FrontPage magazine, the online home of David Horowitz, whose self-described mission is to battle the radical left, labeled Brown “a criminal and a thug” in its summary of his character, which featured the rap lyrics.
"The fact that Brown liked performing thug music obviously doesn’t by itself make him a thug, but it does provide insight into his state of mind," the site said. "The same can be said for the photographs that have surfaced of Brown posing like a tough guy, making gestures with his hands that some say are gang signs."
FrontPage magazine, and others, connected Brown’s rap lyrics with the police report released Friday that said he was the “primary suspect” in a convenience store robbery that occurred minutes before he was shot. That report’s release, which was reportedly opposed by the Justice Department, has been criticized by Brown’s family and public officials as an attempt to paint a negative public image of Brown.
"Well, this kind of destroys the ‘gentle giant’ narrative spun in the media," ClashDaily, the website of Doug Giles, who occasionally writes for the more well-known TownHall.com, said in its summary of Brown’s songs.
The conspiratorial website World Net Daily connected Brown’s professed marijuana smoking in the songs with his alleged robbery of some cigarillos — which are “widely known to be used by marijuana smokers, who roll their own blunts by replacing the cigarillos’ tobacco with pot” — on the day of the shooting.
"I didn’t go through the entire catalogue, but it’s pretty obscene, though standard rap fare these days," conservative blogger SooperMexican said in his own post. “Of course, none of this means he is guilty of what the police claim he did, but it adds another dimension to the character of Mike Brown.”
"Draw your own conclusions."
Unhinged racist right-wingers have been demonizing Michael Brown, much in the same way they demonized Trayvon Martin.
h/t: Dylan Scott at TPM
With the outsized vitriol Barack Obama’s presidency has inspired among conservatives, it’s seemed inevitable that the right would try to find some reason to impeach him. For more than five years, fringe activists, conservative media, and various Republican politicians have invoked the specter of impeachment over any number of manufactured scandals and supposed outrages. In a new book out today, National Review writer and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy tries to kickstart the movement in earnest, laying out the “political case” for impeaching the president.
Writing in the New Republic in 2010, liberal journalist Jonathan Chait predicted that if Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and Obama won a second term, “the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.” He continued, “Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.” Indeed, for much of Obama’s presidency, the prospect of impeachment has been a hammer in search of a nail.
While fringe activists have been agitating for impeachment for years, more mainstream conservatives have been considerably more reluctant.
In Faithless Execution: Building The Political Case For Obama’s Impeachment, McCarthy tries to bridge the gap and build support for impeachment as a serious idea. The crux of McCarthy’s argument is that despite what he sees as the rock-solid legal justification for impeaching Obama, Republicans cannot move forward with the effort without first convincing the public that removing the president from office is the right course of action. To do so without public backing would “look like partisan hackery. It would be worse than futile.”
Slate’s David Weigel explained in a piece last month about Republicans’ recent push to impeach Obama “without looking crazy” that many of the supposed impeachable offenses highlighted in McCarthy’s book have already “faded under the klieg lights of big media.” (Though Weigel points out that McCarthy “puts some of the blame for that on Republicans” and their timidity over the issue of impeachment.)
While he’s ostensibly trying to jumpstart popular support for removing Obama from office, McCarthy’s book seems unlikely to win any new converts — it’s just more preaching to people already in the conservative media bubble (the first reference to frequent right-wing boogeyman Saul Alinsky comes in the third paragraph and the first invocation of “ACORN” follows shortly thereafter).
Half of Faithless Execution is comprised of McCarthy’s draft Articles of Impeachment. The supposed outrages in the book are a mix of ongoing focuses of conservative ire — “The Benghazi Fraud,” and “The Obamacare Fraud,” for example — and long-forgotten Scandals of the Month like the “racially discriminatory” Justice Department’s treatment of the New Black Panther Party. If all of these pseudo-scandals that conservatives flogged relentlessly weren’t enough to keep Obama from winning a second term, it’s hard to envision the public deciding they constitute justification for impeachment thanks to a reinvigorated push from Republicans.
Faithless Execution is already getting a boost from Fox News. This morning, after Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pushed the idea of impeaching Obama over the release of Bowe Bergdhal, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy plugged McCarthy’s book. Napolitano added, “it’s a very, very valid argument that people are going to start talking about.”
Nonetheless, McCarthy concedes in the book, “As things currently stand, the public does not support impeachment — no surprise, given that no substantial argument for impeachment has been attempted.”
Whether or not McCarthy sees any of the other arguments as “substantial,” the prospect of impeaching Obama has been a regular source of discussion for conservatives since shortly after the president took office. McCarthy’s isn’t even the first book to try to lay out the argument in serious fashion — last year WND writer Aaron Klein and co-author Brenda Elliott released Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.
Media Matters looks back at some — but far from all — of conservatives’ incessant calls for impeachment below.
Wasting No Time: Conservatives Were Calling For Impeachment Months Into Obama’s First Term
Less than fifty days after Obama took office, conservative radio host Michael Savage told his audience that the American public was “sitting like a bunch of schmucks, watching a dictatorship emerge in front of their eyes.” According to Savage, Obama was already “out of control” and concluded, “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.” Conservative media figures have continued talking about impeachment for the intervening five years.
In the fall of 2009, conspiracy website WND — which had already begun hawking “IMPEACH OBAMA!” bumper stickers — asked in a headline whether it was “Time To Whisper The Word ‘Impeachment’?” Conservative activist Floyd Brown and his wife Mary Beth posited in the column that impeachment was a “political act,” and should be considered due to the fact that “Barack Hussein Obama [is] a very dangerous man, and a threat to your personal liberty.” According to the Browns, the ramp up in discussion of impeachment was perhaps “best” explained by radio host and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce, who eloquently argued, ”Ultimately, it comes down to … the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence toward this country, which is unabated.”
Concurrent with the column, Floyd Brown — who produced the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988 and takes credit for jumpstarting the Clinton impeachment movement — launched an online petition at “ImpeachObamaCampaign.com.” The site remains active today and is populated with articles bearing headlines like “Obama’s Forged Birth Certificate Brings Call For Revolution.”
The impeachment talk quickly made the jump from fringe activists and websites to mainstream conservative outlets like Fox News and prominent Republican politicians. In 2010, the Obama administration reportedly offered former Democratic Representative Joe Sestak a spot on a presidential panel as incentive to stay out of that year’s U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Though legal experts asserted that no laws had been broken and historians noted that similar offers were commonplace, conservative media figures loudly and repeatedly started banging the impeachment drum.
Leading the charge was then-Fox News contributor Dick Morris, who suggested that the Sestak situation amounted to “grounds for impeachment.” Soon, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh all also pointed to the Sestak offer as a potential impeachable offense.
While Morris built a career out of saying improbable, outrageous and inaccurate things that should be viewed skeptically, his impeachment talk was nonetheless adopted by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who cited Morris’ claims during appearances on Fox News. (Five months later, the Republicans would win the House and Issa would take over as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.)
Though the Sestak non-scandal fizzled, the impeachment talk didn’t go away. In 2011, Fox Business devoted ten minutes of airtime to hashing out former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s (R-CO) twelve reasons to impeach Obama — including immigration reform, the failed Fast and Furious gunrunning operation, and the administration’s support of failed solar company Solyndra, all of which are included in McCarthy’s book.
Obama’s Re-Election Just Means There’s More Time To Impeach Him
After Republican scandal-mongering was unsuccessful in making Obama a one-term president, impeachment talk continued unabated after his re-election. Fox News contributor Todd Starnes wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, telling his Twitter followers the night of the election, “the first order of business should be a full investigation of Benghazi — followed by impeachment proceedings.” He would soon have company.
Roughly a month after Obama’s second term inauguration, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano wascalling for impeachment over the implementation of the sequester spending cuts.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings a few months later, Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner penned a column arguing that Obama was “unwilling” to keep Americans safe by refusing “to acknowledge that we are in a war with radical Islam.” Kuhner added, “It’s time he is held responsible for his gross negligence. It’s time that he be impeached. Justice demands no less.” (Kuhner had previously written columns calling for Obama to be impeached over military invention in Libya and raised the idea of impeachment during the fight over health care reform.)
Kuhner wasn’t the only media figure that used the Boston bombings as a springboard for impeachment talk. Glenn Beck told viewers to “demand impeachment” over his bizarre and offensive conspiracy theory trying to link an innocent Saudi man to the bombings.
WND columnist and right-wing activist Larry Klayman started calling for Obama’s impeachment and conviction well before the 2012 election, but has spent the last year trying to get Obama ousted from office while starting a ”second American Revolution.” Bypassing impeachment, Klayman in October infamously called on the president to “get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”
Fellow WND columnist Alan Keyes, who holds the historical footnote of being the Republican candidate Obama trounced in his 2004 Illinois Senate run, has spent much of 2014 trying to throw fuel on the impeachment fire. Keyes has devoted numerous columns to directing readers to sign a petition at “pledgetoimpeach.com" to "stop Obama’s dictatorship.” The “Pledge to Impeach” site includes its own draft Articles of Impeachment, featuring claims like, “Mr. Obama has attained the office of president in a verifiably fraudulent and criminal manner, and upon a false identity and false pretenses.”
Obama Should Be Impeached, But He’s Black So He’s Unfairly Safe
While several activists are pushing for impeachment, some prominent conservative media figures say that while Obama may deserve to be impeached, he’s protected from being removed from office due to the fact that he’s the first black president.
McCarthy touches on concerns that pro-impeachment conservatives will be labeled racists in Faithless Execution:
Right now, conviction in the Senate is a pipedream, and therefore one cannot reasonably expect the House to file articles of impeachment. The process of impeachment will always be an ordeal, regardless of how necessary it is. Americans may be convincible regarding the need to oust a lawless president, but they will never be happy about it. Nor should they be. Even the president’s most zealous detractors should prefer that he mend his outlaw ways and finish his term than that the country be put through an impeachment process that would be painful in the best of times. And these are not the best of times: today, the pain would be exacerbated by the vulgar propensity of the left and the media to demagogue concern for the nation’s well-being as racism. Consequently, impeachment entails substantial political risk for the protagonists, even if they are clearly right to seek it. [Faithless Execution, pg 46, emphasis added]
During an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show in April of this year, TruthRevolt.org founder and conservative activist David Horowitz said that “because Obama is black and because he’s a leftist he’s completely protected by the press.” He added that the president is “a menace to American security, and the sooner — and of course you can’t impeach him because you can’t impeach the first black president.”
Conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter has also pointed to Obama’s race as protecting him from impeachment. Discussing health care reform during an appearance on Hannity’s Fox News program in February, Coulter remarked, “there is now a caveat to the constitution — you can’t impeach a president if he is our first black president.”
Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly cited Obama’s race as a reason he is safe from impeachment. Speaking on his radio show in May 2013, Limbaugh told listeners, “the people of this country — if it came to this — are simply not going to tolerate the first black president being removed from office.” A week later, Limbaugh returned to the subject, saying the “racial component” would save Obama from impeachment.
Earlier this year, Limbaugh concluded that even if there was a “slam dunk legal case for it, you’re never going to succeed impeaching a president unless there’s the political will for it.” Limbaugh cited the need for Obama’s approval ratings to drop precipitously in order for impeachment to be on the table, adding, “even then I’m not so sure that the people of this country would ever support removing the first black president.”
He concluded, “It’s just — it’s never going to happen.”
h/t: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
For David Horowitz, the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement, the culture war that began when he was young never ended. Only the target has changed.
As one of the founding Marxist intellectuals of the New Left in the 1960s, Horowitz was a self-professed political radical — a pugnacious advocate of civil rights and equality. Now, a half-century later, he has undergone an about-face and set his sights on Muslims.
For Horowitz, Muslim Student Associations “are arms of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of the terrorist jihad against the West.” Hillary Clinton adviser and Muslim Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood operative” who is “worse than Alger Hiss.” And the Palestinians, all of them, are even worse.
“No people have shown themselves as so morally sick as the Palestinians,” Horowitz said. “In the history of all mankind, there was never a people who strapped bombs on their bodies and killed innocent people. No other people has sunk so low as the Palestinians, and everyone is afraid to say it.”
In the last decade, Horowitz has become a respected elder of a growing movement of hawkish neoconservatives, conspiracy theorists and former federal officials united in their twisted fears that Islam is on the march — a movement he describes in Orwellian terms as a “counterjihad.”
Through his David Horowitz Freedom Center, a wealthy nonprofit based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., he has financed leading Islamophobes driving public opinion and attacked universities as leftist “indoctrination” programs. He leads several conservative publications, all dedicated to tenaciously defending Israel and viciously attacking Islam as a religion of “hate, violence and racism.”
A report from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, “Fear, Inc.,” exposed Horowitz as a prominent member of a “small network [that] produces talking points and messages relied upon and repeated by every segment of this interconnected network of money, grassroots leaders, media talking heads, and elected officials.” The report’s author, Wajahat Ali, chastised Horowitz as a self-serving and toxic presence in a field of anti-Muslim pundits.
Virulent Muslim-basher Robert Spencer, director of the website Jihad Watch, is on his nonprofit’s payroll, and Horowitz’s online FrontPage Magazine publishes the work of Daniel Greenfield and Daniel Pipes, both of whom add to right-wing fears that Muslims are infiltrating the West. Horowitz also works closely with Pamela Geller, collecting money for her anti-Muslim hate group, Stop Islamization of America.
What led Horowitz to this moment, such that he seems to have abandoned his former radicalism for civil rights in favor of blind rage against the left-wing of American politics and now Muslims? At 75, is it merely an overcorrection to views he held as a young man? Or, as his parents were communists, is it as the New York Times Magazine described, a “fierce Oedipal struggle entwined with radicalism”?
“He’s a person who is, first and foremost, a self-promoter, who has used his name to champion political causes and used the guise of media and freedom and democracy and free speech to actually inject poison into the pluralist racial and religious dynamic of America,” Ali told the Intelligence Report.
Red Diaper Baby
For a man who was raised in the heart of the Communist Party, who saw his parents targeted by McCarthyism, it seems needless to point out the irony of Horowitz’s worry that radical Islamists have infiltrated the halls of American power with nefarious plans to tear down constitutional freedoms.
David Joel Horowitz was born on Jan. 10, 1939, in Forest Hills, N.Y., a neighborhood in Queens, to parents who were both schoolteachers and members of the Communist Party USA. It was an exciting childhood, filled with intrigue.
“Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. … Even if we never encountered a Soviet agent or engaged in a single illegal act, each of us knew that our commitment to socialism implied the obligation to commit treason, too,” Horowitz recounted in his 1998 memoir, Radical Son.
His family eventually broke from the party after Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev delivered his 1956 speech “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” which outlined violations of human rights under Joseph Stalin. It was also that year that Horowitz graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English and left for London to work at the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, returning home in 1968 to lead Ramparts, the political and literary magazine of the “New Left” — a movement of liberal activists seeking to drastically reform the cultural landscape with a wide range of social reforms.
The magazine was shuttered in 1975, but by that time Horowitz was already in the Bay Area working for the Black Panthers and quickly became a confidant of the group’s co-founder, Huey P. Newton. It wasn’t long before that relationship began to sour, beginning with the murder of Betty Van Patter, a bookkeeper at Ramparts who Horowitz had brought to the Panthers. On Dec. 13, 1974, she disappeared from the Berkeley Square tavern in Berkeley. Her body was found in San Francisco Bay.
As fate would have it, it was then, as the wave of left-wing activism born in the 1960s began to break, that Horowitz felt the first rumblings of doubt regarding his political views.
Horowitz was convinced that Van Patter’s murder led directly to the Panthers, and her death plunged him into a depressive episode revolving around his inability to marry his political convictions with what he feared was a harsher reality — that the very people he thought were the answer to the world’s injustice had carried out her murder. “It was inconceivable to me that the Panthers would kill Betty Van Patter,” he wrote, despite coming to believe exactly that.
The Black Panthers were never officially tied to Van Patter’s death, but the event proved to be decisive in guiding Horowitz’s political future.
Spurred by his doubts and perhaps the prevailing political winds, Horowitz leaned increasingly right on issues such as sexual promiscuity in the gay community and LGBT rights, U.S. foreign policy, the question of racial equality and affirmative action. But it wasn’t until 1985 that Horowitz would make an entrance as a major player on the conservative right.
That year, Horowitz publicly announced that he had voted for Ronald Reagan in the presidential election, an act of political treason to his allies.
In a coming-out essay titled, “Goodbye to All That” and published in The Washington Post, Horowitz and his writing partner Peter Collier chastised the Left and set out to break ranks, once and for all, with all they knew. “Casting our ballots for Ronald Reagan was indeed a way of saying goodbye to all that — to the self-aggrandizing romance with corrupt Third Worldism; to the casual indulgence of Soviet totalitarianism; to the hypocritical mainstream politics,” the pair wrote.
Horowitz had changed.
Fueled by a bitter sense of betrayal, and a hunger to correct the errors of his own personal politics, Horowitz carried the bare-knuckled activism he practiced in the tumultuous 1960s into the heart of the modern conservative movement.
In 1988, he formed the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC) in Los Angeles, hoping, according to the group’s website, to “establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground.” He had minor successes, including getting PBS to broadcast a documentary about the horrors of communist Cuba.
Then Horowitz turned his attention to targeting “tenured radicals” at American universities. He went after them with a fevered intensity, publishing the tabloid “Heterodoxy” to present conservative interests to university students who, he feared, were being indoctrinated by the entrenched Left. He began tracking the activities of liberal professors — an effort designed, more honestly, to target intellectuals with views at odds with his own.
He was prolific. He published wild tracts and pamphlets, including “Hating Whitey,” which argued that modern black leaders had squandered the legacy of the civil rights movement by restructuring “the civil rights agenda as a radical cause.” In a book of that same title, published in 1999, he made white nationalist claims about black-on-white crime, voicing criticisms of affirmative action that would last through the election of President Obama, who he called a communist with a “curious background.” Horowitz went on a crusade against reparations for slavery. He has attacked minority “demands for special treatment” as “only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others,” rejecting the idea that they could be the victims of lingering racism.
“The fact is that it is not tolerable in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in our politically correct culture to hate white people,” he wrote in “Hating Whitey.
“Of course, the leftist academy has a ready answer for every question about black racism: Only whites can be racist.”
But it wasn’t until after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that Horowitz discovered a new enemy in “radical Islam.” In 2006, the CSPC was rebranded as the David Horowitz Freedom Center, focusing its attention on “the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values.” Horowitz began financing Jihad Watch, a quasi-academic blog that spreads misinformation about Islam.
Directed by Robert Spencer, a Catholic, the blog aims to “track the attempts of radical Islam to subvert Western Culture.” It is popular among those who see the mere presence of Muslims outside the Middle East as a threat to freedom. His ideas have appealed to people such as Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who killed 76 people as a political statement against immigration. Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto attacking multiculturalism, and especially Muslims, mentioned Spencer 162 times.
Since 2007, the Freedom Center has held annual Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on multiple college campuses — 119 to date — to “protect students from indoctrination and harassment.” In reality, as with most of Horowitz’s public events, the program is focused on creating controversy, if nothing else.
During one such week in 2010, Horowitz appeared at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Midway through the program, he began to debate a Muslim student wearing a traditional Palestinian keffiyah — what Horowitz called a “terrorist neckerchief.” When the young woman asked Horowitz to clarify the connections he had been drawing between the Muslim Student Association on campus and radical terrorists, he instead asked the woman to denounce Hamas.
“For it, or against it?” he barked, demanding an answer. It was a trap.
While she would later claim she was thinking unclearly and intimidated, she bashfully replied, “For it.” Horowitz nodded and smiled. It was a rhetorical trick — the kind Horowitz has perfected. If she supported Hamas, Horowitz argued, the Muslim Student Association to which she belonged was actually tied to a terrorist organization, as defined by the State Department.
The video made the rounds on conservative news outlets, seeming to confirm for Horowitz and his followers that his fight with the “radical faith” was on target. Islam was on the move — everywhere.
Fueling the Fire
To understand the harm caused by Horowitz, it is important to see just how deep his influence goes on the political right. As the GOP becomes increasingly influenced by Tea Party politicians who bring conspiracy theories to the debate, Horowitz and his acolytes have emerged as the experts on radical Islam and its terrifying infiltration into American society and government.
Horowitz has accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being a secret Muslim plant in the federal government. More famously, he has led the charge that Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a Muslim Brotherhood agent sent to “penetrate” the U.S. government. Horowitz argues that Abedin, who is married to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, has “been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.”
“If you wondered how it’s possible that Obama and Hillary would not know or would pretend what was happening wasn’t happening in the Middle East, or how they could turn over Egypt as they have to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of Al Qaida and all these terrible Islamic Nazi organizations, the answer is not really hard to find: the chief adviser to the American government on Muslim affairs,” Horowitz said in a 2012 radio interview with Janet Mefferd.
Yet, somehow, Horowitz has mostly avoided charges of racism or bias, often citing First Amendment protections and relying on young audiences of politically conservative college students — where the “leftist offensive is most visible” — to popularize his views and draw support. A gifted rhetorician, his attack on Islam is often couched in a defense of Israel and civil rights, or defended as necessary for security.
Given his annual salary of more than $540,000, according to federal tax filings from 2013, Horowitz has not avoided charges of political opportunism — a point made clear in his wildly vacillating history of political views.
In 1991, Fred Gardner, a former colleague at Ramparts, said Horowitz and his writing partner Peter Collier “were never radicals for a minute.” “Their goal was and is personal success. It’s no coincidence that they were ‘left’ in the ’60s and ‘right’ in the ’80s,” Gardner said.Neither Horowitz, nor a representative from the Freedom Center, responded to multiple requests for interviews. But it’s no surprise his rise comes as anti-Muslim sentiment finds a home on the far right of American politics, where Muslims are often decried and where Tea Party activists and xenophobic conservatives happily count Horowitz as their friends. Tea Party favorites Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are all regular participants at Horowitz’s annual, lavish Restoration Weekend, summits appealingly held in five-star hotels that bring together influential Islamophobes and public officials to exchange ideas.
Is it any wonder that Cruz has ranted that “Shariah law is an enormous problem” or that Gohmert has said, “This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America”?
It is these connections to powerful politicians that are concerning, ensuring that Horowitz’s toxic activities affect the mainstream — and the lives of American Muslims.
“He hires the Luca Brasis of the anti-Islam movement,” Ali said, comparing Robert Spencer to Mario Puzo’s famed hitman from The Godfather. “He subsidizes. He gives them a platform. He enables and supports people who share his ideological vision. And what’s more dangerous than that?”
Hannity Continues Move Toward The Fringe As Guest Accuses Liberals Of Contributing To A "Modern Day Holocaust"
Radio host and Fox personality Sean Hannity hosted TruthRevolt.com founder David Horowitz to engage in an unimpeded rant that described President Obama as a “menace to American security” and accused Democrats and the “American left” of pushing the nation toward a modern day Holocaust. Hannity’s promotion of the extreme figure may have completed his transition from conservative mouth piece to right-wing fringe promoter.
On the April 22 edition of his radio show, Hannity discussed the alleged growth of anti-Semitism around the world, comparing the phenomenon with Obama’s purported support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hannity asked his guests, Horowitz and writer Joel Rosenberg, whether anti-Semitism in recent news stories had the potential of turning into a “modern day Holocaust.” Horowitz replied (emphasis added):
HOROWITZ: I think that’s exactly accurate. There’s normal anti-Semitism which has been going on for thousands of years. And this Kansas City shooter, I mean he’s a Klu Klux Klaner, he’s a Democrat — lifelong Democrat, Klu Klux Klan racist and anti-Semite. But he’s obviously been encouraged. The irony of course is that he killed three Christians. Um, obviously encouraged by the American left. Max Blumenthal, who is the misbegotten son of Sidney Blumenthal who worked for the Clintons in the Clinton White House, has written a book filled with Jew hatred about Israel, which this guy read and cited as one of his inspirations. I actually pointed this out in a book I wrote about ten years ago. The alliance between the American left and the Islamo - I don’t call them Islamo-Fascists anymore, they’re Nazis. They preach the same doctrine that the Nazis did, they were allied with the Nazis during the second World War. The destruction of Israel, which is welcomed by you know, like I say normal anti-Semites. But after the Second World War, there was a certain intolerance towards these types of attitudes thanks to the American left which goes right into the White House. Obama is also responsible for this - attacking Israel.
After Rosenberg disagreed with Horowitz’ claim of the growth of anti-Semitism in the American left, Horowitz retorted, ”On the campuses across this country the American left is calling for the destruction of Israel. How can you say there’s no anti-Semitism? The American left is the fountainhead of anti-Semitism now,” concluding that it is only a matter of time before the left commits violence against Jews.
Hannity refused to rebuke Horowitz’ comments, actually agreeing with Horowitz characterization adding that Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel for the breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authorities. Hannity then allowed Horowitz to attack Obama directly by asking “Why does the president constantly think that he can negotiate with fanatics?” Horowitz responded that Obama is an “anti-American president” and a “menace to American security” (emphasis added):
HOROWITZ: This administration is enabling Iran. Obama could care less if the Jews are killed in the Middle-East. Obama - to answer your question, Sean - Obama is an anti-American president.
But because Obama is black and because he’s a leftist he’s completely protected by the press. Nobody holds him to account. We live in a kind of surreal universe where people will not say the truth. And the truth is that Barrack Obama is a menace to American security, and the sooner - and of course you can’t impeach him because you can’t impeach the first black president.
Horowitz’s rhetoric shouldn’t have been a surprise to Hannity, as he has a history of comparing liberals with terrorists and accusing people of being “Nazis.”
But Hannity’s promotion of such an extreme figure didn’t come in a vacuum. Recently Hannity has gained ridicule on the left and prominence in the fringes of the right-wing after supporting lawless rancher Cliven Bundy, who refused to pay grazing fees after his cows used federal land for over twenty years. Bundy praised Hannity, while warning of an impending civil war after an armed standoff between federal agents and armed militia supporting Bundy.
As if supporting a lawless rancher and encouraging extreme rhetoric towards the president wasn’t enough, Hannity recently added to his fringe resume by calling a nun a “Communist” for saying Paul Ryan’s budget hurt the poor.
Readers may or may not remember Eric Allen Bell—he’s the filmmaker and former “Kos Kid” who, back in 2010, was supportive of the construction of the Murfreesboro mosque, which had become one of the lightning rods of the anti-mosque hysteria that began sweeping the nation that summer.
Please bear with me here as this story gets quite labyrinthine, which is not unusual when looking into the history of people who fancy themselves to be brave counter-Jihadists and human rights advocates, but who are in reality nothing more than rank bigots with loud voices and a cadre of like-minded followers. Understanding the history of such people, the organizations they create, and their relationships to each other is key to being fully aware of their objectives.
Back to Mr. Bell. In January 2012 in a Daily Kos “diary” (a blog post by Daily Kos users), Bell suddenly began railing against the term “Islamophobia”, asserting that the website Loonwatch was involved in apologetics for radical Islam, and expressing sympathy for anti-Muslim propagandist & white nationalist admirer, Robert Spencer. Still, he held off praising the likes of anti-Muslim hate blogger Pamela Geller, but that didn’t last long.
Shortly thereafter, in March 2012, Bell penned an article for FrontPage Magazine praising Robert Spencer and his cohort Pamela Geller, which Spencer proudly displayed on his website. For the record, FrontPage Magazine is edited by David Horowitz who, along with Spencer & Geller, is part of the “anti-Muslim inner circle” as described in a 2011 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Also of note, in 2011 both Spencer & Horowitz saw fit to lump the Anti-defamation League in with the “Jihadist apologists” via blog posts for National Review Online. Why would they attack a respected 100-year-old organization that “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all”? Because the ADL had the temerity to publish a highly critical report about Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) which exposed its ties to other extremist anti-Muslim groups & individuals (SIOA is headed by Spencer & Geller ).1
I’m pointing all this out to show that there’s a pattern here: There are people who are united by hatred. People whose hatred is so blinding that they’ll viciously attack and smear anyone who points out their bigotry, lies, associations with and/or support for some of the most morally reprehensible groups and individuals in existence.
Finally, again, we return to Mr. Bell. We left him after his early 2011 “epiphany”, which caused the veil of liberalism to finally drop from his eyes and allow him to see how courageous and righteous Spencer & Geller’s messages of fear and loathing truly are. But wait—there was yet another epiphany to come!
How typical. Even when they do have “facts”, they don’t. They deal primarily in misinformation, disinformation, innuendo, and vague or tenuous “links” (see Frank Gaffney’s attempts to smear Grover Norquist and CIA Director John Brennan, or Michele Bachmann’s smear of Huma Abedin).
Guess what happened next? Last month Bell began posting anti-Semitic comments on Facebook, such as this Timeline Photo with a graphic showing the largest media companies (larger version found here) with a caption asking:
These 6 companies control over 90% of the media. What religion must one belong to, in order to have a chance at being CEO of one of these companies? BONUS QUESTION: What name or names is a person called, for even raising this basic and reasonable question?
Hmm, let me guess… Jewish & anti-Semite?
Further down, in response to a comment, he replies:
It isn’t “the Jews” or even most Jews. Look at it the other way around. Is there a head of a TV network or a movie studio that is not Jewish? The answer is almost always no. Look at who runs the IMF, the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury, just to name a few. Is it “the Jews”? No. But is it almost exclusively Jewish? Yes.
February 11 at 12:10pm
Nope, nothing anti-Semitic there. After all, he issued a disclaimer in the first sentence, so that means anything he says after that is inoculated against being anti-Semitic, right? RIGHT?? Like if you say, “It isn’t ‘the Muslims’ or even most Muslims, but are terrorists almost exclusively Muslim?” then you’re not an Islamophobe. Oh wait, but that’s different… No, it’s NOT—it’s exactly the same.
In the following he whines about the twin evils of Islam & Judaism:
See, here is how it works. You can criticize any religion except Islam, because then the death threats come. And if you criticize Judaism, you get called a Nazi and your reputation will be destroyed. Religion poisons everything.
February 10 at 4:45pm
Just like Islam, one must distinguish between the rank and file and the leadership. And just like as [sic] in Islam, there is much spin control and rationalization regarding the darker passages in Judaism, especially as they pertain to elitism and supremacy.
February 10 at 4:51pm
He gets seriously creepy in this post where he opens with a comment criticizing Islam & religion in general, then moves on to Jews again:
Will there ever be a day when hundreds of millions of women are not suffering under Islamic gender apartheid? Will there ever be a day when hundreds of millions of children are not brainwashed into believing superstitions, for fear of burning in hell when they die? Will there ever be a day when a small but elite group no longer takes from others, under the premise that they are “god’s chosen”? […]
One more shot at Jews:
So you believe that “god” gave a plot of land to his “chosen people”?
February 18 at 3:24am
Here’s where he ends up in a really dark place:
Nature creates dominance hierarchies. We need more low functioning people to do the manual labor. We need fewer high functioning people to lead. To meany [sic] leaders and we have a conflict. Historically there are probably more highly intelligent people living on this planet than ever before. That there are also a lot of mindless, superstitious breeders is nothing new.
February 18 at 5:36am
It goes on with more disclaimers and Facebook commenters who excuse anti-Muslim bigotry, but balk at anti-Semitism. I couldn’t stomach any more.
This is the sort of person Spencer, Geller, Horowitz, et al. embrace and welcome into the fold. These are the people Charles backed away from, with good reason and to his credit.
On Monday, People For the American Way delivered a petition with 178,000 signatures to House Speaker John Boehner calling for the removal of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Bachmann, one of Congress’ leading purveyors of conspiracy theories, earned rebukes from Boehner and others last year when she accused several Muslim-American government employees, include top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The petition, to put it mildly, hit a nerve among Bachmann’s allies in the anti-Muslim Right. FrontPageMag, an online outfit led by David Horowitz, has published a full three articles defending Bachmann and accusing PFAW of “smearing” the “vindicated” Bachmann by launching an “all-out war” on her. In one article, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch argues, “If they really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee.”
Yesterday, Horowitz launched his own petition, titled, ironically, “Stop the Witch Hunt Against Rep. Bachmann.”
Horowitz and Spencer aren’t the only ones coming to Bachmann’s defense. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who was the source of the bulk of Bachmann’s accusations against Abedin, and conservative columnist Diana West discussed the petition on Wednesday’s edition of Secure Freedom Radio. People For the American Way, Gaffney suggested, is part of the “Red-Green Axis” and should be called instead “People For the Islamist Way.”
H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW
AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anti-Islam groups in America have provided financial support to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration campaigner who is seeking re-election to the Dutch parliament this week.
While this is not illegal in the Netherlands, it sheds light on the international connections of Wilders, whose Freedom Party is the least transparent Dutch parliamentary group and a rallying point for Europe’s far right.
Wilders’ party is self-funded, unlike other Dutch parties that are subsidized by the government. It does not, therefore, have to meet the same disclosure requirements.
Groups in America seeking to counter Islamic influence in the West say they funded police protection and paid legal costs for Wilders whose party is polling in fourth place before the Sept 12 election.
Wilders’ ideas - calling for a halt to non-Western immigration and bans on Muslim headscarfs and the construction of mosques - have struck a chord in mainstream politics beyond the Netherlands. France banned clothing that covers the face in April 2011 and Belgium followed suit in July of the same year. Switzerland barred the construction of new minarets following a referendum in 2009.
The Middle East Forum, a pro-Israeli think tank based in Philadelphia, funded Wilders’ legal defense in 2010 and 2011 against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred, its director Daniel Pipes said.
VISITS TO THE UNITED STATES
Wilders, 49, first became a member of the Dutch parliament for the pro-business Liberal Party before winning nine seats for his own Freedom Party in 2006, campaigning against Islam, which he calls a threat to Dutch culture and Western values.
He called Islam a violent political ideology and vowed never to enter a mosque, “not in 100,000 years”. His party won 24 seats in the 150-seat lower house in June 2010.
He has been under 24-hour security for eight years after receiving death threats from radical Muslim groups in the Netherlands and abroad. Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik cited anti-Islamic comments by Wilders in an online manifesto that sought to justify his crimes. Wilders has denounced Breivik and his actions.
David Horowitz, who runs a network of Los Angeles-based conservative groups and a website called FrontPage magazine, said he paid Wilders fees for making two speeches, security costs during student protests and overnight accommodation for his Dutch bodyguards during a 2009 U.S. trip.
Horowitz said he paid Wilders for one speech in Los Angeles and one at Temple University in Philadelphia. He declined to specify the amounts, but said that Wilders had received “a good fee.”
When Wilders’ Philadelphia appearance sparked student protests, Horowitz said, he paid a special security fee of about $1,500 to the Philadelphia police department. Horowitz said he also paid for overnight accommodation for four or five Dutch government bodyguards accompanying Wilders on the trip.
Wilders said in response: “I am frequently asked to speak abroad. Whenever possible I accept these invitations. I never ask for a fee. However, sometimes the travel and accommodation expenses are paid. My personal security is always paid for by the Dutch government.”
Pipes and Horowitz denied funding Wilders’ political activities in Holland. Both run non-profit, tax exempt research and policy organizations which, under U.S. tax laws, are forbidden from giving direct financial backing to any political candidate or party. U.S. law does allow such groups to support policy debates financially.
h/t: Yahoo! News
A contentious CNN interview by Soledad O’Brien with Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak set off a firestorm of vitriolic name-calling against O’Brien from the far-right, with some critics going so far as to falsely accuse the CNN anchor of anti-Semitism.
While Pollak in his eagerness to hype his “bombshell” video mischaracterized CRT as a radical theory that calls for a war against white people, animosity on the far right has been pointed at Soledad O’Brien for correcting his inaccurate statements. Chris Loesch, husband of CNN contributor Dana Loesch, tweeted (HT: Little Green Footballs):
And Michelle Malkin, writing on David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag.com, claimed that O’Brien defended CRT and Bell because “she masks her political activism under the banner of corporate media ‘diversity.’” Malkin continues:
…[L]iberal minority journalists simply can’t resist carrying water for Obama. That’s because their journalistic unity demands political unanimity. If you don’t accept the left-leaning agenda of “social change” journalism, you’re enabling racism. If you don’t support the pursuit of racial hiring goals as a primary journalistic and academic goal, you’re selling out.
Noticeably, neither Loesch and Malkin offer any evidence that CRT calls for “war against white people” or that O’Brien’s comments were rooted in anti-Semitism or racism.
While Loesch and Malkin are quick to throw around incendiary accusations, it might be helpful for them to explain why they believe O’Brien’s defense of CRT and critical questioning of Joel Pollak justify accusing an award winning CNN anchor of racism and anti-Semitism.