Friday, October 30, 2009

10/27/09: Lieberman acts independently, incites HuffPost's biased wrath and its users' anti-Semitic venom (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")

On October 27, 2009, a group of U.S. Senators --- including a number of Democrats --- expressed their dissent on the "public option" healthcare reform bill they were considering, and indicated that they would vote to oppose it in its current form. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Independent-CT) also indicated that he is opposed to the current form of the bill.

Most news organizations played this story "straight."

This article documents the fact that HuffPost --- the self-proclaimed "Internet Newspaper," which claims to be a nonpartisan source of "news," only interested in pursuing "the truth" (see "Myth #1" here) --- chose to take a very different approach. Instead of simply reporting the facts, in context, HuffPost chose (1) to isolate and vilify Sen. Lieberman, then (2) to review, approve and decide to publish anti-Semitic and ad hominem insults against him --- including conspiracy theories --- which are (supposedly) prohibited by its comment policy.

This isn't the first time HuffPost has applied a different standard to Sen. Lieberman; see:
2/2/06: HuffPost blogger depicts Sen. Lieberman in blackface (HuffPost: "You're NOT fired!!!"); more recent examples to come. As Natan Sharansky noted, demonizing and applying double-standards to Jewish individuals, organizations and the State of Israel is a trademark of anti-Semitism. The reader must decide whether or not what is documented in this article bears that trademark.

* * *

The Associated Press --- the source that HuffPost most frequently cites --- had the following as its headline at YahooNews, the world's most-visited news website:
Dem moderates challenge Reid on health care plan

WASHINGTON – Democratic moderates who control the balance of power on health care legislation balked Tuesday at a government-run insurance option for millions of Americans, underscoring the enormity of the challenge confronting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid one day after he unveiled the plan as a consensus product. [...]

At the same time, Fox News --- which HuffPost routinely excoriates for its alleged "bias" (1, 2, 3) --- played the story via the following headline; as noted below,
it sounds quite similar to the AP's:

Reid Hits Roadblocks in Bid to Pass Health Bill With Government Insurance Plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was struggling Tuesday to drum up the support necessary to pass a health care reform bill that includes a government insurance plan, with key moderate Democrats backing away from the package ahead of a crucial vote.

Independent Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday that he would support a Republican filibuster against the bill unless it's changed. Key Democratic moderates including Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.; Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., also said they were uncertain how they'd vote, expressing deep reservations about the public plan.

And Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, the only Republican to have voted for any version of health care reform, reiterated Tuesday that she's "disappointed" in Reid's proposal and will not support the government option. [...]

Here's how the New York Times played the story:

Democrats Divided Over Reid Proposal for Public Option

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats voiced deep disagreements on Tuesday over the idea of a government-run health insurance plan, suggesting that the decision by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to include a public plan in major health care legislation had failed, at least initially, to unite his caucus.

Simply to get the Senate to take up the legislation, Mr. Reid has said he needs 60 votes — effectively all 58 Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, who had been open to supporting the bill, said Tuesday that she would oppose Mr. Reid’s version because of the public plan. [...]

Clearly, what all the above articles have in common is their reporting on the fact that Majority Leader Reid is having trouble corralling support among some Senators, most notably Democrats, for the "public option."

In contrast, at the exact same moment in time, this was HuffPost's front page splash headline:

And when one clicked on that screaming headline, they encountered this story page:

Talking Points Memo:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told reporters today that he would in fact filibuster any health care bill he doesn't agree with--and right now, he doesn't agree with the proposal making its way through the Senate.

"I told Senator Reid that I'm strongly inclined--i haven't totally decided, but I'm strongly inclined--to vote to proceed to the health care debate, even though I don't support the bill that he's bringing together because it's important that we start the debate on health care reform because I want to vote for health care reform this year. But I also told him that if the bill remains what it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage. Therefore I will try to stop the passage of the bill."

Read the whole story: Talking Points Memo

Also, note the teaser at the top of the page...:

... which was also featured on the front page:

Clicking on the link led to
this story page:

"Betrayals"? "Double-crosses"?
Those are pretty strong accusations.

The only oath that Sen. Lieberman ever took in the context of his political career was his swearing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. The last time he took that oath, it was in early 2007, when he had been elected by a majority of his constituents in Connecticut to represent them --- as
an Independent. But let's take a look at the definitions behind the inflammatory terms that HuffPost chose to employ for this "news" story:
  • "Betrayal": To lead astray; to deliver to an enemy by treachery; to fail or desert especially in time of need (1).

  • "Double-cross": To deceive by double-dealing (1); to betray by acting in contradiction to a prior agreement (2).

According to these definitions, and in this context, the only Senators these terms apply to are members of the Democratic Party, who are standing up against the proposed "public option" that Sen. Reid, as Majority Leader, is advocating.

So what is it to which
Rachel Weiner*, HuffPost's "Associate Politics Editor" is referring?
(*who lists no journalistic training or experience in her bio)

Does she mean that by not following the orders of the leadership of the Democratic Party --- of which he has not been a member since mid-2006 --- Sen. Lieberman "betrayed" it? Or does she mean that he "betrayed" the minority of voters in Connecticut who voted for his opponent in his most recent campaign for the Senate? If so, then we'd recommend Ms. Weiner consider relocating to another nation in which such political "betrayals" are met by such swift punishments. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia have political cultures in which she might feel more comfortable.

Sen. Lieberman has neither "betrayed" nor "double-crossed" anyone --- least of all his oath to the U.S. Constitution.
To the contrary, if Ms. Weiner really wants to see some real examples of "betrayals" and "double-crosses" among Democrats, she should refer to Update 2 at the end of this article.

Yet here are four of the fifteen examples that Ms. Weiner provides of what she alleges are Sen. Lieberman's sins:

What do these items have in common? They are all incidents in which Sen. Lieberman took policy positions that were in concert with his conscience and his belief in his oath of office --- yet were not in lock-step with the leadership of the Democratic Party. This independence, this deviation from party purity and unanimity, are apparently sufficient reasons for Ms. Weiner and HuffPost to vilify him as a "betrayer" and a "double-crosser."

Yet it's interesting to note that HuffPost didn't isolate or vilify any of the Democratic Senators who said they're opposed to Sen. Reid's bill. After all, they are the ones who've made the commitment to be "Democrats" --- a commitment that, to HuffPost, apparently means that one must mindlessly vote with the Democratic leadership on all issues, regardless of what one's conscience says.

Instead, as shown above, and below, HuffPost's story pages were focused vilifying one Senator --- Joe Lieberman:

Why is there such a discrepancy, and double-standard when it comes to Sen. Lieberman, vs. dissenting Democrats?

One answer might be that applying double-standards to Sen. Lieberman vs. other politicians is nothing new at HuffPost. Its most egregious act in this regard was three years ago, when it permitted one of its official bloggers to do something in regards to him that observers know it would have excoriated any other blog or newspaper for having done ---- yet it exacted no punishment against its own blogger for doing so:

2/2/06: HuffPost blogger depicts Sen. Lieberman in blackface (HuffPost: "You're NOT fired!!!")

Here's another instance in which HuffPost isolated Sen. Lieberman for "special treatment":
8/23/09: Grossly misleading headline about Sen. Lieberman, incites user hate comments (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")

Another answer might be that throughout the millennia, a foundational accusation against Jews is that aside from being sub-human, they are, by their nature, deceivers and double-crossers. That they have no loyalty to anyone or anything except their own people --- and most recently, to the State of Israel. See 1, 2, 3; also, Anti-Semitism 101 (and the "Zionism" canard).

Still another answer might be that, as is
documented in this extensive archive, HuffPost has a long history of applying different standards to its "news" coverage and blogs --- and its user comment moderation policies and procedures --- regarding stories concerning Israel and Jews.

And as is documented here, HuffPost has also applied a consistent double-standard to the pictures it chooses to employ, and how they are cropped, regarding Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Islamist tyrants. HuffPost has also applied this double-standard to the way in which it photographically depicted Sen. Lieberman today, as shown below:

Note that whereas HuffPost depicted (the liberal, good) Elizabeth Warren's full face, it cropped the photo of (evil!) Sen. Lieberman to only show his nose and eyes, just as it did with (evil!) Newt Gingrich.

This is not the first incident of HuffPost using such a different standard for depicting Sen. Lieberman vs. (good) people. The following screen capture was obtained on October 7, 2009; note how the full faces of other politicians featured (led by the "liberal=good" Sen. Al Franken) are shown, vs. just the eyes and nose of (sinister) Sen. Lieberman:

This is consistent with a larger phenomenon at HuffPost --- specifically, how it routinely depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both in isolated and in composite photos. For example, on May 13, 2009, look at how HuffPost chose to depict (the liberal, good) President Obama with (the evil!) Netanyahu (detailed analysis here):

More on HuffPost's photo-bias concerning Netanyahu and Jews vs. Islamist tyrants is documented

So what kinds of user comments did HuffPost review, approve and decide to publish on the Lieberman "news" thread?

As a reminder, contrary to its statements elsewhere, since March 2008, HuffPost has been
"pre-moderating" all user comments on its news threads --- meaning that the only ones that appear are those that it has made the conscious decision to publish, after reviewing them in advance. This is all documented here.

It should also be noted that HuffPost's
Comment Policy and Terms of Service (supposedly) prohibit religion-based slurs, and hate speech of any kind. Lastly, note that some of these users have up to 500 or more "fans," meaning that they have been permitted to comment at HuffPost for a very long time. Those with over 50 fans are bolded. Some of these users are, in fact, the most egregious, pathological, long-term violators of HuffPost's (supposed) CP-TOS (here). Where available, earlier instances of anti-Semitic statements by these users are referenced. This tends to undermine Ms. Huffington's multiple claims (1, 2) that comments representing severe violations of the site's policies somehow slip through, and are the responsibility of a handful (or "miniscule minority") of anonymous hit-and-run "trolls," who may even be part of a right-wing conspiracy to embarrass her site.

Here are some of the comments that HuffPost approved and published, in reaction to the way it played its Lieberman "news" story:

RichPort I'm a Fan of RichPort I'm a fan of this user 60 fans permalink
LIEberman needs to go run as a conservative... in the Knesset...
Reply Posted 02:36 PM on 10/27/2009

IntellectuallyHonest I'm a Fan of IntellectuallyHonest I'm a fan of this user 23 fans permalink
He takes his orders from Tel Aviv.
Reply Posted 02:52 PM on 10/27/2009

edwcorey I'm a Fan of edwcorey I'm a fan of this user 18 fans permalink
Lieberman throws our tax money there, so why can't we have what they have? I now open the floor to the Israel apologists who want to castigate this opinion. For the rest, read Beyond Chutzpah ( for why these apologists will come out of the woodwork.
Reply Posted 02:35 PM on 10/27/2009

IntellectuallyHonest I'm a Fan of IntellectuallyHonest I'm a fan of this user 23 fans permalink
And he hands the Iraq War on a silver platter to W who gobbles it up, forcing soldiers to go to the Middle East on behalf of Israel, the oil companies and the defense contractors. All of this from a man who conveniently sat out the Vietnam War during the 1960s.
Reply Posted 02:55 PM on 10/27/2009


Donnat I'm a Fan of Donnat I'm a fan of this user 21 fans permalink
Ship Joe to Israel, it's the only nation he cares about. No, that's not mean, it's true.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 03:40 PM on 10/27/2009

Ric NYC I'm a Fan of Ric NYC I'm a fan of this user 6 fans permalink
Agree 100%.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 03:42 PM on 10/27/2009


austin4 I'm a Fan of austin4 I'm a fan of this user 180 fans permalink
Exactly [...]
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 03:53 PM on 10/27/2009


Newthron I'm a Fan of Newthron I'm a fan of this user 46 fans permalink
He has never been a true American Democrat. He is not working for America, he is working for Israel. Why o why o why, we have this empty thing in our party?
Reply Posted 02:47 PM on 10/27/2009

Fireslayer I'm a Fan of Fireslayer I'm a fan of this user 8 fans permalink
The man is a right-winger, pure and simple.
There are no consequences or costs of stripping him of his committees.
Lieberman doesn't even consider the United States his principal allegiance. He has his nose so far up AIPACs he has to put his hankie down their throat to sneeze.
Time to waste him politically.
Reply Posted 03:54 PM on 10/27/2009

lornejl I'm a Fan of lornejl I'm a fan of this user 583 fans permalink
I hope he burns his mouth on some Matza ball soup.
Reply Posted 04:33 PM on 10/27/2009


poco767c I'm a Fan of poco767c I'm a fan of this user 320 fans permalink
That's because he is a f**king rat.
Reply Posted 04:38 PM on 10/27/2009

NOTE: Three months earlier, HuffPost reviewed, approved and published a "comment" from "poco767c" consisting primarily of graphic swastikas (right)... followed a few days later by an admission of his deep-seated anti-Semitism. Yet when another user called him out on this, the user was banned by HuffPost --- yet it chose to continue to permit "poco767c" to post "comments" at will. This is all documented here.


lornejl I'm a Fan of lornejl I'm a fan of this user 583 fans permalink
Reply Posted 04:41 PM on 10/27/2009

Roopez123 I'm a Fan of Roopez123 I'm a fan of this user permalink
Time to hit Lieberman where it hurts the most. I just called one of his local offices and told them I will now stop contributing to Israeli PAC's and other Jewish charities because of Joe Lieberman.
Reply Posted 04:46 PM on 10/27/2009

ProfessorDuh I'm a Fan of ProfessorDuh I'm a fan of this user 193 fans permalink
When he debated Cheney, the whole of America should have taken a hot shower immediately afterward just to wash the diseased fllth off.
Reply Posted 04:49 PM on 10/27/2009

larmarch5 I'm a Fan of larmarch5 I'm a fan of this user 36 fans permalink
In an effort to upgrade its attack helicopter fleet, the Israel Air Force is conducting flight tests with a new version of the Black Hawk utility helicopter that has been equipped with offensive air-to-surface missile launchers. United Technologies Corp of CT is Lieberman's largest contributor. After he's guaranteed more "aid" for Israel to purchase the Black Hawks, he'll forget the filibuster.
Reply Posted 04:58 PM on 10/27/2009

spytheweb I'm a Fan of spytheweb I'm a fan of this user 13 fans permalink
Joe is a Israel backer, and Israel does not like Obama. Is Joe an American or Israeli?
Reply Posted 04:55 PM on 10/27/2009

gschear I'm a Fan of gschear I'm a fan of this user 53 fans permalink
Ah, the celebration will be huge when Joe clears US airspace on his way to the retirement condo in Tel Aviv.
Reply Posted 04:59 PM on 10/27/2009


lemonyashes I'm a Fan of lemonyashes I'm a fan of this user 34 fans permalink
Loserdemon speaks israeli.
Reply Posted 05:14 PM on 10/27/2009

Chernynkaya I'm a Fan of Chernynkaya I'm a fan of this user 439 fans permalink
The word you are looking for is Hebrew.
Reply Posted 05:17 PM on 10/27/2009

lemonyashes I'm a Fan of lemonyashes I'm a fan of this user 34 fans permalink
No it's Israeli, we're talking Loserdemon not reality.
Reply Posted 05:21 PM on 10/27/2009

Chernynkaya I'm a Fan of Chernynkaya I'm a fan of this user 439 fans permalink
Got it. :~)
Reply Posted 05:24 PM on 10/27/2009


dadw5boys I'm a Fan of dadw5boys I'm a fan of this user 250 fans permalink
Reply Posted 05:38 PM on 10/27/2009

New Clairvaux I'm a Fan of Clairvaux I'm a fan of this user 32 fans permalink
Reply Posted 05:40 PM on 10/27/2009

austin4 I'm a Fan of austin4 I'm a fan of this user 153 fans permalink
True..I agree
Reply Posted 05:40 PM on 10/27/2009

I'm a Fan of learntofly I'm a fan of this user 167 fans permalink
Religious states and the religious right are nothing but a scam. I completely agree.
Reply Posted 05:42 PM on 10/27/2009

tanya1111 I'm a Fan of tanya1111 I'm a fan of this user 44 fans permalink
Reply Posted 05:44 PM on 10/27/2009


freethinkergirl I'm a Fan of freethinkergirl I'm a fan of this user 139 fans permalink
And I bet you had that special Hannukah one picked out too.
Reply Posted 05:45 PM on 10/27/2009

TheWestLA-Banned I'm a Fan of TheWestLA-Banned I'm a fan of this user 192 fans permalink
Reply Posted 05:45 PM on 10/27/2009

probo I'm a Fan of probo I'm a fan of this user 184 fans permalink
He must have a hard time with Yom Kippur.
Reply Posted 05:51 PM on 10/27/2009


balancedsolution I'm a Fan of balancedsolution I'm a fan of this user 38 fans permalink
His Jewish parents apparently didn't teach him right. He'll fell the guilt.
Reply Posted 05:59 PM on 10/27/2009


Mogamboguru I'm a Fan of Mogamboguru I'm a fan of this user 300 fans permalink
Mondayboy I'm a Fan of Mondayboy I'm a fan of this user 10 fans permalink
Why does this man with the face of a folded mountain .h.a.t.e. America?
Perhaps, because his loyalty belongs to another country...?
Reply Posted 06:13 PM on 10/27/2009

NOTE: Previously, from "Mogomboguru," one of HuffPost's more prevalent anti-Israel propagandists and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists ---

Mogamboguru See Profile I'm a Fan of Mogamboguru permalink
And even many "Is-ra-el-ha-te-rs" are in fact, Is-rae-li pro-paga-ndists [...]
Why? Because thus, the Is-ra-el-apo-loge-tics can point fingers at them and can always claim, how important and how justified Is-ra-el's measures to "def-end" herself aga-inst the pale-stin-ian "vio-lence" in fasct are.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 07:50 AM on 01/02/2009


lmab I'm a Fan of lmab I'm a fan of this user 6 fans permalink
Joe Lieberman is anti Obama. He has a motive and I suspect that he is either a racist or this has to do with Israel.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 06:13 PM on 10/27/2009

OffTopic1 I'm a Fan of OffTopic1 I'm a fan of this user 225 fans permalink
Or both and other reasons as well. It usually is never one thing.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 06:15 PM on 10/27/2009

speakingtruth2power I'm a Fan of speakingtruth2power I'm a fan of this user 223 fans permalink
Joe votes as a neocon here AND as a Likudist over there, I think the latter.
Reply Favorite Flag as abusive Posted 06:16 PM on 10/27/2009



And not just opposing it, but boisterously doing so. Yet neither of these stories were featured today at HuffPost; the Lieberman-bashing stories are still on its front page (along with a variety of pure "journalistic" fluff; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Perhaps the HuffPost staff didn't see these stories because they're compiled by the "right-wing" site

House Dem: I have 40 votes to kill ObamaCare over abortion

Bayh: Cloture vote, floor vote all the same
... but then again, given the extensiveness of HuffPost's news aggregation directory, is it unreasonable to assume that one of their crack reporters should have seen something about these "betrayers"? These "double-crossers?"



And not just against their leadership, but against the U.S. Constitution, and against our soldiers in harm's way, in time of war:
June 14, 2005
Sen. Richard Durbin, (D-IL):
Likening the actions or American soldiers to those of Nazis and the Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot):
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

Durbin refused to apologize for this statement --- an action that was immediately echoed throughout the Islamic world. FYI, a profile of Nazi and Khmer Rouge torture practices.

February 11, 2007
Sen. Barack Obama, (D-IL):
"Three thousand soldiers' lives have been wasted in Iraq."

March 8, 2007 (more):
Even though they voted to confirm him --- unanimously --- six weeks earlier, every top Democrat refused to attend briefing by Gen. Petraeus on the situation in Iraq.

April 9, 2007:
All Democrats but one refused to attend a briefing by Gen. Petraeus.

April 14, 2007
Sen. Harry Reid, Majority Leader (D-NV):
"We (Democrats) are going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding."

April 19, 2007
Sen. Harry Reid, Majority Leader (D-NV):
"This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything."

Note: At this time, the soldiers and materiel for the surge were only starting to be deployed, and it was not yet underway. Yet this statement served only to dishonor, undermine and demoralize America's soldiers, and was soon echoed in Iran and throughout the Islamic world, as a sign of encouragement that the U.S. was losing its resolve --- and betraying its own military.

April 23, 2007
Sen. Harry Reid, Majority Leader (D-NV):
Said he won't believe anything Gen. Petraeus has to say about progress in Iraq.

August 14, 2007
Sen. Barack Obama, (D-IL):
"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."

Sept. 8, 2007
A Democratic Senator who spoke on the condition of anonymity:
“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV. The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”

Those, Ms. Weiner, are instances of genuine "betrayals" and "double-crosses" --- and every one of the above legislators, had they a shred of honor, would have immediately resigned.



On Saturday, Nov. 21, the Senate held a vote to move the Democrats' healthcare reform bill to the floor for debate. Although the measure passed 60-39, a number of Democrats said soon thereafter that even though they voted for this narrow purpose, if the final bill contains elements now in it, they will vote against it.

For example:

The Associated Press --- the source that HuffPost most frequently cites --- had the following as its headline at YahooNews, the world's most-visited news website:
Senate Democrats At Odds Over Health Care Bill
"WASHINGTON – Moderate Senate Democrats threatened Sunday to scuttle health-care legislation if their demands aren't met, while more liberal members warned their party leaders not to bend."

Fox News
--- which HuffPost routinely excoriates for its alleged "bias" (1, 2, 3) --- played the story via the following headline; as noted below, it sounds quite similar to the AP's:
Senators Size Up Next Steps in Health Care Debate
"Some Dems who voted in favor of debating health care bill, may drop their support in coming months"

So how did HuffPost play the story?
It focused on only one Senator - Joe Lieberman, and did not even indicate other Democratic Senators' dissent, or their threats.

The story page is here:
Lieberman: 'I Don't Think Anybody Thinks This Bill Will Pass'

Need you ask what kinds of comments this myopic focus on Sen. Lieberman incited? Take a look for yourself in the comments section.

So what kinds of other stories appeared on HuffPost's front page on Nov. 22, instead of a fair, balanced news report on the growing number of Democratic Senators who are coming out against their leadership's healthcare reform bill? Would you believe...

  • A talking Einstein robot head?

  • A topless Levi Johnston?

  • Topless girls?

"The Internet Newspaper," indeed.


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