Tempest In A Tea Bag: Marco Rubio’s Traffic Ticket Troubles And Right-Wing Hypocrisy

The “liberal” New York Times is taking heat for having published an Internet blurb detailing the rap sheet for the Rubio family on file with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. It seems that the senator, and aspiring presidential candidate, and his wife racked up some seventeen tickets for speeding, careless driving, etc. The Times’ item was posted on Friday at a time generally reserved for “news dumps.”

It is unlikely that anyone at the Times regraded the story as an earth shattering bombshell and, absent any assistance from self-serving demagogues, it would probably have rolled off the media radar in half an hour or so. And that’s where the self-serving demagogues come in.

Fox News Marco Rubio

The conservative media regulars snapped to attention and immediately began castigating the Times for having reported a true, albeit trivial story. The effect of their accumulated outrage was to turn an online throwaway into a three day (and counting) event. Participating in the bash-fest were…

  • Fox News: Bias Alert: NY Times under fire for ‘scoop’ on Rubio traffic citations
  • Daily Caller: Marco Rubio And His Wife Have Gotten A Bunch Of Traffic Tickets
  • NewsBusters: NY Times ‘Scoop’ Exposes 17 Traffic Tickets for Marco Rubio
  • Breitbart: Media: Never Mind Hillary’s Scandals, Let’s Talk About Marco Rubio’s Wife’s Driving Habits
  • Townhall: Impeach: Rubio and Wife Have Received 17 Traffic Tickets Since 1997
  • RedState: Breaking: Marco Rubio Does Not Abuse his Influence
  • National Review: Marco Rubio — Traffic Violations Like Everyone Else
  • Washington Times: NY Times Goes After Rubio, Wife — For Traffic Tickets

There were, of course, many more, and Fox News has repeated the story numerous times. But perhaps the most offensive contribution to the Times thump-a-thon came from BreitBrat Ben Shapiro, who Tweeted a photo of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s car submerged at Chappaquiddick forty-six years ago. Talk about straying off-topic. Kennedy is not currently a candidate for president and he is, sadly, not here to defend himself. Maybe Shapiro would like to comment on the guy that Laura Bush killed in a tragic car accident. That would be just as relevant. Even more so, since her brother-in-law is running for president and she is around to comment on the matter. [This just in: Greg Gutfeld of Fox News also joked about Kennedy as he dismissed Rubios’s poor driving by saying that “At least he didn’t drive anybody off a bridge.” This even caused his co-hosts on The Five to groan disapprovingly]

Most noticeable in this orchestrated defense of the Rubios, however, is the typical wailing of wingnuts who have been caught doing something wrong. Their first response is always to cry “media bias” and to lament their victimization at the hands of the cold-hearted press. It’s the very same reaction that is currently being deployed by the despicable Duggar family’s defense of their pedophile son Josh. These people think that the media reporting on alleged crimes is worse than the the crime itself.

Unfortunately for them, the facts don’t fit with their fantasy narrative. If the media is demonstrating some sort of bias by reporting Rubio’s traffic tickets, then what were they demonstrating when they reported Barack Obama’s parking tickets back in 2008? As published in a story by the “liberal” Washington Post…

“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got more than an education when he attended Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. He also got a healthy stack of parking tickets, most of which he never paid.

“The Illinois Senator shelled out $375 in January _ two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign _ to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.”

Did any of the usual right-wing suspects noted above come to Obama’s defense and condemn the Post for smearing him? Was there any expressed outrage over how the media resorts to trivialities when there are much bigger problems facing the world? Was there any forgiveness from the right because Obama at the time was a poor student and these were just parking tickets, not moving violations like Rubio’s.

Nope, none of that Christian mercy that conservatives are so fond of flashing was on display. That’s because, they don’t really care about the substance of these issues.

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Instead, they are singularly interested in furthering the spread of their favorite fairy tale that the media is hopelessly liberal and that this unwarranted attack on Rubio is just another example of it. That’s how they can justify stretching this trifling news bite into a multi-day tribulation. It feeds their manufactured stereotype of the media and they will continue to chomp on it until the flavor is gone.

Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

Right-Wing Media Feeding Frenzy Over False Story About White House Press Secretary

There is a strain of faith that intertwines everything that emanates from the conservative media pulpit. They are so fiercely intent on believing any bad news about President Obama and all things liberal that they will suspend common sense entirely in order to preserve their dark fantasies.

Right-Wing Media Circus

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Such was the case when Catherine Anaya, a local reporter with the Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO, aired a segment introducing her interview with the President. She made some startling comments that reverberated throughout the right-wing mediasphere:

Anaya: We started here shortly after 8 o’clock with a coffee with press secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing. And this was off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well-versed on every single day.

And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask-or the correspondents-they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.

First of all, Anaya’s report began with the statement that her meeting with press secretary Jay Carney was “off-the-record,” and then proceeded to report it anyway. That’s the first sign that we are dealing with a spurious story. But the core of the controversy concerns her assertion that White House correspondents are required to supply their questions to Carney in advance. That nugget of pseudo-news set off a flurry of outrage from the usual right-wing media hacks. For instance…

  • Glenn Beck: Did a reporter just admit the daily White House press briefing is a sham?
  • Truth Revolt: WH Press Secretary Gets Questions from Reporters Before Press Briefing.
  • NewsBusters: Ariz. Reporter: Carney’s Briefing Questions ‘Are Provided to Him in Advance’
  • Weekly Standard: Reporter: WH Press Secretary Gets Questions from Reporters Before Press Briefing
  • Newsmax: Phoenix Reporter: Carney Gets Questions In Advance
  • Rush Limbaugh: Local Phoenix Reporter Reveals Jay Carney’s White House Briefings are Scripted with Questions Submitted in Advance

Needless to say, the story was not true. Anaya later corrected the record and apologized for her “bad reporting.” She admitted that “I made two major mistakes: I reported an off the record conversation and what I reported was not accurate. […] The White House never asked for my questions in advance and never instructed me what to ask.”

The Weekly Standard is the only one of those listed above that placed a correction in their original story. Truth Revolt, a side project of Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro (whose name candidly suggests a revolt against truth), went to the trouble of posting an update that only reported denials of the story by Carney and Fox News correspondent Ed Henry, but not Anaya’s retraction. NewsBusters, a website that purports to hold media accountable, just deleted the whole article with no acknowledgement of their error.

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None other than Fox News recognized the shoddy practices of news enterprises that fail to confirm the authenticity of their reporting. Howard Kurtz wrote for his Media Buzz column that…

“…even as this tale caught fire across the web, the only thing it proved is that a local CBS reporter mangled the facts —and has finally retracted her charge. […] Bad reporting. Muddied. Incorrectly applied. And the apology took too long.”

Not exactly. It also proved that conservatives with partisan agendas will believe anything that fits their preconceived vision of an evil and calculating president. It also proves that they will disseminate their dishonest delusions even after they have been documented as false. The professional missteps of Anaya were unfortunate and embarrassing, but the blindness and persistence of those who continue to flog her mistakes even after she apologized is far worse because they have knowledge their deceit and engage in it anyway.

President Obama Makes Breitbart Editor’s Brain Hurt

The staff at Breitbart News has never distinguished itself as particularly astute or intellectually gifted. A recent case in point was their giddy victory dance when Coca-Cola supposedly validated the right-wing campaign for English-only ads by adding the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” to a TV commercial.

Breitbart Ben Shapiro

Today Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large, Ben Shapiro, penned a column outlining what he called “Obama’s Top 5 Distractions.” The article regurgitates a well-worn attack strategy that alleges that anything the President says or does that is not about ObamaCare is a deliberate attempt to distract from that issue, rather than the responsible performance of the duties of his office. BreitBrat Ben begins by admitting his own mental shortcomings:

“Psychologists posit that the brain can only handle so many narratives at one point; if we are distracted by problems at home, for example, we tend to perform less well at work. The same holds true in politics: if our brains are occupied with worries about the war on women, for example, we’re less likely to be thinking about the horrors of Obamacare.”

Poor Ben. By inconsiderately managing the broad array of issues that any president must address, Obama is taxing the shallow capabilities of one of Breitbart’s senior staffers. How dare Obama deal with trivialities like raising workers out of poverty; or mitigating the environmental, economic, and national security threats of Climate Change; or taking action to relieve the suffering of poor families and hungry children; or advocating on behalf women who are exploited, abused, and discriminated against; or endeavoring to advance solutions to the long-term hostilities in the Middle East.

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In Shapiro’s world, placing those five items on the presidential agenda are merely attempts to distract people from the only issue that really exists: ObamaCare. And for the White House to engage in any other domestic or foreign policy can only result in a cognitive breakdown, emotional distress, and a severe brain owie. In the view of these mental deficients, political leaders must always concentrate on a single issue to the exclusion of every other event in the world. Shapiro closes by claiming that…

“…the bottom line is that the Obama administration will do everything in its power over the course of the next few months to distract from the issues Americans care about most.”

For the record, according to the Pew Research Center, the top five issues that Americans care about most are:

  • Strengthening the nation’s economy.
  • Improving the job situation.
  • Defending the country from terrorism.
  • Improving the educational system.
  • Making Social Security system sound.

These are all issues that the Obama administration has identified as priorities. The American people expect him to work toward advancing their interests on these and many other areas, including health care, taxes, crime, the environment, and immigration. And he must do them all simultaneously. In fact, if Obama were to abandon other issues and focus solely on health care, Shapiro would be among the first in a long line of hypocritical right-wingers to criticize him for being too narrowly focused and negligent.

If BreitBrat Ben has his way the nation will be stuck in a single-issue ditch that doesn’t put a burden on the limited brainpower of dimwitted conservatives and Tea Party twerps like himself. So at least we can be grateful that he will not get his way no matter how noisy his juvenile tantrums.

Media By Ass: Breitbart Editor Launches TruthRevolt Site To Counter Media Matters

The diseased minds at Breitbart News and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center are joining together to fill what they perceive as a void in media criticism. Not satisfied with the efforts by richly financed conservative operations like the Lie Factory of Fox Nation, the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters, the Washington Free Beacon, or Breitbart’s own BigJournalism, this new cabal is forming with the unmistakeably hostile mission to…

“…unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases.”

Oh my. That’s sounds ominous. But if anyone is capable of venturing down such a repugnant path, it’s BreitBrat Ben Shapiro, the editor-at-large of Breitbart News. Shapiro’s record of keeping the media in check includes falling for a fake story about Chuck Hagel; bashing fact-checkers; whining when Republicans are vetted; and exposing the socialist propaganda of Sesame Street.

As for BreitBrat Ben’s partner, David Horowitz, he is a notoriously racist fringe conservative who believes that slave labor has benefited contemporary African-Americans. He also publishes “Jihad Watch,” which has labeled President Obama a “practicing Muslim.”

The new TruthRevolt project describes itself as “a conservative counterpunch to Media Matters, the Obama-linked organization that focuses on silencing conservatives in the media.” Of course, there is no Media Matters link to Obama offered by the BreitBrats, nor any evidence that they have ever silenced any conservative. What right-wingers regard as silencing is really just getting caught saying what they actually believe. That’s all that Media Matters does.

Breitbart has been after Media Matters for a long time. They have challenged the tax-exempt status of Media Matters; accused them being anti-Christian and anti-American; charged that they get their marching orders from the White House, George Soros, or any other convenient rightist bogeyman. Even their hallowed leader, St. Andrew, has taken cheap shots at Media Matters and its founder, David Brock. He published an absurd article alleging some sort of conspiracy by the media to hide an old photograph of Brock that he characterized as narcissistic and homoerotic. But he could have been talking about himself and the photos he posed for in Time Magazine:

Andrew Breitbart

Breitbart’s destructive tendencies are well documented. He once swore to “bring down the institutional left” in three weeks. He’s more than four years overdue. Now his successors are nursing the same obsessions. And as usual they are incapable of providing a single example of anything that Media Matters has done that was incorrect or deserving of criticism. Their unambiguous goal (as they admitted above) is to tear down an organization that does nothing more than document the conservative bias in the media. It is a plainly articulated, well-financed, censorious revolt against truth – hence their name.

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Breitbart Refuses To Apologize For Hagel Story Proven To Be False

In a typical display of arrogant obstinance, Breitbart News is refusing to acknowledge or take responsibility for a false story that was apparently based on a joke.

Breitbart News

BreitBrat Ben Shapiro posted an item of February 7, asserting that the White House was “Duck[ing] Questions On Friends of Hamas” with regard to Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense. Shapiro wrote that his investigation had turned up several sources claiming that Hagel had received donations from the terrorist sympathizers with the unlikely name.

However, it turns out, as it often does with the BreitBrats, that there was no truth to the rumor. In fact, it wasn’t even a rumor, it was a joke. When investigated by real reporters it was learned that Friends of Hamas does not even exist. But upon being revealed as a hack who never bothered to look into the claims of his alleged sources, BreitBrat Ben is now stiffening his back and defending his journalistic incompetence.

Shapiro is attempting to divert attention from his bumbling reportage by attacking the reporters who actually did what reporters are supposed to do. Meanwhile, his phony story is bubbling up the conservative food chain and has even made it to Fox’s Lou Dobbs program. So far, none of these disseminators of the debunked story about the fake group have issued corrections. But that’s to be expected from “news” enterprises that have such a devoted aversion to the truth.

Not So Breitbart: Left Media in Full Civil War Over Fact Checkers?

The BreitBrats are at it again. They continue to embarrass themselves with hypocritical articles that lack substance or reason. However, they do provide an abundant source of unintentional humor.

The latest episode features a column by the Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News, Ben Shapiro, with the outrageously hyperbolic title “Left Media in Full Civil War Over Fact Checkers.” The entirety of his outrage is based on the criticism of a single article by the Associated Press that purports to fact-check Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The AP’s article deserved the criticism it received. It’s analysis was strikingly biased and avoided the most elementary criteria for judging the factual basis of its subject. For instance, the AP highlighted a portion of Clinton’s speech where he correctly quoted a Romney aide saying that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”

Mitt Romney

The quote was accurate, in context, and documented. The AP’s response…

THE FACTS: Clinton, who famously finger-wagged a denial on national television about his sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky and was subsequently impeached in the House on a perjury charge, has had his own uncomfortable moments over telling the truth.

What the hell did that have to with Clinton’s remark? What bearing did it have on whether or not Clinton’s statement was factual? Obviously, none at all. And it was the criticism of this article by the AP that brought BreitBrat Ben to the boiling point, accusing the left of engaging in a “civil war” with nothing more than this one article as evidence. Ironically, Breitbart News has been conducting their own war against fact checkers, whom they regard as a “liberal” media plot. And I have evidence. Here are a few recent columns from the BreitBrats:

  • AP Publishes Laughably Unserious Fact-Check Of Clinton’s Speech
  • When Not Outright Lying, Fact-Checkers Make Fools of Themselves
  • Media Launches Preemptive ‘Fact-Check’ Strike on Romney Speech
  • Era of Media Fact Checkers Intimidating Republicans Is Over
  • WaPo’s Glenn Kessler Has Fact-Checking Tantrum Over ‘You Didn’t Build That’
  • Romney to Media Fact-Checkers: Drop Dead

Note that the first article above lambastes the very same AP fact-check that Shapiro is now bashing liberals for criticizing. Breitbart’s Editor John Nolte is apparently among the liberals who are at war. Except that Nolte’s war is with his own dementia. He actually believes that the AP published an “intentionally ridiculous” fact-check in order to help President Obama:

“From where I sit, the corrupt AP intentionally manufactured a ridiculous fact check so they could be on record fact-checking Clinton while at the same time doing zero harm to him and by extension Barack Obama.”

That’s in keeping with his previous paranoid delusions about fact-checkers being a liberal plot. Nolte and Shapiro are so obsessed with their assault on truth-telling that it has clouded their ability to even remember what they wrote a week or two ago. Even worse, in Shapiro’s article asserting that liberals are at war with fact-checkers, he unleashes a litany of attacks against them himself. So he can’t even recall his delusions from one paragraph to the next.

Last month I posted an article with the headline “Is Breitbart News Really A Parody Site Attempting To Make Conservatives Look Stupid?” That question sounds less and less rhetorical every day.

Is Breitbart News Really A Parody Site Attempting To Make Conservatives Look Stupid?

The question in the headline above may seem whimsical, but at some point it needs to be taken seriously. When the Breitbart news posts a series of articles about President Obama’s press availability, like the ones they posted recently, it seems almost impossible to conclude that they aren’t there strictly for comedy.

A couple of days ago, the BreitBrats posted an article complaining that Obama hasn’t done enough press conferences. This is not the first time that the President has faced such complaints. A couple of years ago the conservative media, led by Fox News, voiced similar sentiments. However, that was only after they finished complaining that Obama was doing too many press appearances and was “overexposed.” Now, after another brief lull in press gatherings, they are at it again.

The headline of the BreitBrat piece was “Obama Dodging Issues, Tough Questions From Journalists.” Fair enough. The President should be accountable to the people and the media are their representatives. I am a big believer in public servants offering themselves up to press inquiries regularly.

So today, that is exactly what President Obama did. He made a surprise appearance in the White House Briefing Room and took questions from the cream of the presidential press corps. So of course the BreitBrats responded with gratitude for the President accommodating the demands of the people and submitting himself for questioning. Their headline today was “Obama Caves To Media, Hijacks Press Briefing.”

Actually, that doesn’t seem very gracious. After demanding that the President be more forthcoming, the BreitBrats insult him for doing so. What’s more, BreitBrat Ben Shapiro makes a delusional criticism of Obama for “dropping by on a weekend.” Someone should inform Shapiro that Monday is not generally considered to be part of the weekend.

In a separate article, Shapiro accused the President of telling “lie after lie” during the press event. But he only gave a single example of anything Obama said in the press conference that Shapiro considered to be untruthful. It concerned the President’s statement that “Nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.” Obama was responding to a question about comments made by Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter. She said a few weeks ago that…

“Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments.”

Of course, that is not an accusation of being a felon. Simply saying that if someone were to commit a felony they would be a felon is not even remotely the same as saying outright that someone is a felon. I could, for instance, say that if I were to commit a felony I would be a felon. See? I did not just call myself a felon. But that simple distinction was too much for BreitBrat Ben and his only example of an alleged lie dissolves into vapor.

Additionally, BreitBrat John Nolte chirped in with his own hilarity. He is apparently very disturbed that the President made a reference to Mitt Romney not releasing his tax returns. So he stretched credulity beyond recognition by associating Obama’s comments with a comedy routine by Jon Stewart. A few weeks ago, Stewart blasted Harry Reid for suggesting that Romney’s dead father, who famously released twelve year’s of tax returns, would be ashamed of his son Mitt for his resistance to making his taxes available to the American people.

Nolte thinks that Obama’s reference to the tax issue in general was identical to Reid’s invocation of the elder Romney’s shame. It’s not. While it could be argued that Reid stepped over the line by imputing an emotional reaction by Romney’s father that Reid couldn’t possibly have known, Obama did nothing of the sort. It is perfectly acceptable to make note of the fact that Romney’s dad released twelve years of tax returns when he ran for president. Nolte seems to be implying that any mention of an actual fact about prior presidential candidates and their tax returns is off limits. That is just plain crazy.

All of this nonsense occurred within hours of Obama’s press conference – a conference that the right, including the BreitBrats, had been clamoring for. And when they got what they wanted, they spent the afternoon making up incoherent critiques rather than giving the President credit for listening to his critics and appearing before the press as they had requested.

The sort of right-wing extremists that inhabit Breitbart’s domain make a mockery of the conservative media. They castigate the President for not doing something, then lambaste him for eventually doing it. They have a built in lose-lose proposition that really does nothing but dissolve any credibility they might otherwise have strung together. That’s why I’m becoming more and more convinced that they are a secret offshoot of The Onion. That would explain so much. And otherwise, they are just making fools of themselves for no good reason.

THE VETTING: Mitt Romney Is A War Mongering Draft-Dodger

Breitbart News has been running a series of articles purporting to “vet” President Obama. They contend that the so-called “liberal” media never properly examined Obama’s past and the events of his youth that formed his character.

For the most part, the Breibrats vetting has been a circus that uncovered silly trivialities or outright lies. For instance, with no evidence whatsoever, they alleged that Obama’s college grades were lower than George W. Bush (They weren’t. Obama graduated magna cum laude, while Bush squeaked by with a C- average). They furthered the Birther conspiracy by claiming to have discovered documents that prove Obama was born in Kenya (He wasn’t. The documents were in error and the person responsible admitted it). They accused Obama of having anti-white, Marxist views associated with his Harvard law professor (He didn’t. Neither Obama nor Prof. Derrick Bell held those views).

However, in the spirit of vetting, and fully informing the public about the histories of our presidential aspirants, Here is a factual account of Mitt Romney’s past that you probably won’t see on Breibart News:

Mitt Romney At Stanford

In 1966 Mitt Romney briefly attended Stanford University in California. It was a tumultuous time when the Vietnam war was stirring up dissent among America’s youth and a vibrant peace movement was growing. Mitt Romney, however, would have none of that. He was a staunch defender of the war. The photo above shows Romney (far right) at a counter-protest to a sit-in at the office of Stanford president Wallace Sterling organized by peace activists who opposed Sterling’s plans to assist in the drafting of students. Doesn’t Romney look dapper in his white slacks and sport coat?

Despite Romney’s steadfast support for the war, he still secured a deferral that kept him from serving in the military. And even though he claimed that his deferral was due to his position as a missionary on behalf of his Mormon church (and later a student deferment), he nevertheless found time to attend rallies in favor of sending other young men to war.

Romney BoysLike many Republican hypocrites, Romney is a chickenhawk who advocates the glory of battle only for other people’s sons. As for his own family, he once responded to a question concerning why none of his five boys were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan by saying that “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.” That’s a typically Romulan statement that illustrates what an elitist he is, who considers himself exempt from the rules by which the rest of the peasant hordes must abide.

The Breitbrats will surely ignore this new and revealing photo of Romney. Because even while they pursue their mission of vetting the President, they oppose and ridicule any examination of Romney’s past. Earlier this month Breitbrat Ben Shapiro castigated the Washington Post for publishing an article about Romney’s high school bullying of a classmate. Shapiro made it all too clear that, in his opinion, the Post was outside the bounds of ethical reporting by digging up dirt from Romney’s high school days. However, on the same day, Shapiro himself posted an article about Obama’s alleged drugs use when he was in high school.

Breibart News

That’s how brazenly hypocritical these right-wing pseudo-journalists are. They aren’t interested in vetting anyone, They are only interested in disseminating propaganda and character assassination.

Bonus Bit: In further vetting of Romney, Buzzfeed discovered an old news item about a visit Romney made to a veteran’s homeless shelter in Massachusetts in 1994, during his losing campaign for the senate against Ted Kennedy. Before leaving Romney asked the shelter’s director what the biggest problem at the shelter was. The director said that it was getting enough milk on the meager allowances the shelter received from the state. Romney responded, “Well, maybe you can teach the vets to milk cows.” Good one, Mitt. And maybe they can just eat cake. The Breitbrats have already posted an item complaining about Milk-Gate.

Etch-a-Sketch Update: Apparently Romney was for the Vietnam war before he was against it. Despite his activism in support of the war in 1966, by 1970 he had turned against it saying that it was a “political blunder” and that “I think we were brainwashed.” Another outright flip-flop.

Breitbart’s Unhinged Hypocrisy: Vetting Obama OK, Vetting Romney Disgraceful

The Breitbart site is well known for dishonesty and rabid servility to the uber-rightist agenda. But this morning they may have outdone themselves in an Olympian feat of hypocrisy.

The Washington Post published an article today by Jason Horowitz, detailing accounts of bullying and possible gay-bashing by Mitt Romney while attending the elite Cranbrook prep school. According to five independently acquired reports by his former schoolmates, Romney led verbal and physical assaults on other students who were presumed to be gay.

Responding to that article, Breitbrat Ben Shapiro posted a frenetic critique that took the Post to task for what he called “an egregious hit piece.” Shapiro saw both fallacy and conspiracy on the part of the Post.

[T]he timing of the story is obviously designed to protect President Barack Obama, who just yesterday said that he would embrace same-sex marriage. The narrative from the media therefore became: Obama is fine with gays, Romney hates them. Since they had zero evidence that Romney has any antipathy toward homosexuals, they had to dig up an incident nearly 50 years ago, invest it with anti-gay rage, and print it as fact.

This is character assassination of the worst kind. It doesn’t go to Romney’s deeply-held beliefs and positions. It doesn’t show how he was defined as a young man. It’s just an old prank brought up and infused with nastiness, sans evidence, in order to turn Romney into a jerk in the public eye.

Breitbrat Ben’s assertion that this story was timed to benefit the President reveals his inability to comprehend reality. For Shapiro’s timing conspiracy theory to be true, the White House must have told Horowitz to start working on the story months ago so that it would be ready the day after an announcement that no one could have anticipated.

Shapiro’s defense of Romney as having no ‘antipathy toward homosexuals” surely rings hollow to all the homosexuals who would be forbidden to marry or even enjoy the same civil liberties as straight citizens. And his characterization of physical assault and possible gay-bashing as merely “an old prank” is evidence of Shapiro’s own insensitivity to such victimization.

But the most brazenly unhinged assertion in Shapiro’s column is his lambasting of the Post for “dig[ging] up an incident nearly 50 years ago” and declaring that “It doesn’t show how [Romney] was defined as a young man.” Seriously?

Shapiro, and others on the Breitbart team, have spent months digging up ancient material about Obama in a relentless campaign of character assassination. All of it was meant to show how Obama was defined as a young man. However, most of it fell impotently into the dustbin of pseudo-journalism due its irrelevancy, but their intent was clear. They called their slander “vetting” and posted such inane classics as Obama embracing his law professor at Harvard – the well-respected Derrick Bell, who was the first African-American to receive tenure at Harvard Law School.

Even more astonishing, while Shapiro blasted the Post for publishing information about Romney’s high school history, Shapiro himself posted information about Obama’s high school past.

Breitbart

Somehow the irony and hypocrisy of posting two stories – one complaining about reports of Romney’s past and the other doing to Obama what he was complaining about – on the very same day, seems to have escaped the wet noodle mind of Breitbrat Ben. His article on Obama rehashed information that has been known for years and was disclosed by Obama in his own writings and speeches.

But that didn’t stop Shapiro from misrepresenting the truth. He contradicted himself by asserting that “Obama, by all accounts, was a habitual drug user in high school,” even though a couple of paragraphs down he cited a report in the New York Times wherein Obama’s classmates said that drugs played only a “bit part” in Obama’s youth. So it obviously wasn’t “by all accounts.” Then Shapiro went on to scattershoot tired and false allegations that Obama was a black nationalist and a communist.

When a phony journalist like Shapiro can write an article about the absurdity of dredging up a decades old story, and then himself dredges up a decades old story – the same day – there has been a serious cognitive disconnect. It is a sign that these people are either severely disturbed or deliberately deceitful. Either way it is additional evidence that they simply cannot be taken seriously and that they may require acute care at an in-patient facility.

[Update] Romney has responded to the WaPo story by saying that…

“I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago”

Romney also said that the didn’t recall having held down a classmate and cutting off his hair. Yeah right. His five school chums all remember, but the guy with the scissors has forgotten. He further said that it had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the victim. But how could he know that if he doesn’t recall the incident? That’s like saying “No, I didn’t kill my wife. And besides, she deserved it.”