Right-wing blogger geniuses expose another journalistic fraud!

As but the latest in a literally countless series of similar humiliations, right-wing bloggers scream "fraud" over a report which is completely authentic.

Published May 28, 2007 5:05PM (EDT)

(updated below)

The genius investigators in the right-wing blogosphere -- who serve as our Watchdogs over the Corrupt "MSM" -- made a major, major discovery this weekend. Last Wednesday, former CIA agent Larry Johnson published a Memo (.pdf) sent from the U.S. Mission in Iraq which advised troops and other military personnel in Iraq of a "theater-wide delay in food delivery" which would likely limit the available food supply.

As has been true for the last four years, right-wing bloggers simply shut their eyes and refused to believe that any news reflecting poorly on the Leader's War could be real. Just as was true for news reports of civil war and a growing Iraqi insurgency, this Memo just had to be a fake, so they declared it to be such.

The super-tough-(and-anonymous)-Churchillian-warrior "Ace of Spades" got the investigative ball rolling, declaring: "that document is fake" (emphasis in original). "Ace" then explained: "someone is attempting to gin up a rather minor convoy delay into something that threatens the feeding of our troops." These accusations were grounded in "Ace's" belief that an eagle in the corner of the memo was inauthentic, copied from a figurine. Upon finding the image online, "Ace" excitedly announced that he discovered "How The Retarded Forger Found The Image."

"Ace" then added an update citing as support for his conclusion of a "Forgery!" the "analysis" of that highly-impressive-document-expert Charles Johnson. Johnson -- in a post entitled "Fake But Accurate, Nutroots Edition" -- announced:

Ace of Spades exposes another probable anti-war fraud, an "internal memo" with a "military logo" that turns out to be ... a Hummel figurine.

Johnson christened their exciting new "MSM" scandal "Hummelgate," and announced that "'Hummelgate' hits the Washington Post; they quote from the memo in this article" [here]. Johnson then issued a painstaking analysis of the .pdf properties as further "proof" of the document's fakeness.

All of that, needless to say, provoked a whole slew of braying, celebratory right-wing bloggers denouncing the MSM for their outrageous fraud against the Leader and the War. Leading the way was Charles Johnson's very own "news agency" Pajamas Media, which was last seen trumpeting the death of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, an "exclusive" report which -- once it turned out that Khamenei was and is very much alive -- forced even Michelle Malkin's Hot Air to admit it was "a major embarrassment" for Pajamas.

This weekend, the Pajamas "news agency" published an item headlined: "The Fake Memo With the China Figurine On Top." The Pajamas News Agency "reported":

Ace is on the case, with some help from LGF. It's a Defense Department memo, and while the document is definitely fake, whether the specific information contained in it is accurate is up in the air. If the info was indeed wrong, then the Washington Post was fooled.

Curt's Flopping Aces announced: "Another Forged Document Fools A Lefty," and began: "Larry Johnson, that ViPer with a serious case of the BDS, is at it again peddling a forged document." Curt then proceeded to spew all of the sophisticated and insightful document analysis for which the right-wing blogosphere is so well-known, and then accused Johnson of "tak[ing] this obvious forgery at face value because it fits in with his own preconceived notions."

The sea of right-wing blog followers then washed ashore, with one proclamation after the next like these:

** "Hi-larious Ratheresque hijinx on the part of Larry Johnson, ex-CIA moron, discussed by Ace."

** "The Has-Been Media is also incredibly stupid and easily fooled, so long as they can advance their political agenda . . . Check out the link to the memo. It's laughable.

** This is hilarious. Seems Super Duper Spook Larry (Plame Flame) Johnson got duped by a faked intel memo.

Needless to say, the memo is authentic. And some of the accusers are slowly starting to admit it (with no apologies to Johnson or The Washington Post for impugning their integrity, from what I have seen).

And so we have but the latest in an endless series of right-wing-blogger outbursts of accusatory bile and claimed discoveries of wrongdoing and fraud where the only fraud and wrongdoing is from the blogger-accusers themselves. It is literally impossible to count the grand humiliations of this sort to which the right-wing blogosphere has repeatedly subjected itself. Over and over, they make the most vicious accusations without the slightest basis in fact.

Time and again, they are revealed to be people completely unmoored from reality or without the slightest regard for basic precepts of responsible commentary. Facts which are unpleasant to them are deemed to be "fake" for that reason alone, and the most serious accusations come spewing forth from their mouths without any regard to whether they are actually true.

Right-wing bloggers and "Pajamas Media" spent all weekend calling Larry Johnson a liar and a fraud when the only liars and frauds were, as usual, them. And now that they stand exposed, yet again, as reckless and fact-free hysterics, they will simply move, unperturbed, onto their next manufactured scandal, with the expectation that they will be taken seriously. Is it really any wonder that not even their own party -- which venerates people like Rush Limbaugh -- takes right-wing blogs seriously?

But media figures like Howard Kurtz take them very seriously. And it is important to note they are really nothing more than an online extension of the right-wing noise machine, employing the same tactics and demonstrating the same sense of integrity. The most basic facts which conflict with their political agenda are derided as false. Those reporting those facts are subjected to the most vicious character assaults. And they launch one lynch mob after the next based upon the most serious accusations which repeatedly turn out to be as factually false as they were plainly ridiculous. What else could they possibly do to lose credibility altogether?

UPDATE: Professor Juan Cole was one of those who cited the Memo in a post from last week, which apparently prompted readers of these right-wing blogs to e-mail Cole to demand a retraction in light of the proven "fraud." In reply, Cole refused to retract, pointing out that he "do[esn't] accept the reasoning of LGF about the memo."

In response to Cole's refusal to retract, "Ace" said (h/t teh l4m3):

Hey, dickhead? What more "reasoning" do you need than this?

[photograph of figurine eagle]

This is a fucking hummel eagle and flag figurine from a cheesy knicknack vendor, you fucking idiot. What additional "reasoning" do you need?

It's this [Green Beret and retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Force] Pat Lang character, a lefty buddy of Larry Johnson's, who's been passing this obvious sham around. . . .

What kind of idiots do we have in our "intelligence" community, exactly?

When they give you an intelligence test, do they require you actually fail to get the job? Or at least post a not-too-high, not-too-low score somewhere between "average intelligence" and "borderline imbecile who sits in the corner all day clapping and masturbating"?

That is who Pajamas Media cited as the source for its "forgery" story.

Just contemplate the deep shame and sense of remorse that a normal, healthy person would feel after spewing that kind of venom at people, including a former Green Beret, who were completely right. But they don't. Like the brilliant pundits whose every proclamation about the Iraq war turned out to be false yet who still parade around as proud and pompous experts, right-wing bloggers continuously hurl accusations like this and then, when proven wrong, simply move on to the next accusatory orgy without any real acknowledgment of wrongdoing or apology.

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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