The Suddenly Incurious Citizen Journalists

If ever you were under the illusion that Greater Wingnuttia was anything other than a bunch of partisan goobers wholly uninterested in the truth and wedded only to the needs of the Republican party, surely the last week has shed you of that illusion. As I write this, only one fringe nutter has even mentioned the emerging Rudy Giuliani financial scandal. None of them has mentioned the fabulist at NRO. How can this be? Where are our brave truth detectors?

Let’s compare:

– When a 12 year old kid had the nerve to state that he benefited from a government program and thinks other kids should too, a massive orgy of ‘Truth detecting’ took place. Counters were examined. Houses were visited. Property records were scrutinized. Statements were parsed.

– When a private in the army wrote some tales with a few anecdotes about what he had experienced in the war in Iraq, and a few disagreed, no grain of sand was left unturned. Scale models of armored vehicles were built. Experts were called, emailed, and interrogated. Myspace accounts were looked up. Entire fields of Cray Supercomputers had to be brought online just to handle all the “debunking” and commentary from the wingnuts.

But now, a Republican front-runner FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT has clearly played fast and loose with the public’s money to hide/finance his extramarital dalliances, and the truth detectors on the right are silent. When an NRO columnist admits straight-up to making shit up to radically overstate a military threat to a key ally, perhaps to agitate for American military involvement, our fact-checkers snooze. The sum total of the response can be summed up as a giant yawn.

Crickets. Not even a “heh, indeed” can be found on these topics from our brave and intrepid citizen journalists. Hell, they are lagging FAR behind all the traditional media, who are cranking out tons of stories about Giuliani. Greater Wingnuttia should change their motto from “We’ll fact check your ass” to “We’ll fact check your ass, if you aren’t a Republican.” At least that would be honest.

*** Update ***

The Captain weighs in, only to downplay and all but dismiss the charges and then brushes off the brewing scandal as ‘marital woes’:

While I believe this to be a minor issue for Giuliani in terms of ethics — it tells us nothing new about his relationship with Judith Nathan before their marriage that didn’t already make contemporaneous headlines — the Giuliani team has not handled it very well. They should acknowledge that they made mistakes in handling the billings in 2000 and 2001 and apologize for the errors. The longer they issue threadbare rationalizations, the longer this will stick to the campaign.

Allegedly misusing public funds to drive around your girlfriend and engage in all sort of accounting shell games to hide your behavior is, according to the Good Captain, no big deal. Can anyone imagine the stories if this was, say, Hillary Clinton instead of Giuliani? By now, they would be investigating all state and local laws to see if they could indict her for adultery. All together now- IOKIYAR.

After reading Captain Ed it is pretty obvious how the right wing blogosphere will handle the Giuliani business, as it will be Plame redux. The same group of folks who were able to scour fonts in the Dan Rather case, make the most intricate arguments about bullet casings in Baghdad with Beauchamp, examine every aspect of health insurance policies in Maryland for the Frost family, will all of a sudden become “confused” by all the accounting numbers. The virtual certainty about all things divined from anonymous Free Republic investigators will be replaced with assertions of “confusion” and “trickiness” and complaints about “complicated accounting.” It will be “difficult” to come to a conclusion whether he has done anything wrong, and it will not be “clear” if he violated any laws. Just take the phrase “Was she really covert” and replace it with “Did he really do anything wrong” and you have your blogospheric talking points from Greater Wingnuttia for the next two weeks.

The same folks who got degrees and a Nobel Peace Prize in neurosurgery during the Schiavo affair will, by the end of the week, be forced to pretend they can’t balance a checkbook. It should be pretty funny to watch. That is if they don’t just manage to ignore it altogether.

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108 replies
  1. 1
    Dug Jay says:

    LMAO! May be the funniest post you’ve put up since Schiavo died. Keep it up and you may qualify for an early medical retirement on the basis of growing dementia.

  2. 2
    John S. says:

    May be the funniest post you’ve put up since Schiavo died.

    Now that is funny.

    You’re getting better at this spoofing stuff.

  3. 3
    Psycheout says:

    Ahem! Cough! I’m sorry, I seem to be coming down with a cold.

    Carry on.

  4. 4
    John S. says:

    Ahem! Cough! I’m sorry, I seem to be coming down with a cold.

    Sorry, but your third-rate blog is part of Lesser Wingnuttia (or more likely New Spoofistan).

  5. 5
    capelza says:

    Oh I need a catchy bumpersticker..something short and sweet…””Lewinsky” will be the new First Lady of the United States of America if Giuliani is elected” is too long.

    John, it’s really early here, but I am not sure what NRO fabulist you are referring to…

  6. 6
    demimondian says:

    Follow John’s link, and there’s a post with the useful and descriptive title “Note to readers” on the memeorandum page. That’s the…err…well…I wouldn’t call it a retraction more a “yeah, I didn’t have any evidence, and the evidence that others have presented shows that I made things up, but I made things up which weren’t true but they must have been true anyway” kind of post.

  7. 7
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Wingnutistan is too busy conducting retinal scans on debate-questioners to determine party affiliation. You know, important stuff.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    Never thought we’d actually get the “no shit, Sherlock” post from Sir Cole-A-Lot, but here it is.

  9. 9
    demimondian says:

    The memeorandum link points to this item, as well as to discussion of that item. As John says, there’s a remarkable shortage of comment outside of a few left wing blogs.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    Greater Wingnuttia should change their motto from “We’ll fact check your ass” to “We’ll fact check your ass, if you aren’t a Republican.” At least that would be honest.

    tread carefully, it’s a short step from this to cynical political apathy.

  11. 11
    wonkie says:

    “At least that would be honest”?

    Greater Wingnuttia doesn’t do honest.

  12. 12
    capelza says:

    demi, thank you…I wound up at some other place and was confused.

    So:

    “some 200-plus heavily armed Hezbollah militiamen”

    to:

    I saw at least two AK-47s there with my own eyes. And this from a moving vehicle on the highway above the camp. And in my way of thinking, if a guy’s got an AK-47, he’s “heavily armed.”

    200 or 2..same thing! No.

  13. 13
    wasabi gasp says:

    Fact-free, yes, but there’s surely plenty of republican-on-republican ass checking going on.

  14. 14
    dslak says:

    it’s a short step from this to cynical political apathy.

    Fortunately, for Cole’s detractors, the cynically apathetic still count as liberals.

  15. 15

    They are following ol’ Dutch’s 11th Commandment:

    But remember one thing — it came from the West, I know, but I’m still singing it — the greatest thing that’s happened for the Republican Party is, when the chips are down and the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails and everybody goes to work, and that is: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

    Evidently the chips are down, eh? Its worked pretty well for more than 27 years. Why stop now?

  16. 16
    dslak says:

    I wonder if he would know the difference between AK-47s and Kalashnikovs, by sight, in the first place. There’s a story for our Citizen Journalists right there!

  17. 17
    ThymeZone says:

    The right in America continues to be a barren wasteland on the landscape of intellectual integrity.

    Not surprising, since intellectual integrity serves no purpose in the context of what they are doing.

  18. 18
    dslak says:

    I think the 11th Commandment was in play when, to stop all the Republican-on-Republican bloodletting after the CNN/YouTube debate, Greater Wignuttia decided to go after the questioners rather than the crazy people who answered them.

  19. 19
    Rick Taylor says:

    Wow. This has got to be the end of Rudy, right? I mean this is what they tried to impeach Clinton for.

  20. 20
    dslak says:

    this is what they tried to impeach Clinton for.

    Yes, but this is different. Clinton was a Democrat.

  21. 21

    I wonder if he would know the difference between AK-47s and Kalashnikovs …

    He can’t be that stupid! Kalashnikov is a punk rock band.

  22. 22
    Dug Jay says:

    I mean this is what they tried to impeach Clinton for.

    Not really. Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment. Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

  23. 23

    Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment. Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    Lying about something that is not a crime, is impeachable. Lying to get us into an unnecessary war, is not an impeachable offense?

    Welcome to the world of the Former Cheerleader and his Gang of War Criminals.

  24. 24
    RSA says:

    Bush certainly learned that lesson: Never testify under oath if you can help it.

    On the NRO story, I think the best way to describe it would be “fake but accurate”.

  25. 25
    John S. says:

    Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment.

    Perjury is only a crime if you’re a Democrat.

    Ask Scooter Libby.

    Lying to get us into an unnecessary war, is not an impeachable offense?

    Bush was never under oath (the oath he took when he was sworn in as president doesn’t count) when he lied – even to the 9/11 commission.

    Zing!

  26. 26
    Rick Taylor says:

    Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment. Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    Hee. Then we need to get Guliani under oath.

  27. 27
    wasabi gasp says:

    Clinton’s penis didn’t lead to mo’ matrimony. Giuliani’s penis, on the other hand, is a sanctity machine.

  28. 28
    jcricket says:

    Crickets. Not even a “heh, indeed” can be found on these topics from our brave and intrepid citizen journalists. Hell, they are behind all the traditional media, who are cranking out tons of stories about Giuliani.

    First of all, I have not been silent, nor am I plural :-)

    And yes, “citizen journalism” isn’t. There’s no Murray Waas or Sy Hersh amongst the conservatives. It’s basically a well-funded version of the “moon landing is a hoax” people in a giant internet circle jerk.

    Greater Wingnuttia should change their motto from “We’ll fact check your ass” to “We’ll fact check speculate wildly and lie when necessary about your ass, if you aren’t a Republican.” At least that would be honest.

    Fixed. No, seriously. Wingnuttias investigations are to journalism what Jack Van Impe is to predicting the future.

  29. 29
    jcricket says:

    Geez, compare the right-wing “investigations” (of anything) or anything leaked to Drudge to smear people with (“Obama is a fake Christian terrorist plant”) to what actual journalists, or even the bloggers on the left do.

    If you’ve been following Glenn Greenwald’s takedown of Joe Klein and Time, you’ll see what real fact checking is, and how it works.

    In fact, Glenn’s takedown is another great example of the difference between the left and the right. The left wants the media to work right (not pass on scandal/rumor as fact, fact-check PR and spin, not trust dishonest politicians). The right wants the media to be friendly to Republicans all the time, pass on smear as fact, etc – in other words, become the PR arm of the Republican party.

  30. 30
    jcricket says:

    OK – Rudy scandal’s gonna have legs:

    Giuliani, who is normally friendly to reporters, bristled past them, and campaign staffers were unusually physical in keeping the press away. Several campaign aides told campaign reporters to return to the press area, and some of his security detail manhandled reporters.

  31. 31
    r€nato says:

    Not really. Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment. Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    yeah, it’s right there in the Constitution – ‘lying under oath in a civil suit which has no bearing whatsoever on a President’s fitness for office – even if that civil suit is later dismissed – shall be grounds for impeachment.’

  32. 32
    Lesley says:

    Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    Of course, the scandal’s about using and hiding city funds to do so. Not the affair itself. But let’s ignore that little fact.

  33. 33
    Lesley says:

    BTW, it’s not clear whether or not that’s illegal under New York City law. It is under New York State law (using state funds to chaperone his sick wife is what got Hevesi in trouble). But you’d think the courageous fact-checkers of the right might use some of their fact-checking time to investigate that. But by and large, not.

  34. 34

    If this were pretty much anywhere but TPM, I wouldn’t believe it. But apparently, city funds were spent on “NYPD cops to walk Nathan’s dog.”

    How can this only be coming out now? How could a New York City cop be assigned to this wasteful, demeaning task, and no one would ever find out? I guess all Giulianis find their corrupt, omerta-practicing Keriks.

  35. 35

    I might point out that Clinton was never actually indicted for perjury or even charged with it.

  36. 36
    corwin says:

    Clinton was not actually impeached for the Lewinsky affair. That was nothing more than a cover. His real offense was that he raised taxes on the rich shortly after getting in office. The republicans spent the next three years looking for anything they could use to get back at him. His lying about his affair just barely rises to the level of a crime, but raising taxes, to the republicans, is practically treason.

  37. 37
    cleek says:

    and the Clenis has successfully derailed another thread.

  38. 38
    craigie says:

    I might point out that Clinton was never actually indicted for perjury or even charged with it.

    Oh stop it with the relevant facts and stuff.

  39. 39
    RSA says:

    I might point out that Clinton was never actually indicted for perjury or even charged with it.

    What?! But all the wingnut sites I read say that he was convicted of it!

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    and the Clenis has successfully derailed another thread.

    The Clenis got nothing on the upcoming Clagina craze.

  41. 41
    Xenos says:

    Another angle on the Plame approach is to simply assert that some peripheral issue is the center of the scandal, and then to lie endlessly about it, so that any discussion can be routed into an eddy on pettiness – ‘Plame did TOO send him on the trip!”

    In this case, we will hear something really stupid soon, like:
    “Nobody can prove Kerik was the driver for those trips!”, or,
    “It was not really adultery under the NY code!”

    -anything to give the captive media talking heads a basis for reporting anything other than a partisan dispute.

  42. 42
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Giuliani, who is normally friendly to reporters, bristled past them, and campaign staffers were unusually physical in keeping the press away. Several campaign aides told campaign reporters to return to the press area, and some of his security detail manhandled reporters.

    Now THAT is the kind of development that could get this story on the front page. If Rudy stops joshing with reporters and doesn’t invite them to his cocktail parties anymore, they might just decide to go after him.

  43. 43
    Xenos says:

    Not really. Perjury is an actual crime and a basis for impeachment. Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    Perjury needs to be based on a lie about a material fact, too. I have no idea how the fooling around between Monica and Bill was material to the sexual harassments suit from Jones. It is not even clear that, should Jones’ suit have been tried, the deposition testimony regarding Monica would have been admissible.

  44. 44
    Voice of Reason says:

    Still the funniest damn thing I’ve read all week!

  45. 45
    dslak says:

    Xenos is right, the judge did rule that it was immaterial, and that it was not to be made public. It was, however, made public by someone on Jones’s team. Three guesses as to who that was . . .

  46. 46
    capelza says:

    So Giuliani prepaying 400,000 on a city AMEX card (charged to the agency charged with finding legal defense for poor defendants) for future “travel expenses’ is difficult for them to understand?

    And that some of the 100K that was spent going out to the Hamptons where Nathan had a condo. Or that it was so “odd” to do this that Bloomberg got 298K back from Amex when he took office.

    Why is this so hard for the big brain “rational” righties to understand? Talk about your “Travelgate”.

  47. 47

    […] Posted in GOP at 10:38 am by LeisureGuy John Cole, in Balloon Juice, nails it: If ever you were under the illusion that Greater Wingnuttia was anything other than a bunch of partisan goobers wholly uninterested in the truth and wedded only to the needs of the Republican party, surely the last week has shed you of that illusion. As I write this, only one fringe nutter has even mentioned the emerging Rudy Giuliani financial scandal. None of them has mentioned the fabulist at NRO. How can this be? Where are our brave truth detectors? […]

  48. 48
    jcricket says:

    After reading Captain Ed it is pretty obvious how the right wing blogosphere will handle the Giuliani business, as it will be Plame redux.

    So basically we’re going to start hearing that indictments for the reporters covering the case are imminent?

    Remember – it’s not just that it was “no big deal” about Plame or that she “wasn’t undercover”. It was that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame were going to be convicted of all sorts of crimes.

    And the whole dodging of this is just classic IOKIYAR behavior. I don’t expect them to police their own, but someone should. And that someone is the media, the Democrats and the voting public.

    Waxman and others need to keep up all the pressure for the next 4+ years (or however long it takes to uncover all the crimes + damage Bush and the Republicans have done). No listening to the concern trolls about how Americans are tired of investigations.

    What Americans are tired of is corrupt Republicans. Don’t forget it.

  49. 49
    jcricket says:

    It will be “difficult” to come to a conclusion whether he has done anything wrong, and it will not be “clear” if he violated any laws.

    BTW – I expect Wingnuts to say something (with a straight face) like “Stop criminalizing criminal behavior – that’s just anti-Republican”.

  50. 50
    Dug Jay says:

    Why is this so hard for the big brain “rational” righties to understand?

    Easy to answer: The righties are simply following the precedent established by the lefties who simply said, move on…nothing here.

  51. 51
    Psycheout says:

    Mere diddling of a compliant member of the opposite sex is not.

    Huh? Are you Rudy’s PR or something? I cannot believe how many stupid people cannot see that this isn’t about diddling, it’s about the misuse of TAXPAYER MONEY. The diddling is secondary.

    Look at it this way. The diddling was cheating on his wife. The misuse of public funds was cheating on the city of New York. Do you want to give this egomaniac the opportunity to diddle the entire country?

    It’s the corruption, stupid.

  52. 52
    dslak says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Scott Beauchamp was laundering Rudy’s money, without the latter’s knowledge?

    Damn you, Scott Beauchamp!

  53. 53
    Psycheout says:

    Easy to answer: The righties are simply following the precedent established by the lefties who simply said, move on…nothing here.

    OK, I get it. You’re a liberal troll. Move.on.dot.org. Go away.

  54. 54
    jake says:

    It will be “difficult” to come to a conclusion whether he has done anything wrong, and it will not be “clear” if he violated any laws.

    No, no John. They aren’t to the stage where they can be confused by the numbers. They are still in a state of shock brought on by the idea that a Double Gitmoing, LawnOrdering*, Mayor of Americaing Republican could do anything that wasn’t completely above board and straight forward. Of course it is easy for them to cope with the idea that DemoNcRats do nasty things, that is what Democrats do so they can go straight from Ah-ha! To Counter Checking with nary a blink. But hearing that one of their own has been naughty has sent them to the swooning couches. Again.

    Soon enough they’ll start the process of grieving and enter Stage 1 – Denial. Next comes … Oh wait, we’re talking about the denizens of Wingnuttistan, it’s all denial for that lot.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Giuliani’s penis, on the other hand, is a sanctity machine.

    Family Values, bitches!

    I hope you don’t mind if I steal that.

    *Not to be confused with Mr. LawnOrder(TM) Fred Thompson.

  55. 55
    Xanthippas says:

    You know, I’ve taken the time to leave three comments about this NRO thing on our great media critic Confederate Yankee’s blog. And though he’s managed to find time to write about another story of supposed liberal media bias, he still can’t quite bring himself to write about this one. And my first comment disappeared, oddly enough. But, no bias or anything…it’s all about finding the truth.

  56. 56

    What?! But all the wingnut sites I read say that he was convicted of it!

    And they will argue that forever even when faced with hard proof. Reminds me of my first husband. You could play him a videotape of his drunken assholery and he would still deny he did anything.

    Meanwhile, Judy didn’t just get a police car taxi service, she ordered up the ‘black and white cabs’ for her friends when she wasn’t even in the car and got the cops to take her to visit the folks in PA when she wasn’t with Rudy. Surely that isn’t covered under city business.

    And I’m sure NYers are happy to find out that anyone who is threatened by a stranger in the city deserves police protection around the clock. Hell, I’ve been threatened in NY by strangers. I expect my police escort to meet me at the city limits next time I visit Gotham City. Or is boinking Rudy a prerequisite — in which case I’ll take my chances on being murdered by a bum…

  57. 57

    By the way, I think the NRO fabulist is getting short shrift on this thread and deserves one of his own. Has a single major fringenut addressed this yet? I’m very disappointed in our citizen journalists — whose only interest is in protecting truth in media. Surely by now they could have come up with a street address, phone number and the guy’s high school year book picture.

    Where’s the accountability?

  58. 58
    capelza says:

    Would it help Ed and the other confused folks if I got out my kids dolls.

    See here..(holds out a beat up action figure, manly but not anatomically correct) here’s Giuliani. The old brunette Barbie will be Judith Nathan. And this little group over here (a herd of Rainbow Bright ponies) is the Assigned Counsel Administrative Office. By it I’ll put some Monopoly money and call it 400K.

    The “Rudy” doll will take the money from the ponies. Since my kids weren’t into planes, I’ll fold up a piece of paper to make one. (has “Rudy” and “Judith” take the Ponies money and walks them to the paper plane).

    Then on the other side of the sand box, I’ll put in a Fisher-Price dollhouse and…I’ll call that “the Hamptons”……….

  59. 59
    dslak says:

    capelza, I considered suggesting that somebody try to make a scale model of the area between NYC and the Hamptons, but I found the possible Beauchamp angle to be more plausible.

  60. 60

    […] Update: Indeed, if our eyes aren’t deceiving us, Mr. Yankee just deleted one of the two comments on the above post. The first comment is here. The second, deleted comment politely linked to this post at Balloon Juice. […]

  61. 61
    jcricket says:

    By the way, I think the NRO fabulist is getting short shrift on this thread and deserves one of his own. Has a single major fringenut addressed this yet?

    Remember, his motivation was that “hizbullah are terrorists, so lying to make them look worse is helping our side”, which as well all know is the role of journalists.

    His response to the whole “lying, packing heat, etc. endangers other journalists” was basically “only if you’re on their side does it matter what the terrorists think”!!!

    Fucking right-wingers are now actively working on getting other journalists killed.

  62. 62
    Gus says:

    capelza, you should make a youtube video. The script is half written, and the other half practically writes itself.

  63. 63
    jake says:

    Remember, his motivation was that “hizbullah are terrorists, so lying to make them look worse is helping our side”, which as well all know is the role of journalists.

    Bu-but jcricket, someone has to counter the terrorist-hugging Librul MSM and their biased reality. WST, Jr. is just making another reality, a better reality, where there are never ending legions of heavily armed terrists that need to be fought over there or we’ll be wearing burquas over here.

  64. 64
    RSA says:

    The Captain is pretty funny, actually:

    Given Giuliani’s particularly high profile in regards to his work against the Mob, one could consider his explanation plausible, at least to a point. One would not want to tip off enemies to the assets in a security detail, and keeping all of the the expenses in one office could do that.

    Right. . . charging the New York City Loft Board $34,000 for Giuliani’s security expenses would certainly confuse the Mob. It’s just an unfortunate accident that it also confused the city’s comptroller and auditors. Unless maybe they’re part of the Mob too!

  65. 65
    Echo without Bunnies or Men says:

    Come on people, fucking Turd boy Rove is out there screaming ‘The Dems wanted to invade Iraq’ and NO ONE is calling him on it. Oh, no one but the angry unwashed bloggers and we all know they just mocked and ignored by Leslie Blitzer and Tweety bird.

    So, with your ‘librul’ media, not only to right wing scandals and lies get a free pass (unless it’s gay sex), the numbnuts in the MSM have to work overtime to prove how balanced they are, so I expect a Democrat sex scandal to be unearthed anyday, to show that, gosh golly, the other side does it too!

    Rudy will continue to ignore this scandal, and his enablers in the media will fawn how ‘tough and resolute’ he is, and that he’ll focus on ‘the real issues facing Amuricans’

  66. 66
    Mumon says:

    Spot on. I respect you more & more for stuff like this…

  67. 67
    adsk says:

    HehHehHeh. All of us longtime NYCers (50 yrs), have been saying for months that there’s no way Rudy’s *actual* record and character could stand close scrutiny.

    Besides being venal, petty, bullying, shameless, dismissive of consensus, grandstanding, and not all that swift, he is also fabulously corrupt…not in an Abramoff/Reed “I entered politics to become rich” way, but in the stupendously arrogant “I’m the king, and everything is naturally my due” sort of way.

    This stuff w/ his concubine is merely the tip of the iceberg — you all are going to be appalled in the coming months.

  68. 68

    Well, RSA, according to Peter Hoekstra, al Qaeda may have infiltrated the CIA, causing them to warn against doing stuff that President Bush wanted to do. So maybe the Mob did infiltrate the comptroller’s office. They were going to demoralize America by disclosing Rudy’s affair– in a post-9/11 world!

    See, if you just assume the entire world is an omnipotent conspiracy against you, right-wing logic makes a lot of sense.

  69. 69
    folkbum says:

    capelza, you should make a youtube video. The script is half written, and the other half practically writes itself.

    You should get that woman who parodies Atlas Shrugged. There’s the money.

  70. 70
    jake says:

    “I entered politics to become rich” way, but in the stupendously arrogant “I’m the king, and everything is naturally my due” sort of way.

    He certainly has the droit de seigneur thing down pat.

    Since the media is ignoring Shag-Gate because There Are Anonymous E-mails about Obama’s True Religion in the Tubez, and Hilary Is Inaccessible to Reporters (unlike Dubya) the only good thing about stuff like this is it shuts the fRightened up for a bit.

  71. 71
    Tsulagi says:

    200 or 2..same thing!

    Correct, the zeroes are immaterial. In fact, he should have said 2,000. Because what does it say about Hezbollah that we would easily believe it to be true. Close enough for Wingnut work in getting the truth out.

  72. 72
    jcricket says:

    Compare funny, ha ha, joke in BJ comment thread:

    Bu-but jcricket, someone has to counter the terrorist-hugging Librul MSM and their biased reality. WST, Jr. is just making another reality, a better reality, where there are never ending legions of heavily armed terrists that need to be fought over there or we’ll be wearing burquas over here.

    To actual statement by high-level Bush Aide in 2004:

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”[1]

    Is it really a surprise that people who think journalism, science and history are all basically better replaced/trumped by “the will to believe”, political propaganda and neo-con world-domination “a-la-Risk” fantasies got us in our current hellish never-ending war nightmare?

    Take for example when Democrat politicians make reality based statements about the fight on terrorism (Kerry’s comment about global policing being a great example). It’s all Republicans can do to not exceed the sound barrier furiously typing out cheeto-flecked missives of “nucular” apoplexy.

    So instead of doing something to confront the existential problems of our time (global warming, global income inequality, rising fundamentalism/terrorism) we spend all our time trying to move the fucking “rhetorical center” back somewhere to the left of Pat Buchanan before we can even have an honest conversation.

    Sometimes I just want to give up.

  73. 73
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Ya made the top of the front page at the Great Orange Satan again John. You keep this up and the Wingnut Moonies are going to think you are a card carrying member of MoveOn.org.

    Yes, the silence on the right says it all for me. I am betting that the talking points are still being compiled, so everyone is zipping their lips until they get their marching orders.

    The problem with living in a glass house is that there is the danger of something breaking. I view the current situation of the right as living on the top floor of a glass skyscraper. They have tossed so many stones through the floor that they have finally broken through and are now in a free fall, smashing through floor after floor on the way down.

    They have a long way to go on their trip to the bottom. They built this glass monstrosity they live in, and it is so tall that you can’t even see the top of it. And all we can hear is the endless cacophony of breaking glass.

    We are only starting to hear about Rudey. I bet things are going to get better (for us), and it will be interesting to see if the right breaks and runs from him and exactly what will be the straw turd that breaks the elephants back.

    Any guesses?

  74. 74
    Xanthippas says:

    To be fair, here’s what CY had to say when I asked him why he has yet to write about this matter on his blog:

    It appears that Smith has copped to his exaggerations, and so the editors of NRO must decide how severe they think those exaggerations are. Are they a firing offense? I think that argument could be made. I think a suspension is certainly warranted at the least.

    As this seems to occurred just yesterday, I’m willing to give the magazine a reasonable amount of time–say several days–to figure out what they want to do.

    For any of TNR’s leftist apologists to attack Smith is the height of hypocritical behavior.

    Of course, that is what they do best.

    In other words, the only question is to the extent which the NRO is going to do something about it, and for that it’s “wait and see.” No combing the haystack for any other exaggerations, no questioning of NRO’s motives, no accusations of right-wing media bias, not accusations that these fabrications substantially serve the purpose of the right-wing website that published them. Nope, nothing to see here…move along fellas.

    In the meantime, CY has written his 834th post on the TNR/Beachuamp story, crowing about how they’ve “folded.”

  75. 75
    tBone says:

    Surely by now they could have come up with a street address, phone number and the guy’s high school year book picture.

    I have it on good authority that our intrepid citizen journalists did,in fact, investigate the NRO fabulist. They determined that he has cheap laminate countertops, so he’s in the clear.

    This stuff w/ his concubine is merely the tip of the iceberg—you all are going to be appalled going through two gallons of popcorn a day in the coming months.

    Fixed.

  76. 76
    Tara the anti-social social worker says:

    Hey now, it was only a fake Nobel Prize “nomination,” not an actual fake Nobel Prize!

  77. 77
    jcricket says:

    This stuff w/ his concubine is merely the tip of the iceberg—you all are going to be appalled going through two gallons of popcorn a day in the coming months.

    tBone… I’m already experiencing schadenfreude poisoning (like being over-hydrated from drinking too much water), and now I have to deal with getting cancer from all the microwave popcorn I have to eat to fully enjoy the Republican scandals?

    Thanks a lot Republicans, now I have something else to blame you for :-)

  78. 78
    Rick Moran says:

    I posted on it today at AT:

    http://www.americanthinker.com.....uesti.html

    It saddens me that your audience now consists of these kind of people cheering you on, John:

    LMAO! May be the funniest post you’ve put up since Schiavo died.

    BTW – haven’t seen anyone posting on TNR yet. Hope the crow isn’t too well done.

  79. 79
    tBone says:

    BTW – haven’t seen anyone posting on TNR yet. Hope the crow isn’t too well done.

    I think he’s saving the crow for your party. You know, the one where you take down your scale model of Bradleys failing to run over dogs.

  80. 80
    Rick Moran says:

    T-Bone:

    Get around much?

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/st.....2&p=1

    Money graf for the reading impaired:

    And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.

    So let me get this straight. The magazine has stopped standing by the stories but T-Bone continues with the “fake but accurate” way to report the news.

    Brava…

  81. 81
    borehole says:

    That “American Thinker” link reminds me of a joke from an old Archie comic that always stuck with me because it was so out-of-place: “You’re known as a real thinker. By people who lisp.”

    And no, that’s not how people with lisps pronounce “stinker,” but it’s still pretty ambitious for “Archie.”

  82. 82
    tBone says:

    Get around much?

    Yeah, I read it a half-hour before I saw your post. I wasn’t very clear – I meant that you’d be having a party and taking down your scale model because the claims that rightwing blogs made to discredit Beauchamp were completely vindicated by the TNR retraction. Weren’t they?

    So let me get this straight. The magazine has stopped standing by the stories but T-Bone continues with the “fake but accurate” way to report the news.

    All right, you got me. The retraction totally justifies the hysterical frenzy that gripped Wingnuttia during the Summer of Beauchamp. Mea culpa.

  83. 83
    RSA says:

    For any of TNR’s leftist apologists to attack Smith is the height of hypocritical behavior.

    I’m not a Beauchamp defender, but I think there’s a difference between his case and Smith’s. Assume that they’re both liars: in one case you have some soldiers accused of making fun of a disfigured woman and running over a dog; in the other you have a story about thousands of Hezbollah militia moving into Christian areas of Lebanon. There’s a huge difference in policy implications, isn’t there? On purely journalistic standards, Smith and Beauchamp might be in the same boat, but not for the potential impact of their writing.

  84. 84
    Anne Laurie says:

    Giuliani, who is normally friendly to reporters, bristled past them, and campaign staffers were unusually physical in keeping the press away. Several campaign aides told campaign reporters to return to the press area, and some of his security detail manhandled reporters.

    Count on our Kneepad MSM to interpret this as “toughness” on Guiliani’s part. If he (well, his henchmen) are “brave” enough to shove the paparazzi, surely Osama bin Forgotten is trembling at the thought of Preznit-King Rudy!

    My bet would be on David Broder to post this meme first, but there are soooo many contenders I’m looking for an opeditorial no later than Monday. Extra points if the same Kneepadder manages to include a note about how Hillary was “distant” or “dismissive” of our brave MSM stenographers.

  85. 85
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Moran, when are you idiots going to drop the TNR/Beauchamp love festival? Jeez! Like most people, I never even read any story about Beauchamp at TNR and I did not hear about it in the MSM. Who are the town criers that are out proclaiming there is no story in the story? You damn Wingnut Moonies. Why are you so invested in this story? What is it about Beauchamp that makes you crazies act like cats rolling in a patch of catnip? It is a distraction to everything else that actually is important, and of actual relevance, to the rest of America.

    Shit happens, and when the story gets retold, there will more than likely be some embellishing of it. That is human nature.

    I bagged a bear while hunting, and it was as big as a house!

    You guys go after someone of no relevance in a little read story for what you believe is lying, and yet you support a President who does nothing but lie when it comes to Iraq, or most anything else. Same with people like Cunningham, Abrahamoff, Cheney, Craig, Stevens, your neo-con cheerleaders and on and on and on. Your party is full of embellishing, lying asshats. And people like you feed and thrive on their bullshit.

    New party motto: Republicans, the Mushroom Party. We thrive on bullshit!*

    *and red herring.

  86. 86

    Rick Moran: Were you able to read you might have noticed that Dug Jay, who wrote the Schiavo comment, seems to be on your side of the aisle, judging from his other comments, or is a “parody troll.” (Hard to tell w/o vocal inflection, but he’s not very funny, so he’s probably just another rightwing nut.) You, however, cheerfully accuse people of having little boy porn on their hard drives. It saddens me that you even exist.

    By the way, the difference between Beauchamp’s “a few soldiers may have done some ugly crap in a war zone,” & Smith’s “This is a serious threat & we should do something about it” exaggerations (to say the least) is significant. But you appear to be dealing only w/ Il Douche’s corruption, not NRO’s. I’ll not be clicking to “Uncle Sam on a Log” to find out.

  87. 87
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    TPMuckraker is reporting that Giuliani pre-paid American Express $400,000 in 2001 for future travel expenses. That is right, the expenses had not even occurred yet. TPM is finding all kinds of interesting things in the receipt pile, like trips to the Hamptons to get laid at taxpayer expense. I like the name TPM is using for what could be called a slush fund: Rudy’s Shag Fund.

    It is a riot that you can hear a pin drop in Greater Moonie Wingnuttia regarding this latest revelation. But you just know that they are seething under the covers about this, no doubt about it.

    They must be suffering from Hive Mind Blogging Paralysis.

  88. 88
    Rick Moran says:

    cheerfully accuse people of having little boy porn on their hard drives

    You bet I’m cheerful about it. That’s because even those with chipmunk brains realized it was a joke and anyone who took it seriously needs to have their head examined.

  89. 89
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Oops! Wrong story at TPMuckraker (but still relevant to Roodi and his taxpayer funded affair).

    Here is the right one: Rudy’s Shag Fund

  90. 90
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Moran, let’s cut the crap, shall we? Beauchamp’s very first TNR piece (“War Bonds”) proves that he, and certainly not TNR, were NOT trying to consistently denigrate Our Boys. That piece (whose accuracy has also come under some question) was extremely FLATTERING to them. TNR was guilty (at most) of not fact-checking enough on one particular piece — which, of course, is what you also say about NR (although the latter hasn’t yet been caught printing a factually suspicious ANTI-war piece, which puts it one jump ahead of TNR in the Suspicious Bias Department).

  91. 91
    jake says:

    Here we go.

    …after doing a thorough investigation of some of the points made in some of those posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that NRO should have provided readers with more context and caveats in some posts from Lebanon this fall. And so I apologize to you, our readers.

    Got that folks? Just add a little context, sprinkle a few caveats and voila! 2 = 200. It could happen to anyone, amirite? I mean, how many times have you looked down at your hands and just for a split-second thought “Whoa! I must be an Indian god!”

    Um…

    Oh well, let us give thanks Mr. Wet Stained Trousers, jr. isn’t a surgeon. Without the proper caveats and context to keep him in check an attempt to harvest two inches of femoral artery for a bypass could get reeeeal ugly.

    Ass hats.

  92. 92
    Svensker says:

    What I don’t get about the Beauchamp Affair is that the kid sounds like a relatively normal 24-year-old, telling about some of the dumb/bad stuff that happened to people in a war zone. Soldiers killed dogs, made fun of an injured woman — big whoop. You think soldiers do don’t this kind of thing, maybe worse?

    But Abu Graib, now, what about those soldiers? They did a lot of bad stuff, didn’t they? (Or was it all just “fraternity pranks” like Rush says?) Were those soldiers a complete aberration? A few bad apples in an otherwise wonderful bushel basket of perfect soldiers?

    Having been in the Army myself, I don’t remember most of the kids in my unit being paragons of square-jawed American rectitude. They were mostly lower-class not very educated kids, some nice, others not so much. We certainly did plenty of “bad stuff” in basic training and beyond, some of it probably illegal, lots of it certainly immoral.

    Maybe the problem is, none of the wingers have ever been in the military? Keyboard Kommandos don’t do “bad stuff” I guess. They all have square jaws, perfect posture, and talk heroically about the American Way, or something.

  93. 93
    Xanthippas says:

    There’s a huge difference in policy implications, isn’t there?

  94. 94
    grumpy realist says:

    OK, we’ve got a supposedly serious Republican reporter who has confused 2 with 2000.

    Explains why this present administration doesn’t give a damn about the deficit. Or the money going down the rathole called Iraq. Or the potential cost of a war with Iran. See? “2==2000”.

    With that sort of math, how can we possibly fail to win this war?

  95. 95
    Xanthippas says:

    There’s a huge difference in policy implications, isn’t there?

    Well of course. As in, the possibly hyperbolic claims of on American soldier completely undermine the rationale for war in Iraq, and must be dealt with swiftly and without mercy. Whereas the possibly hyperbolic claims by one right-wing “journalist” completely serve the purpose of hyping the threat of terror, and so must only be given glancing attention even if they happen to be outrageously wrong.

    Okay, but that’s me be snarky. Actually yes, you’re right. There’s a huge world of difference between a guy who might have made up some stories about things soldiers did, and a guy who’s writing about the large-scale activities of a powerful terrorist group in the middle of a country teetering on the brink of civil war. Yeah, there’s a pretty big difference.

  96. 96
    grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and for those who want a deliciously snarky view of Rudy’s latest meltdown, go read the GroupNewsBlog (www.groupnewsblog.net). LowerManhattanite’s reportage (as a bonafide NYCer) on this dance of the skeletons tumbling out of Rudy’s closet is a joy to read.

    You have to realize that there are MANY people and groups in NYC who Rudy pissed off, left, right and center–probably in total only 95% of the entire NYC population. Said groups have been sharpening the axes, kitchen knives, and knitting needles in preparation for years. And now it’s all coming home to roost…..

  97. 97
    Mister says:

    The Clenis got nothing on the upcoming Clagina craze.

    I prefer the Clintoris.

  98. 98
    demimondian says:

    Said groups have been sharpening the axes, kitchen knives, and knitting needles in preparation for years.

    Indeed. And there is nothing like a New York political vendetta anywhere else in the nation. By the standards of New Yorkers, Chicagoans are gentlemen, DC-ers are soft-handed wimps, and Bostonians are pikers.

    I *love* The City. There’s nowhere else like it in the US. Somebody got popcorn over here?

  99. 99
    Lenny Bruce's ghost says:

    It’s so hi-larious to accuse a gay man of being a pedophile. Har har. You are a winner.

    Every time I think “Get a Brain, Morans!” has lost its comedic appeal, there comes Ricky to prove me wrong.

  100. 100
    glasnost says:

    Michelle Malkin has an actual post about this. I found it hard to believe, but it’s there.

  101. 101
    Tony J says:

    It’s so hi-larious to accuse a gay man of being a pedophile. Har har. You are a winner.

    Every time I think “Get a Brain, Morans!” has lost its comedic appeal, there comes Ricky to prove me wrong.

    Wait, are you saying he’s not a spoof?

    And I’ve been telling everyone to get over here because that guy from Ghostbusters is doing Teh Funny.

  102. 102
    The Briscoe Kid says:

    After reading TNR’s lengthy retraction (or whatever that was) I popped over to Wikipedia to check out the latest in the STB edit war. And found this bizarre post from The Weakly Standard’s primary source:

    Suggested Re-write

    In the early 1990’s, Matt Sanchez lived in Montreal, Canada where he worked in the adult entertainment industry in all-male films for directors John Rutherford and Kristen Bjorn “Montreal Men” at the studios Bijou, Catalina and Falcon Video. For French-speaking films, he used the stage name Pierre LaBranche, but all of his titles in the United States were under Rod Majors.

    His last film, “Idol Country” co-starring Ryan Idol and Marco Rossi and directed by Chi Chi LaRue won three AVN Awards in 1995.[14] [15]

    Scenes from many films have recently been re-released as part of compilations; Sanchez stated in an interview with Radar Magazine that it “was just the nature of the business, you shoot a lot of films and they use them forever.” Matt Sanchez 17:37, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

    The Weakly Standard’s source is not only hyping his involvement in l’affaire Beauchamp, but he’s also reminding people that he starred in an award winning gay pr0no film 12 years ago.

    Could this BE anymore bizarre? Is there an award for wingnut wackiness, because this is the wackiest bit of wingnut wackery I’ve ever seen.

  103. 103

    […] Michael Goldfarb, the Weekly Standard’s blogmeister called for a “blog swarm” on July 18, to fact check a story entitled “Shock Troops” in The New Republic. John Cole takes up the story: When a private in the army wrote some tales with a few anecdotes about what he had experienced in the war in Iraq, and a few disagreed, no grain of sand was left unturned. Scale models of armored vehicles were built. Experts were called, emailed, and interrogated. Myspace accounts were looked up. Entire fields of Cray Supercomputers had to be brought online just to handle all the “debunking” and commentary from the wingnuts.  [“The Suddenly Incurious Citizen Journalists,” Balloon Juice] […]

  104. 104
    Darkness says:

    Jake said: Since the media is ignoring Shag-Gate because There Are Anonymous E-mails about Obama’s True Religion in the Tubez,…

    You know, the Republican candidates are very useful for one thing: making the Dem candidates look good. I’d vote for Obama if he were a Druid and wore a wolf skin and elk head during the full moon. I don’t care what his religion is as long as his name isn’t Romney or Giuliani. My standards used to be higher. They are sinking fast.

  105. 105
    LWM says:

    I wonder if he would know the difference between AK-47s and Kalashnikovs, by sight, in the first place. There’s a story for our Citizen Journalists right there!

    They used to be one and the same, a Russian design for a popular assault rifle, but a Kalashnikov is now an expensive and trendy Molotov Cocktail.

  106. 106
    Spence says:

    Shhh, stop it John! I want 9ui11iani to win the nomination so that we can have months and months of fun! Don’t sink him before he secures it!

  107. 107

    […] At any rate, I see via catcalls in the comments that I am for some reason or another supposed to be eating crow over TNR no longer standing by Beauchamp, which makes me wonder about the ability of some people to read. What a moran. For the reading impaired, I never argued that Beauchamp was telling the truth, and consistently argued he could have been making it all up. My disgust centered around the stupidity of pretending that the ramblings of a diarist in a little read publication A.) mattered B.) Was a grievous insult on the dignity of our troops C.) Was proof of the liberal media D.) would have even been discussed had he stuck to the positive military stories in his first few disptaches rather than the less positive stories in Shock Troops. The vicious pile-on, calls for violence, and trashing of Beauchamp simply increased my disgust for a group of people I have already started to revile. At any rate, the entire memeorandum linkfest can be found here (I love their archive feature!), as I missed it the first time around and you might have as well. I guess my final thoughts on the matter are that while TNR should have, in retrospect, been more careful with these little anecdotes they are publishing (although I am not totally sure why they should have been more careful- it was just a diarist for Christ sakes), this whole situation is comical. I simply can not believe this was blown so out of proportion. If anything, my respect for TNR is much greater than it was at the beginning, because I appreciate the way they stood by Beauchamp until it became clear they could not. Also, the behavior of the military, with their selective leaking to friendly right-wing sources and bullying attitude, was quite illuminating. […]

  108. 108

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] At any rate, I see via catcalls in the comments that I am for some reason or another supposed to be eating crow over TNR no longer standing by Beauchamp, which makes me wonder about the ability of some people to read. What a moran. For the reading impaired, I never argued that Beauchamp was telling the truth, and consistently argued he could have been making it all up. My disgust centered around the stupidity of pretending that the ramblings of a diarist in a little read publication A.) mattered B.) Was a grievous insult on the dignity of our troops C.) Was proof of the liberal media D.) would have even been discussed had he stuck to the positive military stories in his first few disptaches rather than the less positive stories in Shock Troops. The vicious pile-on, calls for violence, and trashing of Beauchamp simply increased my disgust for a group of people I have already started to revile. At any rate, the entire memeorandum linkfest can be found here (I love their archive feature!), as I missed it the first time around and you might have as well. I guess my final thoughts on the matter are that while TNR should have, in retrospect, been more careful with these little anecdotes they are publishing (although I am not totally sure why they should have been more careful- it was just a diarist for Christ sakes), this whole situation is comical. I simply can not believe this was blown so out of proportion. If anything, my respect for TNR is much greater than it was at the beginning, because I appreciate the way they stood by Beauchamp until it became clear they could not. Also, the behavior of the military, with their selective leaking to friendly right-wing sources and bullying attitude, was quite illuminating. […]

  2. […] Michael Goldfarb, the Weekly Standard’s blogmeister called for a “blog swarm” on July 18, to fact check a story entitled “Shock Troops” in The New Republic. John Cole takes up the story: When a private in the army wrote some tales with a few anecdotes about what he had experienced in the war in Iraq, and a few disagreed, no grain of sand was left unturned. Scale models of armored vehicles were built. Experts were called, emailed, and interrogated. Myspace accounts were looked up. Entire fields of Cray Supercomputers had to be brought online just to handle all the “debunking” and commentary from the wingnuts.  [“The Suddenly Incurious Citizen Journalists,” Balloon Juice] […]

  3. […] Update: Indeed, if our eyes aren’t deceiving us, Mr. Yankee just deleted one of the two comments on the above post. The first comment is here. The second, deleted comment politely linked to this post at Balloon Juice. […]

  4. […] Posted in GOP at 10:38 am by LeisureGuy John Cole, in Balloon Juice, nails it: If ever you were under the illusion that Greater Wingnuttia was anything other than a bunch of partisan goobers wholly uninterested in the truth and wedded only to the needs of the Republican party, surely the last week has shed you of that illusion. As I write this, only one fringe nutter has even mentioned the emerging Rudy Giuliani financial scandal. None of them has mentioned the fabulist at NRO. How can this be? Where are our brave truth detectors? […]

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