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Time's Amy Sullivan Slimes Newt Gingrich –Is Greg Sargent Paying Attention?


Time Magazine’s blogger Amy Sullivan, who last caught many conservatives’ attention with a post titled “Why does Glenn Beck hate Jesus?” is back with another dishonest attack on the right. She’s upset that some conservatives have a problem with the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. She wrote a post last Thursday titled “Are Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin Secretly French?” which may mark the first time a liberal blogger has complained that conservatives are behaving too much like Europeans:

…ordinary Americans continue to display extremely high levels of religious tolerances, especially compared to their European cousins (and both Palin and Gingrich). A recently released survey from the Pew Global Attitudes Project looked at support for measures that ban Muslim women from wearing full veils over their faces in public places. In France, where the government is close to passing such a measure, 82% approve of a ban. Support is also high in Germany and Britain, with 71% and 62%, respectively, favoring measures to make veil-wearing illegal. But in the U.S.? Only 28% of Americans would support a measure banning Muslim women from wearing veils.


Not to burst Amy’s bubble, but maybe this is because Americans have relatively little experience with women wearing burqas in the street and children wearing veils to elementary school. Europeans, having seen a lot more of it, like it a lot less.

In any case, this rather tame attack on Newt and Palin apparently wasn’t enough. So yesterday Sullivan returned to the subject in the following way:

Last week, Newt Gingrich suggested that Americans were being wusses for practicing religious tolerance while the Saudi Arabias of the world play hardball with other faith traditions. Maybe this is more what he had in mind. A conservative church in Florida is organizing “Burn a Qu’ran Day” to commemorate September 11, which happens to fall during Ramadan this year.

Even for Time‘s Swampland, whose level of commentary is set by Joe “Americans are dumb” Klein, this is outrageous. Does Amy Sullivan really believe that Newt Gingrich supports burning Qu’rans? Lots of nefarious labels have been thrown at Newt over the years, but to my knowledge book burner isn’t one of them. I sincerely doubt you could find a single Congressman in either party who would make such a claim.

imgNewt Gingrich3

So what’s the point of connecting his name to the stupid actions of this one tiny church in Florida? Only one that I can discern. It’s meant to suggest that Newt’s comments are the same sort of thing as book burnings. In other words, this is ye olde dangerous right-wing extremism meme which has been part of the left’s arsenal since President Clinton blamed Rush Limbaugh for the Oklahoma City bombing. Now as then, there’s no need to show any actual evidence that one led to another. In fact, the less evidence there is to tie an accusation to a particular conservative, the more you can ascribe the crime in question to a pervasive “climate of hate.”

Apparently, Time magazine has no problem with this. I guess so long as the target is a conservative, you can just say these sort of things willy-nilly. Wouldn’t it be nice if Time would ask itself “Why are we paying Amy Sullivan to slime Newt Gingrich?” But they won’t ask for any kind of standards and Sullivan won’t volunteer a correction on her own. It’s the left-wing media version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Finally, consider this post a memo to Greg Sargent who wrote recently in the Washington Post that the left simply does not engage in dishonest, slanderous attacks the way the right does. What do you say about this one, Greg? How many more examples do you need?

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