"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE RISE OF THE HATCHETMEN


By

ROBERT HARKINS

The U.S. Supreme Court, in New York v. Sullivan [1]effectively abolished lawsuits for libel and slander— so long as the object of the defamers’ wrath is a “public figure.” The ruling breathed new life into the yellow journalism of the 19th and early 20th century. The Supreme Court held that,

A State cannot under the First and Fourteenth Amendments award damages to a public official for defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves "actual malice" - that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false. Pp. 265-292.

A leftist media, wielding hatchets, intends to dismember the reputation of Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann by accusations defamatory, libelous and shameful. Journalist Jonathan Strong, writing for the Daily Caller, has risen from the political muck to join the media cabal in her denunciation.

Mr. Strong writes prettily in a style calculated to clothe malice in an illusion of objectivity. He conditions his libel with the limiting phrase “allegations” and purports to support a virulent personal attack by reference to “unnamed sources.” Indeed, Strong alleges that unnamed “sources,” are absolutely “terrified” that a majority of Americans might vote into the oval office a woman whose “allegedly” debilitating experience of headaches and her “allegedly” excessive use of prescription drugs will place in the highest office a female unable to cope with stress.

Sources who spoke to The Daily Caller said they did so because they are terrified (emphasis added) about the impact the condition could have on Bachmann’s performance if she actually became president.“ As president, when she’s in crisis management mode, is she going to have the physical ability to withstand the most difficult challenges facing America?” the former aide asks.

Strong claims that Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann suffered a physical and emotional collapse, for which she required hospitalization. Why? Because her employee, Dave Dziok, who quit his job “under good terms” triggered her breakdown and caused her to “fall apart.” However, if Dziok’s departure on “good terms” “triggered” Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s collapse, no one will find proof of that accusation in Mr. Strong’s column. He writes that,

In late July 2010, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s then-communications director, Dave Dziok, told his boss that he planned to take a new job with the public relations firm Edelman. [2]Staff turnover can frustrate any employer, but Bachmann responded more dramatically. Dziok’s departure triggered a debilitating medical episode that landed the congresswoman in urgent care, “Within 24 hours she was in the hospital,” a former aide says…. It’s “nothing folks should worry about going forward,” Dziok told reporters at the time, refusing to specify why Bachmann had been hospitalized. It was, according to three people who have worked closely with Bachmann, not an isolated event.

Anyone who has watched Congresswoman Michele Bachmann face journalists, pundits or antagonists, or followed her career as a trial lawyer, congresswoman, or parent cannot fail to appreciate, or at the very least—for the ideologically impaired—admit that she is a brilliant, hardworking woman of extraordinary energy and accomplishment. Where other candidates bob and weave, she answers the questions asked, maintains her grace and dignity when dealing with provocative questions, and knows whereof she speaks. Notably absent from Mr. Strong’s hit-piece is any reference whatever to Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann’s life, accomplishments or formidable intelligence. Because Strong finds himself constrained by ethical bankruptcy, he has exaggerated her experience of headaches and fantasizes by reference to his sources that her experience of headaches portends a presidential crisis.

The truth is that Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann’s experience of occasional headaches has not deterred her from a life that is admirable, impressive and ethically excellent. She has birthed and raised five children. Altogether, she and her husband have raised to adulthood 23 foster children, a superlative commitment of life, love and energy to an act of charity and compassion. She graduated with a juris doctorate from law school, acquired a M.A. in taxation and litigated tax cases for the I.R.S. She has served in Congress for five years. She is a woman of uncompromising moral principle.

That Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann graduated from law school, obtained a M.A. in taxation, litigated cases for the I. R.S. and at the same time raised 28 children to maturity makes a mockery Strong’s migraine headaches theory. That Congresswoman Michelle Bargmann “fell apart” to use Mr. Strong’s purple prose is laughable were it not so pathetically obscene. Michelle Bachmann’s spokesperson Alice Stewart, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa impeach these libels with the straight truth.

“In the time that she’s been on the campaign trail she has not missed one event due to a migraine,” Stewart told ABC News today. “I welcome any reporter to come out and follow us on the trail to see the conditions and the hours that we deal with and see that migraines don’t affect her ability to do her job. It absolutely does not affect her ability to do her job. And these are difficult, long, stressful, hot days, so it is bogus to say that she’s incapacitated.”

…. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who is a friend and colleague of Bachmann's, said on ABC’s “Top Line” today that its clear Bachmann is able to work through her migraines. “If you would watch her public appearances and see how she performs in each one of them, there would be no clue of such a thing in her public appearances,” King said. “She is one who always rises to the occasion. And all of us have had our times when we've been short of sleep -- our travels have been intense, a lot of things are pounding on us from the outside. But when it’s time to step up and do your job -- are you ready for it? And I think you can see she always is.”[3]

Journalists claim that the preservation of the anonymity of sources insures journalistic integrity. It does nothing of the kind. While Mr. Strong cites the accusations of unnamed sources as if he were quoting scripture, the reader is unable to judge the sources’ character, bias, prejudice, credibility or whether like Mr. Strong they are merely grinding axes. Moreover, the reader may not rely on the journalist’s belief in their credibility because his bias is to urge you believe the stuff that he writes. Finally, too many journalists are yellow—that is to say they blithely engage in the destructive tactics of libel.

I do not follow Mr. Strong’s columns. However, I would bet a dollar that in the last presidential election he was sympathetic to a mainstream media’s censorship of any information remotely critical of President Obama’s life—however relevant that information might have been to his qualifications for the presidency. For example, the president frankly admitted—better to admit than to be found out— that he had consumed over time dangerous quantities of cocaine and marijuana. He admits that his consumption was so great and constant that he was becoming a “junkie and pothead”— hardly a presidential virtue, and certainly a disclosure relevant to his qualifications for the oval office. It is, of course, a felony to possess, sell or consume cocaine.

I wonder whether on this point Mr. Strong joined his comrades in a noble censorship of the truth and the keeping of a worshipful silence. I do not recall a single question of then Senator Obama regarding a serious and debilitating addiction and his contempt for the rule of law he was violating. In fact the journalists of the day did not criticize Senator Obama’s consumption of illegal drugs, they praised his refreshing candor.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

WASHINGTON — [In his] memoir of 11 years ago, Obama admits to using marijuana and cocaine, [and this] could push Americans to rethink what's acceptable in a presidential candidate. A top Democratic prospect for the 2008 White House, Obama wrote about himself in "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance." "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed… I got high [to] push questions of who I was out of my mind."[4]

My new book Renegades, Their Betrayal of America. Her Revolution and Renaissance, endorsed by our own Jeff Crank, will be released July 26,2011. You may order Renegades by clicking on www.tatepublishing.com/bookst. Type in my name or “Renegades” and place your order. Following the July 26 release date Renegades will be available at local bookstores and from Kindle.



[1] 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

[2] Jonathan Strong “Stress-related condition ‘incapacitates’ Bachmann; heavy pill use alleged.” The Daily Caller, 07/18/2011

[3] ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe (@matthewbjaffe) reports: “Michele Bachmann Gets Migraines, But Spokesman Says They Don't Affect Her Work: July 19, 2011

[4] Obama admission on Drug Use Could Signal new Era in Politics. www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,240992,00.html

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

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