On June 12, 2009 the following was the splash headline on HuffPost's main page:
Pay attention to that sub-head: "Neocons root for Ahmadinejad." Could that really be true?
Of course not. In reality, "neocons" have been the most hawkish against the Iranian madman's relentless quest to develop nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it is radical left that has constructed what David Horowitz has documented is an "unholy alliance" with radical Islam.
Numerous researchers, bloggers and columnists have provided insight into what has now been termed “the leftist-Islamist convergence” (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). al-Ahram Weekly, an Egyptian newspaper, acknowledged this “convergence,” here.
Furthermore, the radical left (on HuffPost and beyond) knows all to well that "neocons" such as John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., is one of many who are urging strong, decisive action against Iran if it does not stop Ahmadinejad from constructing nuclear weapons.
So in what warped universe could HuffPost honestly proclaim that "neocons" were rooting for him? Let's find out.
Below is the story page to which this headline was linked:
Excerpts from this AP-sourced story:
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranians packed polling stations from boutique-lined streets in north Tehran to conservative bastions in the countryside Friday with a choice that's left the nation divided and on edge: keeping hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power or electing a reformist who favors greater freedoms and improved ties with the United States. [...]
In the conservative city of Qom, home to seminaries and shrines, hundreds of clerics and women dressed in long black robes waited to vote in a long line outside a mosque. Ahmadinejad's campaign has heavily courted his base of working-class families and tradition-minded voters with promises of more government aid and resistance to Western pressures over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Wait: Nowhere in the article is the term "neocons" mentioned -- only "conservatives" in Iran. Yet as HuffPost is (or should be) well aware, "neocon" has a very definitive, precise meaning:
Merriam-Webster:(1) a former liberal espousing political conservatism (2) a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and United States national interest in international affairs including through military means.Wikipedia:More: What The Heck Is A 'Neocon'? by Max Boot
Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that emerged in the United States of America, and which supports using American economic and military power to bring liberalism, democracy, and human rights to other countries. In economics, unlike traditional conservatives, neoconservatives are generally comfortable with a minimally-bureaucratic welfare state; and, while generally supportive of free markets, they are willing to interfere for overriding social purposes.The term neoconservative, first coined at least as early as 1921, was used at one time as a criticism against liberals who had "moved to the right". Michael Harrington, a democratic socialist, coined the current sense of the term neoconservative in a 1973 Dissent magazine article concerning welfare policy. According to E. J. Dionne, the nascent neoconservatives were driven by "the notion that liberalism" had failed and "no longer knew what it was talking about."
So where in all that did HuffPost get the idea that "neocons are rooting for Ahmadinejad"?
And if they had no basis for this allegation, why would they place it under the top of their splash news headline --- if not to promote a falsehood, to smear conservatives based on a lie?
Only HuffPost can answer these questions. Perhaps one day, someone in a position of influence will ask it to do so.
So what kinds of user comments did this false story sub-headline incite --- which HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish? Have a look:
timberdoodle I'm a Fan of timberdoodle permalink
Of course neo cons root for the status quo. Look at Heidi Harris the right wing extremist news broadcaster in California who is telling her listeners to boycott buying GM or Chrysler to stop Obama from succeeding. She would cripple the country to further the Conservative movement and a couple of million more people out of work is just called collateral damage in GOP speak.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 01:04 PM on 06/12/2009
Lavafalls I'm a Fan of Lavafalls permalink
No sense in talking, we need to attack them now!. Or we could just attack Canada. They are a lot closer, and in this economy every dollar counts.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:27 PM on 06/12/2009
[Ed.: One reader got it, and called HuffPost and its users out on this falsehood]
gino618 I'm a Fan of gino618 permalink
Given the generalized definition and association with the word 'NeoCon' to everyday conservatives - especially in liberal circles - can someone tell me where, in this article, it shows that 'NeoCons' want Ahmedinijad to win?
It seems to me, for the most part, that Conservatives have been railing AGAINST him while liberals don't believe he's a danger.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:26 PM on 06/12/2009
Morocco I'm a Fan of Morocco permalink
The Neo-Cons loves mayhem and wars. Ahmadinijad was their boogeyman. Hell! They even loved 9/11 because it gave them an excuse to wage war on the world.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:28 PM on 06/12/2009
Ponderus I'm a Fan of Ponderus permalink
So the Neos want Hawk-my-mini-bod to win? The person for whose head they've been calling? Why, that just doesn't make sense.
Unless your hope is a world constantly at war (from which you and your friends profit), and you must have a focus for your hate (which is all consuming and the source of your being), and, as a by-product you need to distract people from everyday life while the corporations continue to pick their pockets and impoverish them.
There. Now it makes sense.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:35 PM on 06/12/2009
lornejl I'm a Fan of lornejl permalink
It's so frustrating trying to figure out what the right wing plan is.
I get the part of nooking everyone that scares us, but then what ?
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:40 PM on 06/12/2009
TJCole I'm a Fan of TJCole permalink
Well at least Diebold (premiere) and ESS aren't in the mix to rig the election for the bad guys...as in our country..!
The Aytollah's may wish they had hired them after today...!
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:42 PM on 06/12/2009
greatlardini I'm a Fan of greatlardini permalink
Jeb-thro and Katharine Harris may show up unannounced......
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 12:44 PM on 06/12/2009
Add this episode to the long list of other incidents in which HuffPost generated false/misleading headlines about conservative public figures and groups --- which could only incite misconceptions and hatred among its users:
3/16/07: False headline re McCain quote on contraceptives incites torrent of hate comments
4/6/07: Decontextualized headline re IDF retaliation against terrorists incites Israel- and Jew-hate, blood libels, etc.
4/6/08: False headline, copy claim McCain wrong on Iran - al Qaeda connection; foments misconception-based hate comments (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
4/7/08: A "report" that McCain called wife a vulgar term turns out to be nothing more than a vicious rumor --- at best
5/17/08: False headline re NRA convention foments user hatred (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
5/23/08: Grossly misleading headline re Israeli Air Force foments torrent of hate (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
3/9/09: Huffington Post smear of Gibson uses doctored video
5/16/09: Telling half-truths about Netenyahu approval rating
7/14/09: Blaring, misleading headline incites anti-Israel libels (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
ADDENDUM 1: Weeks earlier, HuffPost blogger excoriated another publication for having a bias -- and failing to explicitly disclose it:
On April 25, 2009 HuffPost published an article by one of its official bloggers, Terry Krepel, entitled Right-Wing Tilt Drives Washington Examiner. In this piece, he excoriates the newest venture by self-made billionaire Philip Anschutz. Excerpt (emphasis added):
In early February, Washington Examiner editor Stephen G. Smith gushed over his new chief political correspondent, Byron York, calling him "a prototype of the modern journalist, equally at home in print, on television and on the Web."
One word not uttered by Smith, however, was "conservative" -- as in the political orientation of York's former employer, the National Review. Indeed, York has regularly peddled conservative misinformation from his National Review perch.
York is one of the latest manifestations of the rightward skew of the Examiner, a free tabloid daily created four years ago when conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz took over a chain of suburban papers and refashioned them after the publication he owns in San Francisco -- an interesting move since Anschutz himself hasn't talked to the media in decades. [...]
With such an ideologically stacked crew, it's not surprising that the Examiner has become a transmitter of conservative misinformation [...]
In fact, as is pointed out in Section A here, Myth #1 here, HuffPost to this day claims that it is a nonpartisan "news" source, only interested in pursuing and reporting on "the truth." And even though it has claimed that it "makes its opinions transparent," as is documented in Section A(4) here, that is absolutely not the case.
Pot, meet kettle.