We missed this originally on Monday while on the road (where we still are, driving through the blistering hot TX panhandle today, God save us), but it's still worth watching today in case you missed it. Looks like Obama needs to fire Hillary Clinton, according to Colbert, just as Obama fired Shirley Sherrod and just as he signed legislation defunding ACORN --- in both cases, for having done nothing wrong.
However, it's been about ten months since Obama signed legislation defunding ACORN --- with hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs outrageously sacrificed in the bargain --- after Rightwing shyster Andrew Breitbart published deceptively-edited videos targeting them. Deceptively edited videos, I should add, in which the only criminal activities shown were those by Breitbart's employees who secretly video taped ACORN workers in violation of the law in several states.
And yet, there has still been no apology by Obama to ACORN, no funding restored, and very few of those in the media who (appropriately) chided Obama for having prematurely forced Sherrod to resign without learning the facts of the case have bothered to do same in regard to ACORN, even though it was the same scam, run by the very same pimp.
Is it because the MSM are too lazy? Too stupid? Or too embarrassed because they too fell for the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax and have yet to apologize for having done so?
Either way, The BRAD BLOG does not intend to let Obama off the hook, and I hope you'll join us in that effort.
As the Washington Post continues its shameful drift farther and farther to the right, it has long demonstrated the inability to use the "L" word, no matter how appropriate, and even seemed to support rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart's deceptively edited hit-video on Shirley Sherrod last week, long after everyone else had come to realize it was a hoax. So it was nice to see E.J. Dionne's column in WaPo on Monday in which he actually used the correct words to identify the facts of the matter.
He used the words "right-wing propaganda," as in the headline for his column: "Enough right-wing propaganda." That's right. What Andrew Breitbart and his ilk do is not opinion, it's not "conservative journalism" or even "activism." It's propaganda. And it's certainly not "conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. It's right-wing. There is nothing "conservative" about it.
Using a phrase akin to the ones we've applied to Breitbart for a very long time, Dionne went on to refer to him, accurately, as a "right-wing hit man," as in: "The administration's response to the doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart was shameful."
And then, the "L" word appeared in the pages of the Washington Post. Finally. As Dionne appropriately used the word "liars," as in: "When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win."
Good for Dionne. I suspect he'll be fired immediately.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT:Another oil spill, this time in MI; Record heat and smog in Moscow; Fires in CA; Competition sparks the U.S. electric car market ... PLUS: Where has all the oil gone, long time leaking? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Sec. Chu: Forcing people to save is a cost that I am willing to bear; Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries; Fix the Farm, Not the Salmon; U.S. energy policy a "serious threat" to economic, national security; Pollution makes quarter of China water unusable: ministry; B.C.'s carbon tax is looking like a winner two years later; Cap-and-Trade is a Republican market solution; State Dept. Delays Decision on Trans-Canada Pipeline; New NOAA Annual Climate Report Shows We Live in a Warming World ...PLUS: Plankton decline 40% across oceans as waters warm ...
Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.
The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask Sherrod to resign, a decision he reconsidered after seeing the entire video of her March speech to a local NAACP group. In the full speech, Sherrod spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.
She said she doesn't want an apology from Breitbart for posting the video that took her comments out of context, but told a crowd at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention that she would "definitely sue."
The suit against O'Keefe and Giles, filed just over two weeks ago by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera for invasion of privacy, leaves open the possibility that a number of other defendants will be added to the complaint. As The BRAD BLOG noted in our coverage of that suit, "we'll be neither surprised nor saddened to see Breitbart named as one" of the defendants added in the not-too-distant future.
Between that lawsuit, and Sherrod's, if she keeps her promise to "definitely sue," it looks like Breitbart, who has spent many years disingenuously decrying the "journalistic malpractice" of others, may soon get a better definition of what that phrase actually means. For those of us who have seen Breitbart's manic and embarrassing defense of his phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos --- the deceptively-edited tapes he published prior to the deceptively-edited Sherrod video he published --- we've already got a pretty good idea of what that looks like.
NYU media prof Jay Rosen offers a number of observations well worth reading in regard to the classified Afghan War documents posted to Wikileaks this week, and how this new form of "journalism" changes the game in many different respects (and in very good ones, overall, I would argue).
One of his points in particular caught my eye, as it seems quite pertinent to the extraordinary allegations of former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds which we've been attempting to dig into and report on --- with far too much exclusivity --- for years here at The BRAD BLOG. Rosen's observation, posted below, echoes the general notion I've come to, of late, in regard to her story, and the lack of media coverage of it. In short, it's likely that the Sibel Edmonds story is simply too large for the media to handle --- even those organizations which aren't, themselves, directly implicated in her explosive allegations.
I'm on the road this week (and for the next many), so don't have time at the moment to provide full background on the Edmonds story for those who don't know of it yet, but we've got plenty here at The BRAD BLOG from our years of coverage if you'd like to poke around. Here's a link to one of my recent Hustler articles on her, which offers the basics and includes some discussion of the "too big to bust" theory that Rosen seems to be articulating below.
His point here seems as germane in regard to the Edmonds story as it does to the massive leak of the classified Afghan War documents which he was writing about...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A NEW gusher in the Gulf!; Dam bursts in Iowa, floods hit Chicago, heat wave in Kansas --- other than that, everything's fine!; BP's CEO gets his life back ... PLUS: Climate legislation in the Senate is dead --- really, really dead this time, says Harry Reid ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): As energy use goes, so goes the economy; On-again, off-again federal support for renewables cripples emerging industries in the U.S.; EPA Slams State Department on Proposed Oil Pipeline; Deep Underground, Miles of Hidden Wildfires Rage ...PLUS: 1/3 of U.S. to Face Water Shortages Due to Climate Change (with maps!) ...
"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.
In Beyond Afghanistan, I utilized Dr King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech to deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President during a December 1, 2009, address in which he sought to justify an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.
I noted then that President Barack Obama deliberately conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda just as "President" George W. Bush conflated Saddam with al Qaeda to exploit the fear and anger engendered by 9/11. Robert Scheer revealed, in War of Absurdity that there were, at that time, less than 100 members of al Qaeda still inside Afghanistan, who, per General James Jones, did not retain the "ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies." I added:
To defeat the ignoble 100, the U.S. is rapidly building toward an in-country presence of 100,000 American troops at a cost of $100 billion per year. NATO will also add 7,000 more troops, bringing a combined total to 140,000 foreign occupiers to that impoverished nation. To this, add some 104,000 "private contractors" aka armed mercenaries, who are paid more than three times the amount received by American troops.
Earlier, I posted a five part series on the more than 50-year history of CIA torture. In Part III, citing Victor Marchetti's heavily redacted The CIA & The Cult of Intelligence, I reported on how the CIA's William Colby constructed interrogation centers whose [emphasis added] “operations…consisted of torture tactics against suspected Vietcong…usually carried out by Vietnamese nationals”; that this morphed into the infamous Phoenix torture, then kill and dump program, in which an estimated 46,000 Vietnamese lost their lives; that General Petreus suggested that the Phoenix Program be reinstated on a “global scale.”
Our current crop of military and political leaders inside the Bush and Obama administrations have erected an elaborate deception as they carry out wars of imperial conquest and war crimes, including targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, just as our past military and political leaders in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations erected an elaborate deception to justify the quagmire in Southeast Asia a generation ago...
"Right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart has admitted --- on tape --- that he's a terrorist-lover. So why isn't the media covering it?," they ask, getting their priorities right for the first time in a long time, and adding the option to "Sign our petition demanding that the media cover this shocking new revelation."
"We've just uncovered a video in which Andrew Breitbart admits he 'hearts' terrorists while a conservative audience applauds," explain the progressive journalists at MoveOn*.
"Is this video real? Hey, video can't lie, right? Just ask CBS, The Washington Post, Fox, and other news outlets who've faithfully covered Andrew Breitbart's videos," says MoveOn, while failing to name the NYTimes specifically, despite the "paper of record's" egregious leadership in this same regard.
"Our video is just as truthful as any Breitbart has ever released, and deserves equal coverage from the news media," notes MoveOn, with no small bit of evidence to back up the assertion. Here's the damning video providing incontrovertible evidence of Breitbart's love for al-Qaeda:
* If James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Breitbart are "conservative journalists," as they and many in the non-wingnut media have reported, then yes, the folks at MoveOn are nothing other than "progressive journalists."
-- Brad Friedman, from "Netroots Nation" in Las Vegas...
They keep pulling me back in. Had planned some travel and time off beginning this week, but the good Jeanne Devon (aka "AKMuckraker" of The Mudflats) tricked me into talked me into stopping by Netroots Nation, being held in Vegas this week, on my way outta Dodge. As Sin City was largely on our route outta town, and as I don't get many any opportunities to see the Alaska folks like her, Shannyn Moore, and dozens of others from around the country who I've known for years, but have never met in person, I figured why not stop in and both cover it a bit, and say hello to 'em all.
Have been doing so, and reporting some of it in various spurts via Twitter over the last 24. As I can get caught up over the next few days (the conference is ongoing through the weekend), I'll try to bring what I can here as well, as merited and/or newsworthy and/or amusing and/or interesting.
But after a late late night at Rio's Pai Gow tables with Jeanne, Shannyn, Mike Rogers of RAW STORY and BlogActive (he the "outer" of Larry Craig, and arguably my "blog father" as one of the earliest blogger supporters of this site) as well as various and sundry other progressive trouble makers, muckrakers and decidedly not professional gamblers, I'll have to start slow.
For the moment then, a quick recap of impressions, photos --- and even some news of sorts --- from yesterday, which included an unscheduled, somewhat hard-hitting radio interview with Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas on Nicole Sandler's Show (audio below) and some 30 minutes of my attempting to get answers --- on anything --- from the less-than-respectable rightwing "voter fraud" deceptionist John Fund of Wall Street Journal, Fox "News," and all places wingnut...
The radical-right agenda, hidden from so many of the uninformed, working class useful idiots (aka post-2008 "Tea Party" followers) was aptly described by Chalmers Johnson on the cover of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine as "a conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property for the rich few...[as part of] our headlong flight back to feudalism..."
What has become painfully obvious is that many within these "wide layers of the population" simply do not realize that the source of the middle class demise lies not in government per se but in the carefully thought out, decades-long effort of the hard-right to "starve the beast" by massive tax cuts for those who already have too much in order to, in the words of Grover Norquist, reduce government to the point it could be "drown in a bathtub" and in order to privatize the commons so that the privileged few can be enriched beyond the wildest imagination of ordinary citizens.
An American Political Science Association study, cited by Bill Moyers in Moyers on America (2004) referred to a "radical political elite who have...inequality as its mission and has organized 'a fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory cannons, and the intellectual and cultural framework that have shaped public responsibility from social harms arising from the excesses of private powers.'"
An eerily prescient 1944 New York Times op-ed written by Franklin D. Roosevelt's then-Vice President may have best described the ultimate goal of the hard-right agenda of those who now drive the so-called "Tea Party" in 2010...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: China, drowning in oil --- literally; Bobby's berms a bust?; Gulf waters now safe for fishing?!? (except when it's exploding) ... PLUS: Waytago, oil companies! (Did we just say that?!) ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Kansas heat wave kills 2000 cattle; Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazilian coast; Does Egypt own the Nile? water battle brewing; Poo Power: generating electricity from sewage?; 3 of every 4 oil and gas lobbyists worked for federal government; Bee massacre at SF farm; Cool roofs save money, energy, and directly reduce warming; Judge halts oil development on Alaska's Chukchi Sea ...PLUS: Busted: Five air-conditioning myths ...
I must hit the road (heading towards Vegas, where, yes, I plan to stop into Netroots Nation for the first time), so can't offer more details on all of this for now.
But just one point: The WH seems to have done the right thing in apologizing to Sherrod, and seem to be making good on the one job they cost in inappropriately firing her based on a deceptively edited hoax video tape posted by pathological liar and con-artist Andrew Breitbart. Now how about those thousands of jobs lost at ACORN, the four-decade old anti-poverty, pro-democracy organization, after the President signed a bill defunding them based on an almost identical, deceptively-edited video tape hoax as perpetrated by the same Andrew Breitbart? Do they plan to make that one right as well now? If not, why not?
It's a neat trick. Andrew Breitbart, the pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, posts a deceptively edited video (again), to which media and Democratic officials cowardly knee-jerk in reaction (again), before the video is ultimately discovered to have been a deceptively edited hoax. Then, rather than copping to having been a pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, Breitbart criticizes the media and those others who bought into the hoax that he himself perpetrated.
You see, it was all the media's fault for being irresponsible enough to buy into his own bullshit. Well played, Mr. Breitbart - you pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan ratfucker.
Breitbart, as usual, is partially correct, which is why his ratfucking continues to have any effect at all. The media did, at first, buy into his Shirley Sherrod scam. And not just Fox "News," who more than simply "bought into it," actually played their usual vital role in the rightwing disinfo food chain by offering a news-like presentation to the false story, as if it's a real one which deserves coverage by others. But others in the non-wingnut, theoretically-legitimate media also treated this story, initially, as legitimate. For that matter, even after the hoax was revealed for what it was, Washington Post, late last night, granted the phony story more legitimacy by "privileging the lie" and burying the by-then known truth in the 15th paragraph of its coverage.
Today, however, as the dust settles, Breitbart's lie has been uncharacteristically exposed in a record 24-hours or so, and he finds himself backed into a corner threatening whatever legitimacy he had foolishly been granted by adults who ought to have known better long ago. So now, the very professional snake-oil salesman and con-artist is attempting to riggle out of that corner with an all new lie that moves the goal posts from his original, now-discredited smear, to an entirely new, made-up-out-of-whole cloth claim. To wit: Since he was discovered to have lied in the first place, Breitbart is now claiming, to anyone stupid enough to listen, that his original blog post where he published the deceptively-edited video, was "not about Shirley Sherrod. It's not about Shirley Sherrod. I can say it 20 times. It's about the NAACP."
Oh, and also, he now adds in desperation upon having taken on a foe who was willing to fight back: "I feel bad that they made this about her, and I feel sorry that they made this about her...Watching how they've misconstrued, how the media has misconstrued the intention behind this, I do feel a sympathy for her plight."
They made this about her? The media misconstrued the intention behind this?
Of course, those claims are complete lies as well. As usual. And they're betrayed by his very own words. As usual...
For those who have asked, no, I'm not particularly interested in Andrew Breitbart's latest, deceptively-edited video scam campaign which, shamefully, the Obama Administration and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack fell for before bothering to view the whole video.
Clearly, the entirety of the corporate MSM has yet to fully learn the lesson. (e.g., see this piece on Washington Post's ombudsman falling for Fox/Breitbart's ridiculous "New Black Panther Party" non-scandal, non-story over the weekend and WaPo'sembarrassing coverage of the Sherrod incident tonight --- even after the hoax has been exposed --- where they waited until the 15th graf(!) to note the video was deceptively edited!) Obviously, the Obama Administration hasn't learned its lesson at all, as witnessed by the firing of Shirley Sherrod without any due diligence.
But it's nice to see that, this time, it took many in the media just 24 hours or so before catching on to Breitbart's hoax...