The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

06 June 2007

Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, JFK Terror Plot, Think Progress

IT WAS ON PAGE A30

Lefty Attack Against Talkers Over JFK Plot Coverage Backfires







Who are the real "big fat" liars?

After their assertion was refuted even by the New York Times itself, a nasty attack by liberal bloggers against conservative talk show hosts has backfired.

After Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other hosts lambasted the Sunday New York Times for burying news of the JFK terror plot bust, Think Progress, News Hounds and other lefties accused them of lying.

By claiming the story actually was covered on page one and even asserting that O'Reilly intentionally misled viewers by showing only the top part of the page on camera, these smear sites were truly pulling a fast one.

While Limbaugh said JFK terrorism plot coverage was found on page A30, O'Reilly says he found it on A37.

From the O'Reilly Factor:

Over the weekend, four Muslims were accused of planning to blowup JFK airport here in New York City. That comes on the heels of six Muslims arrested for planning to kill U.S. soldiers in New Jersey. But hey, don't be alarmed. According to John Edwards and The New York Times, this is no big deal.

In Sunday's Times, editor Bill Keller put the JFK story on, ready, page 37 right above a story about kids playing at a Fuddrucker's restaurant. Every other New York City paper had the Muslim suspects on page one, where they should have been.

Now apparently The Times isn't real concerned about Muslim guys allegedly trying to set up another 9/11. On page one of Sunday's New York Times was this story: some poor people in India making bricks.


And from Limbaugh's transcript:


RUSH: This terror plot. As I say, I found this on page 30 of the New York Times. They didn't think it was a big deal at all. Here's a report from CBS in New York: "Feds Say Terrorist Plot Poorly Planned -- In the latest terrorist threat to New York City, the alleged terrorists are all middle-aged men, the oldest 63-year-old Guyanese immigrant Russell Defreitas." It's not Russell. He calls himself "Mohammed." See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. One of these guys is a citizen.

These are homegrown, and whether or not their plot made any sense and whether or not it worked -- and it probably wouldn't have worked. The problem with blowing up jet fuel or gasoline is, jet fuel is essentially kerosene, and it burns in a very narrow range of fuel and air mixtures.

[excerpted]

Everybody's downplaying this as, "Well, this wouldn't have worked," and, 'These guys are just a bunch of idiots." But that's not the point of this. The point of this is, here we have the report. How many people now are going to be even more nervous than they are about flying?


From there, Think Progress accused them of lying, singling out O'Reilly here:


Bill O’Reilly calls the New York Times “quasi-socialistic” and has placed the newspaper on his enemies list. Last night, he devoted an entire segment of his show to attacking the Times for not covering the arrests made in an alleged JFK airport terrorist plot on the front page.

“In Sunday’s Times, editor Bill Keller put the JFK story on — ready — page 37, right above a story about kids playing at Fuddrucker’s restaurant,” O’Reilly said. He claimed the Times “isn’t real concerned about Muslim guys allegedly trying to set up another 9/11.”

[excerpted]


One problem: the New York Times did cover the JFK terror plot on the front page of its Sunday edition. You wouldn’t know it from watching O’Reilly, who chose to show only the top fold of the front page during his broadcast. “Now I’m not making this up,” he told his viewers. “You see it. This is not the Colbert Report. This is The Factor and this is the fact.” But O’Reilly is lying.


The real problem is that O'Reilly isn't lying and neither was Rush. In the "evidence" provided by Think Progress, they point to a tiny, one paragraph teaser found in the right sidebar.

Not in a million years would that qualify as front page coverage!

In fact, two Think Progress commenters were quick to bust them:


Please don’t call me a troll or a Republican for this but, he is right - the article is not headlined on the front page. There’s a small reference to the story on the interior page (metro section).

I receive the print version of the Times. I remember thinking, that’s good - they’ve put this on page 37 instead of on the front page, because, if previous terror scares are any indication, within 48 hours this will have been downgraded from “the end of the world” to “cheesy”.

Think Progress can do better, and 99 percent of the time does.

Comment by eddy tompkins — June 5, 2007 @ 12:35 pm


I’m not a fan of O’Really or Faux, but from the picture given us of below the fold I cannot make out much of a headline or whether the story is “covered” on the front page.

Comment by leftcoast — June 5, 2007 @ 12:37 pm


From there, it gets worse: even the New York Times admits it buried the story! But it does have an excuse, though it seems weak. This is from a reader Q & A with National Editor Suzanne Daley:


The J.F.K. Airport Bomb Plot

Q. I live in California and was astounded yesterday to look at my print edition of The Times for the article on the J.F.K. bomb plot and to find it back on page A30!

What has happened with the news judgment of your colleagues? A terrorist plot that could have badly damaged the entire economy of the nation, including those of us who live in the Bay Area, and it's relegated to the level of bridge club reports. You might wish to suggest to your editors that your readers do not live in a vacuum, that we do have alternative sources for news and they only make The Times look foolish with such ineptitude. No wonder your circulation and advertising are falling; your editors are turning a once-honored newspaper into a dinosaur in the electronic age.

-- Richard Godfrey, San Francisco

Q. Could you offer some insights on how The Times decided to play the story about the alleged J.F.K. terror plot? It was noticeably different than the way the other leading national papers played it; your placement (Metro) and coverage have been more skeptical. I'm particularly curious about why it was not considered a national story, but rather, a local one. Thanks.

-- Barbara, Manhattan

A. Here's the basic thinking on the J.F.K. story: In the years since 9/11, there have been quite a few interrupted terrorist plots. It now seems possible to exercise some judgment about their gravity. Not all plots are the same. In this case, law enforcement officials said that J.F.K. was never in immediate danger. The plotters had yet to lay out plans. They had no financing. Nor did they have any explosives. It is with all that in mind, that the editors in charge this weekend did not put this story on the front page.

In truth, the decision was widely debated even within this newsroom. At the front page meeting this morning, we took an informal poll and a few editors thought the story should have been more prominently played. Some argued it should have been fronted, regardless of the lameness of the plot, simply because it was what everyone was talking about.


Will O'Reilly, Limbaugh and the other hosts who made this point get an apology from the smear websites? Don't hold your breath.


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17 Comments:

  • Dear Brian:

    I love the picture of Rush. He looks lean and mean. I guess that was after he had his stomach tied off and his jaw wired shut. I would be inclined myself to beat off to it. Alas, Rush is too stupid to get me off.

    Problem is that I hear that that sleak, studly Rush look, brought about in reaction to the evil Al Franken's "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot," has now faded.

    And, alas, he now looks as tubby as before.

    Update your photos. And enjoy your whack-off sessions with Rush!

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 06 June, 2007 03:01  

  • Oh, and I'd like to know where's the gratitude!

    Without Al Franken's "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot," Rush would never have gotten down to the weight to do those photos.

    Instead of thanking Franken, you continue to accuse him of the most evil things.

    Can't you at least thank him for the fact that, a few years ago, Rush actually slimmed down enough not to look like some circus freak?

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 06 June, 2007 03:10  

  • Speaking of circus freak....

    By Blogger pf1, at 06 June, 2007 07:55  

  • Metro,

    Thank you for illustrating that the left not only refused to recognize that there is a war against radical Islam going on, but things are really going great in the US as you can only focus on your usual hate against Rush.

    By Blogger PCD, at 06 June, 2007 08:04  

  • Sorry Brian, but you're simply wrong on this. My guess is that Rush and O'Reilly had different editions of the Sunday paper (thus explaning the page 30-37 discrepency) -- but their failure to point out the front-page notice was simply misleading. Sunday front-pages are often laid out days in advance (thus the India piece) -- and NYT did put the JFK plot on its front page. This isn't a matter of perception, but one of fact. It's right there. Rush and O'Reilly could have argued that NYT should have given it better front-page coverage, but lied in saying it wasn't on the paper's front page.

    By Blogger venturecapital, at 06 June, 2007 08:20  

  • Did anyone SERIOUSLY think that some old man from Bed-Stuy, selling books on sidewalks and shipping broken refrigerators and air conditioners off the street to his sister in Guyana for scrap, had the ability to mastermind and fund, as Falafel Prince says, "blowup JFK airport"???

    Uh, this clown hadn't worked there in over a DOZEN years!

    Do you have ANY idea how such pipelines work, anyway? Any damage from an explosive would have been repaired in less than a day...I doubt if they would have even bothered to close a runway!

    Do you fools SERIOUSLY think America didn't learn how you operate after 9/11?

    Maybe you can find some six-year old Puerto Rican kid with a suitcase nuke next week, so that another leftist plot can be "thwarted"....

    Why SHOULD the New York Times give this idiocy any more than it really deserves? If anything, all of this fear-mongering and moron politicians terrified of street derelicts, divinely-led lightning strikes, and imaginary "Islamofascists" are what REALLY embolden whatever enemies we're creating for ourselves...

    Get a GRIP, people!

    You can't even carry off a false-flag op right, much less fight a war...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 06 June, 2007 08:59  

  • I agree with the NY Times, this is a page 30 story, a bunch of frickin hacks with no ability to carry out their plan, which would never work anyway...

    Mayor Bloomberg nailed it "GET A LIFE", that was his responseto this "terror" attack........

    Crackpots with insane plans to blow stuff up is NOT REAL NEWS. This is nothing NEW, this has been going on before 9-11 and naturally still going on today.....

    Note: at Jerry Fawell's funeral a man with actual explosives was arrested, repeat ACTUAL EXPLOSIVES, as in a TERRORIST, but he was a Christian terrorist, so it did not make the news........ He wanted to kill the people protesting Jerry Fawell's funeral being held at their college.

    soooooooooo................ Notice the double standard, Muslim "terrorist" TOP STORY
    terror
    terror

    Christian terrorist, mentioned in 2 newspapers and not on the TV at all......

    After the Judy Miller debacle, the NY Times obvioulsy got back to their roots and started reporting again.............

    sorry CONS, you have broadcast media to propagate your fear, fear fear, do you need the NY Times also??? The people who you want to scare the shit out of, don't rewad the Times anyway.....


    why ?
    Why do cons want to scare Americans?

    I know the answer, it is part of their fascist ideology. Fear is what makes fascism tick

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 06 June, 2007 10:34  

  • Brian,
    As to your headline: It ALSO was on page 1. And where did O'Reilly get page 37?

    If you want to bithc, say it should have been HIGHER on page 1. But Rush and O'Reilly should have told their listeners/viewers that the NYT did put a mention on its front page. To not do so was dishonest. Or -- since O'Reilly couldn't even get the latter page number right -- lazy researching.

    By Blogger Justin, at 06 June, 2007 10:58  

  • I have to rub it in

    Oriley ashows complet and utter contempt for his viewers
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/05/oreilly-lies/

    the story was right there on page 1

    O'riley LIED


    HE LIED TO YOU

    absolutlhy pathetic

    cons don't believe their own eyes.... they let pundits create the reality

    I will remember this one

    and rub it in your faces , like rubbing your face in a pile of dog crap

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 06 June, 2007 16:00  

  • "Problem is that I hear that that sleak, studly Rush look, brought about in reaction to the evil Al Franken's "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot," has now faded."

    Metro, STOP!

    Please, he looks like the day manager of a Greek restaurant in that shot...

    Maybe that's why Brian thinks he's a "titan"!!!

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 06 June, 2007 16:20  

  • Hi Brian,
    Could you please post more pics of Ann Coulter on your website? She is adorable and the best looking 50 year old woman in America. If you feature more photos of Coulter it will exponentially increase the number of hits on your website.

    By Blogger umo, at 06 June, 2007 18:58  

  • "Did anyone SERIOUSLY think that some old man from Bed-Stuy, selling books on sidewalks and shipping broken refrigerators and air conditioners off the street to his sister in Guyana for scrap, had the ability to mastermind and fund, as Falafel Prince says, "blowup JFK airport"???"

    Yes. Looking at the backgrounds of some of the 9/11 terrorists, it too would have been hard to believe that they would be capable of later doing what they did. Losers and drop outs, judging from their backgrounds. One does not have to be a success in life to be successful in terrorism. Look at Timothy McVeigh, among many others.

    "Uh, this clown hadn't worked there in over a DOZEN years!"

    You just listed many of his occupations.

    "Do you have ANY idea how such pipelines work, anyway?"

    No, and neither did the terrorists who tried to blow it up.

    "Any damage from an explosive would have been repaired in less than a day...I doubt if they would have even bothered to close a runway!"

    Thats not the point. The terrorists who hatched this plot obviously THOUGHT they could do some MAJOR damage this way. Failing this, whether or not they would have pulled this plan off, they no doubt would have tried another terrorist attack somewhere else.

    "Why SHOULD the New York Times give this idiocy any more than it really deserves?"

    After the 9/11 attack, the NY Times, among others, were complaining that the administration had done little if anything to "connect the dots" in order to prevent the tragedy befdore it happened. Now that it has conencted the dots in order to stop this attack, they're burying it (you among them). Making believe that this was much ado about nothing. No doubt, if this attack came off as planned, and even if it did little to no damage, you'd be pointing fingers again and saying something like: "Aha! Another attack on our soil by terrorists, and the administration failed to connect the dots....AGAIN!"

    "If anything, all of this fear-mongering and moron politicians terrified of street derelicts, divinely-led lightning strikes, and imaginary "Islamofascists""

    Imaginary????? After all the terrorist attacks?

    "are what REALLY embolden whatever enemies we're creating for ourselves..."

    Baloney.

    By Blogger bmovies, at 06 June, 2007 20:38  

  • "Yes. Looking at the backgrounds of some of the 9/11 terrorists, it too would have been hard to believe that they would be capable of later doing what they did."

    That's because they weren't.

    "The terrorists who hatched this plot obviously THOUGHT they could do some MAJOR damage this way."

    What they may have THOUGHT in the haze of a drunken or drugged-up hour has nothing to do with anything. That's not even a job for law enforcement or the prosecution. It's participation, not intent, that matters to the law.

    The neocons simply picked a scenario to spin that anyone with at least half a brain, a Mew York City voters' registration card, and even a cursory knowledge of how JFK is laid out can crack up hysterically laughing at, with its bizarre idiocy.

    "They no doubt would have tried another terrorist attack somewhere else."

    Yeah, I guess there's a garbage dumpster behind the Mickey D's on Rockaway Boulevard that one of them can set alight, with the leftovers of a bottle of chilled Wild Irish, a Tom Mix penknife, and some non-trans fat cooking oil...

    "TERROR! TERROR!"

    Imaginary????? After all the terrorist attacks?

    ALL??

    PARTICULARLY after the 9/11 occurrences.

    "Baloney."

    Which is exactly why conservatism in general, the Bush Crime Family in particular, and ESPECIALLY the military, is an absolute, total, miserable failure.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 06 June, 2007 21:32  

  • Hey, PCD:
    You wrote:
    Metro,

    Thank you for illustrating that the left not only refused to recognize that there is a war against radical Islam going on, but things are really going great in the US as you can only focus on your usual hate against Rush.


    Now I hate to tell you this, but this whole war on terror has been cooked up by people to make you yield over them your civil liberites.

    Correctly enough, they realize that the U.S. is really the "Land of the surveilled and he home of the chickenshits."

    Frankly, I'd rather endure a few evil terrorist attacks now and then than give up my freedom.

    But people like you, who piss in their pants at the first sign of violence, aren't worthy of freedom.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 07 June, 2007 01:34  

  • Good story, Brian. Some of the resulting commentary validates my decision to leave the left coast for the middle. The JFK terrorists clearly have nothing on these whackjobs.

    By Blogger iowavette, at 07 June, 2007 14:00  

  • Con sh*ts want America to live in fear so we will cower to the polls and vote for Benito Giuliani. I'm sick to death of your attempt to use fascist tatics on America. You want to live in fear fine, read littlegreenfootballs.com all day long. Leave the bogus terror plots to them.... When I want to get scared I will toss on a horror flick, I don't need the news to give credibity to a bunch of Trinidadian hacks and their pipe dream bogus crap.

    Again, why did the media ignore the terrorist arrested at Jerry Fawell's funeral.... I can answer that, that kind of terrorist would vote for a fetus loving conservative, don't want to paint your base as terrorists.

    Take your fear, shove it where the sun don't shine, you filthy little fascist creeps.

    This is the land of the free

    this is not Nazi germany
    this is not Italy under Mussilini
    This is not pinochet's Chili

    I'm tired of the fear on the conservative run media


    The cons are fascists, the very idea of them saying the media is liberal, proves they are fascists, repeat the myth over and over, is another trait of fascism.

    I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ANTI-AMERICAN SCUM BAGS ARE TRYING TO DO TO AMERICA.


    America will not piss their pants and vote for Benito in 2008. IF your scared, enjoy yourself, stop trying to scare the thinking 70% of America. As the election draws closer the media will turn to fear 24/7 in an effort to get you to put Benito in office, the MSM choice for president is indeed Benito Giuliani. Fascism must be stopped in America.
    It starts with a full out attack on the main stream media the main stream 100% con slanted media

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 07 June, 2007 14:14  

  • MOP, I'm getting more complaints about your foul language. Two of your comments were just deleted. Rip me all you want, just keep it cleaner. Thanks.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 07 June, 2007 21:01  

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