Monday, April 28, 2014

Alice Walker runs away from Evan Gahr

- The Daily Caller - -
Novelist Alice Walker: I Don’t Know Who Did 9/11
Posted By Evan Gahr On 9:20 AM 04/28/2014 In | No Comments
Novelist Alice Walker professed ignorance last week about who perpetrated the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Walker, a vociferous critic of Israel, also refused to say if Hamas is a terrorist organization.
This reporter caught up with Walker when she spoke at an April 24 New York University conference on leftist historian Howard Zinn.
The following is the exchange with the literary doyenne, who gained worldwide fame with her 1982 novel “The Color Purple”:
Reporter: Do you think Hamas is a terrorist organization?
Alice Walker: I don’t know.
Reporter: Well, when they blow up Jews on Israeli buses, is that terrorism?
Walker: I don’t know. I was not there. You’re all dressed up. Why are you wearing a tie?
Reporter: Because this is a formal occasion. Do you think 9/11 was an act of terrorism?
Walker: Yes. But I don’t know who did it. Do you?
Reporter: Yeah, the 9/11 hijackers. Do you think the government did it?
Walker: I don’t know.
Reporter: Back to Hamas. Do you think they are a terrorist organization?
Walker, normally quite loquacious, then walked away.
But Walker has previously indicated that she thought Osama bin Laden was responsible.
As war loomed in Afghanistan just weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, Walker told the Village Voice that the United States should shower bin Laden with love instead of invading his host country. She said the attacks should be considered in the context of his good deeds.
“In a war on Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden will either be left alive, while thousands of impoverished, frightened people are bombed into oblivion around him, or he will be killed in a bombing attack for which he seems quite prepared.
“But what would happen to his cool armor if he could be reminded of all the good, nonviolent things he has done? Further, what would happen to him if he could be brought to understand the preciousness of the lives he has destroyed? I firmly believe the only punishment that works is love.”
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who accused Walker of “bigotry” in 2012 when she refused to allow the translation of The Color Purple into Hebrew, told The Daily Caller that Walker had good reason to be so tongue-tied.
“She is afraid to be challenged on her bigoted views. She’s terrified of answering questions lest there be a follow up,” Dershowitz said.

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Page Six on Evan Gahr's Herman Cain ED story

Herman Cain’s Cain TV advertises help for erectile dysfunction

Some followers of Herman Cain were surprised when they received an e-mail from the former presidential hopeful’s Cain TV with an ad exclaiming, “If you are a man over 40 who has lost his performance ability . . . it’s NOT your fault!” The e-mail promised a “special one-time only ‘webinar’ about erectile dysfunction to “get your manhood MOJO back.” Said DC blogger Evan Gahr in a post: “Cain . . . has devolved into a snake oil salesman for the one-eyed snake.” Cain media division head Dan Calabrese told us: “It’s my responsibility . . . to approve ads that our list broker gives us . . . and as long as it represents a legitimate product, I approve the ads. It’s not a product I would use but I saw no reason it should not be advertised.”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Washington Post Reporter Caught with Hand in ACLU Cookie Jar


Washington Post scribe Barton Gellman, a conduit for the classified material that Edward Snowden pilfered from the National Security Agency, abruptly declined an award he had agreed to receive from the American Civil Liberties Union after this reporter inquired about the obvious impropriety of being honored by an organization he covers.

Of course, only a journalist who fancies himself a political player and not an independent observer would have ever agreed to accept an award from an advocacy organization in the first place.

Gellman was to receive the award, along with Glenn Greenwald and film maker Laura Poitras, at the April 23 “Bill of Rights” fundraising dinner of the ACLU’s Washington regional office.

It was Poitras who introduced Snowden to Gellman. 

Greenwald was slated to accept the award via videotape on behalf of his two fellow Edward Snowden handlers. 

The ACLU, which Gellman often quotes uncritically, is enamored of Gellman because he used information provided by Snowden to expose for the Washington Post some of the National Security Agency’s hitherto secret electronic surveillance programs.

The Washington Post just won a Pulitzer Prize for its stories on the NSA by Gellman and other reporters.

The ACLU and some conservatives say the programs are illegal and a fundamental threat to American freedoms.

In an April 4 email blast to supporters the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital said Gellman along with Glenn Greenwald and film maker Laura Poitras, co-author of Gellman’s story that divulged the NSA’s internet data mining program would get an award named for the late Henry Edgerton, a liberal federal appeals court judge. 

In one of his best known decisions Edgerton joined a Washington, DC appellate court ruling that upheld the decision by a district court judge to dismiss the perjury conviction of China “scholar” Owen Lattimore,  a notorious Communist propagandist.

The program for our dinner includes videotaped remarks from Rio de Janeiro by courageous journalist Glenn Greenwald, who will be accepting our Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award on behalf of Barton Gellman, Laura Poitras and himself,”  the ACLU announced triumphantly.

Former New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane said that it would be foolhardy for a journalist to accept an award from an advocacy group he covers. “If the award is coming from an organization you are covering it’s a mistake to accept it. You’re not demonstrating sufficient independence.”

Like a polished diplomat Brisbane emphasized that he was talking about the issue in general and did not know the specifics of the Gellman matter. Was his reticence due to the fact that Brisbane had worked at the Washington Post with Gellman?

Left-leaning NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen also closed ranks behind Gellman. Rosen, who worked briefly as a journalist in 1978  but has spent the ensuing decades explaining to reporters how they can be as morally upright as him, declined comment.

Before abruptly hanging up, however,  Rosen explained that he would not talk to me because I write for conservative publications.

Three cheers for guilt by association.

But Dick Wald, who was in charge of broadcast standards for ABC News, told this reporter that he saw nothing wrong with journalists getting awards from advocacy organizations. "All organizations are advocacy organizations," he said. 

Asked if that included the Pulitzer Prize Committee he said emphatically, "Yes."  
As for Gellman, when contacted for this article he steadfastly denied any sort of ethical problem.

Curiously, just hours after the ACLU had announced it was giving him an award Gellman insisted he was not really getting an award from the ACLU.

“I don't go around accepting or rejecting awards,” Gellman contended. “I'm not in the business of denouncing people.”

Gellman claimed that “nothing says I'm accepting the award.”

Reminded that the ACLU email, which Gellman said he had read, declared that Greenwald would accept the award for him and Poitras the investigative journalist insisted that was a “mistake.”

Pressed further Gellman ended the phone call.

“I think we’re done,” he said. “Goodbye.”

Gellman then emailed a few minutes later to say he just told the ACLU to correct its supposed error about Greenwald accepting the award for him.  

The Washington Post veteran, who wrote an entire book complaining that Dick Cheney is overly secretive, refused to answer follow-up questions.

But Art Spitzer,  legal director of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, told this reporter that Gellman knew full well he was getting the award. Gellman “initially agreed to be one of the recipients of our award, and we included his name on the invitations” to its shindig at the National Press Club,” Spitzer explained.  

The day after Gellman bagged on them the ACLU sheepishly announced that although they “wanted to give the Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award to courageous journalist Bart Gellman, he stated that he wants to maintain his professional distance from organizations he covers. He respectfully declines to accept the award.”

Spitzer said for this article that Gellman “had second thoughts about accepting an award from an organization that's an advocate on many of the issues he covers. We respect his decision.”

Should these “second thoughts” have been first thoughts?

Asked about the matter Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron tried to pretend that Gellman never agreed to receive the award. 

Baron said that “Bart didn’t seek the award and is not accepting it.” 

Uh, actually, “Bart” was prepared to accept it until I raised the issue.

Saying Gellman “didn’t seek the award” is a distinction without a difference. 

Baron sounded like someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar who sheepishly says, “I didn’t seek these cookies and am not taking them.” 

Baron did not respond to a follow-up email asking if he thought the determination of the ACLU to give Gellman an award showed his coverage was wildly skewed in their favor.

Evan Gahr, a former press critic for the late New York Post editorial page editor Eric Breindel, has also written about the media for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator. Twitter:@EvanGahr
Update: ACLU emails response to story.