NewsBusters Responds to Huffington Post's False Claims
By Noel Sheppard
The liberal media’s mission to smear the Koch brothers and Americans For Prosperity, one of the advocacy groups they support, continues.
On Wednesday, the Huffington Post published an article with the inflammatory headline “Americans For Prosperity Distributes Ads Promoting Pro-Slavery Arkansas Legislators”:
Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by billionaires David and Charles Koch, has distributed mail praising votes cast by two members of the Arkansas House of Representatives who have written in support of slavery.
A huge version of the Associated Press’s picture of David Koch (right) was prominently displayed under the headline to connect him to this supposed support of pro-slavery legislators:
The mailings — which do not focus on slavery or racial issues — were distributed as part of an AFP plan to blanket Arkansas on behalf of Republican state legislative candidates as the GOP battles to retake the state legislature for the first time since the Civil War. The two legislators — state Reps. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and Loy Mauch of Bismarck — have a history of pro-slavery positions, according to recent reporting by the Arkansas Times.
Hubbard was revealed to have written that slavery may “have been a blessing” in a 2010 book, while Mauch authored a series of letters to the editor in the last decade that espoused pro-slavery views, writing that former President Abraham Lincoln was a “neurotic Northern war criminal” and comparing Lincoln and Civil War generals to Nazis.
Author John Celock then noted that AFP praised Hubbard and Mauch for voting against ObamaCare and for the latter’s vow to not raise taxes.
All of this appears true. However, what’s also true is that Celock received statements from AFP officials explaining their position on this, and although he included some of those statements in his piece, he still opted for the inflammatory headline and misleading opening paragraph.
As a result, the AFP website published a response Wednesday entitled “Shame on Huffington Post”:
When contacted by Huffington Post for comment on some racially-charged writings, AFP-Arkansas State Director Terese Oelke, who happens to be a Hispanic female, denounced racism in the strongest terms…Oelke said she was personally offended by both racially charged comments and HuffPo’s race-baiting headline.
For a little background, earlier this year AFP-Arkansas sent some mailers thanking Rep. Hubbard and Rep. Mauch for taking the side of economic freedom on issues like health care and taxes. But last Friday, Democrat opposition research revealed that Rep. Hubbard had written about America’s past history with slavery in terms that many find offensive.
Celock then contacted AFP for a response. AFP Arkansas replied with this statement:
“AFP Arkansas is an issue advocacy organization and does not endorse or support candidates. Period. AFP Arkansas asks the public to contact individuals in a position to shape public policy, and to urge them to adopt positions favorable to economic freedom, and to reject the tried-and-failed, big-government, tax-and-spend policies. AFP did issue education efforts that ended last month in those areas. As far as future plans, we don’t discuss internal strategy and never have.
“AFP believes it is absolutely unacceptable for any public official to espouse racist views. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue prosperity, regardless of race or ethnicity.”
It seems pretty clear in that response that AFP wasn’t aware of Hubbard and Mauch’s pro-slavery views, and once the organization was notified of them, it quickly disavowed them.
Yet despite being informed of this, Celock and the Huffington Post published an article making it appear that AFP supported racist positions it actually condemned.
But this is par for the course this election year as Obama-loving media members believe all’s fair in love, war, and politics.
The goal is and has been to smear all conservatives as racist in an effort to scare voters away from such candidates and either towards Democrats or just to stay home on Election Day.
I’d join AFP in wishing shame on the Huffington Post, but its writers and editors have shown such a lack thereof for so long it would be a total waste of time.