As I documented at length this weekend, Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Red State, David Horowitz and many others of that sort spent the weekend engaged in the most vicious and self-evidently misguided attacks on The New York Times based on a puff piece in this weekend’s “Escapes” section. Because the article contained a photograph of Don Rumsfeld’s vacation home, they insisted that this was reckless and even retaliatory– i.e., done with the intent to enable Al Qaeda operatives and other assassins to murder Rumsfeld (as well as Dick Cheney), and that it was further evidence of the war being waged by the NYT and its employees on the Bush administration and the U.S.
For so many obvious reasons, based on easily obtainable information — including the fact that multiple right-wing news outlets such as NewsMax and Fox had previously disclosed this same information months earlier, that this information is commonly reported about government leaders in both parties, and the fact that we always know where our top government officials live and spend their weekends because they have Secret Service protection — these accusations were as false as they were hysterical.
But in addition to those known reasons, I strongly suspected that the Times would not have published those photographs unless they had made certain in advance that doing so would not conflict with Rumsfeld and Cheney’s security concerns. But I did not make this argument because I was not sure that it was true, and unlike Michelle Malkin and John Hinderaker, I’d rather wait to obtain the relevant evidence before running around asserting facts “based” on nothing. As a result, I wrote e-mails yesterday to Linda Spillers (the photographer) and Peter Kilborn (the reporter) bringing these accusations to their attention and asking for a response.
Although I haven’t heard yet from Kilborn, I received an e-mail from Spillers this morning, in which she said:
Ironically, photos were taken with Secretary Rumsfeld’s permission.
The reprehensible lynch mob hysterics – Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Red State, David Horowitz – spent the weekend screaming that the Times was guilty of gross recklessness and/or a deliberate intent to have Rumsfeld killed, by virtue of publication of this article. That bloodthirsty frenzy caused other bloggers to publish the home address and telephone number of Spillers and urged that other NYT editors and reporters be “hunted down.” Other followers of Malkin and Hinderaker suggested to their readers that this was yet more evidence of the unpatriotic recklessness of the NYT.
All along, Don Rumsfeld gave his express permission to the NYT for these photographs to be taken. How can anything other than complete scorn be heaped on Malkin, Hinderaker, Horowitz, Red State, and all of the uber-patriotic copycat accusers who spent the weekend spewing the most dangerous accusations possible based on completely false premises? Who would think that any of them have a shred of credibility after seeing how irresponsible and impervious to facts they are — even when knowingly catalyzing lynch mobs against people?
These people should never, ever be taken seriously. They are complete idiots.