Todd Manzi

The Associated Press reached a new level of incompetence, and the "news" industry they serve doesn’t seem to care. If you want political opinion, you’ll find it in Associated Press dispatches. If you want news, you might have to read conservative opinion columns.

On February 22nd, Walter Williams, a columnist, scooped the mainstream media. Williams reported that high school teacher Jay Bennish lectured his geography class stating:

1) "[President Bush’s State of the Union Speech] sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say."
2) "Bush is threatening the whole planet."
3) "[The] U.S. wants to keep the world divided."
4) "Who is probably the single most violent nation on earth? The United States of America."
5) "[The U.S. has engaged in] 7,000 terrorist attacks against Cuba."
6) "Capitalism is at odds with humanity, at odds with caring and compassion and at odds with human rights."

Not included in Williams’ column is the fact that Bennish also said:

7) "Don’t the Peruvians and the Iranians and the Chinese have the right to invade America and drop chemical weapons over North Carolina to destroy the tobacco plants…?"

8) "Do you see the dangerous precedent that we have set by illegally invading another country and violating their sovereignty in the name of protecting us against a potential future attack?"

9) "You have to understand something. When Al-Qaeda attacked America on September 11th, in their view, they’re not attacking innocent people. Okay? The CIA has an office in the World Trade Center. The Pentagon is a military target. The White House was a military target. Congress is a military target….So, in the minds of Al-Qaeda, they are not attacking innocent people, they are attacking legitimate targets."

Those nine direct quotations (and there are more) came from a high school geography teacher to his class in one 20-minute period.  On March 2nd, eight days after Williams’ column, The Denver Post covered the story. The Post story carried quotes 6, 1 and 4 listed above. It also linked to a tape of Bennish’s lecture recorded by one of his students.

The same day, Sean Hannity and many other talk radio hosts devoted large portions of their shows to the topic, and they played audio clips of the above quotations.

Todd Manzi

Todd Manzi is a media critic.

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