October 27, 2008
Libelous allegations of 'fifth column conspiracies' from prominent progressives (updated)By Thomas Lifson
A prominent liberal magazine has published lies about American Thinker, spinning an absurd "fifth column" conspiracy theory. In a remarkably irresponsible blog entry titled "TOM RIDGE'S ROBO-CALL AND FIFTH COLUMN CONSPIRACIES" posted to "Tapped - a group blog of The American Prospect", Sarah Posner writes:
Imagine my surprise in learning that American Thinker, which I founded, is alleged to be owned or controlled by a man whose name I barely recognize, according to a publication which claims to embody "liberal intelligence."
This allegation is a complete fabrication, with no basis in fact. Mr. Koret has never had anything at all to do with American Thinker, much less having any property right or control.
I admit that it is true that Mr. Koret's name does show up if you do a google search of our archives: he was named in a footnote as a source in one of our thousands of articles. But that's it. There is no relationship between American Thinker and Mr. Koret. Period. Not now. Not ever in the past. He may be a nice man or a villain -- I don't know him or much about him, other than what I read in the The American Prospect. And of course I now know that this is not a source that can be trusted.
I am extremely curious to learn how Ms. Posner came to make such a claim, and how her editors allowed this falsehood to be published while supposedly exposing "conspiracies". To call this shoddy journalism would be a compliment. Alleging a fifth column conspiracy with such a glaring factual error is shameful and libelous.
The American Prospect was founded by Paul Starr (Princeton professor and an architect of the politically disastrous HillaryCare plan -- also, coincidentally, an acquaintance of mine in graduate school at Harvard, where we both received PhDs in Sociology), Rober Kuttner and Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton's former Secretary of Labor. All three men are prominent academic "progressives."
Our email to the magazine at the addresses it lists was returned as undeliverable. No human being answered their phone, but I left a phone message for Mr. Kuttner, as he appears at the top of its masthead. I also left the following reader comment (the sixth one):
We will see if the magazine offers a prompt apology and prominent retraction at the start of business hours.
Incidentally, there is a second false claim in the blog, following the ellipsis above:
Ed Lasky has never written that Barack Obama is a Muslim. The custom for weblogs is to link to source documents with a hyperlink. This is evidently not the practice at this publication manifesting "liberal intelligence."
Alleging a fifth column conspiracy is ugly indeed. Doing so with malicious falsehoods is beneath contempt.
Update: Sarah Posner issues corrections, inconsistently handled, with no hint of apology for her two libels.
She corrects the text:
Then at the end of her initial post she writes:
She repeats the libel in the text of her original entry:
The then she adds an update below the original item, in which she admits her text above is still incorrect:
Making up facts about relationships among people, falsely accusing them of writing things, and doing so under a headline about fifth column conspiracies (plural) without apology, showcases a disturbing arrogance wedded to recklessness. All the while terming the object of your lies "responsible for some of the worst smears...." Shoddy stuff from a publication with pretensions it can't live up to.
Keep in mind that these are supposed to be the leading lights of progressive thought.
Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.