February 28, 2007

Eric Boehlert's Creepy Obsession

I've only come across this story several days late, but has anyone noticed that Eric Boehlert of Media Matters is obsessed with Michelle Malkin?

It would appear to be an unhealthy obsession at best, but perhaps what irritates me about his posts the most is not his opinion of Malkin, to which he is certainly entitled, but the fact that Boehlert can't keep his facts straight, which seems to be a long-running problem.

He concludes his most recent attack by listing bullet points of what he considers "Malkin’s recent lowlights,” including the following:

  • In April 2005, Malkin was leading the charge (i.e. "raising troubling questions") in accusing a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer with the Associated Press of working in concert with Iraqi insurgents to stage the public assassination of a Baghdad election worker. (The photog was tipped off by terrorists, Malkin claimed.) The allegations were proven to completely fictitious.

Entirely ficticious, Mr. Boehlert?

You wouldn't find it in Boehlert's article—he does not have the integrity to link directly to the Malkin post in question—nor does he link to the April, 2006 article on Malkin's site that shows that the charges were far from "completely fictitious." As a matter of fact, it appears that the charges may have been quite accurate. What is Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Bilal Hussein doing now?

Cooling his heels in an Iraqi jail after being captured with al Qaeda leader Hamid Hamad Motib and another terrorist. Somehow, I doubt Boehlert will apologize for being wrong.

But this wasn't Boehlert's only questionable lowlight, as he concludes with this gem, near and dear to my own heart:

  • In January, Malkin experienced a particularly humiliating setback. For months, Malkin had been pushing a far-fetched media "scandal" by accusing the Associated Press of manufacturing a "phony" and "bogus" Iraqi police source who was reporting false stories about the daily carnage inside Baghdad. She claimed the phony AP source proved that all of the AP's Iraq reporting was suspect. (Malkin and company cling to the notion that the situation in Iraq is not as bad as biased journalists make it out to be.) In January, the Iraqi government confirmed the police source's existence, thereby ruining Malkin's press-hating conspiracy theory. (The Post remained silent when Malkin's Jamil Hussein allegation imploded.)

This may be a news flash to Boehlert, but as regular readers of Confederate Yankee know, there is no Jamil Hussein, there never has been, and despite what Boehlert and the Associated Press maintain, Iraqi General Abdul-Karim Khalaf says he never confirmed the existence of Jamil Hussein, and he has gone on the record to set the story straight.

Instead of the General confirming the existence of Jamil Hussein, Associated Press reporters confirmed to General Abdul-Karim that Jamil Hussein was a pseudonym; the name of the source the AP misrepresented as Jamil Hussein was actually Jamil Gulaim Innad XX-XXXXXXX [Name redacted for security reasons — Ed.], which AP reporters confirmed both during a conversation with General Abdul-Karim prior to Steven R. Hurst's deceptive January 4 article, and with a phone call to General Abdul-Karim after XX-XXXXXXX was interviewed by the Ministry of the Interior.

Eric Boehlert's obsession with Michelle Malkin is a bit creepy, but the fact he seems quite willing to lie—or is just an incompetent researcher—goes far beyond his obsessionwith Michelle Malkin, to whether or not we can trust him to be the least bit honest or accountable for the things that he writes.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2007 04:20 PM

Good grief - Media Mush is what he is.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at February 28, 2007 06:04 PM

Speaking of obsessive. . . Jamil blah blah blah blah. When does your biography of Jamil Hussein become available? I'll accept Boehlert is creepy if you assign the same opprobrium to your own manifestation of a life form.

Posted by: BarnabasCollins at February 28, 2007 08:02 PM

You are forgetting the gravy train syndrome.

The person in question's attacks on Malkin contribute to his reader base and his ability to increase it and or make a living at Media Matters.

Acknowlidging the facts in question would decrease that ability.

It has long been my opinion that a lot of the faux outrage and noise on the left is a question of people on the gravy train trying to stay there. People who make a living at places like media matters live off of these obsession, unlike say a Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) Scott Johnson et-al (Powerline) and Ed Morrissey (Captain's Quarters) who all have day jobs that pay the bills.

This is what I think really drives these people to the point where they even start believing their own press. If they fail, then they have to work for a living, but if they stick with it, they have a job and maybe a future on the speaking circuit.

All you need are willing believers and the left is full of them.

Posted by: Peter at February 28, 2007 08:10 PM

Being obsessed with stopping a terrorist psy-op isn't creepy, it's patriotic.

Posted by: Laika's Last Woof at February 28, 2007 08:39 PM

Well, its unsettling if you're a terrorist sympathizer ;->

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 28, 2007 08:56 PM

Finally! Somebody on the right admitting that Malkin is a terrorist psy-op.

This glorious day has been a long time coming.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at February 28, 2007 10:02 PM

There does seem to be an undercurrent of unreasonable hatred against Mrs. Malkin. I think its because she's effective and perhaps not sufficiently deferrential to the Lords of the left.

Posted by: Mick Stockinger at February 28, 2007 10:11 PM

Oh... so there was a Jamil Hussein.

Posted by: Daniel at February 28, 2007 10:12 PM

Oh... so there was a Jamil Hussein.
No Daniel ... Jamil is a red herring.
Saying they were sourcing a Jamil 'Hussein' is like saying their main source for IP intel is John Smith.

Posted by: Dan Irving at February 28, 2007 10:37 PM

Of course it's creepy...but these guys make their stripes in a "repeat it until it's the truth" kind of world. Their readers don't even believe in the concept of facts let alone immutable truth.

Posted by: Gunga at March 1, 2007 10:45 AM

"Oh ... so there was a Jamil Hussein."

Are you wilfully obtuse or just plain too dense to gather the crux of the issue. The whole "Jamil Hussein" episode comprised three questions:

1. Was there an actual source for the AP reports?
2. Was it who the AP said it was?
3. Was the source accurate and reliable?

A pass on the first does nothing to ameliorate the malfeasance associanted with failing the latter two.

Of course, detractors of the Iraqi campaign have long demonstrated their inability to think multidimensionally, as evidenced by their boiling down almost a dozen clearly stated reasons for the invasion to the singular "WMD" point. Either that or it is a disingenuous modus operandi of obsessively focusing on a single isolated "victory" for them while ignoring the larger picture.

Posted by: submandave at March 1, 2007 03:59 PM

Malkin is a a) brown b) woman c) conservative. As we've seen with so many others, from Supreme Court justices to politicians to academics to media members, nobody incurs the wrath of the political left like those members of groups who were historical targets of discrimination who now refuse to think the way they are told to think.

What is fascinating is how baldly racist and sexist the typical attack on Malkin are. Bigotry is acceptable if in the service of the right cause in this mindset.

Posted by: lakerg at March 1, 2007 06:31 PM