A Quiet Humming Noise
by Chris Bowers, Fri May 13, 2005 at 11:02:13 AM EDT
Charles Hurt of the Moonie Times published a story late last night claiming that by "characterizing" the content of a judicial nominee's FBI file, Reid violated Senate rules to such a degree that he could face expulsion from the Senate. It wasn't long before the story was on Drudge, and blaring out over the conservative radio empire. It also appeared on quite a few conservative blogs almost immediately. Of course, one reason it appeared on all of these conservative media outlets so quickly is that, according to a source of mine, many of them were actually given the story in advance. This was the Republican Noise Machine in action, and it was taking Harry Reid as a direct target.
Certainly, there was no coincidence that such a smear campaign was about to launched with the filibuster hanging in the balance. Certainly, there was no coincidence that this was about to happen now that it seems Reid has the votes.As Fist continues to cogitate, Reid has thrown down the gauntlet and demanded a vote. If Frist had the votes, the filibustering of judicial nominees would already be a thing of the past. As we all know, it isn't, and Frist doesn't.
However, if this story had reached the mainstream media, it might very well have weakened Democratic opposition to the Republican agenda in the Senate. It would have personally weakened Reid, and quite possibly tipped the filibuster fight in favor of Frist. While, much to my chagrin, we are still a long, long way from having a real Noise Machine or Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, what happened last night is an indication that things are improving, and that if we continue to work together (see the netroots alliance links here and here). In short, in the wee hours of the morning, several bloggers quickly produced enough rapid response, opposition research to the Hurt story that the MSM decided to give it a pass.
- First, Tim Tagaris followed up with links to other ludicrously biased pieces of "journalism" by Charles Hurt.
- Next, Matt Singer at Left in the West dug up a load of information on how ridiculously corrupt one of Hurt's main sources in the story, Manuel Miranda, had conducted himself while he was a Republican Senate staffer.
- An hour later, Jeralyn of Talk Left quickly followed up with links to three times the file was talked about in the press before Reid said anything about it. This included a public "characterization" the file by Senator Orin Hatch, R-UT.
- Less than an hour after that, over at Swing State Project and Dailykos, DavidNYC then landed the knockout blow by demonstrating that Charles Hurt himself had made a public characterization of the FBI file. one year ago.
But so did Hurt, in June of 2004."The right wing was looking for anything to smear Reid with during this filibuster fight, and it put a lot of effort behind promoting this bullshit story (which, as Steve Gillard notes, was obviously bullshit from the start because the Republican noise Machine had to use the Moonie Times to pump it out).
Over at Red State, a diarist wrote a piece entitled Reid smears nominee, Left Wing Noise Machine kicks in. Mmmmmmmmm--Left Wing Noise Machine--I like the sound of that. Over the past fourteen hours, that sound has been a quiet hum.