Obama/Ayers Update – Yellow Journalism Lives at Human Events – Plumbers Myth Maintained


The troglodyte right wing magazine Human Events invited me to respond to their story of an alleged Plumbers Unit in the Obama-Biden campaign but then refused to post the reply. Despite the fact I made crystal clear to them that I have no evidence of such a unit and that they have no such evidence they continue to back the story. 

I wonder if they would cut the New York Times such slack?

Prior posts here lay out what I do think on the matter. There are important questions to be answered about the fact that the former Executive Director of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Ken Rolling, tried to block public access to the CAC records.  But clearly neither John Batchelor nor Human Events cares about a rational serious exploration of these important questions.  
They seem more interested in scooping the National Review – Batchelor expressed to me  his frustration that the NR’s lead investigator on this issue and the possible object of Rolling’s intervention, Dr. Stanley Kurtz, would not speak to him.  In fact, if the Democratic Party were looking to kill off my legitimate exploration of the Obama/Ayers relationship running a phony story like Batchelor’s would be a perfect way to do it.  That was one of the reasons I told Batchelor I would not speak to Human Events for the story.

To demonstrate how absurd the HE/Batchelor position is note that they quoted me in the original Batchelor story as saying such a Plumbers unit was a “fact” in the top of the story but then they also said I only had a “suspicion” of the existence of such a unit near the bottom of the story. Apparently they cannot make up their minds about what I said or didn’t say in the interview with me that never took place!
Of course, serious journalists, and I have spoke with several during the course of this story, do not run stories that are self-contradictory.  Nor do journals or newspapers that aspire to being more than scandal sheets or yellow journalism.
Some months ago I awarded the Judith Miller Journalism Award to Ryan Lizza for his story on Obama’s rise to power on the south side of Chicago because Lizza completely missed the 600 pound gorilla in the room: the Annenberg Challenge started by Ayers and led by Obama, among others.  Maybe I should award conspiracy theorist Batchelor the William Randolph Hearst award for drumming up a story that does not exist.
So today HE has run another piece by Batchelor attempting to rescue his original story.  And once again I was forced to respond to John Batchelor, their intrepid “reporter,” in the comments section of their blog since I am not allowed to respond in print there or on their main website to their allegations.  
The point of this latest by Batchelor apparently is to make “Steve Diamond” the story since Human Events has no story about what matters: the Presidential campaign.
Here is what I posted there in response today:

1) I have no evidence whatsoever of a Plumbers Unit and told that to Human Events and to Batchelor yet he and they reported the existence of such a Unit as “fact”.

2) I told Batchelor that I would not speak to Human Events yet he made up a quote from me and placed it in his article. This is a violation of fundamental journalistic ethics.

3) I sent HE a response to Batchelor’s original article at their invitation and they refused to print it. So the idea that you the reader can make up your own mind is specious.

4) I did use the word plumber, tongue in cheek, on my blog, but since clearly the right cannot discern the difference between sarcasm and reality I have now removed those references, which is, of course, my right.


I think it shows how desperate the Right wing is these days that they have to spin questions raised by a legitimate blogger into “fact.”  I believe there are two reasons this happened here:
1) Batchelor told me he was under pressure to submit something to Human Events on this Ayers/Annenberg issue and I think he was fishing for a story that he could string together.  It is possible he oversold it to their editors and is now out there all alone with a story for which there is no evidence.
2) Batchelor told me there is no coherent GOP strategy and so I think he may believe he is providing them with one.  Well, no wonder this country is in such a mess if the GOP has to rely on a conspiracy-spinning “journalist” to make up quotes and spin questions into facts in order to rescue their reactionary war mongering candidates.
The country deserves better.  In the meantime, Global Labor will stick to arguments and ideas based on facts.  And I guess I better resist the tendency to make tongue in cheek comments.