WaPo's Dana Milbank Attacks Democrats.com by Name

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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For the third time in 10 days, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has attacked Democrats.com by name.

I did not reply to the first attack, assuming (correctly) that fair-minded Post readers would share their objections without my help, and (also correctly) that fair-minded Post editors would respond appropriately.

I replied privately to the second attack, assuming (incorrectly) that Milbank and his editors would issue a correction and a clarification.

Today I must reply publicly to the third attack, which crossed the line of tolerable (albeit unfair) discourse and became libelous.

1) Milbank's first attack was on June 8:

 
Seldom-Discussed Elephant Moves Into Public's View

By Dana Milbank

Wednesday, June 8, 2005; Page A14

Yesterday's East Room meeting of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair was worth a cool $1,000 to Steve Holland, Reuters' chief White House correspondent, if he cares to collect it.

Earlier in the day, Democrats.com, a group of left-wing activists, sent out an e-mail offering a "reward" to anyone who could get an answer from Bush about whether a recently leaked British government memo from 2002 was correct in saying the Bush administration had "fixed" the intelligence about Iraq's weapons to justify war...

Holland, a consummate professional, wasn't trying to satisfy the wing nuts -- "good grief," he said when told later about the prize money -- and won't be collecting.

 

We are comprised of Democratic Party activists, and we call ourselves the "aggressive progressives." Are we "left-wing activists?" Only if Republican Party activists are "right-wing activists." I doubt the Post has ever called them by that name. (A search for "right-wing activists" turns up 0 results. A search for "right-wing" AND Milbank and found 0 matches. But a search for "left-wing activists" - spelled exactly as it appears in the column above - turns up 0 results as well, so I think the Post's search engine just doesn't work.)

As for "wing nuts," that is an attack on our sanity. Are we insane and out of touch with the facts? As Bush would say, "nothing could be farther from the truth." Virtually everything we have ever published under our name since we launched in 2000 (which includes many thousands of items) has been based on documented facts - which we link to as a rule, unlike the Washington Post or other corporate news outlets. (As for the opinions expressed by our members and visitors, our volunteer moderators apply and enforce our simple rules.)

The "wing nut" charge is further discussed below.

2) Milbank's second attack was on June 17:

 
Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War

By Dana Milbank

Friday, June 17, 2005; Page A06

... At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks.

The event organizer, Democrats.com, distributed stickers saying "Bush lied/100,000 people died."

Reading these two paragraphs together, a reader could easily conclude that Democrats.com endorsed the accusations about Israel. This is due to a) the uninterrupted sequence, and b) the assertion that Democrats.com was THE organizer of the event, and therefore directly (or indirectly) responsible for the views expressed by anyone (left, right, or center) who attended the event.

When I saw this attack, I replied immediately. Below is the full set of correspondence. I am taking the liberty of publishing Milbank's replies in order to set the record straight. I have also added relevant links, although our exchange was conducted without them, and dropped e-mail addresses as is customary in such blogs.

From: Bob Fertik
To: Dana Milbank
Subject: fact correction
Cc: Michael Getler, Ombudsman

Hey Dana,

Your sentence beginning
"The event organizer, Democrats.com"

is factually incorrect.

Both the hearings at the Capitol and the overflow at the DNC were
organized by the House Judiciary Committee Democrats.

Can you publish a correction?

In addition, the sequence of paragraphs implies that we are responsible
for the 9/11 activists who handed out flyers at the event. Many activists
from many groups attended to highlight their concerns, but the only
handout from Democrats.com was the sticker you cite.

Thanks.

To which Milbank replied:

That's funny.  Your colleague Swanson is listed as the organizer in the AP
daybook.

2:30  p.m.  DOWNING  STREET  MINUTES  - Rep.  John Conyers, others,
hold a hearing  on  the  Downing Street Minutes and other elements of the
pre-Iraq war intelligence.

Location: Room HC-9, Capitol.
Contacts: David Swanson

Notes: Hearing followed by a rally at 5 p.m. in Lafayette Park.

To which I replied:

Hi Dana,

1. The AP entry does not mention Democrats.com

2. Swanson is a spokesman for AfterDowningStreet.org, which is a coalition
of 100+ groups including Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America,
and many others. (The site is overloaded so I can't point you to the long
coalition list
, but David is listed on the front page.)

3. AfterDowningStreet.org assisted Rep. John Conyers in organizing the
hearing and DNC spillover, but it was not "THE organizer."

So this remains factually inaccurate:
"The event organizer, Democrats.com"

and our request for a correction stands.

As does our request for a clarification that Democrats.com was not
responsible for the messages distributed by any activists or groups other
than ourselves.

Bob

To which Milbank replied:

Sorry, Bob.  You guys clearly held yourselves out as the organizer.  See
below email.

And while I've got your attention, why is this kind of crap on your
website
?

The jews have taken control of Washington and hollywood and madison avenue
along with the courts and the education systems.I can not believe that most
people can't see past their misrable little lives to get the big picture.We
would rather watch some Soap opera like desperate housewives and talk about
it the  next day at the water cooler.I also believe the same people that
have the republiucans by the neck also have the democrats by the
balls.Until we shake all foriegn influence from our elected offices,We will
never be free.we will continue to answer for the Holacost Fairy tale which
gets played like a broken record.We back a country in the mideast that does
abosolutly nothing but cause trouble,Hell they stole the land they sit on
and have the balls to call the people they shit on dailey terroists.The
jews took down the world trade center with the help of inside Mossad agents
acting as americans.

From: "Democrats.com Press"                  
To:       @washpost.com                                                          
Subject:  THURS: Conyers Hearings Change to 2:30 pm Capitol HC-9                       
Date: 06/15/2005 10:50 AM                                                                                                   

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2005
For More Info: David Swanson
Web link: http://afterdowningstreet.org

HEARINGS ON DOWNING STREET MINUTES MOVED TO U.S. CAPITOL
AND MOVED TO 2:30

Important Speakers Added to Line-Up at Rally

Citizens urged to lobby Congress Members and Senators, and to meet at DNC,
which is serving as overflow room.

On Thursday June 16, 2005, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room HC-9 of the
U.S. Capitol, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary
Committee, and other Congress Members will hold a hearing on the Downing
Street Minutes and related evidence of efforts to cook the books on pre-war
intelligence.

The hearings had been planned for the Democratic National Committee offices
because the Republicans controlling the House Judiciary Committee had
refused to permit the ranking Democratic Member to use a large room on the
Hill.
http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/UndertheDome/index.html

However, the Democrats did have access to a small room in the Capitol, and
Congressman Conyers has decided to move the hearings there.  This does not
indicate any change in position from the Republicans.

Members of the media will be welcome, but citizens in town for the 5 p.m.
rally at the White House will have difficulty getting into the 2:30
hearings.

The DNC will serve as an overflow room, so people can still go there: the
Wasserman Room at 430 S Capitol St. SE.

AfterDowningStreet.org encourages people, instead, to spend the afternoon
lobbying their Congress Member and two Senators, and paying special visits
to the offices of Congressmen John Conyers and Maurice Hinchey,
Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, and Senators John Kerry and Ted
Kennedy to thank them for their leadership.  Recommended talking points can
be found in a one-page document at the top of www.afterdowningstreet.org.

Later on the same day at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of
the White House, a large rally will support Congressman Conyers who plans
to deliver to the White House a letter addressed to President Bush and
signed by over 500,000 Americans and at least 94 Congress Members.  The
letter asks the President to respond to questions raised by the Downing
Street Minutes.

Among those speaking at the hearings will be:

Joe Wilson, Former Ambassador and WMD Expert; Ray McGovern, 27-year CIA
analyst who prepared regular Presidential briefings during the Reagan
administration; Cindy Sheehan, mother of fallen American soldier; John
Bonifaz, renowned constitutional lawyer and co-founder of
AfterDowningStreet.org.

Among those speaking at the rally will be:

Congressman John Conyers (schedule permitting); Congresswoman Barbara Lee
(schedule permitting); Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (schedule permitting);
Congressman Maurice Hinchey (schedule permitting); Cindy Sheehan,
Co-Founder of Gold Star Families for Peace; John Bonifaz, Co-Founder of
AfterDowningStreet.org; Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder of Global Exchange;
Stephen Cleghorn, Member of Military Families Speak Out; Rev. Lennox
Yearwood, Board Member of Progressive Democrats of America; Ray McGovern,
former CIA analyst; Reg Keys, Member of Military Families Against the War,
challenger to Tony Blair in last election (flying in from UK); William
Rivers Pitt, Reporter for Progressive Democrats of America; Leslie Cagan,
National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice; Kevin Zeese, Director
of Democracy Rising

More information, and flyers promoting the rally, are available at
www.afterdowningstreet.org

Flyers to print, copy, and distribute widely:

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/rally.pdf

LOCAL RALLIES PLANNED AROUND COUNTRY

Supporters of this campaign are independently organizing rallies on
Thursday at locations around the country.

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=211

AfterDowningStreet.org is a rapidly growing coalition of veterans' groups,
peace groups, and political activist groups. On May 26, 2005, we launched a
campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into
whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection
with the Iraq war.

##

You are subscribed to the Democrats.com Press List.

To which I replied in two separate e-mails, first on the press release:

Yes, Democrats.com did send out a copy of the AfterDowningStreet.org
Coalition press release. So did several other members of the Coalition.

Once again, your sentence beginning
"The event organizer, Democrats.com"

is factually incorrect and our request for a correction stands.

As does our request for a clarification that Democrats.com was not
responsible for the messages distributed by any activists or groups other
than ourselves.

Bob

p.s. Perhaps we would get further in this discussion if I offered a
suggestion of how you could correct it:

"One of the groups in the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, Democrats.com"

and then on the "crap on your web site":

Because we cannot x-ray people's brains when they sign up, so we have no
way to exclude hate-filled idiots.

When hate speech is posted on our website, our volunteer moderators
attempt to engage the author in a dialogue to determine whether the author
lacks information (in which case education can overcome hate) or simply
hates. You can see that dynamic at work in the responses to the post.

If the author is determined to be a person of hate, the author is banned
from the community. Our records show this to be the last post by that
author (pcreenan), who was then banned.

You might then ask whether the hate-filled thread should be scrubbed. If
that were the only post on the page, I would do that. But I believe the
thoughtful responses by our members have value that deserves to be
preserved.

Now since I've tried to give you a thoughtful answer to your question,
perhaps you could try to give a thoughtful one to mine:

How will you respond to John Conyers' letter?
http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001475.htm

Bob

The later e-mail was sent at 3:25 pm on Friday, long before the end of the working day. I cc'd Michael Getler on the first but (by oversight) not the second. I never received a direct reply to either one.

3) Milbank's third attack was published on Sunday, June 19:

Ombudsman
Memos, 'Wing Nuts' and 'Hit Lists'

By Michael Getler

Sunday, June 19, 2005; Page B06

The bulk of the mail last week, by far, was focused once again on the "Downing Street Memo."...

Milbank's column was about the June 7 Bush-Blair news conference in Washington and it reported that "Democrats.com, a group of left-wing activists" had sent e-mails offering a "reward" for anyone who could get an answer from Bush about the report that intelligence had been "fixed" around Iraq policy. Later in the column, Milbank wrote that a reporter who did ask such a question, and who had no idea of the activists' e-mails, "wasn't trying to satisfy the wing nuts."

Post Assistant Managing Editor Liz Spayd said "the term referred to one specific group" and not everyone who was questioning coverage of the memo. As for the term "wing nuts," she said "that word is probably sharper than it should have been." I agree. It was a needless red flag that undoubtedly would be read as disparaging beyond the group that Milbank was referring to. But columnists do get more leeway and the term has infiltrated political discussion in these heated times.

As a quick aside, note how Michael Getler implies that the term "wing nuts" can be appropriately applied to Democrats.com, but not groups "beyond" us. See my counterargument above: I would accept the term "wing nuts" for Democrats.com members if the term was applied equally to Republican Party activists - something I cannot recall ever seeing in the Post. Indeed, a search of WashingtonPost.com reports the only time "wing nuts" was used was on June 8 by Dana Milbank.

But then we get to the attack which prompted this and detailed long blog post:

Here's Milbank's view: "While you have been within your rights as ombudsman over the past five years to attempt to excise any trace of colorful or provocative writing from the Post, you are out of bounds in asserting that a columnist cannot identify as 'wingnuts' a group whose followers have long been harassing this and other reporters and their families with hateful, obscene and sometimes anti-Semitic speech."

This is clearly a serious accusation. Is it based on any facts?

Our rules explicitly prohibit personal attacks. They also state:

If you are a victim of any violations, please contact us.

I personally read every report of violations, and I cannot recall more than one or two in five years, to which we replied promptly and appropriately. We have never received one from Dana Milbank or any other reporter that I can recall.

So what is the factual basis for this potentially libelous charge?

One June 10, Milbank replied to a press release from David Swanson:

David-- I thought you'd like to see the type of email your readers have
sent me this week.  DM

> Better jump on that Downing Street Memo quick Jew boy/Jewess/or Shabbas
Goy

The Jews aren't always so clever as they would like themselves to
believe. Whenever they are in danger they prove to be the stupidest
devils" (Goebbels Diaries (1948) Pg 183).

The Jews in England now demand laws to protect them from anti- Semitism. We know these tactics from our own past when we were struggling for power. I didn't help much. We were always able to find loopholes in the law. Besides anti-Semitism cannot be eradicated by law once it has taken root with the people. A law against hating Jews is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews (Goebbels
Diaries. Lochner (1948) Pg 336).

David replied:

Dana,

I should hope it would go without saying, but I'll say it: I and our  organization have no interest in that sort of communication, do not  condone it, and have not encouraged it.  I also do not know whether you are  Jewish, and the question has neither entered nor occupied my mind prior to this moment.

And based on my ten years of experience on the Internet, I added my $.02:

that didn't come from our side - it came from some rightwinger.

Three days later, Milbank provided more information to another colleague who inquired about the "wing nuts" charge on June 8. Milbank claimed that during one working trip "people inspired by" Democrats.com called the Post operator "at all hours," falsely claimed an emergency to get their calls forwarded to his cell phone, then "would scream obscenities." He added "it baffles me why you guys think these harassment tactics help your cause."

Milbank provided no dates, no names, and no evidence that the callers had any connection whatsoever to Democrats.com. Still, I did not attack his undocumented claim, but instead took the high road.

Dear Dana,

We have never met, but I am a great admirer of your solid journalism.

I am distressed to learn that you received such outrageous calls.

I sincerely hope they were NOT from Democrats.com subscribers.

We encourage activism, but we do not encourage, condone, or tolerate personal attacks.

Had I learned of this at the time, I would have requested the names of the  callers to (a) determine if they were associated with Democrats.com and  (b) take appropriate action, including a personal reprimand and removal from our subscriber list.

I have devoted the past 6 years of my life to building Democrats.com into the leading online community of Democratic activists, and I remain committed to its quality and success.

If you or any of your colleagues receive such attacks in the name of  Democrats.com in the future, please send them to me personally.

To which Milbank replied:

Thanks for your note. Much appreciated.

I have now made the record of our correspondence public, in order to allow readers to judge whether Dana Milbank's attacks on Democrats.com are legitimate or libelous.

I would certainly welcome a reply to Milbank to any of these points, and will publish them in full.

In the absence of a reply, however, I repeat my request to Ombudsman Michael Getler (ombudsman@washpost.com) for a correction, and I welcome all civil letters to Getler from Democrats.com supporters on my behalf.

In addition, I must now ask the Post to publish the following letter to the editor under my name:

To the Editor:

On behalf of more than 300,000 supporters of Democrats.com, I write to express my outrage over Dana Milbank's libelous charge that our "followers have long been harassing this and other reporters and their families with hateful, obscene and sometimes anti-Semitic speech."

Democrats.com strictly prohibits personal attacks and takes immediate action against anyone who violates this rule.

Mr. Milbank never contacted us about any personal attacks* documented any personal attacks from Democrats.com supporters, so I am appalled that you published the allegation as though it were factual, and did not ask me for a response to this despicable charge.

I therefore request an apology from the Washington Post.

Sincerely,

Bob Fertik

President

* My first version was inaccurate, since Milbank contacted us on June 10 about the most recent personal attack. However, he did not identify the sender, so there was no way for us to determine if the sender was a supporter or opponent of Democrats.com. The first version was written with the earlier attack calls in mind, which we were never informed about when they occurred, and also were not documented.

Updates:

  • DCCC's jesselee works in the DNC building, so (s)he ought to know a thing or two about the event:

In what sense Democrats.com was "the event organizer" I can scarcely imagine. In fact, what is "the event"? Is it simply "an overflow crowd watch[ing] the hearing on television"? Because that seems to me solely a function of the hearing itself, which was quite obviously organized by Conyers. In fact, I know Conyers' folks and was in touch with them at the very time they were arranging for room here in DNHQ. "The event" consisted of those from the public who could not fit into the public hearing room (which was exceedingly small for the reasons Conyers explains) being allowed to watch it on television in a large empty space in DNHQ. Some in the public handed out fliers that neither Conyers nor anybody in DNHQ would condone, but unlike some we know, we do not screen people for anything we might find offensive before we let them into a public event.

Furthermore, Milbank's reporting leaves an uninformed reader with a flagrant misconception. By claiming that Democrats.com organized the event, whatever that event was, without noting that they are an entirely independent group, he left the distinct impression that they were some form of an official Democratic organization, and that the Democrats were handing out these fliers in their own headquarters.

I'm sure Milbank gets a daily pile of hate mail from the Republican bully squad, but that is no excuse. That column is a joke...

Oh, and by the way, if you can bare to look at the left wing radical circus that Milbank "sketches," here it is...

Comments

Attacks on Washington Post journalist Mr. Milbank

  • Dirigo's picture
    Dirigo
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After reading Mr. Fertik's thorough chronology between himself and Mr. Milbank I find it hard to believe Mr. Milbank would be so naive as to assume Democrats.com is responsible for hate mail and making a criminally offensive emergency phone call to him. Though these types of distressing provocations against Mr. Milbank are downright nasty, why in the name of God would Mr. Milbank simply at random indict democrats.com? His accusations are baseless and unfounded. I expect Mr. Milbank to be more "investigative" and question why he wouldn't assume that the notorious Freepers.com and Republican skunkworks in general might not be the real culprit. I like to think I am a fair minded reader tempered by some years of service as a State Trooper and a member of a police commission. I would like to echo Mr. Fertik's request for a Washington Post retraction of slandering democrats.com and people like myself who come here to get real news and commentaries where newspapers are failing us as of late.

So Mr. Milbank, with all due respect that you deserve for your lofty position at the Washington Post and the newspaper of choice for my reading time, may I ask you for a retraction? Your indictment was offensive to me and insults an organization that I admire greatly.

Best wishes,
Rayne Poussard

Mr. Milbank's attempts to

  • kwahlf's picture
    kwahlf
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Mr. Milbank's attempts to discredit Democrats.com is irresponsible journalism at best and shows a blantant disregard for the facts.

Mr. Milbanks

We have more than enough journalists distorting the facts, omitting the facts and spinning the stories of national and international events.

You owe this organization a retraction of false statements made by you and a correction. Your credibility as a journalist demands no less.

Sincerely,

Karin W. Ahlf

Even though it made me late

Even though it made me late for the regular Sunday night KKK meeting, I took the time to draft a thoughtful response to WaPo.

Bump...!

To Milbank I suppose...

the Freepers are all patriots.

Milbank: just another corporate shill for the BFEE.

I've read the Milbanks columns, and he's using democrats.com as

  • tekki2k's picture
    tekki2k
    Want to meet our members? Click 'Join' above!

a scapegoat instead of doing investigative journalism editorials on the Downing Street Memo. Instead of linking the six documents that prove the memo correct, Dana Milbanks has cut and paste lines of text calling focus on Democrats using democrats.com in an ugly way. Stomp or kick the donkeys when they are down, a Karl Rove operation in play.

Mr. Milbanks should be made to prove his statements, and good going with the corrections linking the right lines of text together to tell the whole truth.

Milbanks is a spinmeister editorial writer in the raw, with a rightwing tinge. If comparing this site to some of the right-wing sites on the WWW, anyone with any sense see any to attack this site, except one; the site name, voter block representation on the site, and the next election cycle. You would think with journalistic integrity at stake, selective amnesia, calling names to a website supporting millions of voters for John Kerry, keeping down anger, channeling it into progressive actions would be rewarded by an editorial writer of the Washington Post. Instead he points, pricks, likes to cut and paste. The posters, readers here care about the future of this country.

Freepers creep in but like Dana Milbanks attack on this site, those actions are unpatriotic and divisive, therefore unwarranted. The post linked was from a freeper.

The Downing Street Memo is the ONE TRUTH THAT EXISTS. FACT.
Another truth to dent the entire misrepresentation of what America is by this administration has this nation populous divided into two opposing forces. One is lying, stealing, committing fraud, and who only knows what else to stay on top. The other, meaning the Dems have been treading too lightly, having a bad dream only to wake up to find the nightmare is reality. If there is a group in the middle, now would be a good time to rise, consider if Milbanks editorialized on such.
Dems are waking up, and fighting hard but not enough.
This site forces Conyers, Kerry, Boxwater, those out there doing their jobs to know they have support and people, voters who feel the pain.

Sites like this are necessary, and so-called journalists like Milbanks take too much liberty with the American public and it's education of what is currently happening.

He should write good editorial or move over for Maureen Dowd.

Just stopping by for a quick note....

  • BG's picture
    BG
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I've been so busy, I have not been up on the Dem.com/Milbanks dialogue. However, I read Milbanks folumn linked from buzzflash and I almost fell out of my chair. the journalistic tactics of run on sentences that started with DSM and concluded with Democrats.com and anti semitism, was an outrageous deception and attempt to discredit both the DSM and Dems.com.

This only furthered my belief that the WaPo, like the NYT are mere reflections of their past glory, they have lost all credibility and objectiveness in their desire to pump out swill to please the profit centers. Thank God for the internet, BBC, ITN, Guardian and the few other responsible media outlets who have not abdicated their responsibility to report the news fairly and HONESTLY!

Spirituality exists without organized religion...
after the rapture, we get all their stuff!

brian@takebackamerica.us

Hey Brian, welcome back. You

Hey Brian, welcome back. You don't write, you don't call, and you don't send us flowers anymore...

I promise I'll do better Bill...

  • BG's picture
    BG
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I do miss all my friends at Dems.com, I've just been so f'ing busy lately.....

I'll make a point to get back more often.

 Spirituality exists without organized religion...
after the rapture, we get all their stuff!

brian@takebackamerica.us

We'll leave the light on for

We'll leave the light on for ya...

P.S. I "fixed" your tag line. We have a new phenomenon here that allows formatted tag lines to alter all of the text below them in a node. Go figure...

Thanks, Bill.

  • kwahlf's picture
    kwahlf
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The weird bold mischief hits with some of the bold tags.

We can't blame Di for this one. ;-)

Sniffle. And it seems like

  • golfmonkey's picture
    golfmonkey
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Sniffle. And it seems like only yesterday we took the training wheels off his bike.

You're funny.

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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You're funny.

This is exactly what's wrong with our media.

  • proberts9999's picture
    proberts9999
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I am not a journalist, nor a detective, but somehow I was able to discover that that ANYONE, WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION by Democrats.com's moderators, can register as a Democrats.com member. I was also able to figure out that I can't send email from a democrats.com address. Interestingly, this is exactly how other internet forums work. Are you impressed with my investigative skills?

How did Dana Milbank figure out someone calling and screaming obscenities was a Democrats.com member? I would love to know how the caller worked that into the conversation.

Did that anti-semitic email come from 'someone@democrats.com'? Was the address spoofed?

It was obvious to me that afterdowningstreet created that PR and Democrats.com was simply forwarding it. How? Perhaps it was becuase "afterdowningstreet.org" is mentioned over and over, and democrats.com isn't.

I have not read the entire Post article that started this, but from this exchange Dana Milbank appears to embody exactly what's wrong with our media:

1) Poor investigative skills. (Which leads to rewording PRs as news)

2) Poor understanding of the internet. (An unsurpased research tool)

3) Finger-pointing instead of integrity ("I'm not going to fix my error because you're a anti-semite/racist/etc.")

I would point out that many private institutions extend the public right of free speech; the same mechanism that empowers Democrats.com not to censor ignorant posters espousing racism empowers newspapers not to censor ignorant writers opining a group are "wing nuts".

yes, you are correct.

  • tekki2k's picture
    tekki2k
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There are some websites out there that are reporting and doing the journalistic duty, unfortunately Dana Milbanks is not one of them. What an embarrassment for the Washington Post, they are supposed to be one of the top three papers in the US.

I received this email and cut and paste it today. This is from a College Newspaper. Check it out.

The People's Email Network MEDIA Action ALERT

It's not just individual members of Congress who need to hear from us demanding an investigation of the Downing Street minutes, it is also the so-called journalists who themselves been stonewalling this grave constitutional scandal. The White House wasn't even going to send out anyone to accept the Conyers petition until the presence of the progressive media shamed them into in. And where there has been other coverage it has been typified by contemptuous spin pieces resembling negative campaign commercials for war as usual.

The only thing that is going to precipitate a REAL INVESTIGATION of all the deliberate lies that mislead us to the Iraq disaster is DIRECT pressure now on not just Congress but also on the mainstream media to do their duty. We have added functions to our action page on the Downing Street minutes to send your personal message not just to both your senators and your house member, but also at the same time with one click to the key broadcast and print news outlets. Even if you have already submitted something else, we MUST follow up with this as well.

http://www.usalone.com/downingstreet.htm

We're hitting the ombudsmen for the Washington Post and New York Times, together with all the biggest national alphabet news networks. You saw how Conyers had to fight for a basement closet of a hearing room this last Thursday, and how they scheduled a dozen votes in a desperate attempt to disrupt the proceedings. Tell your members of Congress there is zero chance of them getting re-elected unless they confront this crisis. Tell these news outlets that if you can't get the REAL news from them you are finding other sources for your news.

http://www.usalone.com/downingstreet.htm

Take action NOW on this and post and forward this message everywhere you can to everyone you know.

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Unfortunately...

  • seventhson's picture
    seventhson
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The Washington Post is a corporate shill for the BFEE just as, in many ways, Bill Clinton and John Kerry are.

Tied into the sociopolitical network apparatus of the BFEE (Bush Family Evil Empire as it is "fondly" referred to at such progressive sites as Democraticunderground) the corporate fascists use willing collaboratoirs like Milbank to do their propaganda dirty work.

As a hardcore democrat I have learned not to expect any positive pr to come from those entrenched members of secret societies and corporate boardrooms on both sides of the aisle.

Milbank, if he has any integrity at all, should leap at the chance to apologize and correct the lies he has perpetrated which benefit only the BFEE and the war profiteers.

But I doubt he has any integrity at all.

I guess we'll see.

I come from the belly of that wasp beast which sits in control of the fate of the earth and I am deeply ashamed and saddened by it.

For my first post here I am proud to support you Bob Fertik and folks like those at democraticunderground who stand their ground against fascism (whether it be on the right or on the right end of the spectrum in the democratic party).

Conyers is an angel of liberation for humanity...

but it must be said that ANY group or website with tens or hundreds of thousands of members and openness on its boards is going to get infiltrators, crackpots, and provocateurs.

If Milbank does not comprehend this and tars all of this site's members with a brush which does not point out this most obvious reality (blaming Bob and the site for the actions of a few who may well be operators FOR the right POSING as democrats or progressives, then he is just either very naive or a very willing corporate fascist collaborator.

Peace out and keep up the great work Mr. Fertik. The Truth is out there.

Shalom/Salaam Y'all!!!

Milbanks needs to prove

  • Jim's picture
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Milbanks needs to prove democrats.com members harassed him or offer a published apology.

Furthermore, if one or two “members” harass someone out of thousands isn’t that below the threshold of indicting the group?

Obviously any idiot who harasses anyone should be punished and is going to be banned from democrats.com. Case closed.

Milbank’s stubbornness to admit the above as trivial comes from a broader problem with journalists and others: minuscule education coupled with the fad of treating those with a little superiority as gods has led to a deluge of verbal vomit.

It ain't "stubbornness" and miseducation

  • seventhson's picture
    seventhson
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It is deliberate disniformation and Karl Rove propaganda.

Goebbels would be proud of his legacy with Rove, public strategies inc, et al. doing the Bush's dirty work and using the MSM and media collaborators like Millbank (even the name rings of Waspism and Bush-like elitism, frankly, but that is just a guess)to pass along the BIG LIES and repaet their lying liar mantras to hypnotize the media-mindless masses.

Miniscule education it is not. Miseducation more probable. Class warfare a distinct possibility.

But Democrats.com is the target of these disinormation campaigns. That is because it is a danger to the system.

So BE PROUD, Bob!

even Jesus said the peacemakers and the righteous persecuted are blessed.

Can the fundies argue with THAT???

Shalom/Salaam Y'all!!!

What could have given you

  • Jim's picture
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What could have given you such a bleak view of the Right?

I have to agree

  • shiawassee_democrat's picture
    shiawassee_democrat
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with this:

"But Democrats.com is the target of these disinormation campaigns. That is because it is a danger to the system.

So BE PROUD, Bob!"

If they mention you by name, then you are succeeding. If they don't even acknowledge you, if you don't show up on their radar, then you aren't effective.

Still, I've had enough of Millbank and will be asking for an apology. Of course, what will it matter? I'm just a wing-nut. :)

Well done, btw.

Shhhhhh. You’re not

  • Jim's picture
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Shhhhhh. You’re not supposed to let on that any publicity is good publicity. That’s why I alluded to Batman and Penguin.

Doh!

  • shiawassee_democrat's picture
    shiawassee_democrat
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My bad.

Well, it’s late in the

  • Jim's picture
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Well, it’s late in the thread so we probably pissed the Right and their care takers off so much they jumped ship before they hit our posts anyway :)

...by the way I'll stand by

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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...by the way I'll stand by my education comments.

They were not meant to imply that ulterior motives and manipulation are not at play. Rather the egos of uneducated little boys like Dana Milbank have been inflated by the notion that a miniscule bit of knowledge beyond the average gives one the perspective needed to disparage an entire group.

I would ask anyone of any political stripes this question: Do you think President Bush made up his mind to attack Iraq whilst still claiming to the American People he did not? Did he, on many occasions lie to America?

The above is far less than the DSM hearings attempt to discover but plenty to get a real journalist interested in pursuing the general topic. Furthermore it was the criteria the MSM used to explain why the political climate was such that former President Clinton could be impeached.

(EDIT: I would ask all democrats.com members to remember that the political climate must change. Please carry to the four winds:

DID PRESIDENT BUSH LIE TO AMERICANS ABOUT WHEN HE DECIDED TO GO TO WAR?

This is far easier to convince people of. They watched the unchallenged bullshit in the MSM while it occurred. They were not privy to the DSM until now.)

Paranoia

  • cleo's picture
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Who or what is this guy and where does he get off accusing us of being antiSemitic or guilty of phone harassment? We are very careful not to ever threaten people in the blog. As far as verbally threatening him over the phone, the scariest people who come here are the people pretending to want to join us. I don't believe his story and agree that he is throwing a smokescreen over the entire DSM issue and rather diverting attention by calling us names. I for one have a real job and use this as my opportunity to express myself politically. I resent being termed a "wingnut" for caring about democracy and the state of the nation. I guess that he thinks that we are the only people who can read.

It might just be that Batman

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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It might just be that Batman needs Penguin and vice versa.

Sounds like false accusations

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    googa1
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This sounds a LOT like what the Right Wing Nut Jobs did during the elections! I can't find the exact article from the DNC (I have it printed off at home) but I can find reference to it at http://www.politicalstrategy.org/archives/000701.php

Republicans "pretending" to be Democrats to make us look bad. All of this stinks of Karl Rove! Press manipulation is a Right Wing specialty.

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security

like it's some kind of federal program."

- George W. Bush in a debate in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 2, 2000

Can I sue?

  • vince's picture
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While I feel sorry for anybody that must survive with the delusions that Mr. Dana Milbanks suffers from, I think that the Washington Post needs a kick in the ass. Is a libel suit in order?

Bump

Saving the world from stupidity
One Republican at a time
Since November, 2004

Very interesting.

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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Very interesting.

Paid Journalist...

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    proberts9999
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I just read the full article. What a pile of fluff.

Something to consider: Might Milbank be on the Bush & Co payroll? How many journalists last year sold their integrity are were outted? Any way to find out if some misappropriated public funds bought this guy?

I went to an elite boarding school

  • seventhson's picture
    seventhson
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with some Milbanks. Eastern establishment/banking types if he is from that same family he was born into it and possibly recruited as a junior for this "mission" as many skull and bonesmen, book and snake etc are recruited (See Alexandra Robbins - Yale ('98?)"Secrets of the Tomb (Kerry AND all the Bushes sworn brotherhood of secrecy based on Hegel's insane "rationalism" (i.e. fascism) or her interview at Guerillanews.com ( http://gnn.tv/articles/710/Skull_Bones) for more on how the wasp elites are recruited for the BFEE/CIA/Secret Socities and blackops/propaganda in prep school over th past hundred years or so.

I know these guys, They know EXACTLY what they are covering up and what they are trying to achieve. Read Konrad Heiden's "Der Fuehrer" and "The History of National Socialism" and then tell me if we are not seeing the Fourth Reich as Hunter Thompson called it.

Millbanmk sounds like a willing stooge for the Republican corporate fascists in this instance and it needs to be said plainly.

Shalom/Salaam Y'all!!!

Check out Conyers Letter to Milbank-

  • Real American's picture
    Real American
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http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/061805Y.shtml

Way to go John, er.. uh Mr. Chairman

Conyers for President!

Thanks for the link. Great

  • Jim's picture
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Thanks for the link. Great letter.

Conyers wrote an excellent

  • kwahlf's picture
    kwahlf
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Conyers wrote an excellent letter, nailing Milbanks lies and deception. Conyers is indeed, Mr. Chairman.

We have them scared

  • cloudancer's picture
    cloudancer
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It sure sounds to me like we have someone quite frightened to the point that they are fabricating and exaggerating anything they can to make us look as bad as possible. Personally I consider the source and count it as a compliment. Sure Milbank, I might be a wing nut but I 'm not a loose screw like you.

We have support

  • dinamic's picture
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Conyers vs. The Post - Yahoo! News
http://tinyurl.com/b5wjh

Conyers vs. The Post
Sat Jun 18,11:52 PM ET
There is painful irony in the fact that, during the same month that the confirmation of "Deep Throat's" identity has allowed the Washington Post to relive its Watergate-era glory days, the newspaper is blowing the dramatically more significant story of the "fixed" intelligence the Bush Administration used to scam Congress and US allies into supporting the disasterous invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Last week, when the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Michigan Democrat John Conyers, chaired an extraordinary hearing on what has come to be known as the "Downing Street Memo"--details of pre-war meetings where aides to British Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed the fact that, while the case for war was "thin," the Bush Administration was busy making sure that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"--the Post ridiculed Conyers and the dozens of other members of Congress who are trying to get to the bottom of a scandal that former White House counsel John Dean has correctly identified as "worse than Watergate."

Post writer Dana Milbank penned a snarky little piece that, like similar articles in the New York Times and other "newspapers of record," displayed all the skepticism regarding Bush Administration misdeeds that one might expect to find in a White House press release.

To his credit, Conyers hit back.

In a letter addressed to the Post's national editor, the newspaper's ombudsman and Milbank, the veteran House member was blunt.

"Dear Sirs," Conyers began, "I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, 'Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War,' which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post's only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

"In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that 'only one' member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline 'Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight.' Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

"The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats 'pretended' a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

"In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event. First, let me be clear: I consider myself to be a friend and supporter of Israel and there were a number of other staunchly pro-Israel members who were in attendance at the hearing. I do not agree with, support, or condone any comments asserting Israeli control over US policy, and I find any allegation that Israel is trying to dominate the world or had anything to do with the September 11 tragedy disgusting and offensive.

"That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

"In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me 'Mr. Chairman' and says I liked it so much that I used 'chairmanly phrases.' Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

"To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I 'was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.' This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought--given that--the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not 'fun.'

"By the way, the 'Downing Street Memo' is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials--having just met with their American counterparts--describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank's article.

"The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn't make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

"Sincerely, John Conyers, Jr"

The years of the Bush presidency will be remembered as a time when American media, for the most part, practiced stenography to power --and when once-great newspapers became little more than what the reformers of another time referred to as "the kept press."

The Conyers letter, like the thousands of communications from grassroots activists to media outlets across this country pressing for serious coverage of the "Downing Street Memo" and the broader debate about the Bush Administration's doctoring of intelligence prior to the launch of the Iraq war, is an essential response to our contemporary media crisis. That it had to be written provides evidence of just how serious that crisis has grown.

Proud member of the reality based community.

Forget Milbank, I want some of what Fertik is drinking.

  • guijackb's picture
    guijackb
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Of course, I believe Milbank has gone over the edge. And any sane reader of your back-and-forth with Mr. Milbank would have to come to the same conclusion.
I've been wronged in my life, as have most folk. But I don't/can't just lash out at a random straw man. And if I had, especially on the same lack of evidence as Milbank,it would be incumbent on me to listen to and evaluate their replies.
That said, I'd still like some of whatever gave Mr. Fertik the patience to softly try reason with a man who continually answers you with libelous allegations. A man who, based on anonymous phone calls, is willing to charge you and unknown/non-existent members of your organization with vile and, even, illiterate anti-Semitism.
While I'd hope I could emulate your restraint, I have a feeling that by the second or third unwarranted swipe at me and mine . . . I might start using bold, CAPS or some other signs of indignation beyond your use of facts to refute his verbal stones.
A tip of my hat to Fertik; a prayer for a return to sanity and civility to Mr. Milbank.

Jack Ballinger
JackB@bluecollarpolitics.com
Blog: http://bluecollarpolitics.com/

Follow the Money....

  • Veritas2020's picture
    Veritas2020
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WaPo owner, editor is on the high-end list of the BushCo party; WaPo has been the 'catapult' of journalist conveyor to scared to take on the BushCo vis a vis the 'lobbyist agenda list'. --

--The WaPo is the most 'profitable and is worth more $$ than NYTimes. --Follow the money.

If Milbank thinks 'Dems.com' are 'left-wing activists'; its because his editor can't make a stance against the right-wing nuts that pay their way.

--I suppose that nowadays any media outlet/ and/or editor-journalist can freely use the 'left-wing'liberal' verbiage--only because it separates the MSM from the liberal reader --PA-LESE...WaPo get some balls.

DID PRESIDENT BUSH LIE TO

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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DID PRESIDENT BUSH LIE TO AMERICA ABOUT WHEN HE DECIDED TO GO TO WAR?

Letter to the Washington Post.

  • Erik's picture
    Erik
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This is the letter I wrote today to the Washington Post.
I'm posting this to offer an idea as to how I think we could get some reciprocity from them without stooping to the level that your, our organization is being acused of.

By the way, I loved the stickers.

Mr. Getler,

I'm writing in response to your article yesterday in defense of Dana Milbank, and his recent articles. I'm surprised to see that there was no mention of his article from Friday, June 17th titled "Democrats Play House to Rally Against War". The article that caused Congressman John Conyers to write a letter demanding an apology.

I'm sure that you got more than a few of those "hateful, obscene, and sometimes anti-Semitic" letters from people as offended as I was over this article. Personally, I wonder why there is no mention of this report, or commentary, or whatever you feel comfortable classifying it as.

If you feel the need to use the anti-Semitic "label" in your article to describe the letters you have received as of late, then I should point out that your friend and colleague, Dana Milbank, is just as guilty as they are in their use of such rhetoric. In case you missed it, I included the quote.

"At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/16/AR200506...

This is the text of the so implied "Anti-Semitic Document" handed out at DNC headquarters. "Complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on 11/26/03 in the case of Mariani vs. Bush. Filed by Philip J. Berg, Esquire".

I would like to refer you to count IV, section 61 A, titled "Explicit warnings from foreign Sources"(note subsections 9, 14, 16 and 19), thru section 61 B, subsection 21 D beginning, "Alhazmi opened a $3000...". This is the source, and section printed and handed out at DNC HQ. I was given a stack outside of DNC HQ that I took home to eventualy distribute in Philadelphia. I'm not in the habit of handing out someone elses literature without scrutinizing, or disclaming my reservations. Nowhere does this document blame Israel for the attacks. This document states that Israel WARNED U.S. officials numerous times. If anything, it states that Israel did what an ally should do. And in the absence of an American response, looked out for their citizens (probably Mosad agents warning family members).

I do not profess to know who was behind the "put options" purchases in the days before 9/11, but I do know that someone did it. But this is not the point of this letter. The point is that a public apology to Congressman Conyers and his supporters should be made by Mr. Milbank for this, and now you for failing to fully understand what he has done. Dana Milbank is misrepresenting the facts, and and in doing so, the people he was reporting or commenting on. Whatever his capacity was when writing this piece, this was out of bounds, and extremely insulting to me, and everyone present at DNC headquarters on 6/16/05.

The label "anti-Semitic" is a tool of character assassination. Whether merely insinuated, or espoused aloud, it can be a one way ticket to a professional black list or worse.

And one other thing. I was one of those people at the DNC Headquarters Thursday. So I tend to take slander, or liable personally.

If a retraction is not filed, I may be forced to seek legal council. I expect immediate action, giving equal space and placement in your publication. To assure this, I am sending this to letter to every "Wing Nut" internet posting I can find by my bedtime. It's now 5:00pm, and I don't usualy get to bed untill 2:00am.

Respectfully awaiting your response,
Erik.

SoapBox4Truth.org

Very nice.

  • Jim's picture
    Jim
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Very nice.

That's a great letter, Erik.

  • kwahlf's picture
    kwahlf
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That's a great letter, Erik.

Great letter

  • dinamic's picture
    dinamic
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Great letter Erik and great approach.

Proud member of the reality based community.

I just sent this to the

  • roooth's picture
    roooth
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I just sent this to the Post:

Dear Sir,

When will enough be enough?

I could understand Dana Milbank using phrases such as "trip to the land of make-believe" to describe people and things he doesn't agree with, if he were an editorial writer and expected to write his opinions provocatively. But he is not. He is supposed to be a journalist.

Derogatorily referring to members of a group as a "hearty band of playmates" when they include a mother whose son was killed in Iraq just days after Dana Milbank had a fancy dinner and a fun night out yukking it up watching Bush make a joke about finding those pesky missing WMD's under his desk is just disgusting.

Are you really all so full of yourselves for being such in-the-beltway bigwigs that you don't get how it looks to the rest of us when we see the people who are supposed to be honest witnesses to our times become cheerleaders for the regime in exchange for banquet chicken and a few tasteless jokes?

And what is it you people think that we peasants out here in the boonies don't get? That you think you have the inherent right to patronize us with your sycophantic blustering? Or that we aren't supposed to know enough to mind sending our kids to die in a desert hellhole while you cover-up for the liars who started it for their own "political capitol"? How many children does Mr. Milbank currently have serving in the military? I'd wager none.

Meanwhile, you continue to ignore and distort facts. Case in point, the Downing Street Memos. This is what the Post had to say to justify it's lack of coverage, ""the mainstream media" have not paid more attention to them [British memos]. Though we can't speak for The Post's news department, the answer appears obvious: The memos add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration's prewar deliberations. Not only that: They add nothing to what was publicly known in July 2002."

Lies, lies and damned lies.

How many more have to die for these lies?

If our children have the courage to put on uniforms and march to war when ordered to, how is it the Post can't muster just a little bit of courage to at least make sure it reports the truth in an unbiased, factual manner?

Damn fine letter. Good

  • Jim's picture
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Damn fine letter. Good going.

Wonderful letter Rooth

  • dinamic's picture
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I am so pleased and impressed with the way that so many of our people have dealt with this situation.
What a smart and classy group we are under pressure.

Thanks all of you for making a bad day into a very good day for me
Di

Proud member of the reality based community.

Seventhson...troll warning

Seventhson/Thalia/other names by the bagfull is a certified troll with a long history at Dems.Com. When banned for cause, he frequently returns under another screen-name. His specialty is progressive disruption of threads.

All Mods: This individual came up on the old Dems.com boards several years ago. He first appeared as a 13 year old adopted Korean girl: Thalia. He has claimed to have worked with disadvantaged kids, to be an attorney, to be an expert on flight/aircraft when he has no actual knowledge of any of this. Ban immediately and check the sign ins for a return.

Dana, Dana...talk to me Dana...

We don't use naked pyramids at democrats.com. Because we believe some measures to be extreme, we attempt to connect with them (trolls) in a more humane fashion. If that doesn't work, we ban them.

I've got one word for you, Dana: Guckert. Your particular brand of journalism reminds me of his. You seem to be really good at mentioning half of the story, but not so good at really informing the public.

Maybe you could mosey on back there and publish that the guy was banned, and perhaps you'd like to mention some of the moderators'/members' responses him, so that you can differentiate your talents from those of Guckert's?

I think that would be really nice.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Allergic to the truth!

  • Byron's picture
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Bob,

Thanks for the blow by blow report of your communications with Milbank. I'd say you're banging your head against the proverbial brick wall with him. I find that people like Milbank have little concern for the truth, and arguing with them gets them off! The Washington Post has been a longtime panting lapdog of the right wing disinformation crowd. What else would you expect from them?

Nice try though! Keep up the excellent work!

I assume good intent here, but this doesn't play well elsewhere

  • bugmenot's picture
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I assume that people here mean well and do not intend anti-semitism. But that is not how this stuff plays out in the rest of the world.

There's a difference between criticizing their policy and re-stating old anti-semitic slanders dressed-up as criticisms against Israel.

However, it is simply a putting lipstick on an anti-semitic pig to say that Israel wants to take over the Middle East.

That's like saying, "Our Red Robin chain of restaurants shouldn't hire 'Urban People'," when you're actually talking about black people.

And whether I am wrong or right, and whether you agree or not, his statement will only do two things:

1) Fuel anti-semitism for those who truly do believe (even if you don't believe) that Israel and Jews are one and the same. This is what is fueling anti-semitic attacks in Europe.

2) It will alienate people who would otherwise be on our side who will dismiss this whole issue as an anti-semitic conspiracy.

Believe me, in certain quarters, this guys comments will be played over and over to either justify anti-semitism or to condemn the whole downing street investigation as anti-semitic.

In fact, it is anti-Zionism that is fueling an explosion of anti-Jewish hate crimes.

ADL Survey in 12 European Countries Finds Anti-Semitic Attitudes Still Strongly Held
http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/4726_13.htm

Global Anti-Semitism:
Selected Incidents Around the World in 2005
http://www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/anti-semitism_global_incidents_2005.asp

ADL European Survey Findings: "A Potent and Dangerous Mix"
30% of Europeans Cling to Traditional Anti-Semitic Stereotypes, Coupled with a High Rate of Anti-Israel Sentiment
http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/4118_13.asp

I trust the people here to mean well and that they do not have anti-semitic intent. However, that is not how it plays in the rest of the world.

This will energize the anti-semitic filth on the right as "proof" that the Jews are behind it. This will energize the "right-wingers" who will use this as proof the Democratic Party is anti-semitic.
http://tinyurl.com/dq4w9

A key difference between Israel and other countries is that Israel is the last refuge of a persecuted people who were nearly exterminated time and time again throughout history.

--- --- ---

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
http://tinyurl.com/bqggf
". . . You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--this is God's own truth.

"Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so.

"Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. From this they were expelled by the Roman tyrant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered Our Lord. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

"The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested--DEMANDED the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

"How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfillment of God's promise, that his People should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land.

--- --- ---

The problem isn't with criticizing Israel. I criticize Israel a lot. The problem is with certain criticisms, such as claiming they have a will to conquer and control. It is just the old Protocols libels camouflaged behind the word "Zionism."

--- --- ---

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

It is a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world. Since its contrivance around the turn of the century by the Russian Okhrana, or Czarist secret police, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" has taken root in bigoted, frightened minds around the world.

The booklet’s twenty-four sections spell out the alleged secret plans of Jewish leaders seeking to attain world domination. They represent the >most notorious political forgery of modern times. Although thoroughly discredited, the document is still being used to stir up anti-Semitic hatred.

Origins of the Protocols

Serge Nilus, a little-known Czarist official in Moscow, edited several editions of the Protocols, each with a different account of how he discovered the document. In his 1911 edition Nilus claimed that his source had stolen the document from (a non-existent) Zionist headquarters in France. Other "editors" of the Protocols maintained that the document was read at the First Zionist Congress held in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland.

Note: According to reputable scholars, including Prof. Norman Cohn in his noted book, Warrant for Genocide, the world-control myth was actually lifted from a 19th century French political satire in which the alleged plotters weren't even Jewish.

More:
http://www.adl.org/special_reports/protocols/protocols_intro.asp

---- ---- ----

Blurring the Line
By Abraham H. Foxman
National Director of the Anti-Defamation League

-Snip-

I tell the questioner that everyone has the right to criticize Israel, just as they have the right to criticize the United States, Great Britain, Argentina, Taiwan or Nigeria. Even harsh condemnation of Israeli policy is not on its own anti-Semitic, and it is irresponsible to brand every critic of Israel as an enemy of the Jewish people. Indeed, I say, some of the toughest criticism of Israel is to be found in the Israeli press, which is as free and multivoiced as any in the world.

However, we have developed a number of litmus tests to assess when criticism of Israel crosses the line.

- Is Israel being repeatedly singled out for criticism and blame?
- Is Israel being held to a double standard - being denounced while a blind eye is turned to the excesses and offenses of other nations?
- Is it Israeli policy that is the subject of criticism, or is it the existence of the Jewish state and Jews as a whole?

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been hijacked, resulting in an explosion of global anti-Semitism. It has provided a camouflage of semi-respectability. The attacks are not about a nation state, they are about Jews. A hideous and grotesque double standard clearly exists in my mind. Anti-Zionism has long been a code word for anti-Semitism. We have had to define for ourselves when anti-Israel and anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

-Snip-

The fact is that the cumulative effect of articles by so-called anti-Israel critics leads to a blurring of the line of what is legitimate criticism of policies of the State of Israel, and what is the demonization of Jews. The result is the raising of society's tolerance level for anti-Semitism.

In the most extreme examples, this tolerance for anti-Semitism has resulted in the justification of egregious acts of anti-Semitism as merely an expression of opposition to Israeli policies. When anti-Jewish violence erupted across France, government leaders, the media and other opinion-molders were hesitant to denounce it as anti-Semitism, because the torching of synagogues in their minds was understood within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Today, the international community sits in virtual silence when media in the Arab/Muslim world promote through their propaganda the most heinous conspiracy theories about Jews, because it is viewed through the prism of criticism of Israel.

More:
http://tinyurl.com/afo5u

Abraham H. Foxman is the national director of the Anti-Defamation League and author of "Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism."

Again, I assume that people here mean well and do not intend anti-semitism. But that is not how this stuff plays out in the rest of the world.

What guy said what?

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    Jim
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What guy said what?