MSNBC obliterated the notion of separating cable-news hosts and their political activism when the network brass gave Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show two years ago. It was just another day at the office when Sharpton held a rabble-rousing rally for Trayvon Martin in the afternoon, and then covered it on his show hours later.
But Saturday's rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington was the most dramatic conflict of interest yet. Sharpton organized the rally (with Martin Luther King III) and MSNBC aired huge chunks of it live, including all 20 minutes of Sharpton's screaming keynote speech. An MSNBC press release said they'd be promoting the rally from 11 am to 9 pm.
On Friday night, MSNBC gave Sharpton two hours of "pre-game" to promote the rally. On Sunday morning, he appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" to pose as Reverend King. On September 6, MSNBC will give Sharpton yet another two hours in prime time for an "Advancing the Dream" special.
This comparison is unfair to Rick Santorum, but imagine if Fox News gave Santorum a nightly show and then Santorum gave the keynote speech at the March for Life, and Fox aired large chunks of the March for Life live, and then afterwards, the Fox News hosts competed to see who could praise Santorum the most as the peerless leader of the century. Every liberal who's ever claimed Fox is a propaganda channel and not a news network should shut up and sit down after this Sharpton spectacle on MSNBC.
Bozell won't tell you that MSNBC is arguably following in the footsteps of Fox News, specifically its heavy promotion of the tea party in the early years of the Obama administration, in which Fox far surpassed anything MSNBC and Sharpton have done.
In August 2009, for example, Fox News repeatedly promoted a cross-country bus tour by one tea party group, with one Fox anchor even saying that "we want to let folks know" the Tea Party schedule so "they can be a part" of the events. One Fox "reporter" even embedded with the bus tour and filed biased, fawning reports promoting the tea party effort. And in April 2009, Fox News actually claimed sponsorship of tea party rallies.
Funny, we don't recall Bozell being critical of that, let alone lament any blurred lines between news and advocacy on TV.
As befits someone who kinda misses apartheid, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer is fully on board with WND's race-baiting agenda, eager to scream loud and long that blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals.
In her Aug. 8 column, Mercer laments that even Fox News is "deflect[ing] from the white-hot issue of black-on-white violence":
You see, blacks are also more likely to murder whites than the reverse. This likelihood is a trend O’Reilly and the gang are submerging by emphasizing only the “intraracial” nature of most murders.
They are in “good” company. The Bureau of Justice Statistics does the same – and worse: It often inflates white violent crime by conflating whites with Hispanics.
Thus while 84 percent of white victims were killed by whites, and 93 percent of black victims were killed by blacks; a hell of a lot of whites are killed by blacks, while few blacks are offed by whites.
As regards “stranger homicide,” blacks murder whites four times more often than whites murder blacks. Put differently, black-on-white murders constituted 20 percent of the known sample of “stranger homicides.” White on black murders constituted 5 percent of the same sample. (Given the direction of the aggression, one wonders whether some in the white cohort were not engaged in self-defense.)
In the context of black-on-black violence, the self-celebrating media – Mr. O’Reilly and the parade of T & A that goes for commentary on cable – are currently breathing fire over the black family’s demise. To get my attention, they’ll have to get as fired-up about the white-hot hatred behind black-on-white menace and murder.
“There is no clear motive for why the murder happened,” a CNN reporter chanted robotically, in what has been for as long as I can remember SOP (standard operating procedure) in major media. Whenever a black murders a white – which is four times more often than the reverse – the salient features of the crime disappear into a black hole of disinformation.
By salient features I mean, in the main, information pertaining to the skin color of the perpetrator and victim and the extraordinary brutality with which the villain typically goes about exterminating his victim.
Overkill is the word I’m looking for.
“Sticks and stones may break [your] bones but words will never hurt [you].” That’s how children were once wisely taught, in rhyme, to get a grip on the dangers that await them in the world. Prevailing PC pietism has reversed this simple profundity. Dead and disfigured white corpses stacked up in morgues are purported to tell us not a thing about a killer’s motives, unless accompanied by nasty words.
But as the cliché goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Mercer also describes the death of Christopher Lane as being at the hands of "another pair of feral black youths," disappearing the white youth who is also charged in the death.
The latest entry is an Aug. 30 article by Melanie Hunter complaining that "The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $556,000 to Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine for an LGBT mental health internship program."Hunter goes on to demand of an HHS spokesman "why it was advantageous for HHS to fund the grant despite the sequester."
Hunter doesn't explain, however, why she has deemed this particular expenditure to be a waste of money -- arguably, she makes the opposite case by explaining while the grant exists:
"LGBT adults have higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, and substance use than heterosexual adults, which leads to long-lasting effects on both the individual and the community. Health professionals with greater exposure to LGBT patients and formal education in LGBT Psychology are better able to provide competent care."
Apparently, Hunter believes it is a waste of money to provide mental health services to -- and thus possibly save the life of -- an LGBT person, which comports nicely with her employer's anti-gay agenda.
WND's Jim Fletcher Doesn't Understand Newspaper Economics Topic: WorldNetDaily
When anyone invokes Rush Limbaugh, that should be a warning sign. Jim Fletcher writes in his Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column:
As usual, Rush Limbaugh makes more sense than all the liberals combined. It’s always fascinating to watch the left come up with reasons for a certain reality, when in fact they are not facing the real reason(s).
Take the decline of newspapers, for instance.
I used to be a newspaper junkie, as many as I could lay my hands on. I’d get to work early so that I could devour all the news. Op-ed pages were my favorite. My personal print newspaper decline began when some of the old guard of the op-ed pages – men like John Robert Starr in Arkansas – began to well, die. Frankly, I found their replacements to be … mediocre.
But I digress. The real reason papers have declined in readership, of course, is the obvious: People were fed up with liberalism in the media, and they saw the rise of “the Internets.”
So how does Fletcher account for the fact that conservative newspapers like the Washington Times and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review would not be in business were it not for deep-pocketed owners willing to absorb millions of dollars of annual losses, even when there was no competition from the Internet? How does Fletcher account for the fact that even deep-pocketed owners get tired of losing money, which finally allowed the Washington Examiner and Human Events to succumb to market forces?
Is Fletcher going to blame the content of these conservative papers for their demise and lack of profit, as he does for "liberal" newspapers? Of course not -- Rush Limbaugh told him not to.
Noel Sheppard Mocks Obama For Discussing Jobs With A Businessman Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard sneers in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post:
The United States is about to start a war with Syria, yet President Obama still had time Thursday to meet with NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to discuss - wait for it! - jobs.
Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett later thanked Johnson for the "great meeting."
Isn't that special?
Our nation is talking about going to war, and the President of the United States has time to discuss jobs with a former basketball player.
So our President doesn't have time to talk to Congress about a looming war, but he does have time to chat with a former basketball player.
In fact, Johnson is a very successful businessman and employer. The Los Angeles Times reported upon Johnson becoming part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers last year:
Johnson’s strategy has included immersing himself in the minutia of real estate development and other business issues while linking up with top players in various industries. It was his Dodgers partner Peter Guber, then chairman of Sony, who green-lighted the development of Magic Johnson Theaters at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in the mid-1990s, said Lombard, who is himself an experienced real estate developer.
The shining success of the theaters in a South Los Angeles neighborhood overlooked by traditional investors led to a partnership with Howard Shultz, chairman of Starbucks, who arranged a special deal with Johnson to open Starbucks in urban neighborhoods. Johnson was Starbucks’ only franchise operator until the agreement expired in 2010.
Johnson also teamed up with Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, a Century City investment fund that manages about $18 billion for investors such as pension funds and university endowments. Together they have done a series of joint ventures investing hundreds of millions of dollars in densely populated, ethnically diverse communities around the United States.
Johnson seems like the perfect person to talk to about jobs, particularly in struggling urban communities. But Sheppard apparently despises Obama so much that he'll just sit and mock instead of investigating the facts. Sheppard's frequent placement of ideology before facts tends to get him into trouble, yet he remains a NewsBusters associate editor.
WND's Farah Has A Fit That Muhammad Bio Briefly Outsold A Film He Made Topic: WorldNetDaily
Few ConWeb figures are more thin-skinned than WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, and he proves it yet again.
Last week, WND actually devoted an article to how the WND-produced “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" was knocked from the top spot of Amazon.com's top-selling "faith movie or TV show in the country" after 67 weeks by a documentary about Muhammad.
Now, you'd think that topping a minor Amazon sales list for 67 weeks would be enough of an achievement that WND would accept the normal course of things and abdicate gracefully. But no. Take it away, Joe:
Joseph Farah, the producer of “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” said he knew the movie couldn’t possibly occupy the No. 1 spot on Amazon.com forever, but he’s shocked that a “pseudo-documentary about the life of Muhammad could be become the most purchased faith movie in America just 12 years after 9/11.”
“It’s revolting,” Farah said, “not that Isaiah was knocked out of the top spot after 67 weeks, but that it could be replaced by a movie that so distorts the twisted, murderous life of a megalomaniacal hate monger, oppressor of women and genocidal fiend whose teachings inspired the worst attack on American soil in the country’s history.”
Needless to say, Farah provides no evidence that the Muhammad documentary distorts anything, let alone any evidence that he has actually watched the thing.
But Farah's not done denigrating he has apparently never seen:
The movie was released Aug. 20 by PBS, a U.S. government-subsidized corporation.
“I’m sure all the money the federal government put into an advertising campaign for this tripe helped propel it to the top,” said Farah. “But I doubt it will have any longevity. I pray it doesn’t for the very future of our country. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state – or does that principle not apply to mosque and state.”
Farah's whining apparently paid off, because an article three days later proclaimed that "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" returned to the top of the list.
The funny thing, though, is that neither of the articles provides links to the WND-produced film at Amazon -- they all go to the film at WND's own online store. That's because Farah and WND make more money if you buy the film from them than if you buy it from Amazon.
The fact that Farah is hyping an Amazon sales list while discouraging you from buying from Amazon shows what a cynical promotional excercise this is.
CNS' Jeffrey Tries To Claim MLK For Republicans Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey apparently can't deal with how civil rights has become a mostly liberal cause. So the CNSNews.com editor in chief has dedicated a couple of articles to cherry-picking Martin Luther King Jr. in order to portray him as endorsing conservative causes.
One of Jeffrey's articles carries the headline "MLK: ‘A Just Law is a Man-Made Code That Squares With the…Law of God’" and quoted from his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The second carries the headline "MLK: ‘Whatever We Do, We Must Keep God in the Forefront’" and quotes from a 1955 sermon "four days after Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person."
That's some wide-ranging cherry-picking there to selectively glom onto King's legacy.
Mychal Massie's Aug. 26 WorldNetDaily column begins with his usual vomiting up of Obama derangement:
This is intended to be an open letter to you, Barack Obama. I will dispense with the usual salutatory “Dear Mr. blah blah” because to address you as same would mean that I accept you as my president, which I cannot and do not. I know my words will offend those for whom the color of your skin means more than the quality of your job performance, but I place a high premium on the performance of the man who occupies the position you do – a performance that ought to be based on leadership, loyalty to America and adherence to the Constitution of the United States. I view you, in the absence of any of those qualities, as a seat-holder for an American leader who embodies those qualities and who has respect for We the People of this great nation, which you are doing your best to defile.
Since Massie is a depraved liar, let's see what he lies about this time, shall we?
I knew that any person who would viciously fight against saving children who had survived an attempted abortion – arguing de facto, as you did, that these children who were outside the womb and capable of surviving must not be provided care to keep them alive – could not be trusted to act in the best interest of our nation.
Of course, Obama argued no such thing. As we've documented, Obama argued that the proposed law he opposed effectively banned all abortions because it treated pre-viability fetuses the same as post-viability fetuses.
You interjected yourself into the Trayvon Martin situation but have been silent in the aftermath of the vicious murder of Christopher Lane, the 22-year-old East Central University baseball player in southern Oklahoma. The media and district attorney are claiming the murder wasn’t racially motivated, but you know full well had three white teens murdered a black person the assessment would be different.
Massie seems to have overlooked the fact that one of the suspects in Lane's death is white.
President Eisenhower sent National Guard to insure Arkansas schools were integrated. You sat silent and allowed your Justice Department to refuse to prosecute New Black Panther members for intimidating white voters in Philadelphia.
Having cranked even more lies, it was time for Massie to cap things off with more Obama derangement:
You have had the opportunity to lead America away from the aberrant behavior and animus by many blacks as well as, for all intents and purposes, to retire racial discord to the ash heaps of American history. Instead, you have worked to fertilize and promote racial animus and hostility toward whites by blacks.
A leader wouldn’t do that. Not even the past presidents from your own party – a party whose history is steeped in racial prejudice – have contributed to racial discord as you have. It would be nice if I could wish you well, but, as it is, I can only wish you were gone.
A good columnist wouldn't lie so casually and blatantly to his readers. Massie is not a good columnist.
Newsmax Touts Tim Scott's Non-Existent 'High Road' Topic: Newsmax
Courtney Coren writes in an Aug. 29 Newsmax article headlined "Tim Scott Takes High Road After MLK Anniversary Snub":
Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has taken the high road after being left off the invitation list for the 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march on Washington, despite being the only African American currently serving in the Senate.
"The senator believes today is a day to remember the extraordinary accomplishments and sacrifices of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and an entire generation of black leaders," his spokesman Greg Blair said in a statement released to The Wall Street Journal confirming he had not been invited.
"Today's anniversary should simply serve as an opportunity to reflect upon how their actions moved our country forward in a remarkable way."
But Roll Call reports that Scott was invited to attend the ceremony but he turned it down:
March on Washington, because Tim Scott’s office declined an invitation to attend the ceremony as a spectator, according to a source connected to the event.
“Much of the speaking program was created based on those who were able to confirm availability to attend the event, and thus were able to speak at the event,” the source explained.
And based on an email exchange obtained by CQ Roll Call, the South Carolina Republican did receive an invitation to attend the festivities commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
The invitation, sent Aug. 8 from the Coalition for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, appears to have been a form letter to all members of Congress, with invitees listed as “Representative” rather than by name.
Within a day, Rachel Shelbourne, a staff assistant to Scott, had replied to the email with the following message:
“Thank you for extending to Senator Tim Scott the invitation to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28th. Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting.”
That would seem to contradict what Scott's spokesman had to say. Will Newsmax note the contradiction?
WND's Farah Laughably Calls Corsi And Shoebat 'Credible' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily column:
There are no good guys in the conflict in which Obama is about to take sides. There are only bad guys and worse guys. And which side do you suppose Obama has chosen? That’s right. The worse guys – the really, really bad guys, those actually allied with al-Qaida.
And now there is credible evidence to suggest it wasn’t the authoritarian Syrian government that used chemical weapons against its own people, including its own soldiers. More likely, it was Obama’s al-Qaida friends who are trying to topple Bashar Assad’s regime.
Farah's "credible evidence" is an Aug. 26 WND article by Jerome Corsi, who cites Walid Shoebat for proof of his claim that Syrian rebels, and not the Syrian government, launched the chemical attack.
But as we pointed out, Corsi and Shoebat simply cannot be trusted. Both are Obama-haters known for making false and outlandish claims, and the veracity of Shoebat's own past as a self-proclaimed Palestinian terrorist has been credibly questioned.
Further, Corsi and Shoebat offer no independent verification of their claims, only a hodge-podge of cherry-picked videos that fit their pro-Assad agenda and assertions from the pro-Syrian propagandistic Russian media.
MRC's Graham Lets Laura Ingraham Spin Away Gunshot Sound Effect Topic: NewsBusters
Is there any offensive behavior by a right-wing radio host the Media Research Center won't defend or try to spin away?
Last year, the MRC responded to Rush Limbaugh's tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke by starting a "I Stand With Rush" website. Now, in an Aug. 27 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham gave radio host Laura Ingraham an unfettered opportunity to play the victim after she was criticized for using a gunshot sound effect to interrupt a speech by Rep. John Lewis discussing the assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his "I Have A Dream" speech, and Graham added his own tacit endorsement:
On Monday, Ingraham exploded the Lewis soundbite as he demanded “comprehensive immigration reform,” just before he used the ridiculous metaphor of illegal aliens hiding “in the shadows" -- she noted they were brought as guests to Obama's State of the Union address. Ingraham explained their sound effect to NewsBusters:
My producers and I have used this blow up effect to interrupt windbags for 10 years of political and cultural persuasions. The cannon or "blow up" sound is meant to convey the gaseous thoughts of a speaker combusting, but of course the bilious Joan Walsh of Salon.com knows that. (My producers have even blown me up when we play long clips from TV appearances!)
Par for the course--people with an ideological axe to grind are attempting to read malicious intent where none exists. Their goal is not to debate, but to stifle speech.
So using a gunshot/explosion/whatever sound effect to interrupt a speaker is not an attempt to stifle speech? And using it on a civil rights leader who saw several of his colleagues assassinated isn't crass and insensitive?
Graham continued to let Ingraham play defense:
Ingraham told me: "This is absurd and venomous and the predictably pathetic work of people who mean to crush free speech as they advance a failing, progressive agenda. If Joan Walsh or other left-wing loons give voice to their moronic, dishonest analysis, they might self-combust on my show, too. Boom."
She also said "I referred to John Lewis as a 'trailblazing civil rights figure.' They're absurd."
Praising John Lewis before insulting him with a gunshot sound effect is supposed to absolve Ingraham? Really?
The only absurd thing we see here is Graham so desperately willing to spin away odious behavior by his beloved right-wing radio hosts.
WND's Erik Rush Pretends He's Not Actually Calling for Obama's Assassination Topic: WorldNetDaily
Obama-hater Erik Rush has already been beaten to the punch by fellow WorldNetDaily columnists Mychal Massie and Ellis Washington in making the ludicrous comparison of President Obama to Caligula, but he gives it a go in his Aug. 28 WND column:
While his predecessors had gotten away with a lot, Caligula was the first of the Roman emperors to wholly disregard the Roman Senate and wield absolute power. He was said to have delighted in watching torture and executions, and spent his nights in orgies of gluttony and lust. His tendencies toward public sexual degeneracy and the summary execution of individuals for trifles offended even the questionable Roman sensibilities of the day. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him in January of 41.
Although it hasn’t been popularly acknowledged, America has herself a real, live emperor, and the reason I go so far as to compare him to Caligula (as opposed to other Roman emperors) has to do with his apparent belief that he can do nearly anything he wants (even if it is actually carried out by minions) with no concern for the consequences.
Like a god.
Barack Obama may not be bat-crap crazy like Caligula, but he could be unstable, and he is certainly acting in an autocratic, even dictatorial modality.
Then Rush takes it a step further by essentially endorsing his assassination:
Unfortunately, people like Obama – and Caligula – inevitably devour or destroy everything within their reach, whether it be the people closest to them, those in their charge, or the nations they lead. The citizens of Rome could see the danger they were in, but at least they had the benefit of their insane emperor operating completely without restraint or buffers. Thus, it was easier for those who ultimately took action to justify doing so.
Not that I’m making any suggestions, mind you …
Oh, bull. If Rush didn't want Obama to die like Caligula, he wouldn't have spent his entire column likening Obama to Caligula.
It appears that Rush can expect a visit from the Secret Service in the very near future.
Manning Inspires Transgender-Bashing At AIM Topic: Accuracy in Media
The gay-bashers at Accuracy in Media are at it again, this time freaking out over Bradley Manning's request to become a woman named Chelsea.
Daniel Greenfield fires off numerous remarks aimed at denigrating transgenders in an Aug. 26 AIM column:
After a great deal of fuss about national security and terrorism, sentence was passed and Bradley Manning, the man at the center of the storm who used a Lady Gaga CD to smuggle out classified information, announced that what he really wanted was to live as a woman.
Posting a photo wearing the least convincing wig outside of clown college, Manning announced that from now on, his name will be Chelsea.
Life might have been simpler for everyone if Manning had just gone straight to the bad wig. In the age of Obama, his right to pretend to be a woman would have been protected with more vigor than the lives of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
Every media outlet is now doing cheerful stories about some little boy being raised as an “Adorable Transgender Little Girl” by his Munchausen-by-proxy parents and the intolerant schools who won’t let him use the wrong bathroom.
Gender as a construct is one of those mechanistic progressive fantasies straight out of a Brave New World society where every aspect of human identity can be customized. Like most of the futuristic dystopias, it ends badly.
Bradley Manning betrayed his country for the same reason that he put on a blond wig; because he is mentally ill.
Not to be outdone, notorious homophobe Cliff Kincaid offered his own thoughts in an Aug. 26 column:
CNN’s story, “Chelsea or Bradley Manning: Addressing transgender people,” ignores the other alternative—he/she is simply a pervert who should have been booted out of the service years ago and should never have received a security clearance. The key question—not pursued by the media—is why Manning was allowed to remain in the Army when he was acting in violation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy.
Manning will pay a price in prison, but those who permitted this to happen have still not been held accountable.
The media won’t remind us of this fact, but two previous NSA defectors to the Soviet Union/Russia, Bernon F. Mitchell and William H. Martin, were also perverts.
Mitchell confessed to “sexual experimentation with dogs and chickens,” according to the 1962 report, “Security Practices in the National Security Agency.” Mitchell, who had “associations with members of the Communist Party,” was “sexually abnormal,” had “posed for nude color slides perched on a velvet-covered stool,” and had “homosexual problems.”
Meanwhile, Kincaid -- wearing the hat of his own personal anti-gay/anti-commie group, America's Survival -- is calling for Fox News anchor Shepard Smith to publicly acknowledge that he's gay, presumably so Kincaid can bash him further. His little group has issued a 40,000-word report, authored by fellow homophobe Peter LaBarbera, warning about "Fox News’ Growing Pro-Homosexual Bias."
Matt Barber Lies About Gay Legislator Topic: WorldNetDaily
Professional gay-basher Matt Barber's latest column -- published at WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com -- carries the headline "‘Gay’ Lawmaker to Christians: ‘We’ll Take Your Children’."
Just one problem: Nobody said that. Nowhere in his column does Barber directly quote anyone saying, "We'll take your children."
What Barber is presumably referring to is an "openly homosexual" politician in New Jersey defending the state's new law against forcing minors to undergo dubious same-sex reparation therapy:
On Wednesday, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the bill and is openly homosexual, bombastically compared change therapy to “beating a child” and suggested that the government take children seeking change away from their parents. He told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, “What this does is prevent things that are harmful to people. If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis we would step in and remove that child from the house. If you pay somebody to beat your child or abuse your child, what’s the difference?”
Notice at no point does Eustance say "we'll take your children." And complaining that Eustace "bombastically compared" reparation therapy to child abuse is rich from someone who, earlier in the column, bombastically called bans on reparative therapy for minors the “Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act.”
Scott Whitlock writes in an Aug. 27 NewsBusters post:
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Monday, liberal MSNBC panelist Karen Finney angrily hung up on the host after he dismantled her claim that conservatives are modern day McCarthyites for opposing health care. Hewitt stopped Finney and demanded she explain her historical analogy.
As described by Politico, Hewitt pressed, "Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?" Finney squirmed, "I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced." The former head of the Democratic National Committee even declined to answer this basic question: "Was Alger Hiss a communist?"
Refusing to be diverted, Hewitt needled, "Karen, Karen, I’m just a little talk show host, I’m not an MSNBC host, I just have history...I just want to know, do you think Alger Hiss was a communist?"
After Finney (see file photo at right) instructed her conservative host to "go ahead and name" Cold War-era communists, Hewitt retorted, "Can you?"
In fact, Hewitt was the one doing the diverting by insisting on talking about Alger Hiss instead of the subject at hand, Ted Cruz's inflammatory rhetoric. Media Matters documents what Whitlock won't about the Finney-Hewitt interview:
Instead of discussing Cruz's behavior, however, Hewitt decided to discuss the history of McCarthyism, ostensibly defending the Wisconsin senator.
"Was Alger Hiss a communist?" Hewitt asked. Finney responded, "I think that's distracting from the point I was trying to make."
Finney continued, "And the point I was trying to make was, you had Joe McCarthy was on a mission to root out communism in the government, and he did it in such a way that created a hysteria that was very unhealthy for this country. Do you really disagree with me on that?"
Hewitt refused to engage with Finney's question and refused to discuss the damage McCarthy had done, just like he refused to acknowledge the damage to our discourse caused by Ted Cruz's behavior. This is after Finney explicitly stated, "Obviously, spying on this country and betraying this country is absolutely wrong. Of course it is."
Why shouldn't a guest hang up on a radio host who refuses to have an honest conversation? Whitlock doesn't explain.