Michael Goldfarb declined to be interviewed “in person” for the article about him being written by Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times.
There’s no sense in cooperating with people who are out to get you, and Rutenberg was out to get Goldfarb. When the NY Times profiles a conservative in general, and a blogger/new media person in particular, it’s going to be a complete hatchet job.
The Times did a glowing profile of Ben Smith of Buzzfeed politics recently, titled The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed. I have no issues with that profile.
But for Goldfarb, a moving force behind The Washington Free Beacon, the Times ran this headline, A Conservative Provocateur, Using a Blowtorch as His Pen.
The article is full of innuendo against Goldfarb, but doesn’t demonstrate anything Goldfarb has done unethically, illegally or inappropriately. Rutenberg suggests that Goldfarb might have obtained a photo improperly, without any proof.
Rutenberg also leads the article by suggesting Goldfarb was sloppy for a report about Chuck Hagel because it “was based on ‘contemporaneous’ notes an attendee posted online” but for which no recording has surfaced. As if only statements which were recorded on audio or video actually happened.
Rutenberg leaves out — yes, leaves out — that the contemporaneous notes were by a staunch Hagel supporter who stood by his recollection of the speech as contemporaneously reported at the time. The Free Beacon reported that context (as did Legal Insurrection) but Rutenberg chose to leave those facts out in order to suggest impropriety by Goldfarb. Not just sloppy, but reflective of an intent to malign Goldfarb.
It was a pure smear job, the type the Times reserves for conservatives, with descriptions of Goldfarb as an “all-around anti-liberal provocateur” and “conservative political operative of the moment.”
While Goldfarb may view that as a compliment, it’s how Rutenberg attempts to marginalize Goldfarb.
The best evidence of Rutenberg’s mal-intent was that Rutenberg holds former Think Progress writer Lee Fang up as a victim of Goldfarb:
The liberal writer Lee Fang got a taste when he wrote an article for The Nation linking work that Orion has done for Taiwan to articles in The Free Beacon voicing criticism of the Obama administration for blocking a sale to Taiwan of F-16 jets.
Mr. Goldfarb denied any connection between his work at Orion and the articles, saying he did not personally handle Taiwan’s account or write the articles.
But The Free Beacon responded viscerally, with a report featuring pictures of Mr. Fang — who formerly wrote for the anonymously financed liberal blog ThinkProgress that frequently attacks the Kochs — shirtless and blowing a thick cloud of smoke. The headline read: “High Times at The Nation.”
In an interview, Mr. Fang, 26, said the photographs were from college and could have been found only in his password-protected account with Photobucket. He said he had filed a police report to get to the bottom of it. He said he felt doubly violated because the photograph was in a file that included revealing shots of his girlfriend.
“I think he’s just out to hurt people,” said Mr. Fang, who first tangled with Mr. Goldfarb when he was writing for ThinkProgress about the Kochs. “I don’t understand what his greater goal is; what would be the perfect solution to fix the most serious problems in America?”
Though Mr. Goldfarb would not share how The Free Beacon obtained the photographs, he said in a telephone interview that they were publicly available and were secured by legal means.
Lee Fang is no victim.
He was the anti-Koch hatchet man at Think Progress for years, and his writings were misleading as documented here many times. John Hinderaker at Power Line repeatedly (also here and here and here) demonstrated Fang’s inaccurate and skewed posts about the Kochs. Think Progress, as you know, also has been behind so many of the smears of the Tea Party movement, even making a doctored video meant to portray Tea Party racism.
Yet Fang and Think Progress are held out as innocent liberals attacked by Goldfarb’s blowtorch.
What a joke.
Good for Michael Goldfarb. If the NY Times hates him and is attacking him, he must be doing something right.