Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lies, Damned Lies and Megan McArdle

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every word Megan McArdle utters or writes must be fact checked. It would take a team of scientists, logicians, historians and economists to check every single "fact" that McArdle plinks out on her keyboard so we'll just look at one, McArdle's claim that Black Panthers wore guns and "marched on Bush" at a political rally.
typetype August 27, 2009 6:39 PM
Guns at political rallies.

I guess it's legal. I guess it's not really dangerous, if you buy Megan's argument and I'll grant her her argument.

But it's never happened before in my lifetime.

So Megan and cohorts, go ahead and be an apologist for it all you want. You can compare it to the opposition to the war in 2003, but those folks did not carry guns.

Something is very wrong.


Megan McArdle (Replying to: typetype) August 27, 2009 6:44 PM
Yeah, that's not true either:

McArdle also says:
The Black Panthers carried guns at an anti-Bush rally when he was running for president. I think they had a perfect right to do so, and also, that they were jerks. But harmless jerks, as witnessed by the fact that no one got killed.

McArdle's source is a grossly biased site created by Matthew Sheffield for L. Brent Bozzell III's Media Research Center, and is financed by all the usual right-wing foundations. A quick google reveals an problem; Newsbusters is virtually the only place to find the information. This immediately sets off alarm bells, of course. The Newsbusters article was written by Ken Shepherd, who reported:
According to the mainstream media, carrying a gun to a protest is just plain crazy, even if perfectly legal. What’s more, it’s indicative of the toxic, hate-filled atmosphere filling conservative protests of President Obama and his plans for health care reform.

“Hardball” host Chris Matthews and his daytime colleagues at MSNBC, for example, have their used air time to marvel at what would possess an average American citizen to go to a rally near where President Obama is speaking with a gun.

But the media reaction was markedly different nine years ago when a group of Black Panthers marched on the Texas Republican Party’s state convention on June 2000 brandishing AK-47s. Indeed, that incident itself was chalked up as then-Gov. Bush’s fault by none other than then-MSNBC "Equal Time" co-host Paul Begala.

A search of Nexis and the Media Research Center’s News Tracking System found no stories on that evening’s broadcast network newscasts about the Black Panthers brandishing “assault weapons” to protest then-presumptive GOP presidential nominee – and Secret Service protectee – Gov. George W. Bush’s refusal to intervene in the pending execution of convicted murderer Gary Graham.

The June 16, 2000 “Fox Report” noted the incident, featuring an on-scene report from reporter Mike Rosen of Fox News Austin, Texas, affiliate KTBC.

We can see by the date that McArdle was wrong; the "Black Panthers" event happened in 2000, as a commenter immediately pointed out. They were protesting the execution of a man who had converted to Islam, outside of the Texas Republican Party's state convention, with all the other protesters. McArdle evidently did not read the article carefully (if at all) and was quite wrong about the protest. It's very difficult to find any other information about the event (as the article notes), but a search does turn up an article from the "Ashville Global Report." It quotes a Reuters article, reporting from Houston.

Now, this is where it comes in handy to be from Houston. Any mention of Black Panthers and Houston means a mention of Quanelle X, a former drug dealer and pimp who embraced Islam and started to change his ways, declaring himself a New Black Panther and a voice of the oppressed. He is easy to find; just look for a controversy and news cameras, and he and his bodyguards and limo will be there. He is not taken seriously, to put it mildly. The Nation of Islam kicked him out for inciting violence and gross anti-Semitism, and his New Black Panthers party (not the Black Panthers) was denounced by the real Black Panthers party. Sure enough, Quanelle X was involved.
Houston, Texas, June 16— The debate over the pending execution of Shaka Sankofa (Gary Graham), a black man who many believe was wrongly convicted, heated up on Friday when a dozen gun-toting black militants staged a protest outside the Texas Republican Party’s state convention. The protest turned into a brief confrontation when one of the members of the New Black Panther Party, who arrived at the protest in an open-top Hummer stretch limousine, shoved a convention delegate who shouted that the protesters were “evil persons.”

The militants, most of them wearing black military style uniforms and carrying rifles or shotguns, demanded that Graham receive a new trial and that Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, declare a moratorium on capital punishment. Displaying guns in public is not illegal in Texas except in certain instances.

“We demand an immediate moratorium on the white supremacist, racist and classist death penalty in the state of Texas and across the country,” said Quanell X, the group’s leader.

Graham, 38, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday at the Texas death chamber in Huntsville, Texas. He was condemned for fatally shooting a man while robbing him outside a Houston supermarket in 1981....

Quanelle X and his organization did not "march on Bush" because they were not at a march or rally. It wasn't the Black Panthers, it was the New Black Panthers, run by the militant equivalent of Brittany Spears. And it took place in 2000, not at a 2004 or 2008 presidential political rally. (Or health care town hall, the last place one should find guns.)

Not that the facts matter. Our glamor girl of glibertarianism habitually pulls information from her rear end, knowing her peers will refrain from criticizing her egregious and constant stream of errors, lies and manipulations.


clever pseudonym said...

Even if she shares the agenda of Newsbusters entirely, it certainly shouldn't be considered a reliable source for straight facts. No reasonable, sensible journalist would take anything written there as dependable without backing it up elsewhere.

Then again, this is Megan you're talking about, so lack of professionalism is to be expected. Daily.

Well done in tearing down her argument and thanks for, once again, clearing up Megan's misinformed claims.

Susan of Texas said...

She quoted Red State too, remember?

And thanks.

Downpuppy said...

As goofy as the Panthers are, they were absolutely right that Texas Death penalty cases are hideous.

the latest, on the arson incompetence -

Downpuppy said...

Is this coincidence, or is Megan reading here?

Susan of Texas said...

I doubt it; Radly Balko wrote on it too, so she probably saw it there.