‘Friends of Hamas’, Breitbart’s ghost, and what’s really wrong with the right


So … Chuck Hagel has no ties to a group called “Friends of Hamas.” Ahem …

… Because no such group exists. But right wingers, and the McCarthyite Senators they’ve gone and elected, and their silly “news” cable channel, and their talk radio guys, and their blogs, just need, NEED, NEEEEED, to hate Barack Obama and everyone around him so desperately, they’ll believe damned near everything.

Dave Weigel? Your witness:

Last week, after seeing references to a group allegedly named “Friends of Hamas” hidden somewhere in Chuck Hagel’s financial records, I did roughly 20 minutes of reporting to prove that the group did not exist. I checked the State Department’s list of terror sponsors and the Treasury Department’s list of terror-connected charities, then called Treasury to see whether a “Friends of Hamas” had ever appeared on their radar. It hadn’t. I checked with a Senate source and with a source in a conservative foreign policy shop whose president had editorialized about “Friends of Hamas.” Both sources were befuddled by the “Friends” claim.

Following that, I checked with Ben Shapiro, the Breitbart.com editor and reporter who originated the “Friends of Hamas” meme in a short February 7 article titled “SECRET HAGEL DONOR?: WHITE HOUSE SPOX DUCKS QUESTION ON ‘FRIENDS OF HAMAS.’” In it, Shapiro reported that “Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively” of Hagel’s “Friends of Hamas” problem.

“Have you found any more proof that this group exists?” I asked Shapiro.

“The original story is the entirety of the information I have,” he said.

Cut to today. Dan Friedman writes a funny op-ed for the New York Daily News, taking credit—accidentally—for the “Friends” theory.

And says Friedman:

Here’s what happened: When rumors swirled that Hagel received speaking fees from controversial organizations, I attempted to check them out.

On Feb. 6, I called a Republican aide on Capitol Hill with a question: Did Hagel’s Senate critics know of controversial groups that he had addressed?

Hagel was in hot water for alleged hostility to Israel. So, I asked my source, had Hagel given a speech to, say, the “Junior League of Hezbollah, in France”? And: What about “Friends of Hamas”?

The names were so over-the-top, so linked to terrorism in the Middle East, that it was clear I was talking hypothetically and hyperbolically. No one could take seriously the idea that organizations with those names existed — let alone that a former senator would speak to them.

But of course, nothing is too over-the-top for the Breitbart’s ghosters to thoroughly believe, and run with.  Hugh Hewitt bought it (he’s got a Harvard degree, by the way. Did I mention that? ) … and Hugh pulled good old Rand Paul into his tin foil boat. Lou Dobbs bought it (he’s got a Harvard degree too…) RedState bought it. And so did the entire panoply of the wingersphere.

And therein lies the problem with the right. They start at the end, rather than the beginning — so filled with the desire to believe the worst, that they’ll just as easily believe the stupidest.

They did it with election “projections” and “unskewed polls” that had them convinced that a) everybody, HATES Barack Obama and b) Mitt Romney would MOP THE FLOOR WITH HIM in last year’s presidential election. Oops. And now it’s happening with Hagel.

And this, my friends, is the “new media” the right is relying on to get them back in the game.

Good luck with that, fellas.


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3 Responses to ‘Friends of Hamas’, Breitbart’s ghost, and what’s really wrong with the right

  1. joe common says:

    this is remarkably despicable. i have always known that people – in positions of power and influence or who cater to the same or who seek to – who lie cheat and steal from the public at large are basically stupid talentless lazy egotistical narcisstic frauds who do anything for money. and they all migrate to the repuber party where they celebrate and bathe in their seweristic pond.

    all that aside, i have read reports that these same neo-christian frauds worship satan and perform sadistic rituals of killing babies after the babies are born and largely grown. even going so far as to provide them life support for years on end then actively seeking to steal endo of life support.

    to be honest, i am not 100% sure that these reports are true.

  2. Lemar says:

    The public needs to make republicans pay for telling lies. When there’s no consequences for doing wrong the negative behavior will never stop. We need honest people in our gov. that are held to a higher standard. And lying on a Vietnam decorated vet. Sad America sad.

  3. Jane Yavis says:

    And the wonder why Joe Biden refers to a Legitimate Media??? For many years I have been on nothing short of a mission to make my local Station manager Aware of the Limbaugh Wanna-be’s on their station and the tactics they use. For many years,,,my only reply was, “if you don’t like what they say, whi do you listen???? Just turn them off. To which I replied and I mean every word of this – People turned off a certain former Paper Hanger who got his hands on a microphone,,,,,,,

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