Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

8/10/2005

A Real Smear Campaign

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 1:00 am

Yesterday, I noted Stephen Elliot's silly accusation that there's a smear campaign against Cindy Sheehan merely because people brought up something she publicly said in the past. Well, now we can see a real smear campaign at work. Pro-abortion group NARAL has released an ad against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts that is blatantly deceptive. It accuses Roberts of defending violence against abortion clinics, up to and including bombing, on the basis that he once filed a brief contending that certain federal anti-discrimination laws did not apply to anti-abortion protestors, even though he agreed that the blockades in question were still illegal (trespassing). Only the brief was seven years before the Birmingham clinic featured in the ad was bombed. Several memos from his work in the Reagan administration also clearly show his profound opposition to violence against clinics and their employees. You can read the details on non-partisan factcheck.org and you can view the ad itself here. The ad is trying to associate Roberts with the bombing and making it seem that Roberts's brief was in defense of clinic bombers, which wasn't the case at all. He wasn't even the attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, he merely submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the government which disagreed with the interpretation of the law being abused.

NARAL is already fighting back and issued a few points against the arguments presented. They continue to be disingenuous, though. They mainly rely on just one point: that the Bray case de facto made clinic bombings more likely and therefore anything in support of Bray, for whatever reason, is de facto in support of violence. This is absurd reasoning and is a poor example of guilt by association. By this logic, if I disagree with random searches of homes even though it could theoretically prevent some terrorism, then I am de facto in support of terrorism.

The truly laughable defense they have is this:

By all accounts, Roberts was far more than a government official. He was a senior official described as very close to Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, and appeared to be the Administration’s point person on its strategy around the clinic violence issue.

They're trying to associate Roberts with every liberal's boogeyman, Ken Starr. C'mon.

Don't miss the doublespeak, either. NARAL's president, Nancy Keenan said,

I want to be very clear that we are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence. I’m sure he finds bombings and murder abhorrent. But still his ideological view of the law compelled him to go out of his way to argue on behalf of someone like Michael Bray, who had already been convicted of a string of bombings.

Translation: I'm sure he doesn't support violence, but let's not forget that he did. Also, the verbiage of the ad: America can't afford a Justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.

Despite the legal hedging NARAL makes about whether Roberts supports violence, it's clear that they're putting forth the implication that he does. This is yet another case of being dishonest while not lying. I'm sure this ad went through the NARAL lawyers several times before they were satisfied they weren't technically committing libel and/or slander, but were still leaving the impression they wanted.

So, yes, this is what a true smear campaign looks like.

One last note is that CNN and Fox News have both accepted the ad and are facing a great deal of pressure not to air it.

Want more?
Visit Captain's Quarters

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress