Anderson Cooper’s vicious attack on Michele Bachmann

Anderson Cooper closed one of five segments of his weeknight CNN show that he recently devoted to attacking principally Rep. Michele Bachmann with a genuflection toward an iconic newsman, Edward R. Murrow. He deployed against her the gauntlet Murrow threw down to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in March 1954: “The line between investigating and persecuting is a [very] fine one.” If anyone has stepped over that line, however, it is Mr. Cooper himself, rather than the Minnesota congresswoman.

Night after night during the week of July 16, the host of “Anderson Cooper 360” failed to meet even the most basic standards of investigative journalism. The irony is that, in his ill-concealed persecution of Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Cooper has serially engaged in precisely the practices he pillories her and others for using, by his account, to destroy the reputation of a Muslim-American woman named Huma Abedin, the deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Let us count the ways:

*Mr. Cooper insists that Mrs. Bachmann failed to do her homework. He singles her out for most of his criticism, despite the fact that she was but one of five members of Congress to raise concerns not only about Ms. Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, but those of a number of others the Obama administration has enlisted as officials, advisers and liaisons to “the Muslim community.” Yet, Mr. Cooper repeatedly showed his ignorance of the extensive evidence cited by the legislators, even as he mentioned the website where some of it resides: the Center for Security Policy’s online video course at

*As he accused Mrs. Bachmann of playing fast and loose with the facts, Mr. Cooper repeatedly mischaracterized the nature of the legislators’ request for five federal inspectors general to conduct investigations. He or his echo chamber of exclusively like-minded guests complained that Ms. Abedin is accused of being a “spy” and engaging in “treason” and that she has been subjected to a groundless, bigoted and McCarthyite witch hunt. Several of the reporters and interested parties who added color commentary (sometimes repeatedly) further demeaned Mrs. Bachmann by asserting that she is simply engaging in partisan politics and fundraising for her re-election campaign.

*As with the lawmaker and to a lesser extent her colleagues, Mr. Cooper also made a point of going after this columnist. If anyone is guilty of “McCarthyism,” though, it is the journalistic poseur who specializes in shooting the messenger and buying into and tendentiously proclaiming that there are “no facts” supporting the unwanted message — rather than rigorously examining and accurately reporting on the vast amount of evidence that inconveniently does exist.

Read more from this story HERE.

The Establishment Wars Against Another Tea Party Leader

With growing dismay, I’ve read a number of recent press reports on the increasingly vicious bipartisan attack on Representative Michele Bachmann.  What on earth did she do?  Rep. Bachmann (and a few of her colleagues, including my friend, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas) had the audacity to request a federal investigation into “potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the United States Government.”

What prompted Rep. Bachmann to ask for this?  Nothing less than evidence from a myriad of FBI reports and federal court cases identifying a number of Muslim Brotherhood front groups, some of which are currently advising departments and agencies of the federal government.

In her investigation request, Rep. Bachmann also noted that Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had close family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.  This spawned a sharp reaction from Senator John McCain, calling the linkage “nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.”  The State Department also joined in, stating that Ms. Bachmann’s allegations were “absolutely preposterous.”

But the worst was leveled by her former campaign chief, Ed Rollins, yesterday:

I have been a practitioner of tough politics for many decades. There is little that amazes me and even less that shocks me. I have to say that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s outrageous and false charges against a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin reaches that threshold.

Her unsubstantiated charge against Abedin, a widely respected top aide to Secretary Hillary Clinton, accusing her of some sort of far-fetched connection to the Muslim brotherhood, is extreme and dishonest.

And then this below-the-belt hit:

Having worked for Congressman Bachman’s campaign for president, I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy  level.

So what exactly did Rep. Bachmann say that was so injurious?  Here it is in her own words:

The Department’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and /or organizations. Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy making.

Although she never accused Abedin of being a Muslim Brotherhood loyalist herself, Ms. Bachmann stated later that the

concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position.

For us to raise issues about a highly-based U.S. Government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin.  In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. Government of anyone seeking a security clearance.

Given the reasonable assumption that Ms. Abedin has a high-level security clearance, as a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin’s documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance. If these known and documented family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood would not disqualify someone for a security clearance, what specifically is the standard to be disqualified on foreign influence grounds?

Nothing factually inaccurate there.  Of course, none of her detractors bother with that; they deal in hyperbole, hoping to shoot the messenger with the now-politically routine ad hominem attack.  Fortunately, their over-the-top efforts seem to have backfired, giving Congresswoman Bachmann a new platform to address the increasing risk of Islamic fanaticism in the U.S.

Please join her in this effort.  And if you have the resources, send a donation her way.  After all, I suspect that what this “outrage” is really about is this:  the Establishment wants to remove a troublesome Tea Party leader from the U.S. House of Representatives.  As recent elections have shown, they’d much rather seat a liberal Democrat (or RINO) who loves big government than a committed constitutionalist who stands by the principles of our Founders.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore