Tuesday, April 28, 2009

THE VIEW VIDEO: Barbara Walters Attacks Sarah Palin To Deflect Attention From Obama's "Special Olympics" Gaffe

I should have had this here on my blog over a month ago, but I had not yet converted the layout from the old Blogger template to the new(er) edition. I've already had stuff vanish off my Blogger setup (my old counter is gone as is my "Payola Free" button in response to Armstrong Williams) and was reluctant to mess with it any further.  Turns out I had nothing to fear once I bit the bullet, and now I got new features like my updated Tweets.

 

The Blogger upgrade also made it easier to upload and embed video.  Here's my second YouTube video.

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On the March 23, 2009 edition of ABC's The View, Barbara Walters (filling in for the sick Whoopi Goldberg) introduced the topic of President Obama's omnipresence on TV lately.


Elisabeth Hasselbeck said she watched Obama being interviewed on 60 Minutes the previous evening and that it was "good," but she said he shouldn't have compared his poor bowling skills to those of Special Olympians on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

 


In response, apropos of nothing, Barbara Walters glanced down at her notes and dutifully criticized Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a mother of an 11-month-old Down's Syndrome baby, for her statement criticizing Obama. To draw moral equivalency with a mother of a Down's child, Walters spoke of the discrimination her late "developmentally disabled" sister had to endure, claiming to have sufficient sensitivity to say that Governor Palin should be faulted for not letting the gaffe go upon his apology.

Hasselbeck responded that regardless of the apology, the statement itself was offensive enough to be hurtful. To illustrate her point, she spilled her cup of water on the table at which the cast sits, and the water quickly streamed across to Walters and Joy Behar. She apologized for spilling the water on the other panelists (it appears she didn't intend to get them wet), but her point was made well to anyone who was listening: If she had unintentionally spilled the water, the water was still spilled. Even if she apologized immediately afterward, THE WATER WAS STILL SPILLED.

If the other ladies "got it," it wasn't immediately evident. In response, all three shouted that Obama had apologized. Sherri Shepherd asked, "Where's the forgiveness?" Behar quoted the Lord's Prayer's reference to forgiveness of others. Hasselbeck said, "I forgive him, I'm just saying, why are we on Sarah Palin for responding to his comment?"

Illustrating her total cluelessness to the logic of Hasselbeck's three-dimensional analogy, Barbara Walters, who got wet from the water dripping over the edge of the table, said "I forgive Sarah Palin," but then (half-jokingly) said to Elisabeth as she announced a commercial break to clean up, "I am not sure I forgive YOU because I'm getting soaking wet!"

Really, Barbara? So Elisabeth did some damage and immediately apologized to you, but you didn't immediately forgive her. 

Now you know how Sarah Palin felt.

P.S. - As Joy Behar came to Obama's defense, she made reference to Republican pundit Tony Blankley's summation that taking into account Obama's known record, the gaffe was not indicative of any untoward feelings he has about "the retarded, or however you want to call them now" (Behar's words, not Blankley's). In doing so, she said that Obama had not "cut funding for Special Olympics." I cannot read Joy's mind (and wouldn't want to if I could), but just in case she was making a wink-and-nod reference to false stories spread by Keith Olbermann, ThinkProgress.com and other leftist outlets that Governor Palin had cut funding for Special Olympics in Alaska, I inserted a link to evidence disproving that charge.

Friday, April 24, 2009

UGLY, PETTY

My Reaction To Remarks by Miss USA Pageant Judge Alicia Jacobs

BACKGROUND: On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, four days after the Miss USA pageant debacle, Alicia Jacobs, one of the lesser-known personalities on the judges' panel spoke up. Jacobs, an entertainment reporter for KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, wrote smack about Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA, and attempted to rebut the charge by judge Mario "Perez Hilton" Lavendeira that it was the political-incorrectness of Prejean's response to his loaded gay marriage question that cost her the title.

I discovered it through a link from a Los Angeles Times blog, but apparently Jacobs thought better of her remarks, and took the post down Thursday at around noontime. That post has been saved via Google cache and reposted in my blog, below.

This morning, she added a new post to her blog, which is a brief video interview of her conducted by The Advocate, America's most popular gay-themed news magazine.



video


The following is my reaction, which at this moment is still online at Alicia Jacobs' blog.

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You told The Advocate that you took down your blog post "Pretty is as Pretty Does!" because "[T]o be perfectly candid, there were some threats..." Really? I have on my computer the cache of your blog shortly after you deleted it Thursday afternoon (April 23), and there was not a single "threat," much less "some threats." Even if there were threats, what does that have to do with what YOU wrote? You could have always removed any violent or cruel comments (and alerted authorities) without stifling your own voice.

So what's the REAL reason you took it down, Alicia? Only you know the true answer to that, but judging from the comments responding to your post, the only real "threat" was to your credibility as a fair, impartial judge or as a "journalist," as you call yourself. Responders were calling you out on your remark about Prejean's supposed breast enhancements being paid for by Keith Lewis (which you cut out of your post, but not before they were linked and quoted by Richard Abowitz of the Los Angeles Times) and your contradictory remarks about freedom of speech and the right to one's own opinion.

You also promised that your later discussion with Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler would reveal in detail the actual scoring in the late rounds in order to prove that Prejean did NOT lose because of the gay marriage question. Whoops! Neither your Wednesday night report on KVBC nor your Advocate quick video hit even addressed the scores. And you are in good company lying like a rug about "very loud booing" after her answer -- I dare ANYONE reading this to produce a video in which any booing after her answer was not drowned out in the cheers as she stated her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

It is my opinion that there is NO answer that would have satisfied Perez Hilton, you, or anyone else who is beating the drums for same-sex marriage. If there was, you (as a former "pageant girl" yourself) would have provided an example of what answer she could have possibly given that would have displayed "social grace" (whatever that means), "diplomacy," "compassion" and "heart" while at the same time saying "No." If I am wrong, and such an answer exists, I suspect you wouldn't dare state it publicly. If you did, that would suggest there is an acceptable answer other than "I think gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states." But that's not what you want. People like you just give lip service to valuing opposite opinions on this dilemma.

Worst of all, Ms. Jacobs, is the fact that you fault Carrie Prejean for not considering the feelings of her audience and the judges, and repeat that she has no "social grace," yet you have NOT A SINGLE WORD OF CRITICISM FOR PEREZ HILTON. Minutes after the ceremony, he took to the internet and called her a "dumb bitch," later amending that on national television to "the c-word," which is to say "cunt." He also promised that if she had actually won, he would have yanked the crown off of her. How is it that Prejean is being judged for her lack of "social grace" or "diplomacy" by someone whose entire reputation is built on having absolutely NONE?

You twittered that Hilton introduced himself to the other judges by saying "According to Criss Angel, I am the world's biggest douchebag." (You seemed to think he was being funny -- perhaps he was just being candid.) You wrote about Prejean's "lack of good judgement (sic)." As compared to the good judgment of Donald Trump, Phil Gurin, and Paula Shugart in letting a foul-mouthed, self-promoting loose cannon be a judge and make the entire pageant about HIM? Now you're making an effort to promote Miss North Carolina's victory (what's her name again?), but if what you say is true, and Prejean's answer didn't cost Prejean the title (despite your own declaration that "if I could have made her 51st runner-up, I would have"), Hilton is wrong in saying that he's the reason Miss North Carolina won. Yet, all the criticism from your ilk goes to Prejean, NOT Hilton.

All of you involved in this debacle -- the other judges, the producers, the entertainment media, even the mighty Donald Trump -- are running scared of upsetting Perez Hilton. WHY? Has he got dirt on ALL of you?

Like I said, only you know the REAL reason why you took "Pretty is as pretty does!" off your blog. But if I accidently spoke from my heart and revealed myself to be one of the bitchy, catty, petty, vengeful people behind an American institution that is struggling to maintain its relatively clean reputation, I would have deleted that post too.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

BEAUTY QUEEN CATFIGHT!

The Blog Post a Miss USA Pageant Judge DOESN'T Want You To Read!

BACKGROUND: Below is the cached version of a rambling blog post written last Tuesday by Las Vegas entertainment beat TV reporter Alicia Jacobs. Jacobs, a former Miss Nevada USA and Miss United States (whatever that is), was one of the lesser-known judges of the Miss USA pageant broadcast live April 18, 2009 in which a fellow judge -- obnoxious flamboyantly gay gossipmonger Mario "Perez Hilton" Lavandeira -- asked a loaded question about gay marriage to conservative Christian contestant Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA.



As you probably are aware, Perez Hilton took credit for Miss Prejean only finishing as first runner-up to winner Miss North Carolina, stating that Prejean was a "dumb bitch." He later upped the profane ante.

Here's Alicia Jacobs' initial take, which she later unsuccessfully tried to flush down the memory hole (thanks, Google!). 

NOTE: I have re-inserted Jacobs' allegation that Keith Lewis was "benefactor" of breast implants for Prejean at the point where L. A. Times blogger Richard Abowitz quoted its location. 

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TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2009

Pretty is as Pretty Does!

I had planned that this blog entry would have been my first hand account of judging the 2009 MISS USA PAGEANT. I will write that story, but not today. Today, I want to briefly discuss what is now known as "THE MISS CALIFORNIA USA DEBACLE!"

Since Sunday night's pageant, I have been inundated with people wanting to know how Miss California's answer to Perez Hilton's question affected my final judging. I can tell you that it GREATLY affected me & the final score I gave Carrie Prejean. I can reveal that throughout the live telecast, I LIKED Miss California, but I certainly was not overly impressed by her. Throughout the competition, I gave her very good scores. (truth be known, I was probably most impressed by MISS TENNESSEE, but unfortunatly,she did not make it past the top 10...oh well, to each his own.)

For the final round of scoring (which is, of course, the most important) the judges are asked to assign a ranking to each young woman. As each finalist is brought to the foot of the stage, we judges then punch a number into our scoring computers. We assign a ranking of 1 thru 5. Assigning the #1, means she is our choice for MISS USA, #2, first runner-up.... and #5, means she is my choice for fourth runner-up. In our 7:30 am judges briefing, it was made VERY clear that the "final ranking" should be decided by everything we had seen throughout the entire pageant. Ironically, I asked how heavily we should weigh the girl's performance on the "final question." Miss Universe president, Paula Shugart said, that yes, it's important to articulate & answer intelligently, (remember MISS SOUTH CAROLINA TEEN USA a few years ago, "such as, U.S. Americans, such as, such as...well, Paula told us she had been winning the pageant until that fateful moment) Paula & Executive producer, Phil Gurin added that yes, the response to the question is important, but make the final ranking your overall impression of the young woman. Made sense to me.


Interestingly, of the 5 judges who asked questions, Perez was the only one who had written his own question...& when I asked him what his question was, he would not reveal it, telling me he wanted to keep it secret, but that it had been approved by Paula Shugart & the producers. So of course, when Miss California selected Perez, I couldn't wait to hear the question. HOOOOOOLLY COOOOOW!

Most of us former "pageant girls" can't help but play along, so my first thought upon hearing the "gay marriage question" was ,"what a great question!"...& in my head, I answered it, & of course, I was instantly crowned Miss USA 2009!

Ok, back to reality, to be fair, the beginning of Prejean's answer was ok...but, she made the mistake of not knowing when to shut her mouth. As she continued to speak, I saw the crown move further & further away from her. When she finished, she looked strangely proud for a moment. Personally, I was STUNNED on several levels. First, how could this young woman NOT know her audience and judges? Let's not forget that the person asking the question is an openly gay man, at least 2 people on the judges panel are openly gay. Another judge has a sister in a gay marriage. Her very own state pageant director, KEITH LEWIS is an openly gay man who has been a very generous benefactor of hers...in many ways. (2 ways in particular....if you get my drift??) Did I mention I was STUNNED? I was also personally insulted & hurt. Prejean's words hit very close to home for me. Some of the most important people in my life, happen to be gay. A few months ago, on November 1, 2008, I was maid of honor at the wedding of my very dear friends, Robert Aganza & Jorge' Rodriguez. I flashed back to that beautiful wedding ceremony, where everyone in the room was crying tears of joy & love. How can she be saying this, is all I could think in that moment. Remembering that we were on live television, I actually recall having to close my wide-opened mouth, I then looked over to Perez, who was seated right next to me, he was just shaking his head, he actually seemed a bit hurt? Then came the very loud booing in the theatre, followed by "a word from our sponsors."

During the commercial break, fellow judges, Perez, Shandi Finessey (Miss USA 2004) & I spoke, we were all shocked by what we had just heard. (I tweeted as much too ) we came back from the commercial, & now, it was the moment of truth. This was the moment where we had to assign that all-important final ranking...1 thru 5. Yes, I struggled, prior to her final question, Miss California was not my pick for Miss USA, but I would have chosen her as 1st runner-up. My final ranking for Miss California was 4th runner-up...& if I could have made her 51st runner-up, I would have.

Please understand, that as a journalist, I am passionate about freedom of speech, however, I am also passionate about the importance of compassion & humanity, & that we should ALL have the right to love & share our lives with WHOMEVER we chose. If Carrie Prejean is against gay marriage, she certainly has that right, but, if it was her intention to be MISS USA (and I think it was) why not answer that question with diplomacy & heart? Sometimes, (pageants & politics, to name a few) we have to be mindful of using a platform in a hurtful way, like international television (The Miss USA PAGEANT was seen by over 7 million viewers in the U.S. alone, & in at least 121 different countries) Yes, Miss USA should be beautiful, be physically fit, & look great in a swimsuit, she also has to be able to think on her feet & answer any question thrown at her in an articulate & non-offensive manner. Outwardly, Miss California was wonderfully prepared, & in many ways, she looked the part of Miss USA. It has occurred to me that the all-knowing power of the Universe took over the final 15 minutes of the Miss USA telecast. What were the odds that Perez Hilton, an openly gay man, who insisted on writing his own question, would have his name randomly selected by Miss California? Thank goodness, or thank the universe for this occurrence...how horrible if Miss California USA's lack of good judgement had not been disclosed until it was too late? Maybe it's true, & maybe everything really does happen for a reason. It is my opinion that MISS USA must have social grace...Miss California USA does not.

Tune in to my STAGE 3 segment tomorrow at 4:00 & 11:00 for more exclusive, first- hand scoop...including my interview with Keith Lewis, Executive Director of THE MISS CALIFORNIA USA PAGEANT, & I'll tell you about my dinner with Keith & his business partner, former Miss USA, actress, SHANNA MOAKLER. I'll also tell you exactly where Miss California & Miss North Carolina stood in the scoring BEFORE Perez' question...VERY VERY JUICY!!!!!

Posted by Alicia at 2:11 PM

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miss California, Carrie Prejean: The REAL Winner

This is my reaction to Richard Abowitz, who writes the The Movable Buffet blog at the Los Angeles Times website. In his post named "Another Miss USA judge says Miss California gave wrong answer," he forwards the thoughts -- such as they are -- of Alicia Jacobs, a former Miss Nevada. As you probably know by now, Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked a volatile political question on same-sex marriage by another judge, the petulant, obnoxious homosexual blogger Mario Lavandeira, the gossipmongering orifice that calls himself "Perez Hilton." Mr. Abowitz ended his post by writing the following:
As for Carrie Prejean, she will be as remembered as well as former Miss Oklahoma Anita Bryant.

Oh, wait, Anita Bryant is still alive. Well, I admit I had to look that up, and my guess is that most of you would too!

Setting aside that Abowitz never suggested that Bryant was dead, my response (which I am surprised to report has been published in full) - is as follows (links added):

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Interesting, Mr. Abowitz, that you should mention Anita Bryant. While the media rushed to the defense of the Dixie Chicks after their anti-Bush free speech invoked a backlash against them, nobody in the MSM similarly suggested that Bryant shouldn't have suffered the consequences of her controversial remarks about homosexuality.

For the too-young and/or under-informed (which is likely if you're a Times reader): Unlike the way the DixChix fought the tide of popular approval of the looming Iraq War, Bryant's opposition to gay rights reflected the way the overwhelming majority of Americans felt in the late seventies. Still, Bryant lost her commercial endorsements, her singing career was ruined, and she went bankrupt. OTOH, while the Dixie Chicks' music was lifted from radio station playlists throughout the nation and their CD sales dropped like an anvil, they got tons of sympathy and media assistance that Bryant didn't: 60 Minutes featured them, Time, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly magazines put them on their covers (EW had them pose nude), and Good Morning America had them perform live twice in a week before their Taking The Long Way CD was released. The DixChix were the bestselling female group in American history, having sold over 30 million CDs and as many as 12 million copies of one album before Natalie Maines opened her mouth. When they had to cancel their 2003 [actually 2006-07 - LNS] tour due to plummeting ticket sales, they insulted their audience ("rednecks") and the country music community rejected them in kind. Taking The Long Way didn't win any awards based on public voting, but it swept the industry-insider Grammy Awards in the biggest sympathy (ahem) ...display since a sickly Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award for Butterfield 8. Even with that boost, Long Way has yet to sell a comparatively measly three million copies. Political correctness was rewarded by the mucky-mucks, but the public turned their thumbs down on the Dixie Chicks.

It's been "uncool" among the arbiters of coolness to be against gay marriage for years, but a majority of Americans AND Californians are still against it, and it has been voted down in all 30 states in which the question has been put to the electorate. And deep down, you know that with every sparkling, unapologetic smile in interviews, Prejean knows she's America's REAL winner; we know HER name now, unlike Miss North Carolina, who is probably eating her heart out at the attention (and wary of saying something that might lose her the title). Beautiful, respectful, and honest, Carrie Prejean represents the USA more than the vile, profane, sleazy, narcissistic thug Perez Hilton ever will. And your rejection of Prejean in favor of that weasel has further diminished the already-damaged image of the beauty pageant.

As the kids say, Ms. Jacobs, you just played yourself.
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It's clear that people who criticize Prejean are grasping at straws trying to diminish her answer instead of giving Lavendeira the rhetorical slapdown he deserves for his self-serving publicity stunt. Here's Abowitz answering one of the commenters on his post (bold mine):

A beauty contestant is supposed to be innocuous and get rewarded for it. That is what pageants are all about, which is why they are stupid. And, there is no reason to admire this woman for messing up her contest with her stumbling answer that was alienating to anyone who did not agree with her. She played along with the silly contest until the final round and then decided to become famous.

Hilton's question was asked in a pageant context not a political call in show. Yrs, Richard

Whoa - now this is a publicity stunt on Prejean's part? Yeah, that's the ticket, Abowitz - all of a sudden, she decided that she would rather be vilified by the show business establishment than achieve the title she worked years trying to win.

I guess that's the sort of disingenuous nonsense for which she would have been rewarded. But hey, Richard, it's not too late for you! What size tiara do you wear?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

WHAT YOU SQUAWKIN' 'BOUT, WILLIS? - A Mendacious Media Matters Man Splatters Glenn Beck With Faux Outrage

The following is a response to a blog post by Oliver Willis, a blogger who also works for David Brock's leftist "media watchdog" group, Media Matters for America.  Willis has been front and center among liberal bloggers who have been blaming the mainstream right (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, etc.) for supposedly creating an atmosphere of "hate" that led to the killing sprees of two gunmen well-known to be unbalanced.

In Willis' latest blog post about Pittsburgh triple-cop killer Richard Poplawski, a white supremacist who was dishonorably discharged from the Marines during basic training (among many other unappealing traits), Willis seized upon a brief mention of Glenn Beck in an Anti-Defamation League article on the incident to imply bloodguilt on Beck's part.

This is my reply, slightly modified for readability.


The ADL article you quoted ("Richard Poplawski: Making of a Lone Wolf")  said the following:


Poplawski bought into the SHTF/TEOTWAKI conspiracy theories hook, line and sinker, even posting a link to Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul.

Mr. Willis, if you were an honest person and had done your due diligence, you would have taken the reference to Richard Poplawski's Stormfront weblink to "a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul" for what it is: Insignificant. It is especially insignificant considering the fact that the ADL piece is misleading. Beck and Paul discuss "FEMA camps" in those clips from his Fox News Channel program, but neither buy the dystopic horror stories that Poplawski apparently did long before Beck began addressing the topic.


Here are the facts: Rather than promoting conspiracy theories, Glenn Beck was trying to quell them, but he said that he didn't have enough information to do so. On March 3, 2009 on the early-morning Fox & Friends show, Beck said he was trying to debunk constant rumors about the camps, but that neither he nor his staff could gather enough solid evidence sufficient for the task. He outlined on F&F how his researchers found that the FEMA facilities indeed exist, and that they are empty at present. He said he would discuss his research on his own Fox show later that same day.


A few hours later, on the March 3 edition of the Glenn Beck (radio) Program, he explained that he got involved in the FEMA rumors because he got calls about them the previous week, and he wanted to smack them down. He mentioned that members of his staff said "Ron Paul wants to talk to you about it." Beck says his response was, "I don't want to be 'that guy.' I don't want to believe that stuff!" But once they started investigating, it got harder to let go. "If it is true, then it is true. If it is not ... (sputtering) I'm on the side of it not being true...I really expected [it to be] a slam dunk 'yes' or 'no' [answer]. It's not! ... We are digging, and I will tell you that I will not say that it's happening, I won't say that it's NOT happening at this point, but I won't say that it is happening until I know that it's happening. I gotta have more than anything on the Internet, I have to SEE them ..."

Hours after that, Paul appeared on the March 3 edition of Beck's TV show. However, before going to the live remote to Paul in Washington, Beck told his TV audience that despite his promise on Fox & Friends hours earlier, he was postponing his "FEMA camps" story.

GLENN BECK: I got up this morning after a very long night of tossing and turning. If you watched Fox & Friends or listen to my radio show, I told you that I was going to tell you about the FEMA camps, or the FEMA prisons today. This is something that I snapped on the air, 'cause somebody called me up and said, "[I] want to talk about the FEMA prisons," and I said, "Urrrumph!" Can we just settle the "FEMA prison" thing? I don't believe in the FEMA prison ... if you don't know, I'll tell you about it in a couple of days. I was going to talk about it today, but as I came and did the show this morning, and I went into the office, and I was looking at all the research that was being compiled, and it wasn't complete. And I am not willing to bring something to you that's half-baked. If these things exist, it's bad, and we will cover it. If they don't exist, it's irresponsible to NOT debunk this story ... This program is not beholden to anybody; we answer to ourselves. I answer to ME. I lost sleep last night worrying about this story, thinking about this story, making sure I got it right. I just want to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and also to sleep at night.

He instead set up a discussion of how new charity restrictions on wealthy American donors seems to dovetail with other Obama WH efforts to force a scenario in which the Feds have complete control of healthcare and medical research. He then introduced Paul -- an M.D. and ObGyn -- in a discussion regarding creeping government takeover of all things medical. But before asking his first question, Beck thanked Paul and his office for assistance in researching the FEMA rumors. Here is the entirety of the conversation regarding FEMA:
BECK: Joining me now is Congressman Ron Paul. Hello, Congressman, how are you?


CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL: Fine, Glenn, good to be with you.


BECK: Good to be with you. First of all, on the FEMA thing: I want to make sure we're turning over every stone on anything, because there is a lot of crazy stuff that is being said about these things, and I appreciate you talking to us, and we'll be in touch with you again, because I want to make sure we have everything you might be concerned with as well. Will you help us on that, sir?"


PAUL: Yeah, I don't think all the answers are in. Your concern that they might be setting up these camps that verge on concentration camps, there's no evidence I can find they're actually set up, but I think there is a justified concern, not just because of legislation that has been proposed, because that piece of legislation doesn't have a lot of co-sponsors, it's not on the verge of being passed, but the atmosphere in Washington is what we have to be concerned about.


BECK: Yes.


PAUL: You know, since 9/11, dealing with the Patriot Act, and repealing the Posse Comitatus and the Insurrection Act, these are trends that are very, very bad, where personal liberties and civil liberties are not well-protected, and FEMA is already very, very powerful, and they overrule when they go in on emergencies, so in some ways, they can accomplish what you might be thinking about about setting up camps, and they don't necessarily have to have legislation, you know, to do...


BECK: Yeah, I know.


PAUL: ...to do the things that we dread. But it's something that certainly deserves a lot of attention.


BECK: Right, and I want to make it very clear, I am not fearing these things are happening, I want to set the record straight, because we've got to know what we believe in. Now, let me switch topics here. Let me switch to Barack Obama is now taking away some of the charitable donation tax deductions if you make more than $250,000 a year...

THAT'S IT. And there is no video or audio footage I could find on YouTube with Beck and Paul discussing FEMA more recent than March 3, 2008.

The ADL piece saying that Poplawski "bought into conspiracy theories ... hook, line, and sinker" immediately before disclosing that he posted links to Beck's FNC show create the false illusion that Beck was the purveyor of the conspiracies. But did Beck say the theories were true? No, he said plain as day his goal was to prove them false. Did Beck say the FEMA facilities were for "concentration camps"? No, Beck never even said the words. Ron Paul did say the words, but did he endorse the notion? No, he threw cold water on it by saying he saw "no evidence" of it.

On the other hand, the ADL article does outline how Poplawski was a fan of conspiracy maven Alex Jones of Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com, the Internet's main source of such theories. Am I suggesting Jones is to blame? NO! To my knowledge, Jones has never advocated his listeners assassinating police officers responding to a dispute over where a dog does his business!

None of this would be a surprise to you, Mr. Willis, if you weren't so dedicated to "truthiness" rather than truth. But you weren't interested in really examining the ADL's assertion. You weren't even interested in the more significant charges in the ADL piece regarding Poplawski's white supremacist views, his rabid hatred of Hispanics, Jews, Asians and Blacks, the fact he was dishonorably discharged from the Marines, his frequenting the neo-Nazi Stormfront website, that he allegedly didn't like the fact Jones' crowd didn't lay enough blame on Zionists, or the paranoia that made him advise white people he met at supermarkets to stock up on canned food. You just breezily ignored the ADL piece's bullet points, which mentioned neither Beck nor Paul. You instead took a 1,252-word article detailing a murderous bigot's multiple phobias and looked for any kernel to extract from Poplawski's bloody legacy that would allow you to place false blame on the mainstream right. You, in effect, strained the gnat and swallowed the camel. Unfortunately, the ADL's sloppy research allowed you to do that, thus your misleading headline, "Pittsburgh Killer Richard Poplawski Used Glenn Beck Videos."


Willis, I had never heard of you until I was alerted to your nonsense by other blogs. I knew what type of person you had to be to demagogue the crimes of Poplawski and the deaths of the officers. But that's just the half of it; after reviewing the ADL link, it's apparent you think your readers are idiots, and will accept what you say just because it's what they want to believe without checking for themselves. And clearly, many of your readers ARE idiots.

Had I known going in you worked for Media Matters for America -- an organization that thrives on disingenuity and deliberate displays of false context -- I would have expected that. Now I know exactly what you are. And so does everybody reading this comment.

Nice try.