely painful simply for criticizing its leadership.