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After Smearing Liberals And Pretending He Wasn’t, Jonah Goldberg Smears Obama And Pretends He Didn’t

Reported by Ellen - March 1, 2008 -

Jonah Goldberg was back on Hannity & Colmes last night (2/29/08) for two segments in which he deliberately and systematically smeared Barack Obama by trying to paint him as someone with ties to anti-American radicals. Just as Goldberg tried to claim during his last appearance that calling his book “Liberal Fascism” didn’t mean he was implying liberals are fascists, nor that the Hitler smiley face implied that he was equating liberals with Hitler, Goldberg now asserted that a recent column, in which he hyped Obama's connection to 60's radical Bill Ayers, was not intended to “condemn him or ruin his career or anything of the sort.” Alan Colmes called Goldberg on his disingenuousness. With video.

As Greg Sargent, of Talking Points Memo, noted, the right wing, and particularly FOX News, has been embellishing the connection between Obama and Ayers in an effort to "build a superstructure of lies on top of a foundation of a few inconsequential facts." As Sargent noted, what's been reported thus far is that Obama met with former Weather Underground members Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn (Ayers' wife) in 1995; Obama served with Ayers on the board of an anti-poverty group; Ayers donated $200 to Obama's 2001 state senate campaign; and the two men are "friendly" according to an Obama spokesperson. The danger, as Sargent wrote, is that "This sort of stuff has the potential to be effective, because once people accept the germ of truth within the assault, they're at risk of believing the grotesque falsehoods that sprouted from it. The wingers are very good at doing this, as we've seen again and again."

Just as Sargent caught FOX News' John Batchelor doing, Sean Hannity deliberately tied Ayers to 9/11 (an excerpt from Ayers' memoir appeared in the New York Times that day). Goldberg used the same reference in his column. It was a thinly veiled attempt to connect Obama, at least on a subconscious level, to the terrorist acts of that day.

In response to Goldberg's assertion that he did not intend to harm Obama, Colmes asked Goldberg, in Part 1 of the interview below, “What’s your point, then, if you don’t want to condemn (Obama)? You said a price should be paid but you didn’t say what the price was.”

Goldberg maintained that his aim was to show “how seamlessly (Ayers) can move into the ranks of sort of conventional, respectable liberalism without much scandal or much shock anywhere.”

Noting that Barack Obama has stated unequivocally through a spokesperson that he doesn’t support the Weather Underground or their activities, Colmes said, “You keep mentioning this in connection with Obama, so obviously, you want to make the connection to hurt him in the presidential campaign.”

Goldberg was all innocent again. “I made the connection ‘cause news stories made the connection. And I thought it was sort of an interesting little example of how common this sort of thing actually is.”

In Part 2, Sean Hannity again falsely claimed that Barack Obama’s pastor gave a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan. In reality, it was Obama’s pastor’s daughters who did so.

Goldberg, clearly attempted to draw comparison to Obama’s pastor and, by extension, smear Obama. “Just imagine again if the putative Republican nominee had a racist, right wing pastor, had roots in the Minute Man militia or the Tim McVeigh crowd or was married to another formal radical, I mean Ayers is married to a radical.”

While Goldberg may be horrified that the award was given to Farrakhan, there’s no reason to assume that Obama’s pastor (or his daughters) are racists for having done so.

Colmes began his second segment by saying, “Keep doing this, Jonah. Keep going after Barack Obama, keep trying to smear him with everybody he ever met and it’s going to reflect back upon you.”

Colmes cited Orlando Bosch, an anti-Castro terrorist whom the Bush family (Jeb and George H.W. Bush) had released from prison. As Goldberg claimed not to know anything about that case, Colmes said, “You ought to know your facts and your history, Jonah, because if you’re gonna smear Barack Obama, and go after him and go after associations and not take responsibility for associations on your own side, you’ve got a double standard.”

In his "who me?" voice, the one that’s becoming all-too-familiar, Goldberg asked, “Alan, what’s the smear? What’s the smear?”

“Oh, come on. Don’t act so innocent,” Colmes told him. “It’s a guilt by association game, Jonah. It’s not going to work.”