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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2010 11:00am PT  

As the Washington Post continues its shameful drift farther and farther to the right, it has long demonstrated the inability to use the "L" word, no matter how appropriate, and even seemed to support rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart's deceptively edited hit-video on Shirley Sherrod last week, long after everyone else had come to realize it was a hoax. So it was nice to see E.J. Dionne's column in WaPo on Monday in which he actually used the correct words to identify the facts of the matter.

He used the words "right-wing propaganda," as in the headline for his column: "Enough right-wing propaganda." That's right. What Andrew Breitbart and his ilk do is not opinion, it's not "conservative journalism" or even "activism." It's propaganda. And it's certainly not "conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. It's right-wing. There is nothing "conservative" about it.

Using a phrase akin to the ones we've applied to Breitbart for a very long time, Dionne went on to refer to him, accurately, as a "right-wing hit man," as in: "The administration's response to the doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart was shameful."

And then, the "L" word appeared in the pages of the Washington Post. Finally. As Dionne appropriately used the word "liars," as in: "When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win."

Good for Dionne. I suspect he'll be fired immediately.




By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2010 9:28am PT  

From AP:

Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.

The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask Sherrod to resign, a decision he reconsidered after seeing the entire video of her March speech to a local NAACP group. In the full speech, Sherrod spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.

She said she doesn't want an apology from Breitbart for posting the video that took her comments out of context, but told a crowd at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention that she would "definitely sue."

If filed, Sherrod's suit against the discredited pathological liar, race-baiter, and propagandist Breitbart would follow on another lawsuit recently filed against two of his employees, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, for having secretly video-taped an ACORN worker in violation of California state law. The worker, as all of the others secretly taped in the O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart hit videos, was found to have committed no crimes, despite disinformation suggesting otherwise forwarded on Breitbart's websites and other rightwing and non-rightwing media outlets.

The suit against O'Keefe and Giles, filed just over two weeks ago by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera for invasion of privacy, leaves open the possibility that a number of other defendants will be added to the complaint. As The BRAD BLOG noted in our coverage of that suit, "we'll be neither surprised nor saddened to see Breitbart named as one" of the defendants added in the not-too-distant future.

Between that lawsuit, and Sherrod's, if she keeps her promise to "definitely sue," it looks like Breitbart, who has spent many years disingenuously decrying the "journalistic malpractice" of others, may soon get a better definition of what that phrase actually means. For those of us who have seen Breitbart's manic and embarrassing defense of his phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos --- the deceptively-edited tapes he published prior to the deceptively-edited Sherrod video he published --- we've already got a pretty good idea of what that looks like.




Our military and political leaders are still deceiving us after all these years...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/26/2010 6:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Somehow this madness must cease."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" April 4, 1967.

In Beyond Afghanistan, I utilized Dr King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech to deconstruct the empty words used by our Harvard-educated President during a December 1, 2009, address in which he sought to justify an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

I noted then that President Barack Obama deliberately conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda just as "President" George W. Bush conflated Saddam with al Qaeda to exploit the fear and anger engendered by 9/11. Robert Scheer revealed, in War of Absurdity that there were, at that time, less than 100 members of al Qaeda still inside Afghanistan, who, per General James Jones, did not retain the "ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies." I added:

To defeat the ignoble 100, the U.S. is rapidly building toward an in-country presence of 100,000 American troops at a cost of $100 billion per year. NATO will also add 7,000 more troops, bringing a combined total to 140,000 foreign occupiers to that impoverished nation. To this, add some 104,000 "private contractors" aka armed mercenaries, who are paid more than three times the amount received by American troops.

Earlier, I posted a five part series on the more than 50-year history of CIA torture. In Part III, citing Victor Marchetti's heavily redacted The CIA & The Cult of Intelligence, I reported on how the CIA's William Colby constructed interrogation centers whose [emphasis added] “operations…consisted of torture tactics against suspected Vietcong…usually carried out by Vietnamese nationals”; that this morphed into the infamous Phoenix torture, then kill and dump program, in which an estimated 46,000 Vietnamese lost their lives; that General Petreus suggested that the Phoenix Program be reinstated on a “global scale.”

A powerful, must-see Democracy Now segment, The New Pentagon Papers: WikiLeaks Releases 90,000+ Secret Military Documents Painting Devastating Picture of Afghanistan War (video below) potently establishes that nothing has really changed.

Our current crop of military and political leaders inside the Bush and Obama administrations have erected an elaborate deception as they carry out wars of imperial conquest and war crimes, including targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, just as our past military and political leaders in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations erected an elaborate deception to justify the quagmire in Southeast Asia a generation ago...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2010 5:23pm PT  

"Why isn't the media covering this story?" MoveOn.org demands to know.

"Right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart has admitted --- on tape --- that he's a terrorist-lover. So why isn't the media covering it?," they ask, getting their priorities right for the first time in a long time, and adding the option to "Sign our petition demanding that the media cover this shocking new revelation."

"We've just uncovered a video in which Andrew Breitbart admits he 'hearts' terrorists while a conservative audience applauds," explain the progressive journalists at MoveOn*.

"Is this video real? Hey, video can't lie, right? Just ask CBS, The Washington Post, Fox, and other news outlets who've faithfully covered Andrew Breitbart's videos," says MoveOn, while failing to name the NYTimes specifically, despite the "paper of record's" egregious leadership in this same regard.

"Our video is just as truthful as any Breitbart has ever released, and deserves equal coverage from the news media," notes MoveOn, with no small bit of evidence to back up the assertion. Here's the damning video providing incontrovertible evidence of Breitbart's love for al-Qaeda:


Not since our own "Andrew Breitbart Pedophilia Investigation," have we seen such a shocking video!

* If James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Breitbart are "conservative journalists," as they and many in the non-wingnut media have reported, then yes, the folks at MoveOn are nothing other than "progressive journalists."

* * *

And...In recently related news at The BRAD BLOG: Andrew Breitbart is an unapologetic race-baiter and pathological liar. Also, despite the Obama Administration's swift apology and new job offer to Shirley Sherrod after they fell for Breitbart's deceptively-edited video of her, which resulted in her losing her job, the cowardly White House has still not apologized to ACORN for having fallen for Breitbart's previous deceptively-edited ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos, which resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans being put out of work, as well as largely killing a four-decade-old, anti-poverty, pro-democracy community organization which provided vital support and services to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of low- and middle-income Americans who needed such support and services the most.




By Brad Friedman on 7/23/2010 5:30pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, from "Netroots Nation" in Las Vegas...

They keep pulling me back in. Had planned some travel and time off beginning this week, but the good Jeanne Devon (aka "AKMuckraker" of The Mudflats) tricked me into talked me into stopping by Netroots Nation, being held in Vegas this week, on my way outta Dodge. As Sin City was largely on our route outta town, and as I don't get many any opportunities to see the Alaska folks like her, Shannyn Moore, and dozens of others from around the country who I've known for years, but have never met in person, I figured why not stop in and both cover it a bit, and say hello to 'em all.

Have been doing so, and reporting some of it in various spurts via Twitter over the last 24. As I can get caught up over the next few days (the conference is ongoing through the weekend), I'll try to bring what I can here as well, as merited and/or newsworthy and/or amusing and/or interesting.

But after a late late night at Rio's Pai Gow tables with Jeanne, Shannyn, Mike Rogers of RAW STORY and BlogActive (he the "outer" of Larry Craig, and arguably my "blog father" as one of the earliest blogger supporters of this site) as well as various and sundry other progressive trouble makers, muckrakers and decidedly not professional gamblers, I'll have to start slow.

For the moment then, a quick recap of impressions, photos --- and even some news of sorts --- from yesterday, which included an unscheduled, somewhat hard-hitting radio interview with Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas on Nicole Sandler's Show (audio below) and some 30 minutes of my attempting to get answers --- on anything --- from the less-than-respectable rightwing "voter fraud" deceptionist John Fund of Wall Street Journal, Fox "News," and all places wingnut...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2010 2:41pm PT  

Vilsack and the White House have issued apologies to Shirley Sherrod and asked her to take a new "unique" job at the USDA.

I must hit the road (heading towards Vegas, where, yes, I plan to stop into Netroots Nation for the first time), so can't offer more details on all of this for now.

But just one point: The WH seems to have done the right thing in apologizing to Sherrod, and seem to be making good on the one job they cost in inappropriately firing her based on a deceptively edited hoax video tape posted by pathological liar and con-artist Andrew Breitbart. Now how about those thousands of jobs lost at ACORN, the four-decade old anti-poverty, pro-democracy organization, after the President signed a bill defunding them based on an almost identical, deceptively-edited video tape hoax as perpetrated by the same Andrew Breitbart? Do they plan to make that one right as well now? If not, why not?

See ya from Vegas...

* * *

UPDATE: Looks like Joe Conason at Salon has the same thought: "Now reopen Breitbart's ACORN fraud --- and get the story right"




By Brad Friedman on 7/21/2010 1:08pm PT  

It's a neat trick. Andrew Breitbart, the pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, posts a deceptively edited video (again), to which media and Democratic officials cowardly knee-jerk in reaction (again), before the video is ultimately discovered to have been a deceptively edited hoax. Then, rather than copping to having been a pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan dirty-trickster, Breitbart criticizes the media and those others who bought into the hoax that he himself perpetrated.

You see, it was all the media's fault for being irresponsible enough to buy into his own bullshit. Well played, Mr. Breitbart - you pathological liar, race-baiter, propagandist, and rabidly partisan ratfucker.

Breitbart, as usual, is partially correct, which is why his ratfucking continues to have any effect at all. The media did, at first, buy into his Shirley Sherrod scam. And not just Fox "News," who more than simply "bought into it," actually played their usual vital role in the rightwing disinfo food chain by offering a news-like presentation to the false story, as if it's a real one which deserves coverage by others. But others in the non-wingnut, theoretically-legitimate media also treated this story, initially, as legitimate. For that matter, even after the hoax was revealed for what it was, Washington Post, late last night, granted the phony story more legitimacy by "privileging the lie" and burying the by-then known truth in the 15th paragraph of its coverage.

Today, however, as the dust settles, Breitbart's lie has been uncharacteristically exposed in a record 24-hours or so, and he finds himself backed into a corner threatening whatever legitimacy he had foolishly been granted by adults who ought to have known better long ago. So now, the very professional snake-oil salesman and con-artist is attempting to riggle out of that corner with an all new lie that moves the goal posts from his original, now-discredited smear, to an entirely new, made-up-out-of-whole cloth claim. To wit: Since he was discovered to have lied in the first place, Breitbart is now claiming, to anyone stupid enough to listen, that his original blog post where he published the deceptively-edited video, was "not about Shirley Sherrod. It's not about Shirley Sherrod. I can say it 20 times. It's about the NAACP."

Oh, and also, he now adds in desperation upon having taken on a foe who was willing to fight back: "I feel bad that they made this about her, and I feel sorry that they made this about her...Watching how they've misconstrued, how the media has misconstrued the intention behind this, I do feel a sympathy for her plight."

They made this about her? The media misconstrued the intention behind this?

Of course, those claims are complete lies as well. As usual. And they're betrayed by his very own words. As usual...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2010 7:43pm PT  

For those who have asked, no, I'm not particularly interested in Andrew Breitbart's latest, deceptively-edited video scam campaign which, shamefully, the Obama Administration and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack fell for before bothering to view the whole video.

We did what we did earlier this year --- exposing Breitbart's ACORN scam in extraordinary detail and for months on end --- in hopes that the rest of the media would not fall for such scams again in the future.

Clearly, the entirety of the corporate MSM has yet to fully learn the lesson. (e.g., see this piece on Washington Post's ombudsman falling for Fox/Breitbart's ridiculous "New Black Panther Party" non-scandal, non-story over the weekend and WaPo's embarrassing coverage of the Sherrod incident tonight --- even after the hoax has been exposed --- where they waited until the 15th graf(!) to note the video was deceptively edited!) Obviously, the Obama Administration hasn't learned its lesson at all, as witnessed by the firing of Shirley Sherrod without any due diligence.

But it's nice to see that, this time, it took many in the media just 24 hours or so before catching on to Breitbart's hoax...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2010 12:23pm PT  

If you didn't already know that the latest Fox "News" fake "outrage" about the jackass from the New Black Panther Party who was caught on video standing outside a Philadelphia polling place with a nightstick in 2008 was another predictably trumped-up Rightwing scam story, Jamison Foser will help you understand why that is.

But as with the phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, the most unsettling part of this latest scam is not just that Fox is promoting a phony story, round-the-clock, to rile up and scare their gullible viewers. That's what they do. We all know that by now. Or should. What's disturbing is that so-called Ombudsmen at major, theoretically non-wingnut "liberal media" outlets have yet to figure any of that out.

This time around, it's Washington Post's Ombudsman Andrew Alexander who takes the bait --- hook, line, nightstick, and phony whistleblower --- in support of his paper's coverage of what they shamefully headlined as a "political bombshell." Hoax Accomplished. Again.

Media Matters' Simon Maloy predicted this story would play out in exactly this way back on July 2nd [emphasis ours]:

1. Right-wingers shout loudly about bogus story.
2. Fox News picks up bogus story, reports on it incessantly.
3. Right-wingers and Fox News start complaining that "liberal media" are ignoring bogus story.
4. Other outlets are shamed into covering bogus story, mini-frenzy ensues.
5. Pundits credit Fox News for "being ahead of the curve."
6. Responsible media outlets determine bogus story is bogus long after damage is done.
7. Repeat.

See Foser for details, so we can go back to (hopefully) ignoring this ridiculous non-story.




Bonus Flashback Video: Tea Party Express & 'Rise of the Tea Bags'!
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2010 7:05am PT  

The Tea Party Express has been expelled from the National Tea Party Federation, an umbrella group of Tea Parties, in a disturbing incident of Tea Party on Tea Party non-violence.

The weekend expulsion came in response to a so-called satirical letter written to Abraham Lincoln by Tea Party Express spokesman and Rightwing talk show host, Mark Williams.

The letter in question begins: "Dear Mr. Lincoln, We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

The National Tea Party Federation had called on the Tea Party Express to remove Williams as spokesperson. They didn't. So they're out. Whatever "out" means to these folks. Tea Party poopers!

Williams is also the Rightwing clown who recently called on citizens to defraud the government's $20 billion BP Fund, as The BRAD BLOG reported earlier this month. Some "conservative," eh?

Williams' high-larious "parody letter" (as he later called it when he took it off his site) was, itself, in response to the NAACP's recent resolution, condemning "racist elements" within the Tea Party. Geez, what racist elements?!...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Many more corporate-funded attacks to come, however...
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2010 11:06am PT  

Good for Sinclair Broadcasting, in this case, pulling an inaccurate commercial off the air that was being run by the despicable corporate money-launderers of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, attacking Democratic U.S. Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania.

Of course, the ad was run on television before it was pulled. The fact-checking was not done in advance, so lies such as health insurance reform being "a government takeover of healthcare" were allowed to be aired as if they were legitimate claims.

Naturally, the campaign of Sestak's Republican opponent, Pat Toomey, backed up the Chamber's ads, even as they are not supposed to be coordinating with such groups, according to the law. But what do quaint old notions like "the rule of law" really mean anymore in these United States anyway?

What is underscored again here, is that corporate lobbyists and criminals like those at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are now free to wield millions --- even billions --- of dollars for or against candidates they don't like, or who may not meet with their corporate approval for any reason.

That's what the U.S. Supreme Court has recently deemed "free speech". And you, dear private citizen of the United States of America, can do nothing about it --- unless you happen to have a few hundred million extra dollars sitting around the house and want to exercise your "free speech" in producing and airing TV commercials in opposition. Good luck with that.

[Please see, and support, VelvetRevolution.us' StopTheChamber.com campaign to help push back against the anti-American, anti-citizen Goliath that is the U.S. Chamber. Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

* * *

UPDATE 4:04pm: Looks like the Rightwing corporate bosses at Sinclair may have come down on the local stations. AP is now reporting the Chamber says the ads are being restored:

Two Pittsburgh-area TV stations are reversing a decision to pull a commercial attacking Democratic policies and the voting record of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Friday that the stations are restoring the ad that the business advocacy group sponsored.

An official for sister stations WPGH and WPMY declined to comment.

[Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter Philip Shropshire.]




By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2010 10:45am PT  




By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2010 5:02pm PT  

Yesterday The BRAD BLOG covered the invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera against Rightwing activists and dirty tricksters James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles after they'd video-taped him secretly, in violation of California law.

Last night, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC covered it, rather amusingly (and accurately), this way...





Prior injunction, pending appeal may be moot; Status of court's apparent conflicts-of-interest remain an open question...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/13/2010 2:50pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

As noted in today's Green News Report, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has ordered a new moratorium on exploratory deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere off the continental shelf of the U.S.. The new suspension may make prior court battles over the previous moratorium moot, even as questions linger concerning apparent conflicts-of-interest by the judge who originally heard the case.

Stating that he was basing his decision on "an extensive record of existing and new information indicating that allowing new deepwater drilling to commence would pose a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to the marine, coastal, and human environment," Salazar sent a memo yesterday to Michael R. Bromwich, the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), directing him to issue new suspensions of deepwater drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The new suspensions, presuming they withstand another inevitable court challenge from the oil industry, will run through November 30 and apply to both the Pacific and Gulf Coast regions.

In revealing the new suspensions, Salazar announced...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Says 'evidence overwhelming' they 'participated in criminal conspiracies to violate federal law and guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2010 4:17pm PT  

Wow. Seriously. Just...really...Wow.

Fox "News" analyst and former NJ Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano was featured on a segment of C-Span's BookTV over the weekend, to discuss his book, Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History.

While being interviewed by Ralph Nader, Napolitano says what Bush and Cheney did while in office was "blatantly unconstitutional, and in some cases criminal."

When asked by Nader what the consequences should be, the judge says, in no uncertain terms: "They should have been indicted! They absolutely should have been indicted! For torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrant."

Wow. Guess his contract on Fox must be up. If it wasn't, we suspect it is now. The text transcript and video --- with Napolitano explaining that the "evidence...is overwhelming" that Bush and Cheney "participated in criminal conspiracies to violate the federal law and the guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings --- follows below. Take a look...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




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