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“Grapevine” Pimps Discredited Stanley Kurtz In Its Obama Smearfest

Reported by Priscilla - October 15, 2008 -

With only a couple of weeks to go before the election, Fox is going full tilt in its efforts to smear Barack Obama. As I have noted, “Grapevine” is a great propaganda vehicle in its ability to present right wing talking points, in simple form for simple minds, without discussing any facts which serve to contradict the talking points. And while there have been a number of questions about McCain’s policies and associations, you will never see them raised on the “Grapevine” which serves up a tidy bunch of fear and loathing of Barack Obama. “Grapevine” also runs with whatever is hot-hot-hot in bizarro right wing world and last night’s (October 14th) “Grapevine” included information from Obama hater Stanley Kurtz which served to play the Obama-as-scary-black-man-with-scary- radical-black-connections card.

Last night’s “Grapevine” started with a piece about how while Obama never directly worked for ACORN (bad black people), he “trained” for a position; but was never hired. The next Obama hit piece was based on Stanley Kurtz’s latest rant. It was a summary of Kurtz’s latest National Review article which claims that “Barack Obama reportedly authorized money for education programs with extreme anti-American views during his time in charge of Chicago's Annenberg Challenge — the organization co-founded by '60s domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.” (Comment: when is Fox going to admit that the family that founded the foundation, the Annenberg’s, are conservative? Also not noted is that one of the co-founders was Warren Chapman, former state coordinator for the Illinois State Board of Education). But the tone was set with the first sentence that played the fear/terrorism/campus radical card while reinforcing the meme that Obama is a terrorist because he knew Bill Ayers – as did the republicans who also served on the Board which was trying to improve the educational opportunities for inner city school children. According to Kurtz, a group called the South Shore African Village Collaborative received a $200,000 grant from Annenberg in 1996. (Comment: Africa – be scared!) Kurtz, according to the “Grapevine” report, is connecting this educational endeavor with “Afrocentric” teachings which, in the white world of Fox News and the Republican base is something to be feared. As noted by “Grapevine,” Kurtz says "the group's curriculum was centered around the rites of passage movement — a form of black nationalism. One sympathetic study conducted by Nsenga Warfield-Coppock in 1992 and published in the "Journal of Negro Education" says the movement came about because American socialization is "genocidal to the African-American community," and that African-Americans need to "counter the potentially detrimental effects of a Eurocentrically oriented society."

Comment: Talk about damning with faint information. Kurtz could be employed by Fox News as he uses the same strategy of making unsubstantiated statements and then jumping from the unsubstantiated statement to “connections” that prove nothing. His article does not produce any samples of curriculum; but, rather, is based on addresses, given to the Collaborative, by supposedly radical “Afrocentric” authors. He links the “rights of passage” (is that like Christian Confirmation?) to a 1992 study in a black journal. He quotes a section from a report on the Annenberg Challenge in which one member of the board stated that the educational results of the grant money (which included all the schools that received it) weren’t satisfactory. Nautrally, Rev. Wright is part of the labyrinth of tortured logic. But Fox did need to scare “Main Street” America about a suspicious “ethnic” curriculum funded with private money. I wonder if Fox knows that in 1999, the US Department of Justice gave a grant of $198,000, to be used for Hispanic culture, to a Gainseville Texas school. The students did a mural based on a quote from a Mexican revolutionary. Now that’s downright seditious!

What “Grapevine” doesn’t tell you is that Kurtz has been discredited by those in the reality based community An article in the New Republic states that “he found less an inch worth of damning material. Not that Kurtz would admit as much. His WSJ article is titled "Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism on Schools," but the evidence for that consists largely of scare quotes ("leadership," "organized," "external partners," etc) and leaps of logic designed to substitute for actual evidence…” The LA Times reported that “Stanley Kurtz’ Work On Obama And The Annenberg Challenge Is Filled With Falsities, Baseless Claims, And Convenient Omissions.” Sounds like Fox News!

P.S. Speaking of National Review, I wonder if Fox will mention that William Buckley’s son, Chirstopher, was fired from the publication because he is supporting Barack Obama!