The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

BOOM! WaPo’s Dana @Milbank ‘Is Why People Loathe Journalists’

Posted on | June 17, 2014 | 36 Comments

So says Mollie Hemingway (@mzhemingway), reacting to the columnist’s deliberate distortion of a Heritage Foundation event:

This, my friends, is why people loathe journalists. They twist and turn and play gotcha games. Also, they make stuff up. A good editor in my past told me that he was always suspicious of reporters who rely on breaking up a quote multiple times and adding in their own words in between. It means they’re trying to force the speaker to say something. We can now call this the Milbank Rule.

What happened was that a Muslim student at American University attended a panel discussion about Benghazi and — in a complete non sequitur — accused the panelists of blaming “all Muslims” for the terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans. This was a rude provocation, but transcripts and video of the event show that the panelists responded courteously. Yet Dana Milbank wrote this:

“Are you an American?” Gabriel demanded of Ahmed, after accusing her of taking “the limelight” and before informing her that her “political correctness” belongs “in the garbage.”

The panelist quoted is Brigitte Gabriel, the Lebanese-American author of an excellent book, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America, which I have often recommended. But as Hemingway points out, Milbank’s partial quote of Gabriel completely distorts what Gabriel actually said to the student, Saba Ahmed:

And since you’re the only Muslim representative in here, you took the limelight instead of speaking about why our government — and I assume are you an American? — You’re an American citizen — So as an American citizen you set in this room and instead of standing up and saying a question or asking something about our four Americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful moderate Muslims. I wish you brought 10 with you to question about how we can hold our government responsible. It is time we took political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.

Do you see the vast difference between what Gabriel actually said and how Dana Milbank characterized it? Brigitte Gabriel isn’t just making a partisan talking point when she criticizes “political correctness” about Islamic terrorism. Our general unwillingness to recognize the nature and scope of the threat made the United States vulnerable to attack 9/11, and our ridiculous fear of offending “peaceful moderate Muslims” continues to hamper an effective response to the radical menace. This is a serious policy problem, and Milbank’s cheap partisan smear job — calculated to depict conservatives as hateful and irrational — is symptomatic of the problem.

Exit question: Which anti-American extremist organization is a greater threat to our freedom, al-Qaeda or the Washington Post?

(Hat-tips: Instapundit and Memeorandum.)



36 Responses to “BOOM! WaPo’s Dana @Milbank ‘Is Why People Loathe Journalists’”

  1. Quartermaster
    June 17th, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

    Oh noes! A leftist journalist lies. Dog bites man. Nothing to see here, move along. Move along.

  2. Phil_McG
    June 17th, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

    “a Muslim student at American University attended a panel discussion about Benghazi and — in a complete non sequitur — accused the panelists of blaming “all Muslims” for the terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans”

    Well, it’s not hard to guess where that student’s loyalties lie.

    The same sort of behaviour goes on in Britain, France, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Australia… in fact wherever there are Muslims to be found enriching the Western world. The “moderate, peaceful” Muslims tend to be the ones wailing about “islamophobia” and musplaining what you infidels did to deserve whatever horror his more excitable co-religionists have wrought lately.

    If you were one of those awful hatey hate-filled people who insists on noticing patterns, it might seem like it doesn’t matter what type of passport the Muslim carries, he’s still a Muslim.

  3. JeffWeimer
    June 17th, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Apparently this “student” is a meeting troll. She’s been disrupting Tea Party gatherings and such, trying to incite the kind of behavior that Millbank so conveniently “reported”.

    I would not be surprised if they colluded to create this “coverage”.

  4. JeffS
    June 17th, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

    In regards to the exit question …. the WaPo is an al-Qaeda sympathizer, so the answer is “Both”.

  5. Washington Post’s Dana @Milbank: Liar? | Batshit Crazy News
    June 17th, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    […] TOM: Dana Milbank is why people loath journalists […]

  6. The Daley Gator | I always knew Robert Jensen was a few sandwiches shy of a picnic
    June 17th, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

    […] Of course, not all Leftists are crazy, some, like Dana Milbank, are just assholes […]

  7. Anon Y. Mous
    June 17th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    I’m going with “C: The Democrat Party”.

  8. concern00
    June 17th, 2014 @ 9:30 pm

    There was a time when the media could be relied upon to hold our elected officials to account. There was such a thing as investigative journalism where said journalists would get off their fat behinds and go out and research the facts and talk to real people. What we have today can rarely be called journalism, as they seem far more interested in reporting vacuous twitter opinions as representative of reality.

    Most of the current media is dangerously complicit in the downward spiral of the nation.

  9. Factual Pursuation
    June 17th, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

    Washington Post for sure

  10. Factual Pursuation
    June 17th, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

    I would also bet she is a CAIR operative

  11. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    June 17th, 2014 @ 10:40 pm
  12. Adjoran
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

    She ran for Congress in a Democratic primary and won a whopping 0.5% of the vote. She then re-registered as a Republican, and in addition to causing trouble at Tea Party meetings, also disrupted so many regular GOP meetings that she had to be removed by cops twice.

    That’s her purpose in living, it seems, but too much trouble for a lying hack like Milbank to Bing or Google her name.

  13. ‘We Can Now Call This The Milbank Rule’ | The Lonely Conservative
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    […] You really need to read the whole thing, and remember, this is a perfect example of why so many people loathe journalists. […]

  14. Adjoran
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    Milbank has never been anything more than a lying leftist hack. WaPo had a chance to become the paper of record when the NYT turned over their news operation to Pinch Sulzberger, but decided to stick with Milbank as their Lead Propagandist.

    Back in the ’90s, I noticed that anyone who began a conversation with “Did you see Dana Milbank’s piece in the Post?” wasn’t worth having a conversation with.

  15. Adjoran
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

    It should also be noted that the event Milbank had come for had been rescheduled. This panel was on from 1-5 p.m., but he must have seen enough to distort and left because his story was posted before 8 p.m.

    Seems like he stuck his head in the door, saw the woman with a head covering asking her stupid off-topic question, and decided he had his story.

  16. RKae
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    It almost seems as if, gee, I dunno, the “moderate, peaceful” Muslims and the violent, excitable ones have a well-rehearsed routine or something.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might suspect that the two different roles are each playing their part in the same overall plan.

  17. RKae
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

    I often lament that we live in a world without Superman. But – damn! – do we have to live in a world that doesn’t even have a Lois Lane?

  18. David R. Graham
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

    “Exit question: Which anti-American extremist organization is a greater threat to our freedom, al-Qaeda or the Washington Post?”

    A: Neither. Jarrett/Iran/CAIR is.

  19. David R. Graham
    June 17th, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

    Count on it.

  20. richard mcenroe
    June 18th, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    Have you seen Barack Obama throw a baseball?

  21. Guest
    June 18th, 2014 @ 2:36 am

    it’s like good cop, bad cop. at the end of the day, they are both still cops.

  22. concern00
    June 18th, 2014 @ 3:41 am

    I’ve seen him lift weights, ride a bicycle and play golf; not a pretty sight.

  23. K-Bob
    June 18th, 2014 @ 4:49 am

    Takes time. Gotta get that article in!

  24. JeffWeimer
    June 18th, 2014 @ 6:47 am

    It’s too easy to find that out. I suspect he already knew. Why else would he go out of his way to a Heritage conference?

  25. Ace on @Milbank: ‘Biased and Giddily Ignorant … Proud to Know Nothing’ : The Other McCain
    June 18th, 2014 @ 8:05 am

    […] night, I hit Dana Milbank’s cheap smear of a Heritage Foundation panel about the Benghazi cover-up and thought I’d done a good job. […]

  26. Art Deco
    June 18th, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    This is a problem with political discussion today. Partisan Democrats with a measure of integrity fall into two categories:

    1. They are not particularly engaged in public affairs and have few remarks to make on these subjects; or

    2. They are very old, like Nat Hentoff.

    We are trying to function when half the political class is sociopathic and the other half is liberally studded with careerists, men lost in sundry confusions, and out-and-out suckers. Then you get men like Reince Priebus, who seems a hybrid of all three types.

  27. MNHawk
    June 18th, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    The kind of journalistic fraud can get you fired, if you are black, and have a name like Jayson.

  28. Quartermaster
    June 18th, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    And neither are to be trusted as far as you can spit.

  29. Quartermaster
    June 18th, 2014 @ 11:43 am


  30. ‘We Can Now Call This The Milbank Rule’ | News Alternative
    June 18th, 2014 @ 11:44 am

    […] You really need to read the whole thing, and remember, this is a perfect example of why so many people loathe journalists. […]

  31. Quartermaster
    June 18th, 2014 @ 11:45 am

    The McGovernites ran anyone with a shred of reasonability out of the DimoKKKrap party back in the 70s. That’s why the GOP has been “blessed” with the Neocons.

  32. RKae
    June 18th, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Or like when you’re kidnapped. One of your kidnappers will play “humane buddy,” so that you get your recommended daily allowance of Stockholm Syndrome. (Which is exactly what Britain currently suffers from.)

  33. Art Deco
    June 18th, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    No, they did not. There remained a large (if declining) Dixiecrat caucus in Congress until 1994. There was also a considerable caucus in Congress (60 members or so) critical of the abortion license (John LaFalce was the principal there) and a similarly sized caucus (around 60 members) critical of the functional pacifism of the Democratic Party in general (Stephen Solarz and Dante Fascell were the principals there, and the young Albert Gore).

    Jimmy Carter’s problem was not that he was not ‘reasonable’, it’s that he made some bad decisions on monetary policy and was hemmed in and addled by the Democratic Party’s culture of that time with regard to war and diplomacy

    . The Democratic Party is less functionally pacifist than it was in 1979 and less inclined toward certain mercantile controls on economic activity (as manifested in Ralph Nader’s ‘consumers’ democracy’, wage and price controls, and the chatter about ‘industrial policy’ so fashionable ca. 1983). The change in outlook re this last point began during the Carter Administration with the deregulation of the transportation sector.

    As for the ‘neo-conservatives’ (i.e. people within 2 degrees of separation of the Kristol and Podhoretz clans), in matters of policy they generally reflect the Republican mode. Nearly all the discourse about them is silly.

    All of this is quite irrelevant to the real problem in the Democratic Party and the social strata which have the Democratic Party as their electoral vehicle: the loss of neutral principles of political competition. Lawfare, phony ‘constitutional adjudication’, vote fraud, and state harassment of the political opposition are now the order of the day. Only the second of these was common during McGovern’s career. They top of the injuries with hurling invective and accusations at everyone. McGovern was a gentleman; Harry Reid is not.

  34. ‘We Can Now Call This The Milbank Rule’ | Our Tyrannical Government
    June 18th, 2014 @ 2:15 pm

    […] You really need to read the whole thing, and remember, this is a perfect example of why so many people loathe journalists. […]

  35. Quartermaster
    June 18th, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

    It’s the core of the Dim party. The so called Dixiecrats that remained were pretty much marginalized and either left or were beaten. One switched parties.

    McGovern laid the foundation for the current version of the Dims. I don’t agree that McGovern was a gentleman, not from what I saw of him. He might not have been as nasty as Reid, but they were of the same ilk. The country dodged a huge bullet when Nixon trounced him in the ’72 election.

    The Neocons are a curse on teh GOP and they have merely reinforced the GOPe and have pretty much been completely absorbed by them. None are worth a nickle in the battles we must fight to restore the country to some semblance of sanity. You may think talk about Neocons to be silly, but that has not been my observation.

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    June 22nd, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

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