Limp Daily Caller Attacks Journolist (Again) and Spencer Ackerman

About a month ago, the semi-irrelevant “FishbowlDC” and Tucker Carlson’s self indulgent sandbox “Daily Caller” impressed themselves by scalping Dave Weigel from his position at the Washington Post. Fresh off the closest thing to a victory these folks may ever achieve, they have attempted to replicate their recently past glory by pulling the same cheap stunt with more purloined emails from the now defunct “Journolist”, with the biggest dagger in the back aimed at Spencer Ackerman, noted national security reporter now with Wired’s Danger Room Blog and his own site Attackerman right here at Firedoglake.

It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.


Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”


In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

That’s it?? So this is the Daily Caller’s claim to fame? Raison d’etre? This is the best and brightest they have to offer? Apparently so, and they are proud of it since they are going to the same putrid well of long dead private emails again so eagerly. What a bunch of cowardly limp dicks.

Spencer Ackerman and his friends on Journolist saw a wrong being committed in a craven political dirty play and discussed a way to right the wrong. If Daily Caller thinks that is controversial and worthy of a featured expose, they must be awfully hard up over there.

The subject attack by the right on Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 election, just as Ackerman and his fellow journalists discussed, was indeed a malicious and dishonest smear. The argument was made at the time perfectly by my and Spencer’s colleague John Chandley (aka “Scarecrow”):

Everyone should watch Bill Moyers’ Journal interview of Jeremiah Wright, including extended excerpts of the sermons whose out of context snippets have been played relentlessly on our televisions.

America’s media, and especially Fox News, MSNBC’s morning joes and others, have outrageously defamed a highly regarded theologian and righteous man. And by association, they’ve defamed an entire congregation — an “attack on the Black Church,” as Reverend Wright said this morning — and a respected branch of Christian theology, all because the Republican right wing wants to smear a Democratic candidate for President. It’s time for what’s left of the responsible media to condemn the smears and apologize for this journalistic travesty.

Some of the most controversial sound bites are snippets from Wright’s sermon on the Sunday after 9/11, when every religious leader in the country struggled to help their congregations deal with the evil that had just occurred. How could they make sense of such evil?

Reverend Wright chose his text from Psalms Chapter 137, a lament from the Old Testament written thousands of years ago by those who understood the meaning of suffering, of the horrors of war and the struggle for liberation from oppression and slavery.

Read the rest of the post, it is the gospel. Or take a gander at the words of another of our colleagues, Peterr, himself a man of the cloth:

Let me start with some disclosure: I know Jeremiah Wright. I’ve worshiped at Trinity United Church of Christ a time or two. I’ve heard Wright speak at clergy conferences. I’ve had a couple of one-on-one conversations with him.

With that said . . . Oh, that man can preach. But as any preacher will tell you, it helps if people would listen. As a preacher with some 20+ years of my own experience in the pulpit, I shudder to think what would happen if some of my sermons were snipped and sliced and diced in the same manner as those of Jeremiah Wright.

The most lamentable aspect of the way Wright has been swift-boated is the manner in which his critics snipped his quotes out of context.

The whole smear of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright was a standard play from the right wing noise machine at the outset, but was then aided and abetted by a gullible and manufactured controversy craven and crazy main media eager to stir controversy to drive election viewership and ratings. It was a shameful and dishonest display, as was the subsequent kowtowing to it by Barack Obama.

You do not have to like Reverend Wright, you do not have to listen to him or go to his church. But the sheer opportunistic and despicable smearing of him for expressing in his passions and ministry, and in his own words and style, in the language of his decades long flock, the same outrage and questions being expressed in homes and churches all across the United States, was above and beyond the pale.

The small minded cheap shot artists at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller want to restart the race baiting and dishonest segregationist belligerence again in order to seek attention for themselves; trying to grab Spencer Ackerman’s scalp is just a bonus sideshow.

Nope. Not this time. Spencer may have been pointed when he made his comments on a private discussion forum long ago, but he was absolutely right. Moreover, and critically important to the discussion, Spencer said nothing different content wise in the private email forum Daily Caller and Breitbart seek to exploit than he has said publicly then or now, if perhaps in more formal words. Ackerman has maintained complete consistency on the subject, and does so to this day. The attackers of Reverend Jeremiah Wright were, and continue to be, race baiting disingenuous opportunists.

In the Weigel imbroglio, the Daily Caller rushed to defend Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh, who proudly bellowed of Obama’s association with Wright:

It is clear that Senator Obama has disowned his white half, that he’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.


He is not transcendent on race. Obama is telling us that he is a black American first and an American second.

That is race baiting, but it is what silver spooned bow tie boy Tucker Carlson and his fellow journalists noise makers at the Daily Caller earnestly defend while dishonestly attacking the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Spencer Ackerman and the others at Journalist.

And then there is Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart was so giddy to shoot another man in the back with the ill begotten email bullets, he started giddily Tweeting and drooling, before the Daily Caller article even came out, that the big expose would cost Spencer Ackerman his job and livelyhood. Guess Breitbart needed a new diversion now that both a Congressional investigation and a criminal investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office exonerated ACORN and implicated O’Keefe and his co-conspirators (which of course include their leader Breitbart) in selective and false editing and presentation. Oh, not to mention that a third prosecutorial authority, the California Attorney General’s Office has vindicated ACORN; from the San Diego Union Tribune:

In the ensuing torrent of national publicity that included other secret tapings at ACORN offices, Vera lost his job. The national community organizing group, which led voter registration drives and worked to help low-income people with housing and other issues, has disbanded.

The tapes of Vera had been heavily edited by O’Keefe, according to an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office. Footage had been spliced in of O’Keefe and Giles dressed as a pimp and prostitute to make it appear that is how they were dressed when talking to Vera, when actually they were not.

The attorney general’s report concluded no wrongdoing by ACORN employees and said Vera had contacted his cousin, a National City police detective, with details of the conversation he had with O’Keefe and Giles. The report also strongly implied O’Keefe and Giles had violated state privacy laws, but they had been granted immunity in exchange for providing the unedited tapes.

So, while no less than three significant investigations and prosecutorial authorities have vindicated ACORN and inculpated Breitbart’s employee and dirty trickster O’Keefe, Andrew Breitbart gets his jollies running around and tweeting that Spencer Ackerman should lose his job for being honest, consistent and standing up for what he believes in when he was confronted by un-American divisive race baiting. That is quite a double standard Breitbart carries.

But that is where we are today. Since Breitbart and the Daily Caller writers are so fond of discussing old private email discussions, I wonder if they would like to volunteer to produce all of their private discussions about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright they engaged in during the 2008 campaign. Of course, as their fraudulent splicing and editing of the ACORN tapes have demonstrated, you would not be able to trust their word as to accuracy. Perhaps a signed and sworn under oath and penalty of perjury affidavit would need to be appended; but what the heck boys, show us your work! Or shut up.

  1. Leen says:

    “Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

    On so many issues.

  2. SaltinWound says:

    One of the disturbing parts of Game Change was the way the Obamas themselves turned their backs on Wright. Ultimately, they accepted the arguments of the critics of Wright, helping it become received wisdom. Unfortunately, bmaz, the arguments you are making, on the merits, are not ones the Obamas were willing to engage in. After that, it was all damage control and spin.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I respectfully disagree, in view of some rather wealthy, rather conservative people of my … sorta-kinda networky thingy.

      They had one hell of a hard time coming around to supporting or voting for Obama, but his willingness to talk about ‘the Joshua generation’ (which the religious among them totally ‘get’, and had to explain to this somewhat-Biblically-challenged friend), plus his smarts and **competence** in the way that he conducted his campaign were key in helping them hold their noses and — with enormous trepidation — vote for Obama in Nov 2008.

      Between Obama separating himself from ‘screechers’ (which was their view of Wright via the MSM), between his graciousness, between his level-headedness in the debates, and between the spectre of Sarah Palin — **and** Colin Powell’s extremely thoughtful, articulate support for Obama — they moved to a place they’d never dreamed they would find themselves: voting for a long-time Dem Senator (Biden), plus Obama.

      (I don’t think some of them actually think of Obama as ‘black’; he’s more international and they ‘get’ that, IMVHO. These are very well traveled people, and the notion of that twit from Wasilla sent them right over the edge ;-))

      But although I sympathize with your frustration, and I’m not entralled with everything Obama does, he pulled off a miracle in 2008. It now appears that if he doesn’t change his economic team, he’s going to sink a lot of his public support.

      But my point in commenting is to note that the people that I’m thinking about don’t give two hoots about Tucker Carlson. They may be conservative and focus most of their time-energy on either ‘investing’, golf, or their next vacation spot — but they don’t suffer fools and I’m pretty sure that they view Carlson as a ‘weenie’.

      If it comes right down to it, they’d probably have more respect for Attackerman for a few reasons:
      1. He hates bullshit; so do they.
      2, He works his butt off; so do they (or did, until they made their $$).
      3. He cares about **accurate** information; so do they.
      4. He has a work ethic; so do they.
      5. He isn’t a dilettante; neither are they.

      I’m pretty sure that Carlson is viewed as a dilettante who doesn’t work any harder than he has to, and never had to make a business work, nor bring in ‘payroll’.

      I hope my perspective allows you to relax a bit about Carlson.
      As near as I can tell, he’s more bark than bite.

      • bmaz says:

        Well it is a damn good thing Obama was more than happy to stab his friend and religious mentor in the back and turn the blade in order to get your friends’ votes. How admirable.

      • SaltinWound says:

        I am not sure what you are disagreeing with. I not saying Obama was not politically astute. I am saying that the criticisms of Wright were ultimately supported by Obama himself, making it difficult to revive the debate.

  3. Leen says:

    Look at what the radical liars do

    “But that is where we are today. Since Breitbart and the Daily Caller writers are so fond of discussing old private email discussions, I wonder if they would like to volunteer to produce all of their private discussions about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright they engaged in during the 2008 campaign. Of course, as their fraudulent splicing and editing of the ACORN tapes have demonstrated, you would not be able to trust their word as to accuracy. Perhaps a signed and sworn under oath and penalty of perjury affidavit would need to be appended; but what the heck boys, show us your work! Or shut up”

    • bmaz says:

      Aw jeez, hasn’t anybody figured out that Breitbart’s crap is fraudulently deceptive? Could they not have talked to the Spooner people before canning Sherrod? This is sick.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Active obstructionist I think is the description for Breitbart and his ilk. Twenty-four year-old admissions, made as rhetorical points to elicit fairer behavior and hard-to-win cooperation from hard-pressed people are the sort of thing one might learn to do in any church or speaking course in the country.

      The misbehavior Breitbart purportedly discloses comes far short of the kind that white guys brag about while the black guys polish their golf shoes or meticulously dust away ash from a good Cuban that has fallen on white linen. It is far short of the arrogant destruction wreaked by Enron traders and Wall Street “financiers”.

      The difference is that Breitbart and those boys at the country club or university club are predators who do not think that having power is an opportunity to do something constructive; it means never having to say you’re sorry.

  4. Neil says:

    Great job carrying the argument forward bmaz.

    The Sherrod story continues to play out:

    @maddow : RT @jaybookmanajc In the curious case of Shirley Sherrod and the NAACP, let’s see the whole tape, Big Govt:

    …and while I’m thinking about it, I’ll tweet @maddow a link to your post (this one.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Would it be too much to ask the alternately catatonic and febrile Team Obama to brag about Ms. Sherrod’s story, to brag about how quickly she jumped on the learning curve and corrected the error of her prejudice – and not only refuse to accept her resignation but promote her.

      Would it be too much for the perfect Mr. Obama to point out that Republicans praised as god-presidents both a mediocre flawed actor and a man who spent the first 40 years of his life as an angry spoiled drunk, but who found religion and remade himself?

      Puhleeze, tell me, show me, show downtrodden Americans who are expected peacefully and faithfully to support their flawed government that the backbone of this administration is not as gnarled, crippled and bent as Joe Lieberman’s.

      • bmaz says:

        “how quickly she jumped on the learning curve and corrected the error of her prejudice”

        Not to mention that, but how some 20 some odd years later she is still willing to expose her past flaws and use them as a teaching moment for others.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Precisely. Who can name three people with more power inside the Beltway than the DC dog catcher who shouldn’t be fired for something they said 24 years ago? Team Obama is basically laying out a precise and drawn-to-scale blueprint of how to pimp them in government and defeat them at the polls.

          Whatever happened to that longserving management saw that commands a manager to praise in public and criticize only behind the woodshed? It works for employees, it works for kids and spouses, it works in politics.

          Team Obama’s response, both the White House’s and Vilsack’s, is the kind of spineless, petty backstabbing one expects from a ward boss in Chicago who needs to fire a loyal, 20-year employee in order to hire his wife’s third counsin from Peoria. It’s not the kind of leadership one expects from the most powerful man in America. It does, however, exactly fit how Mr. Obama decreed that he would deal with Rev. Wright. I wonder what the portrait in Mr. Obama’s attic looks like now?

          • DWBartoo says:

            “It’s not the kind of leadership one expects from the most powerful man in America.”

            Oh, I’d say it is fairly typical of every inhabitant of the White House since Reagan …

            It’s really a buy-partisan kind of thing.

            But we’re dealing with a rash of such things (sorry to go OT, here) … not the kind of Justice one expects from SCOTUS … not the kind of oversight one expects from Congress … not the kind of reporting one expects from the fourth estate … and so on and so forth …

            Time for new expectations, one wonders?


              • DWBartoo says:

                That would require, that the old PRINCIPLES and even the old Constitution be appreciated …

                However, since we’ve already got them … I agree, let us enforce them, else we’ve no nation worth the having.

                The difficulty is that the “enforcement” is, clearly, and perhaps as it should be, up to us …


        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Who is going to be willing to do that now, in or outside the Beltway? Talk about a negative teaching moment.

          • bmaz says:

            No kidding. This lady was literally laying herself out there to make things better and change other people’s outlooks for the better. This is just criminally stupid by Vilsack, and I don’t believe for a second it was all Vilsack without direction from the White House. That is an ass covering lie.

            • rosalind says:

              If, as Mr. Vilsack says today, his department has “zero tolerance for discrimination” and “a duty to ensure that when we provide services to the American people we do so in an equitable manner”, doesn’t he have a duty to resign for his grossly inequitable treatment of Shirley Sherrod?

              Oh, silly me. Facts no longer matter, only perception.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  When did Obama hire and promote Bradley Schozman to become head of employee relations? As with his foreign wars, domestic spying, and militarizing and federalizing local law enforcement, Mr. Obama has made Mr. Bush’s attitudes about employees and “discrimination” his own.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Precisely, because Vilsack would have immediately checked with Rahm or one of his clones to get their input and to try to persuade them that he and his team were on top of this. The White House would always make its preference unmistakably clear without actually telling Vilsack to fire someone.

              This is the reaction of a panic attack, one that shows how immature, spineless and conservative this White House is, and how little of its artfully drawn rhetoric it believes. I don’t think they regret their reaction in the case of Ms. Sherrod; I suspect they are damned proud of it.

              Community organizer my ass; no wonder he abandoned that gig as soon as he checked the box on his resume. Since when did Enron’s behavior become the management model to aspire to? Next, Team Obama will tell us that middle America will have to buckle up, button down and do with less because the rich and the corporations they own just can’t get by without paying less tax. Obama has nothin’ on the English team’s World Cup goalie; they make own goals a daily occurence.

        • prostratedragon says:

          Now that was the positive I was able to extract from this sorry story —what an act of generosity! It makes most of the other participants, from the predators who stole just the little patch of her words that they could bend to their purpose to the cowards who at last check still refuse to respond adequately to the truth she was saying, look all the more useless.

          It should be noted that, as profoundly disappointing as was NAACP chairman Jealous’s credulous leap onto the smear of Ms. Sherrod —one would have hoped that other civic leaders at least not rush to serve as conduits for such obviously planted gossip, and would set up their offices so as to have a heads-up on who purveys it— at least that organization is now trying to help rectify the damage by releasing video of the entire speech.

          As for the goonlet squads who hand this stuff out, ridicule might be not only the most they deserve of our energy, but it might keep some who have a high regard for their own public image from getting too close to them.

      • tanbark says:

        “…would it be too much to ask…”

        I think it would. Expectations of this preznint doing “the right thing”, continue to hit the “centrist” reef and sink deeply into the corporate ocean.

        As Obama moved closer to the mid-terms, with no evidence of a micron of political courage to even seriously TRY to do the things that he was hired to do, I was wondering if the increasingly strong possibility that he would come out of the November elections looking like a one-legged duck, would move him to the right or to the left.

        With Sherrod, so far, it looks like we got part of the answer. Another part will be whether or not he appoints Elizabeth Warren to run that consumer affairs office.

        Of course, there’s also his recent dumping his own timeframe for starting the withdrawal from Afghanistan, in July of next year.

        In fact, I don’t see anything to offer progressives any hope that he’s going into the mid-terms with any idea that he could possibly turn this around, or even much desire to do it.

        Increasingly, all we get from Obama and the dems, and from some “progressive” bloggers, is the same desperate campaign slogan:

        “Vote for us! The republicans are even worse!”

        I don’t think it will work with the voters. But, at least we’ll have some resolution on that, in 14 weeks.

  5. rosalind says:

    (for ew: the Rio website says they do have a gym, but it’s gonna cost ya:)

    “Don’t miss out on your workout while you are on vacation. Enjoy the Rio’s state-of-the-art fitness facility equipped with modern training equipment to meet all of your cardio and weight-training needs.

    Use our Spa and Fitness Center for only $22 per day, complimentary with certain Spa treatments.

    We also offer 3-Day ($55), 5-Day ($90) and 7-Day($110) Spa Passes.”

  6. klynn says:

    Amazing attempt at spinning the narrative when the focal point of ugly racism has been within the ranks of the Tea Baggers and a few GOP.

    “Dam those liberal bloggers having actual video from events to prove the racism. Well. Let’s just blame liberals and create the impression that we cannot help it because you liberals are a bunch of race baiters.”

    So this is the attempt to win heart and souls back ? Blame game?

  7. TarheelDem says:

    Little did we know how the treatment of Jeremiah Wright would become part of a playbook for bringing down progressive appointees in the Obama administration. The latest in the last 24 hours. So now they are trying to nail Spencer Ackerman’s scalp to the wall alongside Van Jones, ACORN, and so on.

    And now they are going after journalists who have not capitulated to the Village journalistic ethic and become rightwing propaganda tools.

    It’s time for Jon Stewart to take Tucker Carlson down again:

    Stop! You are hurting America.

    Not that these jerks respond to shame.

  8. Hugh says:

    I have more problems with Spencer Ackerman being something of a neocon than about this.

    I am doing this a lot today so apologies but I have a rather long entry (56) on this in my Obama’s scandals list if anyone is interested in revisiting the Wright controversy. (Clicking on my name should take you there.) It started by an obvious smear by association piece by ABC News. The Obama campaign tried to finesse it, but Wright was his own person and refused to stay quiet. Obama then definitively split with him.

    This incident told us a couple of things about Obama. He doesn’t like to be embarrassed, especially through a third party. He is not afraid to throw someone under the bus when they do. (Something it would have been useful for Stanley McChrystal to have picked up on.) There was too something jarring about the whole affair. The obvious political calculation conflicted with his rhetoric of hope and change. This all happened in March-April 2008. I didn’t break with Obama until July but it really made me start wondering about him. Finally, there was the complete hypocrisy of it all. This only came out later when, the election won, Obama invited the conservative whackjob minister Rich Warren to give the invocation at his Inaugural. Warren had some nutty ideas but he was not remotely a whackjob. Warren on the other hand was certifiable. Yet it was Wright who was dumped on and Warren who was rewarded. As I said, I really don’t care what Spencer Ackerman did around the edges of this, but the Wright affair and its aftermath with Warren are major keys to understanding who Barack Obama is.

    • Leen says:

      “I have more problems with Spencer Ackerman being something of a neocon than about this.”

      I sense there is a shift there. Used to put up some post about Iran repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Pounding the war drums. Not so much lately

  9. Mary says:

    If only Spencer had launched into a public rant about how to compare Karl Rove and Fred Barnes to obsessed stalkers and claiming that anybody with any intelligence at all has left the Republican party and how anyone who sides with Republicans is someone whose opinion we shouldn’t care about anyway and that Republicans are like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving …

    or compared those attacking Wright to the Khmer Rouge …

    or edited his comments with choreography

    [ok, I was going to link to his Dancing With The Stars bit, but I’m against torture]

    Anyway -If Only Spencer had followed the lead and good sense of the guy in the bow tie.

    • Leen says:

      “If only Spencer had launched into a public rant about how to compare Karl Rove and Fred Barnes to obsessed stalkers and claiming that anybody with any intelligence at all has left the Republican party and how anyone who sides with Republicans is someone whose opinion we shouldn’t care about anyway and that Republicans are like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving”

      Mary is that you?

      Not sure if I am reading this wrong but are you questioning the insights of handicapped folks and lining them up in a general way with Republicans who have their heads up where the sun does not shine?

      Have spent a fair amount of time with some physically and mentally challenged folks and the majority of the people I have spent time with have more integrity, more conscience, empathy than a Karl Rove or Fred Barnes. I would compare Rove more to a pedophile. Someone who commits repeated crimes, never ever acknowledges them and lies over and over and over again. …

      • Mary says:

        No – I guess you didn’t look at the links.

        Those are some of the things that the twit Tucker Carlson has done (is doing on those links) publically (with “Republican” and “Karl Rove” etc. replacing his targets of choice in his pieces).

        So here’s a guy who gets two newsnetwork shows and who says such creepy things about various people he chooses to target, but he’s the guy throwing stones at Ackerman. I can understand why you probably didn’t want to watch the links – watching Carlson anytime is difficult; watching selected clips of him using his national platform to mock the challenged with his smarmy grin isn’t something you’d want to pay an admission fee to see.

        I agree with your observations on people who have had mental and physical challenges, but I think you are using far to faint of praise to say they have more integrity, more conscience, empathy than Karl Rove and Fred Barnes.

        • Leen says:

          get it thanks. Thought I had to be misunderstanding. Tough to try to tag along with your big brains

          • Leen says:

            got it thanks. As I have said in the past it is tough for a peasant to trail along with some of these big brains at FDL.
            But clearly not afraid to ask questions even if they are not as razor sharp as some of the folks here.

            so thankful to be in the blog presence of people who care so much about justice, truth and the rule of law both nationally and internationally. Truly an honor. Gives me hope. Really does

        • tanbark says:

          Rove and Barnes are gone. Now we have the salvage operation to deal with.

          Obama’s sending another 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, and has gone square back on his withdrawal schedule that was to start in July of next year.

          I think we need to be more concerned with that, than going after Tucker Carlson for his little rag on Ackerman. Spencer’s been one of the main apoligists for Obama. I have no problem with one of the neo-neocons like him, taking a lick or two…even when it comes from a little dingbat famewhore like Carlson.

          • Leen says:

            Rove has his smug traitorous face and lies all over the place in the MSM. Where is Lorena Bobbit when you need her.

            • tanbark says:

              True dat, about Rove.

              But Karl is just trying to retroactively unshit the bed. It won’t work; collectively, we’re not THAT stupid.

              Obama, on the other hand, is MAKING policy, and, in some wretched ways, sustaining and increasing some of the worst of the BushCo shit.

              We can give Karl a lick, en passant, but the problem is sitting in the Oval Office, not appearing on the Sunday talk shows.

    • tanbark says:

      “…our good friends at Goldman Scratch set aside another U.S. $3.8 billion for their bonuses.”

      Thass okay, Earl: the new financial “reform” bill will put the quietus on that stuff…right? :o)

  10. rosalind says:

    christ, i’d missed the fact the national NAACP joined in on the condemnation of Ms. Sherrod last night, which they’re now walking back, saying they’d been “snookered”.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The context of Ms. Sherrod’s admission is the key to her comment’s value – not the admission itself; it is the use to which she puts it that counts. Presumably, that’s why Breitbart took her comment out of context via an edited tape, and it’s why he won’t release the full tape this time either.

      Breitbart’s aim is to make the American government function more poorly in order to score political points. Obama again made the mistake of responding to his political enemies on their own terms instead of his own, potentially far superior terms. In soccer terms, he scored another own goal.

      Ms. Sherrod models behavior today – not 24 years ago – we all should admire and emulate. Her comment is like a pastor admitting that as a child, s/he once stole a candy bar from a grocery store, or that as a young person, s/he had lustful thoughts about a parishioner. It is like a long sleep-deprived Barry Brazelton admitting he wanted to abuse a toddler – but didn’t; it is an admission that the problems his profession addresses can happen to any of us, to remove guilt from the equation and focus on behavior modification, because it produces less guilt-inducing behavior and therefore better outcomes for us all.

      Those are explicit learning tools, there-but-for-the-grace-of-god role playing moments the mature personality uses to educate the immature. That’s why this reaction by the Obama White House is so appalling. It undercuts mature, frank discussions of all kinds for no positive gain. It throws them under the bus, along with the talented staff capable of them.

      He mimics the Catholic hierarchy and commands us to hide how complex we are, which ensures that we will exhibit more flawed behavior rather than less. And because that modeling comes directly from the White House, it will be replicated far and wide. Mr. Obama’s solution to political conflict is to populate his government with Rahm Emanuels rather than with whole personalities. The result will be what Breitbart and his patrons desire, a less well-functioning government, not what we need.

    • bobschacht says:

      Yes; wouldn’t it be nice if Vilsack walked back his “request” for Sherrod’s resignation? But in Washington, can you do that?

      Bob in AZ

  11. AlchemyToday says:

    I notice that Ackerman’s not responding to this today; good move. Extinction is the only communications strategy that works when coming up against nonsense. Coincidentally, it’s also the sort of strategy that folks on the Journolist should’ve advocated re: Wright. If your side doesn’t provide a quote, there’s not much to report. Just don’t acknowledge nonsense, and it won’t turn into a he said/he said story to report. Common wisdom is that Kerry waited too long to address the Swift Boat smears; I think he didn’t wait long enough.

    There’s an exception to the rule if you’re someone like Sherrod who has a brilliant response that’s easily encapsulated in a 1-minute news story and utterly refutes and embarrasses your accuser.

    • Mary says:

      When is that from?

      “The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. It was signed by Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.”

      Notice anything odd about that? ;)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Another carryover from the Bush administration. Who ever said Mr. Obama was creative must never have seen him do the work he campaigned for.

  12. harpie says:

    O/T: From Glenn Greenwald [emphasis added]:

    UPDATE: Charlie Savage just noted on Twitter that Marty Lederman — the former blogger, Georgetown Law Professor, and vociferous critic of Bush executive power and Terrorism policies — is leaving his position at the Office of Legal Counsel to return to Georgetown Law. […]


    Along these same lines, a provision in the new Intelligence Authorization Act which would provide for substantially greater oversight of the intelligence community has now disappeared from the bill in the face of a threat from the Obama White House to veto any bill containing it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        One ought to ask, oughtn’t one. It would be good news if he is resigning out of principle. As with having manners and doing the right thing without being compelled to, resigning out of principle seems so 20th century. It reminds me of my favorite quip from 12 Angry Men:

        Bigot: “Why are you always so polite?”
        Watchmaker: “For the same reason you’re not: it’s the way I was brought up.”

        • prostratedragon says:

          8) Gotta see that again soon, I guess. It’s been years, but now that you mention it there was some good dialog in that movie, good for showing young teens an alternative model of tense, adult drama.

      • harpie says:

        and earlofhuntingdon @43:

        This is how Greenwald responded to a similar thought in comments [I haven’t yet read further to see if there is something more recent]”

        bystander [said]:

        I hope his resignation is as much a relief to him as it is to me.

        [GG responded]: We’ll see what he says, if anything. To be honest, I can’t envision him uttering any criticism of what the Obama administration did while he was there. I hope I’m wrong – and I hope even more he doesn’t start defending them.

        I second Glenn’s hopes.

  13. Petrocelli says:

    Fucker Carlson should spend a week watching Spencer work, and learn how to be a real journalist !

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Why would TC bother when being the recipient of Wingnut Welfare is easier and so much more lucrative than being on unemployment and food stamps.

      What Ben Stein said of the real unemployed doesn’t apply to them so much as to Wingnut Welfarists (neocons are soooo good at projection): they exist because they are lazy, crabby people with no talent and an inability to get along with others.

  14. Neil says:

    Ben Jealous, who I like, failed to take adequate responsibility for the NAACPs role in the Sherrod ouster and failed to advocate for her interests moving forward. Instead he lectured at length. He clearly was not at his best although he did take it to Breibart. If an institution cannot advocate for the advancement of a single person of color, the person who was the focus of the segment, how can it do so for all persons of color?

  15. prostratedragon says:

    OT: Ooowee, get out your straightening combs, folks, cuz we’re going to have a national, or maybe international, attack of the frizzies. Per Richard Smith pinch hitting over at nakedcapitalism I doubt many saw this coming:

    From WSJ:

    The nation’s three dominant credit-ratings providers have made an urgent new request of their clients: Please don’t use our credit ratings.

    The odd plea is emerging as the first consequence of the financial overhaul that is to be signed into law by President Obama on Wednesday. And it already is creating havoc in the bond markets, parts of which are shutting down in response to the request.

    Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are all refusing to allow their ratings to be used in documentation for new bond sales, each said in statements in recent days. Each says it fears being exposed to new legal liability created by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

    That is, the new law says that their ratings are to be treated as expert opinion if they are included in SEC filings —as some laws governing, e.g., municipal bonds and the like require— and can be used by issuers in those cases only with written permission. (At least I think that’s what it says: it’s late, or early, or something.)

    • harpie says:

      The topic is pretty sober, but that intro was a hoot!

      [PS: I’m looking forward to the chat with Tim Shorrock…does that happen right here?]

  16. tanbark says:

    What Hugh @ 13 said.

    If Ackerman weren’t so diligent at flacking for Obama’s “staying the course” in Afghanistan, I’d have a little more sympathy for him.

    Not a lot more: his adopting some of the tactics of the asshats just reinforces my view that his “journalism” needs to be taken with a five pound bag of salt.

  17. klynn says:


    That third part of the WaPo series just ends no where. It is weird. No recap of the critical issues. No interviews with experts to ask hard questions about the dangers of rapid growth of the intel industry within the private sector with no oversight.

    It just ends in an unfinished fashion.

    The whole series hints at the dangers of the growth but does not get any factual, historical concerns or point-of-view from anyone who studies the concerning issues of individual rights and security.

    It just kind of talks about the growth of intel industry. It does not examine it or dig.

  18. tanbark says:

    Of Obama’s problem with Sherrod; now, if he backtracks and keeps her (Unlikely, at best…) he’ll look like just another unprincipled and reactionary politician.

    Which, he is. :o)

    The repubs are succeeding in making the mid-terms nothing but a referendum on him. Will the voters support the party he “leads” (loosely speaking…) because the republicans appear to be slightly MORE unprincipled and reactionary?

    The envelope, please.

  19. Neil says:

    Supporters jam terror suspect’s hearing in federal court
    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Accused Al Qaeda wannabe Tarek Mehanna, a 27-year-old pharmacist from Sudbury, drew more than a 100 supporters this afternoon at a hearing in federal court.

    The crowd of men and women, teenagers and small children were greeted at the doors of the federal courthouse by six U.S. Marshals carrying automatic weapons. Gunmen haven’t been seen outside the court since the days immediately following 9-11.

    There were so many supporters for Mehanna, who is accused of providing material support to a terrorist organization, that an overflow courtroom was created where they could view the brief proceedings on closed circuit television. read more

    Earlier (October 22, 2009)

    FBI outlines case against Tarek Mehanna in terror plot

    Massachusetts resident Tarek Mehanna, arrested Wednesday, plotted to attack Americans at a shopping mall, FBI says. Failing that, he tried cyberattacks.

    By Mark Clayton, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / October 22, 2009

    Frustrated at failing in his travels overseas to locate a terrorist training camp, a Massachusetts man returned home in 2003 to begin plotting a domestic terror attack. Thrilled by the 9/11 attacks and impressed by the success of the Washington, D.C., snipers in terrorizing the public in late 2002, Tarek Mehanna and several friends began planning an attack on a shopping mall, a Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint alleges.

    In “multiple conversations, discussions, and preparation,” Tarek Mehanna, a student living at home with his parents in Sudbury, Mass., discussed with three other men how to “obtain automatic weapons, go to a shopping mall, and randomly shoot people,” according to the federal criminal complaint filed in a US district court Wednesday.

    The trio – Mehanna, Ahmad Abousamra, and an unnamed informant – debated logistics, types of weapons needed, the number of attackers needed, how to coordinate the attack, and how to attack emergency responders, the FBI says.

    But like others’ attempts to fight alongside terrorists against the United States, Mehanna’s purported scheme ran into a problem. One of the group traveled to New Hampshire to acquire automatic weapons but could not get them – and so the plan was abandoned, the complaint says.

    Mehanna, who graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in May 2008, has been charged with conspiring to “provide material support and resources” for terrorists.

    Authorities have been building a case for some time. read more

  20. Neil says:

    Among other things, Mehanna translated and published online an English translation of “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad” – such activities as fundraising or “electronic jihad” by participating in online chat rooms and cyber attacks on enemy websites, the affidavit alleges.

    A copy of “39 Ways” was found on Mehanna’s laptop computer along with files showing he had “translated and distributed materials which promoted Jihad,” including Al Qaeda propaganda. One video alleged to be distributed by Mehanna in July 2006 depicts the remains of US personnel in Iraq being mutilated; it included a preface by Osama bin Laden.

    The House permanent Select Committee on Intelligence heard testimony in May 2005 in which terrorist organizations’ Internet presence was described as “a critical component of their strategies to engage in propaganda, recruit, raise funds, operationally communicate, in essence, to perform the necessary support functions of terror.”

    The government’s case falls somewhere in the middle of recent terrorism cases in terms of its seriousness, experts say. Najibulla Zazi, an immigrant from Afghanistan arrested last month in Colorado, has been charged with attempting to conduct an attack in New York around the anniversary of 9/11. Other cases include more serious preparation.