When Hillary Clinton used her Martin Luther King Day tribute to accuse Republicans of running Washington like an Old South "plantation" - she knew whereof she spoke.
In fact, when Hillary and Bill ran Arkansas, Dr. King didn't even have a holiday in his honor - at least not all to himself.
Instead, Arkansans celebrated a combination holiday that honored both King and Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who fought to allow the South to keep blacks enslaved.
But NewsMax has previously run a whole passel of articles praising Lee, including tributes on Lee's birthday for three years:
-- Let America not forget January 19, 2005, the 198th birthday of General Robert E. Lee. -- Calvin E. Johnson Jr., Jan. 19, 2005 (a version of this commentary also appeared Jan. 18, 2004, and Jan. 18, 2003)
-- Lee has taken a beating in recent years. Because he fought for the Confederacy, his image is being removed from public places all over the South, as a symbol of "hate" and "racism." Yet a remarkable book called "Robert E. Lee on Leadership" by H.W. Crocker III has convinced me that "Marse Robert" would have been the first to protect innocent Muslims on the streets of New York. ... Lee was a terror to his enemies. In battle after battle, he routed well-fed, well-equipped federal forces two and three times the size of his own starving, threadbare army. Yet, like George Bush today, Lee was criticized for being too soft on the enemy. ... It is time to replace Lee's portraits, wherever they have been taken down, time to restore Marse Robert to the schoolbooks, and to honor him as the great American he truly was. -- Richard Poe, Nov. 8, 2001
-- Some of the witless anti-Ashcroft rhetoric has bordered on the absurd. One of his critics, for example, expressed horror at Ashcroft's alleged kind words about Robert E. Lee and T.J. Jackson. Imagine, finding something good to say about Stonewall Jackson, a man so sunken in depravity that his motto was "Duty is mine, Consequences are God's." -- Phil Brennan, Jan. 10, 2001
NewsMax also decried as "plantation politics" the fact that then-Gov. Bill Clinton signed a law in 1987 that says the top blue star in the state flag symbolizes the Confederacy. But a November 2003 NewsMax "Insider Report" approvingly cited a book on the South and the Confederacy as evidence of Clinton's political acumen on the issue:
Bill Clinton, the smartest Democrat in a generation, knew better than to go anywhere near the issue, quietly declining all suggestions that he remove the Confederate motif from Arkansas' state flag. As Clinton recognized, Yankee moralizers are no more welcome today than were the carpetbaggers of 142 years ago.
Is NewsMax really changing its mind about the Confederacy, a cause still embraced by many of its conservative readers? Or is it just temporarily setting aside its principles in order to push yet another smear against the Clintons?
Then and Now Topic: WorldNetDaily
I don't think I need to remind you who is behind the National Enquirer. I don't think I need to tell you how politically motivated this sensational story about [Rush Limbaugh's] drug abuse is. But I will anyway. Remember how the National Enquirer rushed to the defense of Bill Clinton when he was accused of rape. Don't forget the tabloid's attorney is none other than David Kendall, Bill Clinton's own legal counsel.
The Daily Les, 1/18 Topic: The Daily Les
It involved two things near and dear to Les Kinsolving's heart -- gays and the White House -- so you know he just couldn't resist asking about it in the White House press briefing:
KINSOLVING: There's been extensive reporting of a homosexual group, Soulforce, calling on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual and trans-gender Americans to be the first in line at this year's White House Easter Egg Roll on April 17th, as a way to show the nation their so-called families. And my question: Will the President take any measures to prevent these activists from using this non-political event as a way to push their agenda on the rest of us?
Again! Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article mentioning that Hebron is the site of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Aaron Kleinonceagain fails to mention Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of Arabs there, though he notes a 1929 "Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered."
Why Project 21 Won't Be Denouncing Hillary Clinton Topic: The ConWeb
A Jan. 17 press release by Project 21 -- the black conservative group that is the home of Mychal Massie -- issued a statement condemning recent remarks by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Project 21 member Council Nedd said of Nagin: "Now he is practicing plantation politics in an attempt to keep his job."
Looks like the members of Project 21 are trying to keep their hypocrisy in check after ConWebWatch caught Massie denouncing Rep. Charles Rangel for saying that "George Bush is our Bull Connor" despite his own history of likening Democrats to Bull Connor.
The Plantation, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The folks at NewsBusters are making a big deal out of Hillary Clinton's "plantation" remark: Mark Finkelstein hasthreeposts on it, and Brad Wilmouth and Dave Pierre each have one.
But will Finkelstein, et al., criticize their employer, the Media Research Center, for running articles employing that same metaphor? Some examples, mostly appearing at MRC division CNSNews.com:
-- When I changed my political affiliation ten years ago, I thought I broke the chains of the liberal plantation. -- Kevin Martin, CNS commentary, July 15, 2005
-- Liberals believe that blacks should all think and vote the same. ... And they loathe any free-thinking black who dares to walk off their plantation. -- Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, CNS article, Jan. 26, 2005
-- Liberals have kept the poor on the government plantations, and compassionate conservatives are trying to free them. -- Marvin Olasky, MRC column, Dec. 14, 2002
-- The African American Republican Leadership Council, meanwhile, called [then-NAACP president Julian] Bond "a bigoted plantation'' racist out of step with Black America. -- CNS article, July 8, 2002
-- Shouted down publicly at the universities, disdained in the media, serious Christians are becoming America's new slave class for the plantation owners of the politically-correct U.S. of A. -- Dennis Peacocke, CNS commentary, Oct. 20, 1999
So, NewsBusters guys, before you start bashing Hillary Clinton, you might want to check in your own closet first. And while you're at it, check into why one of your fellow writers, Cinnamon Stillwell, is whitewashing the violent history of Israeli extremists.
(More examples of conservatives using the "plantation" metaphor to attack liberals here.)
New Article: A Textbook Example of Conservative Journalism Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com follows the blueprint by raising dubious allegations from the dead and disgruntled that Rep. Jack Murtha didn't earn his Vietnam War medals. Read more.
The Plantation Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 17 NewsMax article quotes Republican Rep. Peter King denouncing as "cheap racial politics" and "beyond the pale" Sen. Hillary Clinton's statement that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was run like a "plantation." WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving asked for White House reaction to the statement during a press briefing and if she was "up to" something, to which White House press secretary responded that Clinton's statement was "way out of line."
Like conservatives' feigned shock 2004 that any left-leaning person would dare to compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler despite a long history of conservatives comparing Democrats to Hitler, conservatives have also made regular use of the plantation metaphor to attack liberals. From the WND and NewsMax archives, from the past year alone:
-- And that's the problem, you see – both among America's "victims" and the leftist "victim plantation owners" – who have carefully cultivated each generation of poor people in order to reap their own power. Four generations of persistent failure hasn't taught either group anything at all. -- WND columnist Craige McMillian, Jan. 12
-- It is not hard to see why the poverty pimps and race-baiters still embrace the party that has historically oppressed blacks and kept them on one plantation or another. -- Nina May, WND commentary, Nov. 4
-- So you have a bunch of white liberals in a newsroom, in an editorial board, typical people that run the white plantation telling blacks how they have to think, telling blacks how they have to act. -- Rush Limbaugh, WND article, Nov. 3
-- Senator Reid has revealed the intolerance found on the political left for minorities who do not reside on their ideological plantation. -- Wendell Talley of the black conservative group Project 21, WND article, Nov. 1
Asking the Democratic Party plantation owners in the U.S. Senate to confirm a black woman who understands, supports and upholds the Constitution of the United States is asking too much. -- WND editor Joseph Farah, June 23
-- [Affirmative action is] a self-empowerment plan to keep minority votes on the new Democratic Party plantation by offering them special race privileges. -- Joseph Farah, April 28
-- Whereas Bush is selling his reform under the theme of an "ownership society," I would call the Democratic alternative the "plantation society." The "plantation society" is characterized by a wealthy class of owners who want to limit the choices, opportunities and freedom of working-class Americans. -- Star Parker, WND commentary, March 22. Parker is author of the 2003 book "Uncle Sam's Plantation," published by WND Books.
-- You have to keep them dependent on the Democrat Party. The more you take from the haves – who you think became haves by dishonest means (you know, by working for it) – the more you'll have to expand your bureaucracy and ladle out more goodies to the have-nots living on your liberal plantation. -- Michael Reagan, NewsMax commentary, Nov. 3
-- Panelist Mychal Massie, director of Project 21, a media outlet that supplies speakers around the country, challenged everyone to "believe we are all Americans - not a hyphenation." Massie said he hoped Blacks could break free of "imprisonment on an ideological plantation." -- NewsMax writer Dave Eberhart, Feb. 25
There's plenty more where these came from if we go back even farther into the archives. Like this choice bit of prose from July 2001 by NewsMax columnist John L. Perry:
Being black is difficult enough. Now there's the additional indignity of having to tote Bill Clinton, not exactly the lightest bale on the barge. Even for a white Southerner, the spectacle of the scalawag disgracer-in-chief's installing himself in the big house of his latest political plantation, smack in the midst of black Harlem, is nauseatingly reminiscent of bad times not forgotten in the land of cotton.
From Clinton's spectacular top-floor veranda overlooking Central Park, where he may conveniently overlook blacks and others being routinely rousted, the Arkansas mas'r may gaze down on his less-affluent and -exalted subjects trying to get a life in the environs of West 125th Street.
The magisterial ensconcing of an impeached president in his expensive new digs in Harlem was not at all unlike the triumphal ceremony when the slave master would move into his edifice of oversight.
All the blacks on the plantation were expected to throng around, grateful faces smiling, to celebrate him on his grand day. They could not run away to register their disgust, no more than could the poor people of Harlem move on up to a better neighborhood now that theirs had been trashed.
So spare us your sanctimony, guys. You weren't offended until now.
UPDATE: Fixes date on John Perry commentary, more clearly marks WND and NewsMax cites.
No Press Release, No WND Article Topic: WorldNetDaily
So the Dodgeville, Wis., school board is suing Liberty Counsel for forcing it to spend money unnecessarily by challenging the lyrics of a song used in an elementary school holiday play. Why hasn't WorldNetDaily run an article on it?
Because Liberty Counsel hasn't issued a press release on it, and WND apparently doesn't do a thing regarding Liberty Counsel without a press release from them.As we've noted, WND repeated without question LC's false assertions about the Dodgeville case.
Getting It Wrong: Google Search Results Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 17 NewsBusters post, Mithridate Ombud uses some bad math in reference to the movie "Brokeback Mountain":
90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association love gay cowboys and transvestites far more than American movie-goers do. Chalk up another 7500 articles.
Ombud fails to note that while the Google News search to which Ombud links returns 7,500-plus links that include the words "brokeback" and "mountain," many of those are duplicates of wire stories, linked to every news organiation that ran it. The total number of articles is, in fact, far less than 7,500.
And despite Ombud's implied (and flawed) assumption that depiction equals endorsement -- that because people are writing about "Brokeback Mountain," they therefore endorse homosexuality -- on the first page of results of Ombud's search is an article on the Utah theater owner's decision to pull the movie from his theater -- a position Ombud presumably supports.
Just Askin' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Given that WorldNetDaily once portrayed a staged photo as a legitimate news story, should it really be making a big deal out of the New York Times misidentifying something in a photo?
A Jan. 16 article goes the guilt-by-association route by claiming that "Hillary's best friend and closest advisor, Susan Thomases, was seated at Belafonte's table" at a recent charity dinner that Hillary also attended. NewsMax also cites the factually challenged Ed Klein as backup for the claim that Thomases is a Hillary confidante.