In 2008, National Review's Stanley Kurtz got BenSmithed. He didn't just get BenSmithed, though, he got BenSmithed by the BenSmithiest BenSmither in the history of BenSmithing -- Ben Smith himself.
Oh, I remember it well. We were this close to election day, the wind was squarely at Barack Obama's back, the media was refusing to vet the history and background of anyone in Obama's past (besides, most every investigative reporter in the free world was in a place called Wasilla), and then along came the news that, while in Chicago, as a grown man in his 30s, Barack Obama had joined something called The New Party -- a radical, socialist organization whose political endorsement he had sought.
The story threatened to become a late-October surprise – the kind of story that would not only once again prove Obama's disturbingly radical not-so-distant past, but also tie together just who this man really was (and is). It would also damage Obama's credibility, and prove that he had been covering up his radical associations, and worse, lying about it.
The corrupt media, naturally, was hoping to run out the clock and was therefore willfully ignoring the story. Online, however, things were heating up. Right-of-center blogs were pushing the story as much as they could and, like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, it threatened to spill over into the mainstream media and damage -- gasp -- a Democrat.
Well, this is why The Media Devil invented Ben Smith and his dark art of BenSmithing.
Jumping into the line of fire to protect his Precious One, Smith wrote this:
Popping up in my inbox lately, and on some conservative blogs, is the allegation that Barack Obama was once a member of the Communist/Socialist/secretive/evil New Party, which is based (reasonably) on a New Party publication describing him in passing as a member.
When this first emerged, I called up the founder of the New Party, a University of Wisconsin professor named Joel Rogers, who objected both to the characterization of the party and Obama's relationship to it.
On the first point, the New Party was an attempt to build a model of political fusion. It dissolved after losing a Supreme Court ruling aimed at making fusion -- a system under which more than one party can run the same candidate, which exists in some states -- universal.
And blah, blah, blah.
This is classic BenSmithing -- in which he takes on a controversial subject that might damage Obama, pretends to play investigative journalist, assumes the role of the writer of a "definitive" piece that finally answers all the questions, and then sends the story to sleep with the fishes.
The corrupt media, of course, loves this. Smith allows them to point to his work and rationalize to themselves that there's "nothing to see here" -- so let's move along and elect a man no one knows anything about.
Kurtz knew he had been BenSmithed and immediately responded with this piece, but to no avail. When you were BenSmithed in 2008, you stayed BenSmithed.
Truth has nothing to do with BenSmithing. Ben Smith knows this and so does the media that found him so useful. BenSmithing is a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically our failed president. The way it works is really quite simple:
1. Something happens or is discovered that might hurt Obama.
2. That something is discovered in the alternative media and uncovered.
3. Ben Smith (or the equally dishonest PolitiFact and Media Matters) pretend to investigate it, write something up disguised as "definitive," and then hand the complicit media an excuse to ignore it.
Though he's probably in the top ten-percent, Smith isn't the most dishonest journalist out there; he's just the smartest. I've been watching this guy and trying to sound the alarm about him for going on four years now. He's a Journalistic Super-Villain -- a genius who has done more to protect Barack Obama and assure the American people never learn the truth than any other individual reporter.
Here are some specific and notable examples:
In February of 2008, Smith wrote the "definitive "nothing-to-see-here" piece covering Obama's relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. The headline itself was a lie: "Obama once visited '60s radicals," and Smith even buried his own lead:
As Bloomberg News reported recently, Obama and Ayers have crossed paths repeatedly in the last decade. In 1997, Obama cited Ayers’ critique of the juvenile justice system in a Chicago Tribune article on what prominent Chicagoans were reading. He and Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago for three years starting in 1999. In 2001, Ayers also gave $200 to Obama’s state Senate reelection campaign.
Many details of the 1995 meeting are shrouded by time and by Obama’s and Ayers’ refusals to discuss it.
Real journalists would follow that up, but until New Media came of age a couple of years later, there were no real journalists available.
There are more 2008 election-year examples, including, of course, the New Party cover up. But let's fast-forward to July of 2010. Ben Smith was no longer protecting a "historic" candidate, he was now protecting Power, with a "nothing to see here" piece about a scandal that threatened to swamp Obama's burgeoning presidency.
Eric Holder's Justice Department had just dropped a slam-dunk case involving the New Black Panther Party, whose members had been notoriously caught on video menacing voters during the 2008 election. There was even a whistleblower, J. Christian Adams, who had testified before Congress that the Justice Department was practicing racial bias.
To the rescue came Smith with this non-story. One conservative dismisses the charges, Smith blows it up into a major feature piece, and now the corrupt media has what they need to move along and pretend there is no story.
Which is exactly what the media did.
Earlier this year, Smith made the mistake of trying to BenSmith us. The day after Andrew Breitbart's funeral, we all woke up to discover that Smith (who had by then moved to BuzzFeed) had thought he scooped Breitbart News by releasing a 1991 video from Obama's days at Harvard. In order to control the explosion of this video, Smith spun it into a positive for Obama. Thankfully, because it's not 2008 anymore, this time his BenSmithing blew up in Ben Smith's face.
You can read the full story of that sorry episode here.
If you read the examples linked above, what you'll discover is that Smith is only disguising himself as a reporter, but what he's really doing is killing stories and narratives potentially damaging to Barack Obama. If you read the stories, you'll see that he is either the most incurious reporter ever created or the most easily duped into believing anything.
Believe me, Smith is nobody's dupe. Because he's a left-wing operative disguised as a reporter, he simply writes on these subjects without ever doing what real reporters do: asking follow-up questions, raising questions, or demanding proof.
But acting like a real reporter would give the story life, extend the narrative, and therefore hurt His Precious One -- something BenSmithing is designed to ensure never happens.
By the way, Ben Smith owes Stanley Kurtz an apology, but I suspect Smith has known that all along.
"The nice thing about the new-media space is how quickly it self-corrects. Breitbart's sites now have a growing credibility problem." Smith added: "And for all the talk of the speed of the Internet, online, like offline, reporting is a long, endless game, and with fewer and fewer trusted institutions to dispense it at will, credibility is a scarce and extremely valuable commodity. - Ben Smith
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