WSJ Profiles Liberal Smear Machine In Action

Richard Nixon was roundly declaimed by the liberal press for creating an "enemies list" of private citizens, focusing some of the power of the American executive to bear on individuals. While Nixon's enemy list was private, Barack Obama's list is public. Besides being singled out by the president and his team, Obama's "enemies," mere large-dollar donors to Republicans, are being harassed by liberal activists, pundits, and Democratic Party operatives.

The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel takes a good look at just one individual, Frank VanderSloot, who has been singled out by the liberal smear machine for daring to support Mitt Romney:


This is not the first attack on Mr. VanderSloot. While the executive has been a force in Idaho politics and has helped Mr. Romney raise money, he's not what most would consider a national political power player. Through 2011, nearly every mention of Mr. VanderSloot appeared in Idaho or Washington state newspapers, often in reference to his business.

That changed in January, with the first Super PAC disclosures. Liberal bloggers and media have since dug into his past, dredging up long-ago Idaho controversies that touched on gay issues. His detractors have spiraled these into accusations that Mr. VanderSloot is a "gay bashing thug." He's become a national political focus of attention, aided by the likes of partisan Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Bloggers have harassed his children, visiting their social media accounts and asking for interviews and information.

Mr. VanderSloot has said his attackers have misconstrued facts and made false allegations. In February he wrote a long reply, publicly stating that he has "many gay friends whom I love and respect" who should "have the same freedoms and rights as any other individual." The Obama campaign's response, in April, was to single out Mr. VanderSloot and repeat the slurs.

Political donations don't come with a right to privacy, and Mr. VanderSloot might have expected a spotlight. Then again, President Obama, in the wake of the Gabby Giffords shooting, gave a national address calling for "civility" in politics. Yet rather than condemn those demeaning his opponent's donors, Mr. Obama—the nation's most powerful man—instead publicly named individuals, egging on the attacks. What has followed is the slimy trolling into a citizen's private life.

Naturally and unfortunately, the self-described mainstream media which has been so devoted to pursuing stories about teenager Mitt Romney hasn't bothered to rouse itself to investigate this effort to intimidate.

That should come as no surprise given that the liberal-dominated elite media has turned a blind eye toward President Obama's unprecedented attempts to inject ever-greater amounts of money into politics (a supposed evil when done by Republicans or conservatives) and his craven capitulation to big-money donors on the subject of gay marriage.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013