LA Times' Brooks Attacks 'Lunatic Right,' Vietnam Vets Group, Michelle Malkin

A March 2, 2007, opinion piece by Los Angeles Times liberal Rosa Brooks addresses the recent CPAC convention. The title is, "The lunatic right returns." Subtle, eh? It gets worse.1. Brooks refers to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as a "goon squad," although the group is comprised of more than 280 men who bravely served their country during the Vietnam War. (link) (link)Witness this: Brooks refers to a group of honorable Vietnam veterans as a "goon squad," but then she goes on to harp that it is a "myth" that the "antiwar left spits on returning troops." Do you see the irony? Brooks also brazenly claims that the Swifties were "discredited." Unfortunately, she fails to provide a single example supporting this assertion. The truth is that during the 2004 campaign, defenders of John Kerry failed to discredit several key claims made by the Swift Boat Veterans and found in the book Unfit for Command. A partial list can be found here (from a web site I operate).2. It is no "myth" that the antiwar left has also literally spat on our veterans. There were several contemporaneous news accounts in the late 1960's and 1970's that told of troops being literally spat upon. For example, there is this December 27, 1971, report on the CBS Evening News and this October 23, 1967 front-page article in the New York Times by Pulitzer Prize winner James Reston ("[Anti-war demonstrators] spat on some of the soldiers in the front line at the Pentagon and goaded them with the most vicious personal slander. Many of the signs carried by a small number of militants . . . are too obscene to print."). Northwestern law professor Jim Lindgren, who blogs at The Volokh Conspiracy, easily located several contemporaneous news accounts of soldiers being spat upon, many of which he has listed here and here. The 1989 book by Bob Greene, Homecoming, reportedly contains 63 accounts of spitting (source). Is everyone lying, Rosa?In addition, spitting on soldiers has been reported as recently as three months ago. On December 7, 2006, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported that a 35-year-old woman was charged with spitting in a Fort Drum soldier's face "without provocation at Hancock International Airport." (Rosa, you can read the article here. The incident was also reported on WFBL in Syracuse (link).)The bottom line: Brooks' claim of a "myth" is flat-out wrong.3. In the closing graphs of her baseless attacks, she refers to Michelle Malkin as a "right-wing attack blogger" "whose work has been repeatedly criticized for its cavalier attitude toward facts." Again, Brooks provides no support for her claim.But if Brooks is concerned about a "cavalier attitude toward facts," she may want to look in the mirror. As NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein has reported on several instances, Brooks has built quite an unflattering reputation for playing loose with facts, logic, and common sense. Just a month-and-a-half ago, Finkelstein wrote how Brooks misled her readers with regards to the electricity and oil production scenarios in Iraq (here).Brooks throws labels like "goon squad," "lunatics," and "radicalization" at Republicans like a crying infant in a highchair throwing her cereal. Yet a cursory look at Brooks' columns in the last six months reveals a lunacy all in itself. For example,

  • In a column last September, Brooks referred to President Bush as "Torturer In Chief." And speaking of facts, in the article Brooks couldn't even get the year right that the United States signed the Geneva Convention. (The Times had to issue a correction. Gee, who has the facts problem now?) (link) (October 2006 was a banner month for Rosa:)
  • In October, Brooks depicted the President Bush as a "drunk driver." (link)
  • Also in October, she likened the President to Kim Jong Il, Iranian mullahs, and a Nazi. (link)
  • Also in October, Brooks equated Congressional tax cuts to "child endangerment." (link)

And it was only a little over a year ago that Brooks actually defended the totally tasteless remarks by Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery at the funeral for Coretta Scott King. (link) In the column, she wrote, "It's time to take a stand against civility, decency and appropriateness." Well, at least Brooks knows how to apply herself.

Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of TheMediaReport.com.