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The granddaddy of the “anti-hate” movement is, of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has made hundreds of millions of dollars and ruined the lives of conservatives by using innuendo, guilt by association and outright lies to smear anyone it doesn’t like. And that's just about anyone to right of, say, Che Guevara.
One of SPLC’s fellow inquisitors in fighting "hate" is Media Matters. MM is the brainchild of David Brock, the former “conservative” who took down Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' femme fatale, Anita Hill, for The American Spectator, then repented and became a screeching leftist. MM’s is a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” That’s the complicated way to say MM lives to correct “conservative lies.” But like most outlets on the left, MM is obsessed with the left’s usual obsessions: hate, racism, and homophobia, etc.
One item of particular interest at its website is the "Mythopedia," which purports to assemble right-wing “myths,” which MM's writers then dutifully show to be, well, myths. Hilariously enough, the first “myth” entered in the “Mythopedia” isn’t a myth at all.
Here is the “lie,” as MM calls it:
Robert Bork was “smeared” when he was nominated for the Supreme Court
Here is the “truth:”
Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination faced bipartisan opposition Reagan White House officials reportedly acknowledged the controversial nature of Bork’s nomination. According to an October 24, 1987, Washington Post article, White House officials pinned Bork's rejection on his controversial writings and the fact that the Senate largely found him unpalatable:
White House officials emphatically disagree with this assessment, insisting that from Reagan on down the administration made a maximum effort. They acknowledge a serious miscalculation at the outset, when they overestimated the likely importance of Bork's role in the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox and underestimated the importance of Bork's controversial writings as a law professor.
Most important, Bork, who met personally with almost half the members of the Senate, did not persuade the key undecided votes, White House officials said. "The dogs just didn't like the food," said one Bork strategist.
In addition to 52 Democrats, six Republicans voted against Bork’s nomination.
You see the problem. Nothing that MM presents here proves its claim; i.e., that the smear-job on Bork was a myth. Indeed, its answer to the “lie” says precisely nothing. It merely shows who supported and opposed Bork. It doesn’t say what those opponents said about Bork. Thus, MM takes down not any sort of right-wing “lie,” but instead a strawman of MM’s own making.
Anyone who remembers that nomination fight, not least Brock, then still a “conservative” — albeit one a little light in his loafers — knows very well that the left unmercifully and sinfully smeared Bork.
Let us recall what Sen.Ted Kennedy said would befall America if Bork were elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court:
Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.
As Jeffrey Lord observed in reprising this calumny for The American Spectator, the magazine that paid Brock to destroy Hill, had Bork been a private citizen, those remarks would have been defamatory.
The anti-Bork effort included every nutjob leftist outfit in Washington, D.C., not least the Leadership Conference Civil Rights and misnamed People for the American Way. MM says nothing about that, either.
MM’s “myth” correction contains footnotes, as all good “pedia” entries do. One comes from The New York Times; again, it does not show what MM says it shows. The second is simply laughable. It is a piece at MM, which, like the entry in the “Mythopedia,” doesn’t mention the Kennedy quote or the left-wing phalanx arrayed against him. Kennedy was the radical left’s torpedo in the Senate. You might call the dipsomaniac’s floor speech the sum of all smears.
So here we see another tactic of the radical left, as this writer has noted before. Take a well-known fact and declare it to be false, in this case, by adducing “evidence” that has nothing to do with the statement of fact itself.
Bork was absolutely savaged and smeared by the radical Left. However, he was also opposed by many on the right. He was a strange man with a very troubling interpretation of the Second Amendment. By the time of his nomination, the so-called "Reagan Revolution" had been hijacked (if it was ever actually conservative) by neocons and other assorted bureaucrats and office-seekers. I don't think there was ever any real intention to see him seated. Republicans are always very careful not to upset the "balance" of the court. It must remain just radical enough to keep the train rolling down the tracks. In fact, Republican SCOTUS nominees have historically been far more radical and destructive than Democrat nominees. The Democrat nominees tend to be incompetent minorities or bland nothings, while the Republican nominees roll their sleeves up and get to the hard work of ruining the culture and destroying the Constitution.
I think it was Dr. Wilson who wrote that Bork had no more understanding of the original intent of the constitution than his leftist enemies did.
On the general subject of SPLC and the people it tries to ruin, James Traficant, recently deceased, died Saturday after a farm accident in which a tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him. Press releases in the aftermath were intriguing. The body was both buried and cremated, a 'completed' autopsy was and was not done, Traficant never 'really regained' consciousness, according to the autopsy he suffered no heart attack nor crushing injury but died of 'positional asphyxiation' having been pinned. Yet he was breathing on his own for several days at the hospital. Given that T predicted he might be murdered I would think his widow would want the circumstances of his death fully documented so that any doubts could be addressed. I realize conspiracy theories are low-brow but several decades of intercourse with my fellow citizens has apprised me that most of them see nothing wrong with murdering people with opinions that offend them.
An excellent post.
Mr. "Cadfael"--You could have helped your cause if the very first piece of evidence you adduce was not an instance of the sin of impertinence that you--quite rightly--deplore in SPLC. Pursuing the link to "ruined the lives", what should be found but the whining of a former editor of a periodical no self-respecting conservative would ever peruse. No ruined lives anywhere in view. That Mr. Lamb was shabbily treated, I don't deny--though I would say that Sam Francis and Joe Sobran were more shabbily treated--but that his life was ruined? He doesn't say it, let alone anyone else's, was, so why link his piece via "ruined the lives"? It's strictly impertinent, like the SPLC reply to the contention that Bork was smeared.
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