Conservatives Respond To Imaginary Article

In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix, I wrote about what I termed right-wing pseudo-journalism targeting Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. I described two specific examples: charges of scientific fraud relating to a book Warren co-authored in 1989 (and related speculation that her co-author had been fired for this reason); and attacks on a Warren staffer based on an anonymous Tweeter. I also briefly mentioned a charge of plagiarism regarding another of Warren's books.

I did not cite anything related to the Cherokee-heritage claim as an example of this bad journalism. I did point to the number of articles about Warren (most of which are about that issue) as evidence of the intense interest being taken by these right-wing sites and publications. But my article very distinctly and clearly leaves that entire topic out of the line of criticism.

So, I was expecting responses arguing that the charges of scientific fraud, and/or the attacks on the staffer, are legitimate stories worth reporting. After all, that was the defense made by the people who wrote the items in question, who I spoke with for the story.

But in fact, what I have seen is criticism that completely ignores what I actually wrote, and instead mocks the article for what it does not say at all.

Here's's Warner Todd Huston:

Warren's apologists are now saying that her decades of lies and wealth building of a false claim [of Native American ancestry] isn't her fault. The whole darn mess is just a result of those mean ol' right-wingers. 

...the Old Media is beginning to try to recast the issue in just the way Warren wants them to, by saying it's all a result of the right-wing smear machine. The Boston Phoenix has finally gotten into the blame shuffling game with a piece headlined, "Massachusetts voters are about to get an up-close look at the right-wing smear machine." For the Phoenix, David S. Bernstein not only refuses to note that all these attacks on Warren are her own fault for lying so boldly for so many years, but he even tries to make it seem as if that "right-wing smear machine" is so powerful that it can drown out any voice.

Here's William A.Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection (excerpted and linked at Hot Air and elsewhere):

Hey, you know who is to blame for Elizabeth Warren’s false claim to be Cherokee? ...according to the left-wing Boston Phoenix, there’s a vast right wing conspiracy.

 ...Yeah, that’s how good we are when we want to be.

And we want to be really good in the Brown-Warren race.

We’ve been planning this since the mid-1980s, when we told Warren to list herself as Native American for the law faculty directory so she could make it to the list of “Minority Law Teachers”; we submitted the plagiarized phony Cherokee recipes to Pow Wow Chow and put Warren’s name on them; we convinced Warren to report herself as Native American to Penn and Harvard Law; we convinced the Harvard Women’s Law Journal to list Warren as a Woman of Color in Legal Academia; we told Harvard to promote Warren as a Native American hire.

Yeah, we were there when it mattered, and we also told Warren to pretend she didn’t know about any of those things and to pin the blame on her Aunt Bea for telling stories about high cheekbones.

 And here's Rob Eno at RedMassGroup:

David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix has labeled me a certified member of the vast right wing smear machine.  Lumped in with, the FreeBeacon, and Legal Insurrection.  Apparently all of Elizabeth Warren's issues are our fault.  Remember the new word for truth is "smear".  Like remember saying that Barack Obama was a member of the Socialist New Party was a smear, until well it turned out to be the truth.

This brings me to my favorite quote of the late Andrew Breitbart, "The truth isn't mean.  It's just the truth."

Those are just from sites I was specifically talking about, that had peddled in the specific non-Cherokee-related stories I was describing.

And no, I didn't conveniently leave out the parts where they mention those stories. They didn't mention anything about those stories, to defend them, explain them, or apologize for them.

You can also read through the many comments on my story, or the responses on Facebook or Twitter -- you can find plenty of derisive criticism, absolutely none of which actually addresses what the article actually said.

A neutral observer could conclude from all this that these conservatives are doing to me exactly what I accuse them of doing to Warren: attacking irresponsibly based on fabrication and distortion.

So here's an invitation to conservatives who have criticized the article: please try again, but this time respond to the actual content of the article, rather than the imaginary article you invented and ascribed to me. Or, admit that you're not interested in truth and fairness. Your move.


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