Media personalities rushed to scandalize President Obama for saluting Marines while simultaneously holding a coffee cup, criticizing the move as disrespectful — forgetting former President George W. Bush’s habit of saluting service members while holding his dog.
President Obama Salutes Marines While Holding A Cup
Wash. Post: “Obama Salutes A Marine While Holding A Cup.”The Washington Post reported that President Obama saluted Marines flanking him as he exited Marine One in New York on Tuesday, with a cup in hand:
[Washington Post, 9/23/14]
Media Invent A Salute Scandal To Attack Obama
Fox Nation Suggests Obama’s Salute Was Disrespectful. FoxNews.com’s September 23 “Pic of the Day” featured President Obama’s salute and a caption that asked “Was Obama’s Salute Disrespectful?” [FoxNews.com, 9/23/14]
ABCNews: Obama’s “Unusual Gesture” Dubbed The “Latte Salute.” ABC News’ The Note blog reported on President Obama’s salute, calling it an “unusual gesture,” and nicknaming it the “latte salute.” [ABC News, 9/23/14]
Breitbart: “Obama’s Disrespectful ‘Latte Salute’ Shocks And Offends.” Breitbart criticized the president’s “sloppy salute,” claiming the gesture shocked and offended people. [Breitbart, 9/23/14]
Fox Contributor Allen West: "Latte Salute" Proves Obama’s Low Regard For Military. Fox contributor Allen West tweeted that President Obama’s salute “seals the deal,” as proof of the low regard Obama has for the American military:
Conservative Pundit Jim Hoft: “Most Degrading Salute Ever.” Conservative pundit Jim Hoft tweeted that President Obama reached “a new low,” calling his salute the “most degrading salute ever”:
Fox Radio Host Todd Starnes Calls The Salute “Disrespect.” Fox radio host Todd Starnes tweeted that the president’s salute meant “disrespect”:
President Bush RoutinelySaluted Service Members While Holding His Dog
President George W. Bush Saluted While Holding His Dog. During his tenure as president, George W. Bush was photographed saluting while holding his Scottish Terrier, Barney:
LA Times: President Bush Saluted While Holding Barney. On another occasion, the LA Times reported that President Bush saluted service-members holding his dog, Barney, while departing Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base:
On CNN Thursday, Don Lemon confirmed through a source that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson did not sustain a broken bone in his face prior to shooting unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown six times. Recently, right-wing media sources have been running with the news that sources close to the situation revealed that Wilson was treated at a hospital for an orbital fracture and that his face was severely swollen. After rumors had been swirling in the conservative blogosphere about the fracture, Hollie McKay at Fox News reported on Wednesday that Wilson was badly beaten nearly to the point of unconsciousness.
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.
“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
With a major news network giving credibility to the story, The Blaze, and other conservative websites and newspapers, ran with it. Ann Coulter, who never, ever makes unfounded and wholly inaccurate statements, wrote a piece for NewsBusters claiming that there was already an X-ray of Wilson’s busted eye publicly released. Of course, no such image exists. My guess is that Coulter got her bit of info from stock images that wingnuts were passing around via blogs showing what an orbital fracture looks like. Allen West used the image in a blogpost of his Tuesday claiming Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture.”
It didn’t seem to matter that videos taken from the scene of Brown’s shooting show Wilson walking around seemingly injury-free and not tending to his face. Nope. When a good rumor comes along that fits nicely within the narrative you’ve set, you need to push it, and push it hard. Well, right-wingers intent on assassinating Brown’s character and placing Wilson on a pedestal took a big hit Thursday when Lemon revealed Brown did not break Wilson’s eye socket.
Below is video of the report, courtesy of CNN:
So, how will Fox News and the conservative media entertainment complex spin this over the coming days? What gets me is that inevitably, the truth was going to come out about this anyway. Somewhere down the line, we would all see that Wilson didn’t have his face smashed in and his eye bone broken. While saying these things might make those who support Wilson feel good about themselves for a bit, the truth still catches up eventually.
Conservative media are pushing the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration deliberately created the humanitarian immigration crisis on the Southern border for political reasons. The rhetoric echoes claims from Republican politicians, most notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said he didn’t want “to be conspiratorial,” but the administration may be “in on this somehow.”
Child migrants have surged across the border in recent months to flee violence in Central America. President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to respond to the crisis, as the mass migration has overwhelmed existing detention facilities and border resources.
The president has publicly discouraged the migration, stating in an ABC News interview on June 27: “That is our direct message to the families in Central America: Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.” PolitiFact called the claim that Obama planned the border crisis “pants on fire” false, writing: “Many of the factors behind the surge of children lie outside the control of the administration. No expert we reached gave any credence to the idea that the administration planned this crisis on the border.”
Gov. Perry has responded to the humanitarian crisis by suggesting the Obama administration is secretly coordinating the effort. In a June 17 Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Perry said: “We’re doing our part to make sure we can keep our citizens as safe as we can. But the federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration or they’re in on this somehow or another. I hate to be conspiratorial, but how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?”
The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate subsequently appeared on ABC on July 6 and said Obama may have an “ulterior motive” on the crisis.
Other Republican politicians have also suggested President Obama is deliberately creating the border crisis. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told conspiracy website WND, “If you don’t see them bring reinforcements down there to seal the border, that means that, yes, it’s a Cloward-Piven maneuver to flood the country until we get to the point where we are an open-borders country that welcomes everybody, legal and illegal” (“Cloward-Piven” is a reference to a right-wing conspiracy theory that believes progressives are attempting to overwhelm capitalism, leading to its collapse). Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) similarly claimed it’s “an open secret Obama is trying to flood Texas with illegals to make it into a blue state.” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs on June 10 (via Nexis), “Everything that Barack Obama’s doing is intentional, deliberate … This is deliberate, Lou, and all Barack Obama’s asking for is more money to do more of the same.”
Despite evidence to the contrary, many members of the right-wing media have followed their Republican partners in accusing Obama of having “planned” and “orchestrated” the crisis for political gain. Here are ten examples:
Rush Limbaugh Speculates “This Whole Thing Was Planned In Advance By Somebody.” Speaking on the June 24 edition of his radio program, Limbaugh said: “Somebody needs to go to the Oval Office. I don’t know who. I wouldn’t want to be the guy, but somebody better make tracks to the Oval Office right now and tell Obama that this whole thing was planned in advance by somebody. Don’t wait for the newspapers on this — and they’re not gonna trust me when they hear about it.” Limbaugh’s website headlined his remarks, “Obama Regime Planned the Influx of Illegal Alien Children at the Border.”
Newt Gingrich: There’s A “Deliberate Policy Of Maximizing The Number Of Illegal Immigrants.” The CNN host wrote on his website on June 27 that the crisis “is a direct result of deliberate Obama administration policy that encourages illegal immigration” and “appears to be a deliberate policy of maximizing the number of illegal immigrants allowed to stay in the United States.” Gingrich added: “If you have any doubt consider that the Obama administration is deliberately encouraging this surge in illegal immigration, consider that instead of focusing on controlling the border and stopping people from entering illegally, we now have our government using our tax money to hire ‘escort services for unaccompanied alien children.’”
Sarah Palin: “Opening Our Borders To A Flood Of Illegal Immigrants Is Deliberate.” The Fox News contributor called for Obama’s impeachment in a July 8 Breitbart.com post, citing Obama’s allegedly “purposeful” actions with regard to the immigration influx:
Without borders, there is no nation. Obama knows this. Opening our borders to a flood of illegal immigrants is deliberate. This is his fundamental transformation of America. It’s the only promise he has kept. Discrediting the price paid for America’s exceptionalism over our history, he’s given false hope and taxpayer’s change to millions of foreign nationals who want to sneak into our country illegally. Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services. There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do. Securing our borders is obviously fundamental here; it goes without saying that it is his job.
Lou Dobbs: “All Of This Is Orchestrated By This Administration.” Dobbs stated on the June 26 edition of Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight: “All of this is orchestrated by this administration. Anybody who doesn’t understand that hasn’t got the common sense that, you know, God gave a goat … The fact is that this administration is working in concert with the Central American governments.”
Monica Crowley: "He Created This Crisis, He Orchestrated It, And He’s Perpetuating It." The Fox News contributor added on the July 10 edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co. that Obama “wanted the chaos” to pressure Republicans on immigration reform and to turn red states blue.
Jeanine Pirro: “One Conclusion: Barack Obama Is Intentionally Using The Immigration Crisis As An Excuse To Change The Demographics And Ultimately The Electorate.” Pirro added on the July 12 edition of her Fox News program Justice with Judge Jeanine that Obama is using a “Trojan horse” of children to advance his political party, his agenda and his legacy.”
Peggy Noonan Suggests Obama “Let The Crisis On The Border Build To Put Heat On Republicans.”Noonan accused the president of trickery for political gain in her July 11 Wall Street Journal column.
Allen West: “A Planned Event By The Obama Administration.” The Fox News contributor and former Florida congressman wrote on his website on July 3, “it seem [sic] harder to believe it was not a planned event by the Obama administration. That’s not that conspiracy theory - it’s trend analysis.” West wrote on July 14: “I believe the whole immigrant surge is purposeful” and asked if it’s to turn red states blue.
Dinesh D’Souza: Obama Wanted Border Chaos To Put “Republicans On The Defensive.” The conservative filmmaker and campaign finance felon claimed on Fox News on July 15 that Obama wants the crisis to “put the Republicans on the defensive and say, listen, either you give me amnesty or I’m just going to let these people start coming across the border and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Bryan Fischer: “This Is All Deliberate On The Part Of President Obama.” American Family Association’s Fischer added on the July 14 edition of his program that it was part of his “anti-American agenda” to transform the country.
If you’re a conservative who wants to impeach President Obama, time is running out. You need to give Allen West money, and quickly. It’s an “emergency.”
In a series of emails sent to subscribers in recent weeks, Fox News contributor and former Republican congressman Allen West has implored people to donate to his PAC, the Allen West Guardian Fund, in order to hasten Obama’s impeachment. And West isn’t alone — numerous conservative media figures and political groups are looking to cash in on Obama’s supposedly impending impeachment through donations, books, and various impeachment merchandise.
Right-wing media have been pushing for Obama’s impeachment for more than five years over a wide range of issues, but impeachment chatter got a boost earlier this July when Sarah Palin penned an opinion piece for Breitbart.com. She called for Obama’s removal from office, arguing that the president’s “unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’” She reiterated her call on Fox’s Hannity, telling viewers it was time to “get going” on impeachment.
While numerous members of the conservative noise machine are agitating for impeachment, not everyone is on board. Fox News contributor Erick Erickson, for one, thinks ”impeachment would be crazy” at the moment.
But regardless of whether impeachment is good politics for conservatives, it’s starting to look like good business.
In a July 10 email to subscribers, West pointed to Palin’s comments as evidence the “growing” impeachment movement is “gaining speed!” Asserting that the president is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors,” West touted a survey hosted on his PAC’s website asking whether the House of Representatives should draft articles of impeachment over the unrelated release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. He also asked for an “an emergency contribution of $5 or more right away, so we can get this survey into the hands of as many conservatives as possible.”
West, who has been calling for Obama’s impeachment since early June, has previously asked subscribers for money to (somehow) help boost his impeachment survey. A June 19 email pointed to comments from GOP congressman Lou Barletta raising impeachment to proclaim, “Now - more than ever - we need to get the Guardian Fund’s impeachment survey into the hands of every conservative in America. Can you help me?” West once again asked for an “emergency” donation. On June 28, West asked for “an emergency donation of $5 or more right away,” again to help promote his impeachment survey.
West isn’t the only one emailing fundraising appeals about impeachment. On June 20, Takeover Super PAC — the nascent political group backed by WND founder Joseph Farah, leading birther and WND reporter Jerome Corsi, and notorious smear merchant Floyd Brown — rented WND’s email list to send out a message with the subject line, “Impeach Him!” Pointing to the group’s campaign activities in various states, Takeover Executive Director Tom Freiling argues, “When we gain an absolute majority in the House and Senate, we conservatives can finally expose Obama law-breaker [sic].” Arguing that it was “urgent,” Freiling asked for donations of “$25, $50, $100, or more.”
If you were worried your money might not be spent well, fear not. Freiling explains in the email, “You can trust us.”
Farah also sent a fundraising appeal to WND subscribers on July 2 touting Takeover Super PAC as “the first Federal PAC to pursue the impeachment of President Obama.” They will, he believes, “launch the next, and LAST, American revolution.”
In addition to promoting Takeover, WND also has an entire “Impeachment Store” on its website, featuring items like magnetic “Honk for Impeachment” bumper stickers, a $9.95 “Special Report" on "Why Barack Hussein Obama Should Be Impeached To Save America," and a card game called “Scandal,” which is “a contest between players to create the best cases for impeachment by collecting and displaying valuable evidence (Case) cards… This game is fun to play and historically accurate.”
The WND “Impeachment Store” also features Impeachable Offenses: The Case For Removing Barack Obama From Office, a 2013 book co-written by WND reporter Aaron Klein and published by WND. (Last month, National Review writer Andrew McCarthy also released a book flogging impeachment.)
While Erick Erickson may find impeachment “crazy,” that hasn’t stopped RedState — the site where he serves as editor in chief — from renting out its email list to pro-impeachment groups. On July 10, conservative non-profit Secure America Now rented the RedState list to urge readers to sign an impeachment petition, which would “help mobilize our massive grassroots army, and strengthen our demand that Congress file articles of impeachment against the President.”
In addition to renting out the RedState list, Secure America Now has also sent out fundraising appeals to its own email list, asking subscribers to “help us impeach Obama by donating right now.” According to Allen Roth, the Secure America Now president, “every $10 allows us to reach 300 people. That means $20 translates to 600 people, $50 to 1,500 people, and $100 allows us to educate 3,000 people!”
Conservative activist Alan Keyes has repeatedly used his WND column to encourage readers to visit “Pledgetoimpeach.com,” a website featuring a petition calling for the president’s removal from office. Alongside the petition is, of course, a request for money: ”Even if you can only afford $5 or $10 to assist our push for impeachment, that will help a lot.”
Other conservative groups asking for money to help impeach Obama include TheTeaParty.net, which runs the “Tea Party News Network.” An April 16 fundraising appeal announced that if Obama is not removed from office, “The great experiment of America will be over.” It continued by asking people to donate even as they are having trouble making ends meet (emphasis added):
We will not give up the fight, though it will be costly to keep the voice of freedom out there as we keep up the call for the impeachment and removal from office of President Obama. I know that times are tough. Many are feeling the effects of Obama’s destruction on a daily basis with not being able to make ends meet. But, we need you to help us win. Our republic is counting on us. So, whatever you can afford, whether it is $5, 25, $50, or more will help us as we push for the impeachment and removal from office of President Barack Obama. Can we count on you?
h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
Monica Crowley of Fox News served as the emcee for a “legislative luncheon” that kicked off the “Road to Majority” conference sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The speakers’ lineup – Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Allen West, and John Bolton – promised a butcher shop’s worth of red meat for right-wing activists, and Crowley must have decided she didn’t want to be overshadowed.
She complained that she has both a Marxist president and mayor (New York’s Bill de Blasio) and asserted that “we are in a war…the left is waging a 24/7 war against this country.” She said the fight is not only against leftism and statism, but against “the ideology of control.” Health care reform was not about health care, but about government power and control. “Every day of this presidency has been an impeachable offense – every day.”
Crowley could be unintentionally funny, as when she railed, without any apparent sense of irony, that the left relies on divisiveness and “manufactured” crises, then a few moments later ticked off a set of the right wing’s favorite manufactured crises. Or when she complained that the mainstream media is too partisan, saying that the Obama administration has gotten away with ravaging the Constitution because of “the protection racket of a corrupt and supine press.” Or when she called people like Ralph Reed and Ted Cruz “truth tellers.”
She managed to hit on just about every current right-wing meme, from Benghazi to the IRS, from illegal immigration to “the removal of God from public life.” The Obama administration, she says, is engaged in “the deliberate takedown of America.”
In introducing the “brilliant” and “beautiful” Crowley, Ralph Reed noted that she has recently been named online opinion editor for the Washington Times, a major sponsor of the anti-marriage-equality rally that the National Organization for Marriage was holding at that very moment in front of the US Capitol.
The Benghazi Accountability Coalition is nothing more than repackaged far-right mental cases who hate anyone and everyone who doesn’t think like them. But instead of plotting their 30-front war in email and relying on ‘messaging’, they’re going all out to ramp up the hate and fear, led by Frank Gaffney and his sidekick Brigitte Gabriel.
Yes, the Heritage Benghazi Coalition encounter was just as bad as Dana Milbank said it was. All of the apologists out trying to rehabilitate this hateful event while the Erick Ericksons of the world do a dance around whether they were actually affiliated or just provided space are ridiculous. Of course it was hateful, and of course Heritage Foundation was far more than simply a “host.”
So who is this Benghazi Accountability Coalition, anyway?
The Benghazi Accountability Coalition is a recycled version of the Groundswell “messagers,” except this time it appears they have some funding or other support lacking the first time around.
On their website, they list the following people as “leaders.” Those in bold were among those who were plotting a year ago to make Benghazi an impeachable event.
Allen West Claims Obama Is Creating A Saudi-Iranian Islamic Caliphate, Blames His 'Eastern Orientation'
Trunews host Rick Wiles’ interview with former congressman Allen West yesterday was about as crazy as you would expect, riddled with conspiracy theories about how President Obama is a secret Muslim who is supporting an Islamic caliphate.
“Do you think Barack Obama is secretly aiding the rise of an Islamic caliphate?” Wiles asked West.
“I don’t think it is secretly happening, I think that you can look at his actions and he is enabling Islamist forces to be successful in the Middle East,” West replied. “He is aiding the rise of radical Islamism, not just in the Middle East but really across the world.”
West wasn’t done there: “We don’t really know who this President Obama is and I’m not talking about his birth certificate. We don’t know who he is, we don’t know about his college transcripts, we don’t know what he was doing in Pakistan when he was back in college and who funded him to go over to Pakistan.”
When Wiles asked if “Barack Obama is the ultimate jihadist” and “waging jihad against the United States of America,” West argued that the president “has without a doubt sided with Islamists.”
“I believe Barack Obama has an eastern orientation, not a western civilization orientation,” West said.
West tried to explain how Obama is both a supporter of Sunni Muslim terrorists and the Shiite-dominated Iran.
Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional rivals and practice different forms of Islam, West predicted that the two countries — along with Turkey — will “come together” as part of a new “radical Islamist empire.”
The former congressman also agreed with Wiles’ assertion that Obama “orchestrated an invasion of the United States of America” through immigration and is now “trying to break the Republic,” arguing that Obama is “trying to fundamentally destroy, transform, subvert, America as a constitutional republic.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
As if we already didn’t know that Bryan Fischer is a kook, yesterday he officially joined the “Obama’s a Mooslim” crowd—a camp that a good number of his listeners on American Family Radio have been part of for a long time. So what was his tipping point? The release of Bowe Bergdahl. Fischer claimed that the exchange of Bergdahl for five Gitmo detainees was part of Obama’s continuing efforts to advance radical Islam around the world. I’m trying to search AFRTalk’s YouTube channel for the full clip, but People for the American Way .
Fischer also joined the chorus of wingers smearing Bergdahl’s dad, Robert. According to Fischer, when Robert Bergdahl briefly spoke Arabic in the Rose Garden, Obama’s face “lit up like a Christmas tree.” Echoing Allen West, Fischer claimed this was more evidence Obama is a radical Muslim.
So let’s see if we’ve got this right. When Obama does his job as commander-in-chief and ensures that we don’t leave any of our men behind, it’s evidence that he’s a radical Kenyan Mooslim. The mind reels.
h/t: Christian Dem in NC
Both Allen West and Tammy Duckworth served in the military; however, West disgraced our nation’s military by behaving in a dishonest manner as he almost got court martialed.
Duckworth, OTOH, is a REAL hero who served to protect our freedoms.
This is eerily reminiscent of how soon-to-be retiring Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss degradingly smeared the then incumbent Max Cleland in an ad back in the 2002 elections.
Fox News contributor Allen West questioned the “loyalties” of decorated veteran and Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth for serving with her fellow Democrats on the Benghazi select committee.
West attacked the recently announced Democratic members of the recently formed committee for dismissing the importance of Benghazi during an appearance on the May 21 broadcast of The Janet Mefferd Show.
West remarked of Duckworth: “I just don’t know where her loyalties lie. You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party.”
As her congressional biography notes, Duckworth “was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12, 2004. Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.” She became a well-known advocate for veterans, and served as the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and then Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the federal level. She is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.
West is also a decorated veteran of the war in Iraq, albeit one whose service ended in controversy. He subsequently served one term in Congress, becoming a Fox News contributor after Florida voters declined to reelect him. During the interview, he also attacked Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, Adam Smith, and Linda Sánchez, the other Democratic appointees to the Benghazi select committee. West claimed that Smith is “one of those geeky little debaters that is going to try to micromanage every single detail,” while Sanchez has a “very whiny way.”
West has said Congress should consider impeaching President Obama over Benghazi. In a fundraising email for his political action committee, he accused the Obama administration of lying to the public and participating in “an ongoing cover-up to hide the truth.” He’s also claimed the administration has been disingenuously caring about the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls to distract the public from Benghazi.
From the May 21 edition of Salem Radio Network’s The Janet Mefferd Show:
WEST: Adam Smith — I can tell you he was the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee when I was there — is just one of those geeky little debaters that is going to try to micromanage every single detail and just like you say, just tie everything up in knots. Ms. [Linda] Sánchez, the exact same thing. She’s another one of those individuals that will, with the very whiny way that she has, to try to not get to the bottom of this but tie it, tie it up.
And the last person, Tammy Duckworth, you know, I just don’t know where her loyalties lie. You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party.
The former one-term Congressman Allen West disgraces Americans yet again by disparaging military veteran and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for her being one of the 5 Democrats (along with Adam Smith, Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, and Linda Sánchez) placed on the House Select Committee On Benghazi.
Remember that another certain former one-term GOP Congressman made baseless attacks against Duckworth two years ago, and his name was Joe Walsh.
Are we witnessing an Obama ‘Wag the Dog’ moment with Boko Haram in Nigeria? I say yes. Consider all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee.
The right-wing media’s smear campaign against the Obama administration over the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, appears to be paying dividends in the form of donations.
A Media Matters review of fundraising emails and websites found that conservatives have routinely invoked Benghazi to ask followers for money. The fundraising solicitations accuse the Obama administration of “lies,” “cover-ups,” a “dereliction of duty,” and crimes worse than Watergate.
The fundraising is only likely to intensify with the recent creation of a House select committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), to investigate the attacks. The Republican leadership convened the committee despite numerous previous inquiries into Benghazi. The Department of Defense wrote in March that it had already participated in “approximately 50 congressional hearings, briefings, and interviews” about the 2012 attacks.
Gowdy said on MSNBC today that fellow Republicans should not fundraise off of the Benghazi attacks, stating: “Yes, and I will cite myself as an example. I have never sought to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered Americans.”
Like their counterparts in the media, the main Republican Party campaign apparatuses are actively fundraising off of Benghazi. The Republican National Committee has a donation page asking Republicans to demand “the truth about Benghazi” by contributing money. The National Republican Senatorial Committee asks Republicans to “donate today” because of Benghazi. And the National Republican Congressional Committee has a fundraising page stating: “You’re now a Benghazi Watchdog. Let’s go after Obama & Hillary Clinton. Help us fight them now.” The page features an image of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the text, “Benghazi Was A Coverup. Demand Answers.”
Here are five recent examples of conservative pundits raising money off their Benghazi witch hunt.
Fox News Host Mike Huckabee
Huckabee sent a May 6 email to his Fox News-promoted MikeHuckabee.com list titled, “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.” Huckabee claimed that Clinton “has some explaining to do” and the Obama administration was responsible for “subsequent lies and cover-ups.”
He later suggested that Benghazi is worse than Watergate, writing: “We once had real newspapers and broadcast news outlets that cared about a government lying to the people. Now, they dismiss Benghazi as ‘no Watergate.’ And they’re right: in Watergate, the press didn’t look the other way and neither did Congress. And in Watergate, no one died.” At the conclusion of his email, Huckabee wrote: “Help support conservative candidates through Huck PAC. Chip in $5 or more to Huck PAC!”
Fox News Contributor John Bolton
Bolton sent an April 16 fundraising email for his John Bolton PAC with the title, “Benghazi is a disgrace.” Bolton wrote that “Obama, Hillary, [Leon] Panetta - not one of them will take the fall because they know their actions, leaving Americans to die at the hands of terrorists, were a gross dereliction of duty … Our enemies know that under Obama, you can kill his personal representative and get away it scot-free.” Bolton later wrote: “I encourage you to make a generous donation to support John Bolton PAC’s efforts.”
Bolton also sent an April 30 fundraising email in which he wrote that Obama “did absolutely nothing to avenge the murder of our Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, at the hands of Al-Qaeda terrorists.”
Fox News Contributor Allen West
West sent a January 21 email for his Allen West Guardian Fund PAC claiming there “is an ongoing cover-up to hide the truth” about Benghazi. West offered a solution by writing “we need to clean up Washington.” He explained readers could help do so by making “an immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more right now to the Allen West Guardian Fund.”
West sent a March 14 email claiming “Obama and his party are defeatists. When Obama retreated from his warnings to Syria regarding their chemical weapons program and told lies to avoid taking military action for the terrorist attack in Benghazi, he sent a clear message to the world: ‘America is weak. We’ll just talk tough and back down. Do as you wish.’” West then asked for donations to his political action committee.
Accuracy In Media
A May 2 email from AIM chairman Don Irvine claimed, “After a year and a half of Benghazi damage control enforced by the administration and their lapdogs in the press, the genie is suddenly out of the bottle.” It concluded: “To move ahead with this vital work to shine the light of truth on Benghazi, Accuracy in Media needs your support. We urge you to express your confidence in our efforts by sending a generous donation today.”
AIM also convened a “Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi” which included members such as Fox News contributors Allen West, and Thomas McInerney. A donation plea on the website states: “Accuracy in Media and the CCB are taking the lead in reporting the truth about Benghazi that even Republicans on the Hill won’t touch. We are doing the real work of interviewing witnesses, collecting documents, and finding out the facts—why it happened, how it happened and why it was covered up. In order to proceed with our investigation, we must have your help. Please donate to Accuracy in Media today to shine the light of truth on this issue and end the Benghazi cover-up.”
American Center For Law And Justice / Jay Sekulow
The ACLJ, a conservative group headed by radio host and regular Fox News guest Jay Sekulow, asks for donations to “Demand Answers on Benghazi.” The group states: “The Obama Administration has not given the American people the truth about Benghazi. Congress is forming a select committee to get to the bottom of this foreign policy disaster and get answers. We’re working with Members of Congress to get the truth. Stand with us with your tax-deductible donation today.”
Fox News contributor Ben Carson is slated to be the keynote speaker at the first Gala dinner of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), becoming the latest Fox figure to appear before an extreme anti-gay group.
In a May 6 email to supporters, NOM President Brian Brown wrote that “it’s 1972 for marriage,” referring to the year before the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion and the growing expectation that the Court will take up marriage equality once again by 2015. To protest the frightening possibility that same-sex couples nationwide will soon enjoy civil equality, NOM will hold its second annual March for Marriage in Washington on June 19. Brown’s email touted Carson’s appearance - previously flagged by GLAAD’s Jeremy Hooper - at NOM’s gala that same evening (emphasis original):
It was a crisp winter day in 1973 when the United States Supreme Court issued their horrific decision in Roe v Wade. How much would you sacrifice to go back in time to a few months before that fateful decision, to the Fall of 1972, and mobilize the American people BEFORE the Supreme Court issued that infamous decree?
Just about anything, right? Well, when it comes to marriage, we have that chance!
You see, it’s 1972 for marriage. Within the next 12 months, it is very likely that the United States Supreme Court will take up the marriage issue again. Many people have bought in to the lie that the courts redefining marriage is somehow “inevitable.” Well, I refuse to believe that, because it’s simply not true!
That’s why the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is organizing its second annual March for Marriage this summer on June 19th in Washington, DC — bringing together thousands of marriage activists from all across the country to make sure the elites in our nation’s capital hear loud and clear: Marriage matters because every kid deserves a mom and a dad!
One incredibly courageous leader who is standing up for marriage is Doctor Ben Carson, who will be the keynote speaker at NOM’s first ever Gala dinner on the evening of the March for Marriage. He said in a speech earlier this year that the “P.C. police” have “tried to shut him up” because he’s willing to state his belief publicly that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Although Brown and NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher have billed NOM as an organization focused exclusively on the marriage debate, the group’s anti-gay animus runs deep. Brown calls homosexuality a “sin” that is “deceitful, harmful and degrading to the human soul.” Last year, he traveled twice to Russia to meet with leaders of that country’s draconian anti-gay crackdown and assist with the planning of the 2014 World Congress of Families, which will be held in Moscow in September.
Carson himself has lauded Vladimir Putin’s Russia, writing in February that thanks to the religious conservatism adopted by the current regime, the country was “gaining prestige and influence throughout the world” while the U.S. was at risk of “becoming godless and moving away from Christian values.” His affinity for the vehemently anti-gay Kremlin leader isn’t surprising, given that Carson has compared homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality and called marriage equality “a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.”
Prior to his employment with Fox, Carson spoke before the Illinois Family Institute, a notorious anti-gay hate group once headed by fringe anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera.
NOM is hardly the first anti-gay group to score an appearance from a Fox employee.
Contributor Erick Erickson was the keynote speaker at a recent event for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a group working internationally to criminalize homosexuality. Erickson had previously urged readers of his RedState blog to donate money to the group, noting that he had done so himself.
Meanwhile, Carson joined fellow Fox employees Mike Huckabee, Cal Thomas, Todd Starnes, Allen West, and Sandy Rios in speaking at the most recent Values Voters Summit, an annual social conservative event sponsored by right-wing organizations like the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group.
Last fall, Huckabee delivered the keynote address at the inaugural convention of Trail Life USA, an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) started by a rabid anti-gay activist in protest of the BSA’s decision to allow openly gay scouts.
With so many Fox employees maintaining warm ties with even the most stridently homophobic social conservative groups, it’s no surprise that American Family Association (AFA) spokesman Bryan Fischer - a man who asserts that gay men were “responsible for the Holocaust" - has lavished praise on Fox for its "very friendly" treatment of hate groups like his own.
Groups like NOM, ADF, the FRC, and the AFA aren’t merely seeking to restrict marriage to straight couples only. They specialize in promoting malicious and damaging smears against LGBT people, who might increasingly have public opinion on their side but are far from achieving full civil equality and continue to be disproportionately targeted by hate crimes. Fox, however, has no qualms about cozying up the most egregious peddlers of anti-LGBT bigotry.
h/t: Luke Brinker at MMFA
Citizens Committee On Benghazi Releases Findings From Benghazi Review. On April 22, the Daily Mailreported on findings from the Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi, a self-selected group created by Accuracy in Media, that pushed a number of conspiracy theories regarding the attack in Benghazi, Libya. According to theDaily Mail, the report claims that the attack was a “failed kidnapping plot” of Ambassador Chris Stevens, that the U.S. had “switched sides in the war on terror,” and that President Obama had coordinate with the Muslim Brotherhood to blame the attacks on a YouTube video. [Daily Mail, 4/22/14]
Fox News Hypes Citizen’s Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report”
Fox News Hypes Committee Findings As “Blistering New Report.” On the April 23 edition of Fox News’Fox & Friends First, co-host Ainsley Earhardt hyped the committee’s “blistering new report” and repeated the claims that the attacks “could have been prevented,” and that “Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik”:
EARHARDT: A blistering new report reveals the Benghazi terror attacks could have been prevented. The Citizen’s Committee on Benghazi claims the U.S. allowed $500 million in weapons to flow to Al Qaeda terrorists who opposed the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, and their rise to power lead to the embassy attack two years ago that left four Americans dead. The commission concluding the attack was actually a failed kidnapping plot. The report says that Ambassador Chris Stevens was supposed to be captured and traded for the Blind Sheik, the mastermind of the 1993 world trade center bombing. [Fox News, Fox & Friends,4/23/14]
Meet The Citizen’s Committee Panelists: Birthers, Conspiracy Theorists, And Anti-Muslim Advocates
Capt. Larry Bailey, USN (Ret.): Obama’s Birth Certificate Is A Forgery, Real Father Is Frank Marshall Davis. Retired Capt. Larry Bailey is the founder of Special Operations Speaks, an anti-Obama group of Special Operations veterans. Bailey has admitted on numerous occasions that he is a birther, telling Foreign Policymagazine in 2012 “”I have to admit that I’m a Birther” … “If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is.” Bailey has also touted the conspiracy theory that President Obama’s real father was actually the late community writer Frank Marshall Davis. [Foreign Policy, 8/17/12,Media Matters, 8/8/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Gen. Paul Vallely (Ret.): FBI Is Covering Up Truth About Birth Certificate Out Of Fear Of A “Black Backlash.” Retired General Paul Vallely, who was a Fox News contributor from 2001-2007, has claimed that Obama’s real birth certificate “has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there,” and that it was a “forged document.” Vallely told fringe right-wing website WND that both versions of Obama’s birth certificate were forgeries and alleged that the FBI and Congress were covering up the truth about Obama’s place of birth out because they are “afraid of a black backlash from some of the urban areas.” [WND, 6/15/11; Media Matters, 7/27/12; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) Claimed Obama Was Not A Natural Born Citizen. On September 1, 2010 Talking Points Memo reported that Thomas McInerney had “officially joined the legions of birthers,” citing McInerney’s support for an Army Lieutenant who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was born in the United States. McInerney’s affidavit claims:
According to our Constitution, the Commander in Chief must now, in the face of serious— and widely held— concerns that he is ineligible, either voluntarily establish his eligibility by authorizing release of his birth records or this court must authorize their discovery.
McInerney has also worked as a military analyst for Fox News, where he pushed other conspiracy theories including the theory that WMDs were never discovered in Iraq because Saddam Hussein hid them other countries. [Talking Points Memo, 11/1/10; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14; Media Matters, 11/1/10,3/22/13]
Col. Allen West: Islam Is Not A Religion, It’s “A Totalitarian Theocratic Political Ideology.” Retired Col. Allen West is a former U.S. Representative and also a Fox News contributor, and has a history of pushing an Islamophobic narrative. After West lost his re-election bid, MSNBC reported on some of West’s most outrageous claims including that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that.” After the attack on a British soldier in 2013, West claimed that the violence was due to “appeasement” of “Islamists.” [MSNBC,11/20/12; Media Matters, 5/17/13, 5/23/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Clare Lopez Is A Senior Fellow At Two Anti-Muslim Organizations. Clare Lopez is a prominent member of two anti-Muslim groups - the Clarion Project and the Center for Security Policy. The Center for Security Policy was funded by one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes, Frank Gaffney, who also sits on the board of the Clarion Project. The Clarion Project is funded by three of the seven top anti-Islam and anti-Muslim think tanks in the United States. Lopez has authored several articles for both organizations, and has made claims that Obama’s administration has been infiltrated by Islamist-supporters to institute Sharia law. In a 2011 interview, Lopez claimed “the bottom line really is that, unless ethnic Europeans begin to have an awful lot more babies, the forces of shariah Islam will inherit Eurabia by sheer dint of their numbers.” [Media Matters 2/20/14; Center for Security Policy, accessed 4/23/14; Clare Lopez, 12/2/09 via YouTube; Examiner.com, 3/11/11; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Benghazi Conspiracy Theorists
Adm. James Lyons (Ret.) Claimed Benghazi Was A Cover-Up. Adm. James Lyons who regularly writes for the conservative outlet, The Washington Times, is known to push old Benghazi conspiracies and debunked assertions; Lyons has claimed that he has never seen “a cover-up as intense as the Benghazi cover-up” and compared the State Department’s Accountability Review Board that investigated the attack to “having the mafia investigate a crime scene.” Lyons has also made an unfounded claim that Libyan militia guards protecting the Benghazi compound “were not allowed to put ammunition into their weapons,” and suggested that David Patreus’ affair was a cover-up for Benghazi. [Media Matters, 7/30/13, Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Wayne Simmons Has Suggested That White House Gave “Stand Down” Order. Former CIA officer Wayne Simmons, who is a frequent guest on Fox News, has pushed the debunked claim that the White House gave a “stand down” order during the Benghazi attack and that the people killed in Benghazi “were sold out.” Simmons has also advocated profiling students from Muslim countries. [Media Matters, 7/30/13, 5/2/13; Accuracy in Media, accessed 4/23/14]
Citizens’ Committee Is Organized By Fringe Conservative Group, AIM
Accuracy in Media (AIM) Has A History Of Promoting Conspiracy Theories. The Citizens’ Committee on Benghazi is organized and supported by Roger Aronoff’s fringe conservative group Accuracy in Media (AIM). AIM is responsible for promoting many conspiracy theories over the years, and is also well-known for extreme anti-gay views and hate speech. [Media Matters, 2/7/12]
Batshit Islamophobe Allen West: ‘Radical’ Muslims waging ‘jihad’ in U.S. — by voting and obeying election laws | The Raw Story
Former Republican Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who is currently employed as a Fox News contributor, on Thursday warned that Muslims were organizing to “destroy” the United States by exercising their legal right to vote. Fox News host Steve Doocy…