Ellis Washington: Flamboyantly Wrong
The WorldNetDaily columnist keeps up his record of overheated literary allusions, insults of President Obama, and general inability to get stuff correct.
By Terry Krepel
From the beginning of his WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington has had several hallmarks: florid classical and literary allusions, nasty insults, and false or misleading information. That hasn't changed -- if anything, Washington's writing has gotten more floridly allusive, nasty and inaccurate.
Having pretty well exhausted his bag of Obama smears -- Nazi, fascist, devil, gangster, etc. -- in the first few months of the Obama presidency, Washington was forced to scrounge up a more obscure insult in his April 25 WorldNetDaily column:
Returning to Orwell's "1984," which character would Obama be if instead of "1984" Orwell wrote "2009"? While most would probably answer Big Brother, I would disagree, for Big Brother was the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent machinery of the State. Obama, the transcendent, messianic, FDResque figure is more akin to Goldstein, the minister of propaganda who with the help of his fascist legions spent day and night following one credo: Your liberty, your money, your property, your soul all belong to the State (federal government).
Washington doesn't remember "1984" that well, because Goldstein was not the minister of propaganda. As World O'Crap summarized:
Goldstein was the ne plus ultra of treachery, Public Enemy Number One, the focus of the Two Minute Hate. Goldstein was to Big Brother as Al Franken is to Bill O’Reilly.
In that same column, Washington seemed to be trying to walk back some of his previous smears. He goes on to insist, "No, Obama is not a Hitler" -- thus contradicting his own previous endorsement of a student who likened Obama to Hitler.
Ironically, in a column designed to brand Obama as a liar as part of his desperate bid to prove Obama has violated every single one of the Ten Commandments, Washington demonstrated yet again that he himself is a liar. And to top it all off -- as well as an apparent effort to suck up to his WND bosses -- Washington officially buys into the Obama birth certificate conspiracy, another thing he must surely know is a lie and a fraud.
Washington needs to look past his near-pathological hatred of Obama to keep in mind another biblical truism: let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
"1984" is not the only work of fiction Washington has managed to miss the point of. In his May 20 column, which is yet another love letter to Michael Savage, Washington writes:
In the 1991 movie “Silence of the Lambs,” based on a novel by Thomas Harris, Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant but evil psychiatrist, begins a game of quid pro quo with Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), a young FBI trainee seeking the advice of the imprisoned Lecter on capturing a serial murder with the alias, "Buffalo Bill." In one telling scene, Starling tells of how she was orphaned, relocated to an uncle’s farm, discovered the horror of the lambs going to the slaughterhouse and unsuccessfully tried to save one of the little lambs.
But as World O' Crap pointed out, "the point of that 'indelible scene' was that Agent Starling was haunted by the screaming of the lambs, and hoped that by helping a kidnapped young woman escape death at the hands of a serial killer, she could finally silence their screams."
Nevertheless, Washington repeated his incorrect interpretation in his Aug. 8 column, complete with the melodramatic howl, "All I can hear is the hypocritical, unconsoling Savage silence of the lambs!" To which World O'Crap responded: "Oh, sorry, Prof, I couldn’t hear the silent lambs. I had John Cage’s 4'33" turned way up."
Washington also gets facts wrong outside the world of fiction. For instance, he wrote in his Nov. 7 column:
What was Obama doing the night the election returns were coming in? According to his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, Obama was enjoying a sycophantic HBO documentary about himself and his presidential campaign rather than watching the election returns.
In fact, Gibbs never said that. Fox News reported the claim but later retracted it, with Major Garrett claiming he had "misheard" Gibbs and that Gibbs was pointing to the HBO documentary as evidence that Obama does not routinely watch election returns.
Washington also misunderstands basic concepts. In a Sept. 12 column bashing Obama appointee Cass Sunstein, Washington asserted that "Sunstein's entire legal philosophy and worldview is encapsulated" in part by "Social Darwinism [evolution]."
But evolution, a biological process, is not the same thing as social Darwinism, which is not biological. As ConWebWatch detailed in 2006 when WND was promoting Coral Ridge Ministries' misleading attempt to tie evolution to Hitler, anti-evolutionists have long conflated social Darwinism with evolution, even though Charles Darwin himself never advocated such a thing. Indeed, the racism and ethnic cleansing pejoratively associated with social Darwinism existed long before Darwin.
In his June 27 WorldNetDaily column, Washington whined that "Iran has come to America," citing a case where "a federal judge has recently upheld a decision by festival organizers in Dearborn, which is about 30 percent Muslim, to ban a Christian ministry from handing out religious tracts on public sidewalks." Washington added: "If America wasn't already a benign dictatorship, Congress would have immediately drawn up articles of impeachment against this renegade judge for so blatantly abridging freedom of religion and freedom of association protected by the First Amendment."
Further, both Unruh and Washington failed to note, as the Detroit Free Press did, that Dearborn officials had been working with the group to accommodate it, that the city was never notified of the lawsuit when it was filed by right-wing legal group Thomas More Legal Center, and that the city viewed the controversy as a publicity stunt.
Washington's reign of error continued in his Nov. 14 column:
The second policy America has launched against itself is the infamous "Gorelick Wall." What is the Gorelick Wall? It is a policy developed by Clinton appointee and former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who after the first terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center of Feb. 26, 1993, was placed as the head of a blue-ribbon commission to find the causes in our internal security that allowed these bombings to occur.
As ConWebWatch has repeatedly pointed out, Gorelick didn't create the so-called "wall"; it was created in 1978. Her 1995 memo merely detailed procedures that she said permitted a freer exchange of information between criminal and counterterror investigators than had been allowed under the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Additionally, she said, then-attorney general John Ashcroft's own deputy attorney formally reaffirmed the 1995 guidelines just a month before 9/11.
Further, Gorelick's memo applied only to the FBI and the Justice Department, not military and defense operations, so it had no bearing on whether or not information about alleged Fort Hood shooter Nadal Malik Hasan was shared between them, as Washington suggests.
Oddly, contradicting his rant, Washington acknowledged some of this later in his column; he repeated Sen. Slade Gorton's statement that "Nothing Jamie Gorelick wrote had the slightest impact on the Department of Defense or its willingness or ability to share intelligence information with other intelligence agencies," then adds that "I realize that we can't put all the blame on poor Ms. Gorelick," going on to attack "the treasonous 'Church Committee' of Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, in 1975. Church was one of the many enemies within that virtually destroyed the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies under the pretext of protecting Americans from being spied on, forcing the agencies to comply with the restrictive strictures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Thanks, President Carter!"
The Church Committee was an attempt to rein in the excesses of the FBI and CIA, such as trying to assassinate foreign leaders and rifling through people's mail without a warrant.
But Washington then flip-flopped again, stating: "I lay Maj. Hasan's murderous treachery directly at the feet of the Church Committee, for leading to FISA in 1978, the 1995 Gorelick Wall memo and, finally, to the 'manmade disaster' policies of Obama in 2009." He curiously hold Ashcroft harmless, even though his office reaffirmed Gorelick's guidelines a month before 9/11.
He concludes: "To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan's 1987 speech at Berlin, 'Mr. Obama tear down this Gorelick Wall!'" This is nonsensical because it is already torn down; the Patriot Act effectively removed it.
This is falsehood devolving into incoherence -- pretty much what one has come to expect from Washington. And this particular stew has only grown more pungent in recent months.
In the midst of cribbing from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in trying to "draw an analogy or two about lessons we might learn as Americans as we struggle through our own battles with forces of evil: Sauron, Saruman and the ever-present Orcs in the Age of Obama," Ellis Washington dropped this hateful little bomb in his Aug. 15 column:
First allow me to state emphatically that all lovers of literature should thank God that Tolkien wrote this great epic, "Lord of the Rings," in the 1950s before the miserable, anti-intellectual hags of the feminist movement got their claws into this literary genius. Eowyn isn't some myopic, shrill, angry caricature of a woman like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep. Maxine Waters, or Bella Abzug.
Washington blew up that allusion to dimensions even J.R.R. Tolkien could not have imagined in his Aug. 22 column:
For example, take Gandalf's admonition to Frodo: "Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again." Just like Gandalf had to wage constant battles with the forces of evil in his day Sauron, the equivalent of Satan, Saruman, a corrupt puppet of Sauron, the former mentor of Gandalf, and the legions of Sauron's foot soldiers, useful idiots Tolkien calls Orcs so do we battle the fascist tactics of President Barack Obama in modern times.
Washington has also been keeping up the Obama smears as well. In his Sept. 26 column, Washington attacked Obama's speech to the United Nations, which he claimed "was delivered with the dispassionate indifference of a man who was handed a speech others wrote for him and loaded into his teleprompter for him to read like a robot" and insists "could just as easily been written by Col. Moammar Gadhafi." Washington goes on to claim that Obama's goal of a Palestinian state -- a goal not unlike that of most previous U.S. presidents -- contains "perhaps the most evil, anti-Semitic language I've ever heard from any American president against Israel."
Washington then veered into Godwin's Law territory -- where he has been before -- attacking Obama's goal of Middle East peace: "What 'goal' does Obama wish to pursue for God's chosen people? Is Obama's 'goal' tantamount to Hitler's 'Final Solution' regarding the nation of Israel?"
Then Washington claimed he's trying "[n]ot to be histrionic here." Feel free to take a few moments to laugh your head off.
Ah, but Washington wasn't done with his histrionics. He concluded:
The Muslim world has dreamed of this day when a weak, Quisling leader in America like Obama would seek to curry favor of the Muslim nations to bolster his own universal reputation. The price? a revival of Hitler's "Final Solution" and the genocide of the independent nation-state of Israel.
And, thus, Washington achieves the full Godwin.
Obama's not the only non-conservative Washington likes to smear. He devoted his Oct. 3 column to attacking two "doyens of liberalism," Gore Vidal and Garrison Keillor. Washington described Vidal as "a petite Leni Riefenstahl," and made a big deal out of noting that Vidal's first book, "The City and the Pillar," was "a sexual tome that infuriated mainstream critics in that this was one of the first major American novels to feature conspicuous homosexuality." He went on to call Keillor "a petite Walter Duranty." Washington concluded by declaring: "Indeed, Mr. Gore Vidal, Mr. Garrison Keillor and President Barack Obama, your replacements have arrived and they are God, America's Founding Fathers and We the People."
But for Washington in full hate effect, it's hard to top his May 9 column. He began by quoting his own earlier erroneous assertion that the character of Goldstein in George Orwell's "1984" was Big Brother's "minister of propaganda." Here's the first actual paragraph:
What do you call a man, a leader, a president of the greatest country in the history of the world that daily ignores constitutional strictures like separation of powers, which limits executive power? What do you call a pathological narcissist that daily creates vast, new totalitarian powers for himself by executive decree while the slavish Democrats, the irrelevant Republicans and the servile liberal media bow to his every will? How would you characterize Wall Street, private corporations, education, medicine, housing and energy who collectively tremble in fear if they don't obey his latest unconstitutional commands, that they will be the next recipient of his vengeful wrath?
Oh, but it gets better:
To a rational person who loves America and respects the traditions of the Founding Fathers, anti-federalism and executive restraint, the headlines are gut-wrenching, but to a proud fascist like President B. Hussein Obama, those dire headlines above read like the soothing, euphonious strains of a Wagnerian opera. And like Wagner's primo uomo, "Siegfried," a man who literally went to hell and back to learn how to fear, only more socialism, anarchy and nihilism can set the proper pretext for this Grand Finale. Only in Chaos Theory can the stage be adequately prepared for Obama Inc. to appear stage left to save America. Yet there is no salvation, no redemption only a hellish, eternal nightmare that he himself created!
Washington devised a few more notorious characters to which he likens Obama to add to his already lengthy list:
Obama is utterly a revolutionary figure following a long, ignoble tradition of former great tyrants like Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, Muhammad, Henry VIII, Napoleon, Mussolini, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Putin, Chavez and others. Obama Inc. thinks in grand, over-arching, totalizing themes rather than simply single programs as Clinton did with gays in the military or national health care in 1993. No, no, no one program, even one-seventh of America's entire multi-trillion dollar economy, is much too small for Obama Inc. to be bothered with.
Then came Washington's concluding spew, in which Washington's hate is matched only by his melodrama:
One hundred ten days after taken the oath as president of the United States, who would have thought that Obama Inc., led by this unremarkable pol, this intellectually vacuous fascist from Harvard, could have achieved so much, so soon, yet here we are in the midst of a burgeoning totalitarian State equal in every respect but the year of George Orwell's "1984" nevertheless we appear too stupid to realize where we are.
Wow. Just ... wow.
Washington might be delusional, but he knows which side of his bread is buttered, which likely explains his Aug. 11 paean to the man who publishes his column, Joseph Farah, whom he credits with rescuing him from "being in Sisyphus obscurity as an unknown writer and thinker since 1983." Washington claims that he doesn't want his tribute to Farah "to become unduly fawning." And it doesn't -- it becomes embarrassingly (and falsely) so:
Farah alone continues defending himself against universal blacklisting and vicious libel and slander leveled against his name by socialist radicals and the state-controlled media for 12 years since his cofounding of WorldNetDaily with his dear wife, Elizabeth.
Washington clearly does not know Farah like ConWebWatch does. First and foremost, he does not care about the truth. He is a liar. He and his WorldNetDaily employees have repeatedly lied about Barack Obama -- and about ConWebWatch.
Second, he is not fearless -- as demonstrated by his list of demands before he would appear on "The O'Reilly Factor," chief among them being that he would not have to stoop to appearing with any other guests. O'Reilly declined to give in to Farah's demands. Further, Farah himself says he's an activist, not a journalist.
So take away the illusion of truth, fearlessness and journalism, what is left for Washington (or anyone, really) to admire about Farah? Not much. Certainly not the "man's man" Washington thinks he is.
World O' Crap helpfully notes that Washington mangled another literary metaphor in the process of that bit of slobbering: "Was Sisyphus primarily known for his obscurity? I thought he was famous for having one of those pointless, make-work, WPA-style stimulus jobs, but apparently he’s so obscure he doesn’t even rate being turned into an adjective." World O'Crap concluded about Washington's obsequiousness to Farah and his penchant for overheated literary references:
Yes, but what mythological or historical hero does he bear a resemblance to that only you can see? Michael Savage is Prometheus and Captain Dreyfus. You’re Sisyphus this week. Even Obama got to be Emmanuel Goldstein from 1984. You ask me, Farah ain’t getting his 20 bucks worth here.
Washington is not only frequently wrong but flamboyantly so, and that flamboyance only calls more attention to his wrongness. Then again, Farah isn't paying Washington to be right.