Re: The Anatomy of a Smear

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Posted: Jun 26, 2010 12:32 PM
This week, we rolled out a couple of features from our July issue of Townhall Magazine: the cover story, which focuses on the "100 Americans the Left Hates Most," and "The Anatomy of a Smear: the Left's Fight to Silence Glenn Beck."

In "Anatomy of a Smear," I took an in-depth look at the Left's systematic, organized smear machine and used the example of the Left's #1 most-hated conservative--radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck--to show exactly how the machine works.  It's important to note, as he did yesterday during our radio interview, that despite the July article's singular focus on Glenn in particular, the Left's assault on truth does not stop with him. 

To further prove this point, let me give you two examples from just the past 12 hours. 

One of the groups working to draw advertising support away from Beck's Fox program is StopBeck, an online organization whose founder immediately accused me of being "deceitful" in my reporting but when asked, couldn't provide a single example of my alleged deception

After yesterday's radio interview, StopBeck posted this article on the group's website.  The article insinuates Townhall has "no interest in being fair and balanced" simply because we are "right-wing" and are owned by Salem Communications, "a media company that focuses on evangelical Christian and conservative political talk radio."  It also claimed my article, printed in a "deceptive and notoriously biased" publication, was "riddled with distortions"--again, no examples.

Almost immediately, some of StopBeck's nearly 8,500 followers began tweeting to their favorite "journalist"--Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.  Their messages read: "FYI: Conservative Townhall Magazine Flatters @StopBeck Effort In July Cover Story" and included a link--not to my article, but to StopBeck's article about my article. 

Their suggestion is both comical and blatantly misleading: Even conservatives think Glenn Beck is a nut-job and want him off the air as much as we do.  But they know Olbermann is just the type of "professional" who'd willingly peddle such a ridiculous notion to give it more credence and exposure to others on the Left.

And while we're on the subject of Olbermann... The MSNBC host is trying to pick a fight with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.  In a tweet on Friday, Palin responded to liberals' criticism of conservatives' objections to the White House's involvement in establishing the BP escrow account. 

"Don't let the lamestream media suck you into 'they're defending BP over Gulf spill victims' bs... This is about the rule of law vs. an unconstitutional power grab," she wrote.  She then suggested people read Thomas Sowell's latest column, "Degeneration of Democracy."

In his column, Sowell argues that the Obama administration's policies are "damaging" the "fundamental structure" of America:
Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.  And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. ...
With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.
Sowell goes on to discuss FDR's policies of the Great Depression, and describes pre-war Germany's laws "for the relief of the German people." 
That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people-- indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.
The point of Sowell's article, then, was to draw parallels between historical facts and the challenges facing us today, and how seemingly innocent policies meant to help can be manipulated into something much more sinister.

So where does Olby fit into all this? Olbermann seized on Palin's suggestion to read Sowell's column and accused the former governor of comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.  Palin retorted with a tweet: "Lamestream media: I never compared Obama to Hitler. Quit making things up."

Olbermann poked back at Palin with a number of smug messages, demanding she "disavow" Sowell's column.  Palin has yet to respond to Olbermann's absurd assertion and demands, and if I were Olbermann, I wouldn't hold my breath.  Palin is too smart to be roped into his lame attempts to rile her.

This example is just one of the latest smear attacks.  Instead of assess Sowell's work--filled with historical facts that can't be childishly ignored--Olbermann attacks Palin.  Just another diversion away from facts--a typical tactic of the Left's smear machine.