He's a Journalist! Get Him!

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David Freddoso is the author of the lone decent anti-Obama book, The Case Against Barack Obama. (It's the Myth of a Maverick of anti-Barackology!) It was researched on the scene in Chicago. It doesn't traffic in birth certificate-style kookery.

So, naturally, the Obama campaign is siccing the bloodhounds on Freddoso.

Chicago radio station WGN-AM is again coming under attack from the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama for offering airtime to a controversial author. It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an "Obama Action Wire" alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.

"The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don't gain credibility," an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

"David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering," the message said. "And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama—on the public airwaves."

Guy Benson has more details here. I can see the Obama campaign's problem, though: Freddoso is a much more credible "smear artist" than, say, Jerome Corsi. The Corsi-ish reliance on crazy Obama smears that defined part of this summer was actually good for Obama, in the same way that the pre-Lipstick-on-a-Pig Palin attack stories were good for Palin. By being so crazy, they made it seem like to attack Obama was to be/sound crazy.

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  1. “So, naturally, the Obama campaign is siccing the bloodhounds on Freddoso.”

    By any means necessary.

  2. I find this intersting:

    or the second time in less than a month, Team Barry has sent out an e-mail action alert to Chicago-area supporters instructing them to clog the call-in lines of a local radio show hosting conservative reporters uncovering, ahem, inconvenient truths about Obama.

    In late August, Stanley Kurtz of National Review appeared on the Milt Rosenberg show, a long-form interview show and Chicago radio staple on WGN. Kurtz had been investigating the connections between Barack Obama and his neighborhood unrepentant terrorist, Bill Ayers.

    The Obama Action Wire implored impassioned supporters to take a minute to call and counter the “lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers,” by which of course was meant the duly sourced and sober reporting of Kurtz about Obama and Ayers. They clogged all five call-in lines for the show that night, and when their calls were answered, their message was that the interview must stop…well, just because.

    Last night, they struck again, taking issue with Milt Rosenberg’s hosting of David Freddoso, author of “The Case Against Barack Obama.”:

    The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don’t gain credibility.

    David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering, even calling legislation to protect people from hate crimes the “Thought Police.”

  3. Cue the Obama faithful who heve neither read the book nor heard an interview with the author.

  4. card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine

    i.e. “Someone who disagrees with us.”

  5. David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering, even calling legislation to protect people from hate crimes the “Thought Police.”

    Uh, what else are they if not exactly that?

  6. David, could you check your front porch? I left a package for you.

    And just ignore that ticking sound.

  7. Groovy!

  8. legislation to protect people from hate crimes the “Thought Police.” Uh, what else are they if not exactly that?

    We prefer the term Brain Cops.

  9. WGN (AM 720) is a Class A (“clear channel”) station, so it can be heard across much of North America after dark.

  10. card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine

    Where can I get one of those cards?

  11. I prefer the term Cerebral Regulation.

    The current situation is what you get when you seemingly let the free market of thoughts run wild without proper oversight.

  12. We prefer the term Brain Cops.

    Sorry, but that really only conjures up images of a brain trying to fire a gun with its medulla oblongata.

    Or an unshaven brain driving a Ferrari along a deserted highway at night, listening to Phil Collins.

  13. The funny thing is Extension 720 is probably the only intelligent radio show in town. (For those who don’t know, it’s basically an academic program; the 30-years-running host is a psychology prof from Univeristy Of Chicago.) And yeah there’s always a nutcase caller or two, but the signal-to-noise ratio of the phone callers is usually pretty good. It was always funny to hear the occasional Bush supporters call in over the last few years, but these Obama callers are nuttier and more numerous. I’d have a lot more respect for Obama if he’d distance himself from these nutjobs, but apparently it’s a huge chunk of his support. Their nuttiness is practically driving the show to book more anti-Obama guests.

  14. How is this any different that what the Dobson’s and the Focus on the Family people do with their call/write the FCC campaigns? The Right does this all the time as well with their attacks on the so called “liberal media” if they dare report anything negative about Bush or the glorious war or Not Supporting Our Troops etc. ?

    What exactly makes this newsworthy?

    Did the Obama campaign invent the concept of people trying to silence their critics?? Or is he just playing the same game that both the left and the right have been playing for as long as I can remember?

  15. Were you one of the nutjobs that called in?

  16. For a much different take on the book.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-k-wilson/david-freddosos-hatchet-j_b_118410.html

    It is long as it provides evidence refuting many specific points made in the book.

  17. Tom, it’s only OK when Republicans do it. Silly man!

  18. God forbid someone might characterize Obama as a politician rather than a celestial being come to save mankind. For shame, Mr. Fredosso!

  19. Media Matters also spent some time fact checking Fredosso.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200808050011

    The basic premise that Obama is just a regular politician may be true even if Fredosso is a sloppy journalist.

  20. The basic premise that Obama is just a regular politician may be true even if Fredosso is a sloppy journalist.

    I would say that premise is a rebuttable presumption that requires clear and convincing evidence, not heretofore adduced, to overcome.

  21. RC Dean,

    Sure.

    Why, then, did Fredosso feel the need to bolster his case with such weak arguments?

    It seems that attacks that are true would be more effective than half-truths and out and out lies, yet partisans always feel the need to embellish the truth. Annoying.

  22. At least Regnery Publishing doesn’t pretend to be unbiased…

    In this, our 61st year, Regnery continues to dominate the conservative political book publishing arena. As always, we strive to bring you books that challenge the status quo, and challenge you to view current events and current-events reporting with a critical eye. If our books spark a debate, ignite a trend, or simply inspire you to learn more, we will consider our publishing program a success!

    But they publish Ted Nugent and Chuck Norris, so you gotta give them some credit.

  23. If the goal of their publishing is to ignite debate and inspire me to learn more, I guess they might succeed. I usually learn the most by trying to debunk unsupported claims.

  24. This posting actually makes a question echo in my head…

    Do the Reason staff consider themselves journalists?

    Do we need a different name for people who report for publications that have an overt political agenda?

    Like Jon Stewart said of The Daily Show‘s relationship to the truth…if it is a matter of choosing between the laugh and the truth, the laugh wins every time.

    Does the same principle apply around here?

    If given the choice of choosing between the truth and the libertarian line, does the “journalist” choose to report the truth, stay silent, or what?

    A serious question.
    No attack meant.

  25. Obama and his cult hate freedom of speech. How dare anyone question the Holy One!

    Fascists.

  26. Dude! Both Media Matters AND the HuffingtonPost? Nothing from moveon or KOS?

    I would visit those sites, but then I’d have to go to LGF or NEWSMAX for balance. And that’s just not gonna happen today.

  27. Here’s the actual link to the Obama Action Wire, in case anyone is interested.

    Tips for making your call:

    * Be honest, but be civil.
    * Be persistent. It may take a few attempts to get through to the show. Just keep trying. Your call is important.
    * Use the talking points below to help you speak confidently and concisely.

    Chilling, I know.

  28. John Cole says it best:

    Graeme Frost and Scott Beauchamp and Michael Schiavo called, and they told me to tell you and David Freddoso to stop being such pussies.

  29. Both Media Matters AND the HuffingtonPost? Nothing from moveon or KOS?

    I just looked for reviews that looked into the veracity of the claims. Given the books topic that will, of course, come from Obama supporters for the most part.

    You are free to go through and point out where these are in error.

    You are unlikely, I imagine, to find a right leaning website motivated to examine the veracity of Fredosso’s claims, but if you do, I would love to see it.

    Anyone writing a book like this will make mistakes…but when critics can get such a long list of factual errors together so quickly, it tells you something about the vetting process the author used.

  30. New Mejican, I try hard to not post links to Foxnews to avoid the same shinola I threw at you.

    I did notice if you google search “David Freddoso”, the first hit is the HuffingtonPost piece. The piece, which I did actually read without visiting Newsmax, is a bit over-the-top in defending Obama. I’m talking gay lover territory.

  31. bigbigslacker,

    is a bit over-the-top in defending Obama. I’m talking gay lover territory.

    Clearly true.
    I try to look past that stuff to the content when possible.

    There truth will be somewhere in-between Freddoso and Wilson.

    But, when Freddoso says “According to X Obama was useless” and Wilson says, “well actually what X said was Obama [complete quote]” you can, perhaps, ignore Wilson’s follow up “therefore Obama is perfect” without accepting Freddoso’s analysis or Wilson’s pining for Obama.

  32. I read it. Hardly a ‘hit book’…”Just the facts, Mam”…Sgt Joe Friday.

  33. This must be why Pakistan has given the order to fire on American Forces. Obama. Or why we are bailing out every Wall Street insider with taxpayer dollars. Obama again. Or why McCain thinks the economy is fundamentally sound. That wily Obama.

    Now that my Republican blinders are on, I just switch on Rush, and stop thinking for myself. Ahh…ditto..ditto…ditto…

    How’s your 401(k) today?

  34. Balloon Juice covered this. The first thing the Obama “bloodhounds” were told was “to be civil”.

    Here’s Balloon Juice’s comment: http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=11320

    And here are the instructions to the “bloodhounds”:

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/WGNstandards2

    Which start with: “Be honest, but be civil”.

    Calling a radio talk-show, and being civil, doesn’t strike me as repressive, it sort of reminds me of … debate. You know, like citizens do?

  35. If it’s so credible, why did he have to go to the Swift-boaters at Regnery to get it published?

  36. Neu Mejican, the John K. Wilson piece is a bit unhinged (Lies from the very first page. Lies! Lies! His opinion of Obama’s experience is a Lie!) even if he gets a few facts to line up in a believable narrative in phrase here and there.

    However, not everything is hunkdory in his reporting, this caught my eye:

    All of this might lead a reasonable reader to conclude that Obama’s campaign did secretly smear his opponent. Except that it’s not true. Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell recounts in his book Obama: From Promise to Power that he was the first to report on the court order sealing Hull’s divorce file, and he also reports on how it happened: “I met with a Hynes operative for lunch….I was handed a folder of opposition research on Hull. Among the papers was a copy of the outside sheet of the filing of one of Hull’s two divorces in Illinois….The order contained only one salient fact: Hull’s second wife, Brenda Sexton, had once been granted an order of protection against him.”(212-3)

    So, the witness for the defense is someone else who has written a sycophantic pro-Obama book? Okay. Sure. Reporters are just honest professionals who would never do anything that would hint at a quid pro quo (reach around for those rusty in the Latin).

    It’s painful, man. I’ll wait for the New Republic to come out with a critique. Usually their reviewers avoid boilerplate like the kind this dude revels in.

  37. bbs,
    Sure, but aren’t HuffPo and Media Matters just as biased as Freddoso? Does RatherGate not count because the people who broke it were hardcore conservatives and insulting Rather as they did it?

  38. quid pro quo (reach around for those rusty in the Latin).

    Whoops, that is ‘double action dude on dude reach around’, my mistake, but Life of Brian is to be faulted for any mistranslations in my Latin.

  39. Yeah, the bigget problem in this election is certainly Obama’s intimidation of the press. You have to be kidding.

    Meanwhile, Schmidt/Palin/McCain continue the most cynical campaign in the history of campaigns.
    I couldn’t care less about another Obama-smear artist losing his air time.

  40. Yup, according to the kool-aid drinking Obamantions ‘extreme hate monger’ is being civil.

    Ok, so I’m being ‘civil’ when I call Obama and his ilk extreme hate mongers.

  41. It took me two minutes of googling to find out Freddoso is a total hack. Why you guys are defending him I can’t understand. I hold Reason magazine to much higher standards than this bs blog post.

  42. Meanwhile, Schmidt/Palin/McCain continue the most cynical campaign in the history of campaigns.
    I couldn’t care less about another Obama-smear artist losing his air time.

    The missing ingredient in this campaign so far until recently has been hyperbole. I’m glad to see it making a comeback, it just would not be the same without it.

  43. I will offer support for Tina’s comment.

    I think McCain’s choice of VP is the coup de grace — or, more likely, given the fact that he has yet other horrible acts to commit, the allegro non tropo in this symphony of his grimacing, dishonest cynicism.

    Many other evidences can be introduced, but his use of his choice of running mate — given the huge liability of McCain’s age — in order to solidify a brain-dead, credulous, craven base is so soaked in cynicism as to quadruple the weight of its already ponderous and colossal stupidity and to solidify McCain’s as, yes, the most cynical campaign.

    I would be happy to continue, but the honorable Matt Welch did a good job of telegraphing Candidate McCain, and I respectfully defer to his writing.

    Reason — Free minds still? Or just more God and guns?

  44. The first thing the Obama “bloodhounds” were told was “to be civil”. -dm

    True, but when I hear this same line coming from Sean Hannity as he is giving out a Democrat’s switchboard number for his fans to jam, I envision an implied “wink wink, nudge nudge, give ’em hell”. Plus, the point of “calling to voice your opinion” is often to effective block the voice of your opposition. All is fair in love and war, but that doesn’t mean we have to admire it.

    If it’s so credible, why did he have to go to the Swift-boaters at Regnery to get it published? – bob

    So he could have a leg up on making what economists refer to in technical terms as a shitload of money?

    bbs,
    Sure, but aren’t HuffPo and Media Matters just as biased as Freddoso? Does RatherGate not count because the people who broke it were hardcore conservatives and insulting Rather as they did?
    – Mo

  45. Opps, went off prematurely again.

    To Mo’s point (quoted above):

    Thinking…..touche’

  46. craven base is so soaked in cynicism as to quadruple the weight of its already ponderous and colossal stupidity and to solidify McCain’s as, yes, the most cynical campaign.

    Hyperbole! Yes! Give me more. More, I say: Ladies, and Gentlemen, Victor David Hanson:

    The sudden change in the polls the last 10 days, even though it may be temporary, has prompted a furor in the media that has no parallel in modern election history. Vicious words like “treason”, “abasement”, “liar”, and “lying” are in the air now in an unheralded attack on McCain, often in association with the sex education ad, and the lipstick identification with Palin as a pig.

    Hyperbole! Good God, I love that shit.

  47. Reason — Free minds still? Or just more God and guns?

    Gm, yes, and half yes. The God part is optional.

    (I’ve reached my self-imposed limit on posts per thread. So, in the words of the late great Dave Allen; goodnight, thank you, and may your god go with you)

  48. Great site!

    Would you like a Link Exchange with either of my two homepages. Check them out…

    http://www.the-irn.com

    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

  49. reason is a serious rag. they hate everything and everybody.

  50. People called into a radio talk show??!! That’s outrageous!! Far worse than torturing people or trying to eliminate habeus corpus!

  51. Ladies, and Gentlemen, Victor David Hanson:

    The sudden change in the polls the last 10 days, even though it may be temporary, has prompted a furor in the media that has no parallel in modern election history. Vicious words like “treason”, “abasement”, “liar”, and “lying” are in the air now in an unheralded attack on McCain, often in association with the sex education ad, and the lipstick identification with Palin as a pig.

    Thinking about Victor Davis Hanson makes me sad. He is a really good classicist and military historian, wrote a great book about the phalanx. At some point he joined the National Review crew, and drank much too much of the ritual koolaid… poor bastard. He’s just a shell of his former self now.

  52. Seriously. The brownshirts who would even CONSIDER calling into a talk radio show and expressing their displeasure, we should round them up and torture them.

    The best part is that the GOP pulls crap like this and worse (“How to Rig an Election”, Florida 2000, Operation Chaos, etc. etc. etc.) and then when the Dems lose for NOT using similar coordinated outrage campaigns (I’d still rather we not break the law like the GOP just to win, call me a wimp), we get crapped on by people who tisk tisk us by saying, “You’ll never win if you don’t learn to play hardball.” Heads I win, tails you lose, eh?

  53. Al Gore lost Florida fair and square. Only morons think otherwise at this point.

  54. Libertarians seem to have a serious problem understanding the meaning of the term “freedom of speech.”

  55. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to try and shout the other guy down. GObama!

  56. @ Barbar | September 17, 2008, 1:08am:

    May I call you Arnold? Anyways, that’s a shame about Ed.

    Agreed, Chicago Tom.

  57. Yes, of course, Obama’s suggestion that his supporters call and point out Freddoso’s contradictions and falsehoods is just like sending out brownshirts to beat him down. He even goes so far as to remind his supporters to “be honest, but be civil.” Terrifying!

  58. …this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine…

    LOL

    The Obama campaign makes it sound like there’s an incorporated “National Organition to Smear Obama”. Do these membership cards have magnetized strips that open the doors to secret meeting places? Ron Paul had conspiracy theorists in his audience. Obama has conspiracy theorists running his campaign.

  59. Larry Geater | September 17, 2008, 1:09am | #

    Freedom of speech includes the freedom to try and shout the other guy down. GObama!

    The 1st ammendment freedom of association includes the freedom to screen callers, hang up on caller who berate you, and disinvite anyone who tries to shout you down on your own station. Now I see why Obama wants the government to mandate political balance on radio stations.

  60. Larry Geater | September 17, 2008, 1:09am | #

    Freedom of speech includes the freedom to try and shout the other guy down. GObama!

    The 1st ammendment freedom of association includes the freedom to screen callers, hang up on caller who berate you, and disinvite anyone who tries to shout you down on your own station. Now I see why Obama wants the government to mandate political balance on radio stations.

  61. Or an unshaven brain driving a Ferrari along a deserted highway at night, listening to Phil Collins.

    Heh heh. Win.

  62. Has radio technology been changed so that phone calls into the station interfere with that station’s outgoing signal? Or is the right to call a radio station reserved solely for dittoheads and those seeking free tickets to the Supertramp concert?

  63. Say what you may about Freddos’s book, the fact remains that it is unbelievable that Democrat women are swallowing Obama’s demeaning and disrespecting of Hillary. As Joe Biden said, she was clearly more qualified than he to be VP.

    Yet Democrat women are taking it kneeling down. They refuse to fight back. Obama and his cronies use their male chauvinist tactics to keep the Democrat women in their place, under the thumbs of the men and these women dutifully line up to service the men. Do they think capitulation is how to win over male chavinist sexists?

  64. Neu Mejican. Media Matters and you put a link there. Media matters is about as biased and unreliable as anywhere on the internet. It is a far left propaganda site.

  65. Yet Democrat women are taking it kneeling down. They refuse to fight back. Obama and his cronies use their male chauvinist tactics to keep the Democrat women in their place, under the thumbs of the men and these women dutifully line up to service the men. Do they think capitulation is how to win over male chavinist sexists?

    What ever happened to the good old bad days when Republicans use to snicker at claims of victimhood like this? Now you are sensitive to the disaffections and feelings of Democratic women? That is not the party of Eric Cartman that I use to know and love. Now, you have gone all Alan Alda on us.

  66. I like how they labeled him a “hate monger.” Back in the day, it took a lot of work to earn an honor like that.

    So Dave, next time you run into Freddoso, you can say, “I know Stacy McCain. Stacy McCain is a friend of mine. And you, sir, are no Stacy McCain!”

  67. “Free speech unless you disagree with us.”

    Thanks, Barry and friends! Clowns.

  68. Why shouldn’t the Obama campaign fight back?

  69. Richard Rhodes,

    This has been covered.
    If you think there is a more balanced review I would like to see it.

    Those that tilt to the opposite end of the political spectrum to Freddoso will be the ones motivated to fact check him.

    I am able to read critically taking the bias of the website into account (Reason is a biased website too, they have a stated political agenda…I actually asked a serious question about that issue above).

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