PowerLine – Lies of “Truth”

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 PowerLine – Lies of “Truth”

Lies of “Truth”

‎Today, ‎January ‎05, ‎2016, ‏‎2 hours ago | Scott JohnsonGo to full article
(Scott Johnson)


This past October 16 the Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country. John and I warned viewers not to take the film at face value in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” On the film’s opening weekend the Star Tribune also carried my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column was published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the movie ‘Truth.’”

The lies of Truth matter. They are intended to rewrite the historical record and to vindicate an audacious journalistic fraud committed with the intent of influencing the outcome of an American presidential election. The left simply does not give up in its efforts to rewrite history. It is unrelenting. And it has highly effective tools of persuasion at its disposal.

On the weekend of the film’s release I posted my notes on the film here. In retrospect, I think these notes explore elements of film from angles that others have overlooked, perhaps with good reason. Borrowing the format that Jay Nordlinger occasionally employs in his Impromptus columns for NR. I am reposting my notes on the film below in slightly revised form as a companion to “The Times stumbles onto…”

• The film is based on Mary Mapes’s 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. I provided my take on the book when it was published in 2005 in the Weekly Standard column “Second Time’s a Charm?” I thought it was an egregiously bad book.

• What about the film? It’s not as good as the book.

• The best reviews of this bad film may be the ones by the Atlantic’s Christopher Orr and the New York Post’s Kyle Smith. Orr’s is “A terrible, terrible movie about journalism.” Smith’s is “Wacko Dan Rather movie still insists forged Bush-National Guard documents were real.”

• The movie dramatizes the scene in which Mapes answers a query from the Thornburgh panel about the use of the nonexistent abbreviation O.E.T.R. in one of the fabricated Killian memos. It’s in Mapes’s memoir at pages 277-278. In the book and the movie, Mapes triumphantly cites the copy of an authentic Air National Guard document with the abbreviation. William Campenni served in the same unit as President Bush. He explains why the abbreviation in the fabricated Killian memo is like seeing a digital wristwatch on a supposedly authentic portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Campenni’s column is “The truth about Dan Rather’s deceptive reporting on George W. Bush.” The column was just posted online at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal site. I highly recommend Bill’s column for advanced students of Rathergate and viewers of the film.

• Like a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western, the film is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

• The good: Dan Rather, Mary Mapes and Mapes’s team of disinterested seekers of the truth.

• The bad: The evil forces around President Bush who scared off those in the know in Texas from disgorging the deep secrets of President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. CBS/Viacom management. The “bloggers.”

• The ugly: They’re bad too! But they’re also ugly: the lawyers who made up the Thornburgh panel commissioned by CBS to issue the report determining how that 60 Minutes story ever got on the air. I think Mapes is lucky that the lawyers feel constrained from commenting on their portrayal in the book or in the film.

• CBS appointed Richard Thornburgh to conduct the investigation. In the film Thornburgh is described inaccurately as a twice-defeated candidate for Congress whose campaign was managed by Karl Rove. The implication is that the investigation will be in the service of Rove’s interests. Karl Rove: he’s bad.

• Thornburgh was a former United States Attorney, a former two-term governor of Pennsylvania, and former Attorney General of the United States. It’s an impressive résumé that is elided in the film’s ludicrous description of him.

• Thornburgh resigned as Attorney General to run a losing campaign for the United States Senate. Rove conducted direct mail advertising for him in the campaign. With an unpaid bill of nearly $170,000 at the end of the campaign, Rove sued Thornburgh personally on the debt. So if you want a buddy of Karl Rove who can be counted on to do Rove’s bidding, Thornburgh is your man. Obviously.

• The conceit of the film is that Mapes and her band of happy warriors were just “asking questions.” The phrase is the film’s central motif. Orr writes, for example: “[M]y notes include, among others, the lines ‘Questions help us get to the truth,’ ‘You stop asking questions, that’s when the American people lose,’ and ‘You’re supposed to question everything, that’s your job[.]’” The 60 Minutes story asked a couple of questions, alright, but it’s the answers that failed spectacularly. The answers were fraudulent duds.

• Both the book and the movie depict the investigation conducted by Thornburgh as a McCarthyite witch hunt. Mapes uses the term in her book. The film gives us one of those insufferable throw-down-the-microphone speeches in which Mapes challenges the Thornburgh panel: “Are you saying am I now or have I ever been a liberal?” In the book, Mapes describes the taunt as a joke. In the film, she is as earnest as Billy Graham on one of his crusades.

• Although the book and the movie disparage the Thornburgh investigation, they both draw on the Thornburgh report’s finding that the 60 Minutes story’s deficiencies were not attributable to political bias. In the movie, the statement runs as a graphic postscript before the credits roll. The Thornburgh report also notes in this connection, however, that “certain actions” could support charges that political motivations prompted CBS News to report and air the story. Fortunately for Mapes, the Thornburgh panel didn’t have Mapes’s then unwritten memoir to draw on. It is full of crazed political animus that belies her absolution by the Thornburgh panel.

• So the Killian memos: real or fake? The film has it both ways. It’s in “fake but accurate” territory, but it also leaves Mapes with the last word defending the documents’ authenticity in her concluding speech.

• The film has someone referring to the documents’ typeface as “New Times Roman” (rather than Times New Roman). It’s the only reference to the Killian documents’ typeface in the film. You’d think they would get it right.

• In her memoir Mapes denies that the typeface is Times New Roman. In the film, someone triumphantly asserts that, contrary to the claims of ignorant bloggers, “New Times Roman” was available as of 1931! True. It just wasn’t licensed to typewriters. Its ubiquity is a tribute to Microsoft Word and the era of computerized word processing.

• Bill Burkett was the source of all the fraudulent documents purportedly from the “personal file” of Col. Jerry Killian on which Mapes based the second part of the Rathergate segment. Before the segment was broadcast, Burkett told Mapes that he had received the documents from an unknown source in the mail. He subsequently told Mapes that he had been given the documents by one George Conn, which Mapes was unable to confirm. After the story was broadcast and the provenance of the documents became a critical issue to CBS News, Mapes pressed Burkett on the documents and Burkett divulged his laughable cock-and-bull story involving “Lucy Ramirez.” In her memoir Mapes says of the “Lucy Ramirez” story told by Burkett after the broadcast about where he obtained the documents: “I believed it was quite possible that Bill Burkett was finally telling the truth, the whole weird truth, and nothing but the truth.” By contrast, the movie portrays Mapes as rolling her eyes at Burkett’s story. Even the producers of Truth know that only a fool would buy what Burkett was peddling then. Only a knave would peddle it now.

• The film is all about rewriting history. Thus the celebration of the film by the New York Times at the TimesTalks event hosted gingerly by Susan Dominus this past October, just before the movie went into commercial release. The left is unrelenting in its support of the myths that sustain its political religion. Truth runs 121 minutes, but it’s an Orwellian Two Minutes Hate for the ignorant, the gullible, and the true believers.

• Andrew Heyward was president of CBS News at the time of Rathergate. He hasn’t spoken much about the scandal for public consumption, but he talked about Truth to the New York Times last month for its story on the TimesTalks celebration of the film. Heyward commented to Times reporter John Koblin that the film “takes people responsible for the worst embarrassment in the history of CBS News, and what was at the time a grievous blow to the credibility of a proud news organization, and turns them into martyrs and heroes. Only Hollywood could come up with that.” That’s one truth missing from Truth.

PODCAST – Obama: Our Biggest Threat To National Security

PODCAST – Obama: Our Biggest Threat To National Security

Special Report by Ginny Simone

“I think the biggest threat to national security is sitting in the Oval Office.” Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton discusses President Obama and his executive overreach to enact more gun-control measures, all under the guise of keeping America safe. Bolton says Obama’s priority is not national security, and that the president views the Second Amendment as a Constitutional anachronism.

Guest: John Bolton

Ginny Simone

Ginny Simone

Ginny Simone is an award-winning journalist who has produced acclaimed investigative reports and news magazines. Her work has earned four Telly Awards—honoring excellence in videos and films—which are highly sought-after awards by industry leaders.

Since the mid-1990s, Simone has covered the fight for firearm freedom from the hotspots of the world including England, which banned and confiscated all lawfully owned handguns; Australia, which used gun registration lists to confiscate and destroy semi-auto and pump-action shotguns and rifles; and New Orleans, which confiscated firearms from lawful owners after Hurricane Katrina.

Recent reports have included profiles on the many innocent lives destroyed by “Jersey justice”—people including Brian Fletcher, Carol Bowne, Steffon Josey-Davis, Gordon Van Gilder, Shaneen Allen and Brian Aitken. Since Simone’s pieces have aired, Josey-Davis and Allen have been pardoned by Gov. Chris Christie.

Aussie Conservative Blog – Final reflections on the state of Europe

Aussie Conservative Blog – Final reflections on the state of Europe

Complete article here 

After 5 and a half weeks, I have finally come to the end of my travels around Europe. In seeing first hand many of the major capitals of Europe that have experienced significant Islamization, I believe I am in a better position to assess Islam’s influence, in a Christian/ secular dominated part of the world.

In London, Rome, Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam among many other European cities for sure, the negative influence of Islam is obvious.

A constant throughout these cities is the substantial presence of thousands of young Muslim men, who often loiter and spend time around the major city centres and tourist attractions. Unlike much of the rest of their societies, these men often seem in no apparent rush to work, or in fact, achieve anything for that matter, which on the surface suggests that there are major strains placed on welfare services. In some cases, migration can indeed have positive economic effects, in enhancing and complementing an existing workforce. But when, for instance, agargantuan 1.1 million migrants move to Germany, from an entirely contrasting religious, cultural, and economic background, combined with Germany and similar countries’ generous welfare systems, it is inevitable that huge problems in Europe will emerge.

Aside from the drain on welfare, the attitudes held towards women held by many of these Islamic immigrants, is truly appalling. While not all, many of these migrants will stare, make provoactive comments, stalk, and generally intimidate women, including my girlfriend. I believe that these attitudes are Islamically informed, through the concept of modesty. These migrants, as well as European born Muslims, are taught that it is a duty for women to cover their hair or body, to reduce inflaming the passions of men. This idea can act to imply, that is the responsibility of women, to cover themselves up, in order to avoid the possibility of becoming victims of rape. In a Europe that is predominantly non-Islamic (for now at least), and devoid of much Islam’s backward and outdated code of dress, it is no surprise, that as Muslim immigration has surged, so too has the rate of rape.

Moreover, the threat of terrorism, is ever growing. November witnessed the Paris terror attacks, which led to the deaths of 130 innocent civilians. Whilst the death toll is diastrous, the implications extend far beyond the casualities, and families and friends that were affected. Throughout Europe, there is an overriding sense of unease, with a noticeable tension among much of the European population. I believe this has a psychological impact on Europeans that is seldom discussed. This is not a war that has a defined and established end. It is a situation which features Europeans living alongside among particular sects of the Islamic community, many of which are born in Europe, that showcase open and complete contempt for Western values and democracy. When New Year Eve’s celebrations in Belgium are cancelled due to security fears, and a train station is evacuated in Munich, the result eventuates is the existence of a continent on edge.

Rising anti- semitismhomophobia, as well as worsening attitudes towards apostates, and the increasing encroachment of Islamic ideas about blasphemy laws, consolidate the already incontrovertible evidence about the influx of political Islam in Europe. The majority of Muslims may not express desires to spread insidious and barbaric practices, but the influence of the political ideology of Islam, which seeks to impose its influence upon the world, is undeniable.

Clearly, the strain placed on Europe’s welfare system, the deplorable views held towards women, the impacts of terrorism, as well as the worsening situation for apostates, homosexuals, Jews, and those adjudged guilty of Sharia blasphemy, showcases a struggling and weakened Europe as of 2016.

But not everything is bad news, and there have been encouraging signs of a European resistance. I have been a supporter of Geert Wilders for a number of years, and I have seen his popularity ever growing, as witnessed in his receiving of the award Dutch politician of the year. France, in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, began stripping Islamist dual nationals of their sovereignty, deployed the militiary in civilian areas and cracked down on many radical mosques. Favourable election results in Poland and Switzerland further indicate that a Europe exists that demonstrates to some extent a resolve and determination to preserve European values and traditions.

There is no doubt that Europe is in deep trouble, and in some ways damaged irreversibly by political Islam. Yet, there are signs of hope, that Europe can largely retain its free and democratic way of life. Nonethless, this is far from a certainty, and I believe that the clash of civilisations, and the battle of ideas that is currently taking place in Europe, is set to further intensify in the future, with the stakes set to increasingly heighten.

Oregon Bakers Read Mean Tweets From Frosty Foes

Oregon Bakers Read Mean Tweets From Frosty Foes

Kelsey Harkness /

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who were ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, are no strangers to online backlash.
On Twitter, Facebook and other social media, critics comment regularly on the Kleins’ story, calling them “bigots” and “homophobes” for abiding by their biblical belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

In an on-camera interview with The Daily Signal, the couple read some of these messages, then explain how they deal with the backlash.

>>> Oregon Bakers Pay $135K Fine After Refusing to Bake Cake for Lesbian Wedding

Congressman Marsha Blackburn 2015: A Year in Review

Congressman Marsha Blackburn 2015: A Year in Review

This Week in Washington
2015: A Year in Review


Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and your 2016 is off to a great start! The year upon us promises to be an exciting one and I’m looking forward to leading the fight for reduced government spending, protecting our most vulnerable, and ensuring American families are safe.

Before we look ahead, I want to take a few minutes and celebrate what we accomplished in 2015. We fought and had many successes in the battle for faith, family, freedom, hope, and opportunity. I’m not giving up that fight in the new year and hope to look back at 2016 with many more successes for the Conservative cause.

Fought for Tennessee taxpayers. This year I achieved permanent tax relief for Tennessee families. Language in this year’s tax extenders bill made permanent the ability of Tennesseans to deduct their state and local sales tax from their federal income tax. I, along with Congressman Kevin Brady, have been leading the fight in the House on the issue for over a decade. Making these deductions permanent is vital to Tennessee families and small businesses as it will allow millions of dollars to be pumped back into our economy.

Fought to cut out-of-control spending. As I have in every Congress in which I’ve served, I offered my colleagues a choice of spending reduction bills: HR 39, to make 1 percent across-the-board rescissions in non-defense, non-homeland-security, and non-veterans-affairs discretionary spending for each of the fiscal years 2015 and 2016, HR 49, to make 2 percent across-the-board rescissions in non-defense, non-homeland-security, and non-veterans-affairs discretionary spending for each of the fiscal years 2015 and 2016, and HR 58, to make 5 percent across-the-board rescissions in non-defense, non-homeland-security, and non-veterans-affairs discretionary spending for each of the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. You will remember we were successful in having the 2% cut included in the Budget Control Act of 2011. That one provision has saved taxpayers hundreds of millions since implementation.

Fought for national security. It seems everyone but our President is very concerned about the security of this country and the American people. Recently, DHS Secretary Johnson admitted that ISIS could ‘exploit’ our refugee program to conduct attacks here at home, something my colleagues and I have been saying for weeks. We must do everything in our power to eliminate terrorist threats – which is why I introduced legislation this year that would temporarily defund the refugee resettlement program until certain conditions are met. We must confront the danger of radical Islamic extremism. Senator Sessions is leading this effort in the Senate.

Fought to protect you and your data. We cannot afford to sit idly by as malicious hacker groups, and the countries that sponsor them, devise more sophisticated and effective ways to attack our citizens, businesses, and government institutions. I introduced HR 1770, The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, which would protect consumers by improving data security provisions and setting a national breach notification standard for industry. The private sector and government should be working together to share information about threats. This legislation has successfully moved through the committee process and is ready for a vote by the full House.

Fought for Fort Campbell. Fort Campbell is the most heavily deployed Army post in the country, providing both the personnel and capabilities to respond and to protect our national interests. When Fort Campbell suffers a troop reduction, it is felt by our entire nation. I worked hard to ensure Fort Campbell was not hit hard by this year’s troop reduction. Additionally, I secured a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes funding for the “Army and Air Force flying hours program,” to provide training and flight hours at 100% levels for military aviators. Military installations across the country are facing budget constraints that will have an impact on military readiness programs. I have worked tirelessly to ensure the vital flying hours program provides the training necessary for mission success and the safety of our soldiers at Fort Campbell.

Fought to improve healthcare. Health care costs continue to rise and have become unsustainable for American families. Obamacare has not delivered upon the promise of access to healthcare. Millions of people have been given insurance cards, but find their deductibles and copayments make the insurance unaffordable and unusable. It is truly too expensive to use. Thousands are left without healthcare as they find it more difficult to find providers who are on the narrow Obamacare networks. My office hears regularly from constituents about the expense and the difficulty with the website and the bureaucrats who run the program. We also hear from businesses that are facing enormous fines because they want to provide better coverage to their employees than what is mandated by the misnamed Affordable Care Act but are being told no. Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with what we know works. Patient based reforms that use market forces to give consumers leverage is the best way to provide access to quality, affordable healthcare. One part of the solution is legislation I authored, HR 543, the Health Care Choice Act of 2015, which would allow Americans to buy insurance policies across state lines. The bill would allow insurance companies to compete for your business, offering plans with the benefits you want at a price you can afford.

Technology is all around us on our smart phones and watches. And these technologies are one key to improving healthcare access and outcomes. We must be sure our federal regulators are in the right lane when it comes to new technologies and their application in healthcare. The FDA is the agency charged with assuring the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices. But data is not a drug or device and it makes no sense to regulate it as such. However obvious that is, it hasn’t stopped the FDA from trying to make medical device law fit health IT. Medical device legislation was enacted in the 1970s. Leisure suits were popular and floppy disks had just been invented. We need to modernize the FDA authorities to reflect the new reality of health IT. That is why I introduced, HR 2396 the SOFTWARE Act. My SOFTWARE Act was part of a larger piece of legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act is landmark legislation that will speed treatments to people who have illnesses ranging from Alzheimer’s, autism, ALS, to zoonotic diseases and everything in between. This legislation has passed the House and is in the Senate waiting for action.

Fought for our seniors. You have worked hard for your social security dollars and they should be there when you need them. The federal government should not treat social security as a fungible source to shore up bad programs in the budget. My bill, HR 603, the Save Social Security for Seniors Act creates a true trust fund for those social security dollars so that they may not be appropriated for other uses. I also introduced HR 4090, the Health Care Choices for Seniors Act, legislation that would allow seniors to choose private insurance over Medicare without penalty. Due to the mandates of the federal government, seniors are given no option but to join Medicare. This legislation establishes a pathway that allows seniors to retain control of their healthcare decisions, stay with their current doctors and decide what’s best for them.

Fought for our military and veterans. This year’s defense bill passed both the House and Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. The NDAA includes increased pay and benefits for our troops, safeguards our military personnel by allowing them to carry firearms on military bases and in recruitment facilities, improves access to child care on military installations, and provides our military with the resources needed to protect our country against the ever growing threat of terrorist groups such as ISIS. Thank you to Friends of Fort Campbell for the great job you have done in helping me secure some of these wins.

Fought to protect the life of all yet to be born. Every life is precious and we must work to build a culture that respects the right to life. The use of taxpayer money to fund big abortion businesses is both morally indefensible and fiscally irresponsible. I’m so honored to have been named as Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. This select committee is tasked with gathering information and getting the facts about medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts Additionally, I wrote HR 3494, the Protecting Infants Born Alive Act, which would amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act to ban any provider proven of violating the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP and will allow states that suspect any violation of this law to ban those suspected from the state’s Medicaid program.

Fought to keep the internet free. I have been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s net neutrality regulations since they were first proposed in 2010 by Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski. Despite being struck down by a Federal Appeals Court in January of 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the FCC had once again adopted new Net Neutrality rules on February 26, 2015. In response to this announcement from Chairman Wheeler, I reintroduced legislation I first authored in the 112th Congress to block the FCC’s efforts to implement new net neutrality rules. Additionally, I introduced HR 1106, the States’ Rights Municipal Broadband Act of 2015, which would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from overriding state and local municipal broadband laws. This fight over the control of the internet is a First Amendment issue and we will continue to use every legislative means to block government control of the Internet.

Fought to close and protect the border. Secure countries have secure borders. Today, every state is a border state and every town is a border town. Since coming to Washington, I’ve worked to ensure that our immigration policies are in sync with this new reality. My legislation, HR 2964, the CLEAR Act of 2015, a reintroduction of legislation we first filed in 2006, gives law enforcement the tools they need to help the Federal government deport criminal aliens from our country and withholds certain funding for sanctuary cities. In addition, I’ve led the fight in the House to stop President Obama’s executive amnesty. I passed an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill in January to freeze the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

Fought for energy independence. Cheap and reliable energy is crucial to restoring our economic strength. We need to pursue clean, economical and responsible energy options that ensure we have access to the energy we need – including natural gas, nuclear, and coal. We should not allow ourselves to be hamstrung by the environmental lobby that pushes winners and losers at the expense of the American people. This year I introduced HR 1273, the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act of 2015, which increases transparency and cost-effectiveness in the development of model energy codes, which set the baseline for energy efficiency in buildings. This legislation was successful and passed the House with inclusion in HR 702, common sense legislation that will help promote our energy security, economic security and national security by lifting the ban on crude oil exports. The four decades old ban on exporting crude oil was outdated policy that needed to be updated to reflect current realities.

Fought for Tennessee’s creative community. The Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act, HR 1999, is bipartisan legislation that would condition the ability of broadcasters to opt for retransmission consent payments on whether radio stations they own pay performers for their music. Further, a provision that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from imposing radio chip mandates for mobile devices has been added to the bill. Internet radio pays music creators fair market value for their performances, Satellite radio pays music creators for performances, Cable and Satellite TV/radio stations pay music creators for their performances. Everyone but AM/FM radio pays. This is a basic issue of fairness that must be addressed. In addition, I’m leading the effort in the House to ensure music creators receive fair compensation for their work as the lead co-sponsor of HR 1733, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act.

It’s been a busy year. Thank you for staying in the fight with me and I look forward to celebrating many more successes with you.


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