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HOLY DOLPHINS, BATMAN!
By Carolyn Kay
There was a time when I believed that the Wall Street Journal’s news reporting was superior to its hopelessly biased editorial coverage. Not any longer.
WSJ reporter Julia Angwin published an article on Monday about Air America Radio, a project close to my heart, as visitors to my website know very well. In an otherwise fact-oriented article, though some of her facts are incorrect, Ms. Angwin chose to describe Sheldon Drobny, co-founder of Air America, as “a venture capitalist and liberal activist who writes an occasional column for a Web site that has compared Republican control of Congress and the White House to the Nazis' rise to power in Germany.”
The website Ms. Angwin refers to is my website, MakeThemAccountable.com. She apparently visited my About page, and found the following text: “I've been curious for many years about how the Nazis could have taken over in Germany. I decided that it was because not enough people stood up against them early on, and I hoped that if I ever saw something similar happening in my country, I'd have the courage to fight it. The Republican takeover was, and is, something very similar to the Nazi takeover in Germany.”
Now, first of all, what I have to say on my website about why I became involved in politics has nothing to do with Sheldon Drobny, even though he does write for my website. What Ms. Angwin said is the equivalent of my saying she writes for a newspaper that believes holy dolphins saved Elian Gonzales (The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2000).
Second of all, what Ms. Angwin reported about my beliefs is wrong. She neglected to mention this statement from my About page, which precedes the information she mangled: “When it became apparent in the summer of 2000 that the mainstream media had actually joined the Bush campaign, and may as well have been picking up their paychecks from Bush adviser Karl Rove, I became seriously concerned about what was happening in my country. The aftermath of the election and the Supreme Court's decision to put Bush in the White House only cemented my resolve to do what I can to save democracy, grandiose as that may sound.”
Concern about the methods of the Republican takeover in 2000 is not the same as comparing “Republican control of Congress and the White House to the Nazis' rise to power in Germany,” Ms. Angwin.
So what could Ms. Angwin’s intention possibly be, in what she wrote about Sheldon Drobny? Could it be that associating him with a lunatic who believes Republicans are Nazis will marginalize him, and thereby reduce the force of anything the man has to say, or any influence he might have?
Or perhaps Ms. Angwin is simply unaware that almost every lawyer in the United States was appalled at the Supreme Court’s decision to put George Bush in the White House (Salon.com, January 30, 2002). Perhaps she is unaware that the mainstream media helped put the Supreme Court in the position to put Bush in the White House (Columbia Journalism Review, September/October 2000; The New York Times, October 15, 2000; consortiumnews.com, July 17, 2001). Perhaps she is unaware that a media mogul made a deal with Bush adviser Karl Rove to put George Bush in the White House in return for more media deregulation (MakeThemAccountable.com, October 23, 2001).
Talk about a quid pro quo!
This is not the first time Sheldon Drobny has been trashed in the media. Byron York told Brit Hume on Hume’s television show last October that Sheldon Drobny was guilty of “comparing President Bush to a Nazi” (MakeThemAccountable.com, October 24, 2003). Byron York, of course, works for the National Review, a magazine that believes Chelsea Clinton should be murdered because she bears the Clinton taint (National Review, February 15, 2001). And Brit Hume works for Fox News Channel, whose viewers believe, more than watchers, listeners, or readers of any other media outlet, the lies perpetrated by the Bush administration about Iraq (Media Life Magazine, October 9, 2003), lies that caused the deaths of more than 10,000 people.
No one who knows what the right-wing media are capable of is surprised by what a writer for the National Review says on the Fox News Channel about a liberal. Now we know that we have to use the same caution when reading the Wall Street Journal’s news pages.