Kathy Shaidle

Media Matters’ 9 Most Embarrassing Screw Ups

Posted on September 30 2010 8:00 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."

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#6: “JFK was killed by a rightwinger, who, uh, called himself a Marxist”

Sometimes I wonder if the guys at Media Matters need their moms to write “R” and “L” on their running shoes, in magic marker…

One of my favorite Media Matters screw ups was the time they blamed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on “right wing hatred run wild.”

Oh man…

In a typo-riddled post entitled “A President was killed the last time right-wing hatred ran wild like this,” Eric Boehlert bemoans the “increasingly violent rhetorical attacks on Obama,” and the “unvarnished hate and name-calling [sic] passed for health care ‘debate’ this summer.”

More depressing, however, is what Boehlert leaves out of his post. For instance, large, friendly crowds lined the President’s motorcade route for miles, as now-familiar film footage attests. So much for the notion of an entire city gripped by palpable, murderous “right wing” rage.

So it’s no wonder Boehlert leaves out the identity of Kennedy’s assassin, too. For instead of being gunned down by a “Bircher” or a Klansman or even a garden-variety Republican, history records that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was in fact murdered by… “a silly little communist.”

That’s how the President’s widow described Lee Harvey Oswald, the young man charged with killing Kennedy. A former Marine, Oswald had defected to the Soviet Union, married a Russian girl, then moved back to America. He took part in pro-Castro leafleting and “street agitation” (to use his words) and even described himself matter of factly as a “Marxist” on a local tv panel show.

In fact, Oswald had previously tried to murder Major General Edwin Walker, one of the most notorious of all the rabid “right wingers” Boehlert blames for stoking local anti-Kennedy feeling. (…)

Even if Boehlert is a conspiracy nut who thinks Oswald wasn’t the killer, even the craziest “buffs” feel obliged to mention the fellow’s name in their screeds, if only to declare his innocence. Not this Media Matters scribe.

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