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Fight Their Smears: ABC News, Bob Beckel, Time, AP, Guardian, and NYT slime the Right

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 16, 2008 03:22 AM


Time lies. The NYTimes slimes. AP distorts. ABC News, the Guardian, and the blithering Bob Beckel have all now piled on, too. They are at it again. Smearing conservative bloggers and talk radio. Because they think they can get away with it.

Like Barack Obama, the MSM has adopted the “Yes, we can!” mantra.

Oh, no, they can’t.

As I reported on Friday, the ogling Obamedia is spreading the lie that conservative bloggers and talk show host Rush Limbaugh are responsible for perpetuating the Michelle Obama videotape rumor, whose dubious provenance is far left Hillary shill and disgraced disinformation operative Larry Johnson. Over the weekend, ABC News attributed Johnson’s rumor to “conservative bloggers” without even the most cursory mention of Johnson’s role in lighting the fire on May 16–and no acknowledgment at all that many leading conservative bloggers have been deflating and debunking Johnson’s hype from the get-go. (Allahpundit counts five major MSM outlets, including ABC News, which have now omitted Johnson from stories about the reckless tape rumor.) Here’s the ABC News smear:

Google “Michelle Obama” and the term “whitey” and you’ll find conservative bloggers claiming a video shows her using the racially tinged term at Trinity Church. No tape has ever surfaced. But the claim helped prompt the Obama campaign to launch its own Web site, FighttheSmears.com.

Are you ready to fight their smears?

At the bottom of the ABC News smear story is an invitation:

If you would like to tell us more facts about this story, please click here to send the editors of ABC News a separate email with the information you have.

I clicked and politely suggested to the editors of ABC News that they Google “Larry Johnson and whitey” and correct their smear story. You can also leave public comments on the smear story here.

In his Friday afternoon apology for smearing conservatives, Jay Carney is still blaming us for “picking up and spreading” the rumor–omitting the fact, and yes, I have to repeat it again, that many leading conservative bloggers have been debunking Johnson’s hype from the get-go.

Fight their smears.

You can leave comments for Carney about his botched apology here.

And just when you think they can’t go any lower, along comes Bob Beckel. First, let’s review what he said in a heavy-breathing interview on Fox and Friends on June 3. I’ve taken the time to transcribe the exact moment when he launches into his hyped-up Michelle Obama rumor-mongering–which was not solicited or prompted by the hosts. Pay close attention:


BECKEL: Now, there is one other thing that I’ve gotta tell ya about which worries me a little bit. And that is because I always hear rumors, I hear thousands of them in the course of a presidential campaign, but this one I’ve heard from enough sources that it worries me.

I won’t get into details on what it is except to say that there is some thought that there might be a very big shoe dropping on Michelle Obama tomorrow.

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute…

BECKEL: …And that, yeah, I can’t tell you what it is because I don’t want to perpetuate the rumor. But I will tell you this. Whoever is promoting this thing is doing it in enough ways, in a very smart way, that it gets to me in ways that make me get worried about it…

CAMEROTA: Ok, but are you suggesting in that case that Hillary Clinton is sticking around to see what that shoe drop’ll be?

BECKEL: N-n-no, because I think, it’s, from my understanding it’s coming from the Republicans and they wanted to wait until he wrapped up the nomination. ‘Course, the stupidity of that is, if there’s anything to it, if there’s anything big like that, they can always turn to her to take the nomination…

CAMEROTA: …back to Michelle Obama, is it your understanding that this is bigger than, say, a college thesis paper.

BECKEL: Significantly.

DOOCY: Alright. Let’s just call you Bombshell Bob Beckel.

Twelve days later, no bombshell dropped. But Beckel was back on Fox News yesterday, mounting his high horse to blame conservative bloggers and Rush Limbaugh for spreading the rumor he shamelessly hyped. (Hat tip – reader Away2Play.) Beckel has the gall to claim that he was trying to “cut it off” rather than breathlessly flog it. Then he turns and sanctimoniously wags his finger at FNC host Bret Baier, admonishing him not to ask questions about rumors because it legitimizes rumors.

The poison icing on Beckel’s demagogic devil’s food cake?

Calling conservative bloggers and commentators “crackers and right-wingers.”

I’ve clipped and transcribed this astounding performance. Without further comment, because none is necessary when a petard is being hoist so grandly, here are the clip and transcript:


BAIER: FightTheSmears.com. Set up by the Barack Obama campaign. What about that, Bob? Do they need to do this kind of thing?

BECKEL: Well, I suppose they need to do it. But frankly, it requires voters to be civic-minded and go and check these things out. And I don’t think that many of them will. But look: The Internet has changed two things in politics substantially this year. One is money. And the other is how you deliver smears. And what has happened here, particularly against Barack Obama, whether it’s his middle name, whether it’s the fact that he’s black, purely racist and bigoted stuff that I get through my Internet mail, what’s happened is, it comes from these right-wing bloggers and then, the question is—and it gets picked up by right-wing radio talk show hosts—and then, the question is, does the mainstream media then begin to ask questions about it, which then legitimizes it, and that’s really the problem.

It’s people in your business, Bret, that have got to—you gotta not ask these questions—because what it does, when you do ask the question, it then lets the radio talk show hosts come back and say something. I got into a problem with Rush—

BAIER: I’ll say that’s a fine thing to say, however, let’s say that in this bushel of things that you get one that really is true?

BECKEL: If you’ve got some evidence, that’s fine. But these guys don’t have any evidence. This story that they ran about Michelle Obama, which by the way, I got in some trouble on by trying to cut it off and, and Rush Limbaugh got on the radio and said, ‘Well, Bob Beckel mentioned it’—I did not mention it. I said that there were smears coming around, one of them had to do with Barack Obama, and that gave Limbaugh the chance to say it all over again. Look, that is a not true story. You wouldn’t go with that story without some evidence…

BAIER: No, of course not. But my point is, is that they’ll paint a big brush here, and perhaps in the mix, there may be something a reporter may be afraid to go after, uh, that there would be some truth—

BECKEL: Well, I’ll tell ya what. Let these crackers and right-wingers prove it before they put it, before they come out…

Before they come out and what, Bombshell Bob? Before they come out and, oh, start braying on tee-vee about “very big shoes” dropping on “tomorrows” that never came?

Project much?



Good on the Chicago Sun-Times.

Update: Allah’s put the Beckel bloviations back-to-back in one handy video clip. Pass it on.

Update: Much more from LGF.

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