Patterico's Pontifications

9/25/2008

Obama Uses Thuggish Lawyer Tactics to Try to Squelch NRA’s Criticism

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:24 pm

As a staunch advocate of the First Amendment, I have to say that this is one of the scariest things I’ve seen since . . . well, since the last time Democrats used thuggery to try to squelch free speech.

Here’s the rundown. NRA does commercial highlighting Obama’s anti-gun record. Biased “fact-checking” site falsely claims that the NRA is being deceitful. Obama’s lawyer sends thuggish letter to networks threatening to try to get their license pulled.

Dat’s a nice broadcasting license you got dere. Sure would be a shame if anything was ta happen to it.

As Allahpundit once said about a similar situation:

My only question is this: was that letter typed, or did they use letters cut out from magazines?

Let’s face it: this kind of thuggery is standard operating procedure for the left. In 2006, when ABC ran “The Path to 9/11,” Harry Reid & Co. wrote a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license. In 2004, a group of Democrat lawmakers wrote Rupert Murdoch and threatened Fox News’s broadcast license over what they believed was skewed reporting. And the DNC threatened Sinclair Broadcasting’s broadcast license over an anti-Kerry documentary called “Stolen Honor.” Kerry spokesthug Chad Clanton was quoted as saying: “I think they’re going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don’t win.” He hastened to add that it wasn’t a threat.

[UPDATE: Beldar adds that the DNC and the Kerry campaign initially responded to the Swift Vets by threatening TV stations that might dare to air Swift Vet ads -- telling them that they should refuse the ads or be held "responsible."]

As Allahpundit said after the Reid episode:

If the GOP pulled this crap, it’d be top of the f’ng fold tomorrow in the Times. As it should be.

Yes, but we never do pull this crap. It’s always those tolerant Democrats.

45 Responses to “Obama Uses Thuggish Lawyer Tactics to Try to Squelch NRA’s Criticism”

  1. Let’s see jharp defend this.

    Just remember: it’s the Republicans who are the fascist Nazis. (Or so the lefties would have us believe.)

    Steverino (db5760)

  2. Well, there are ways to return the favor. You’re doing that by posting this article. Every time they do this crap they move their ‘fairness doctrine’ fantasy further away.

    Sooner or later one of the networks will make a true business decision and call attention to this intimidation.

    After all, does the Obama team really want to fact-check this ad?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  3. I will channel harpie:

    Let’s ignore that – what about Bush? He lied! He stole! He bad!

    steve miller (56f5a4)

  4. Steverino: the Harpinator’s circuitry will explode, like when Kirk faced down Nomad on the old “Star Trek.”

    Seriously, the guy just likes to post contrarian things here. A troll.

    So he may indeed try to defend it, by claiming nuance, and besides, Rethuglicans do it all the time.

    But usually, when tagged, the guy just goes to another thread and gets Dmac and Icy after him.

    Wait a minute. That’s it! The guy is a cyber-masochist. He likes getting skooled!

    Eric Blair (d07d10)

  5. Shutting down general discussion via lawyers ?? Boy, this cretin is taking campaigning to a whole new level. It’s what, about one threat per week now?

    It’s clear that Obama’s messiah problem is no longer an endearing little joke. Chicago’s cesspool taught him that the world owes him.

    What a uniter. The great uniter. The Great Dictator.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  6. I make the count two radio show appearances in Chicago they tried to get their brown shirts to ruin through action alerts directly from the campaign, one by Freddoso and one by Kurtz.

    They tried to cut off access to the Annenberg Challenge files at UIC but the press coverage got too hot.

    They filed an FEC complaint and sent C&D letters regarding that independent Simmons ad last month, similar to their behavior in this case.

    You should make a list Patterico. I’m sure I’m missing stuff off the top of my head.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  7. Even before the “Stolen Honor” controversy, the Kerry Campaign’s very first response to the SwiftVets’ criticisms of him in August 2004 was to threaten TV stations with this same sort of thuggish crap. It was bogus then, and it’s bogus now. But there is a definite pattern to it.

    Beldar (b0d7b6)

  8. Sorry, I should have been clear that the threat letter dated August 5, 2004, was sent jointly by lawyers acting on behalf of the Kerry Campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

    Beldar (b0d7b6)

  9. The rank smell of fear is in the air.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  10. Please remember : To a “Liberal,” the First Amendment only applies to “Liberals.” All others, including “liberals” have no First Amendment rights as they are clearly wrong and speaking “hate.” We don’t want to encourage “hate,” do we?

    longwalker (c36902)

  11. Obama seems to be a student of Putin.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  12. Note that Obama is against the “Fairness Doctrine.” Not that one should be for it, but he also seems to favor removing corporate ownership of media and transferring licenses from “bad actors” to minorities and community organizations.

    A free media, if you will, just all run by his friends. And woe betide the Fox or NRA folks who can’t get with the program.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  13. If only Stanley Ann had pulled the little fetus out with pliers…

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  14. With all the false and misleading ads put out by the Obama campaign, shouldn’t these letters apply more to him than the GOP?

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot for a minute. He’s a Democrat!

    Lew Waters (6156cc)

  15. Unless they’re as clueless as John McCain when it comes to the Internet, they KNEW that this would come out, but they just don’t care. Making the threat is paramount; the fallout from being perceived as free speech haters is negligible, because the MSM will not cover it and the faithful won’t pay attention to anything negative about the Messiah.

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  16. Has any national Republican campaign EVER sent D&C letters like this to TV stations? I’ve seen this done by the Dems a couple of times. But I don’t seem to recall this ever happening when attack ads air that slam Republicans.

    XBradTC (2642fe)

  17. Republicans own businesses, they don’t threaten them. Besides, its against the whole ideology thing. You know, freedom and independence?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  18. No station worth its salt would cave to such a frivolous threat as this one. However, it may give cover to liberal stations who want an excuse to reject the ads. That’s the only rational basis I can think of for such bully tactics, though even then I’m amazed the Obama campaign is conducting them under its own name rather than through surrogates.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  19. Stupid question: since the “Fairness Doctrine” was never a law, couldn’t a president simply issue an executive order re-creating it?

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  20. since the “Fairness Doctrine” was never a law, couldn’t a president simply issue an executive order re-creating it?

    – Ah, but the FCC is an independent agency of the US Government; so, just as the President can’t fire the SEC Chairman . . .

    Payback is a bitch, ain’t it?

    Icy Truth (f6198c)

  21. In 2006, when ABC ran “The Path to 9/11,” Harry Reid & Co. wrote a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license. In 2004, a group of Democrat lawmakers wrote Rupert Murdoch and threatened Fox News’s broadcast license over what they believed was skewed reporting.

    Can someone tell me when networks (as opposed to particular broadcasting stations) became licensed entities, the licenses of which are revocable? To the best of my knowledge, they are simply conduits — distributors of content, some of which they may themselves generate, but none of which they broadcast (except through actual stations they may own, the individual licenses for which have no connection to the conduit function of the network). But if networks aren’t licensed entities, who would be so stupid as to threaten the loss of their nonexistent licenses? Wait, wait, don’t tell me…

    porkopolitan (0462fa)

  22. Republicans who use every means at the their disposal to win, even slimy ones are considered tough and smart.

    Democrats who do the same are thuggish.

    Right.

    Carry on.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  23. Even slimy ones

    Peter (e70d1c)

  24. Even slimy ones

    Peter (e70d1c)

  25. Strike button needs fix:

    The HTML tag for strike is: Strike not s

    Peter (e70d1c)

  26. It’s the economy, stupid.

    JohnnyRussia (32f4ad)

  27. “Shut up,” explained Obama.

    With all apologies to Ring Lardner.

    Jeffersonian (7da589)

  28. Don’t forget about Dingy Harry Reid and the Dimocrats trying to get to Rush Limbaugh by threatening Clear Channel. It blew up in their faces when El Rushbo turned the tables on them and auctioned off the letter for millions of dollars.

    Mike Eustace (b4a28b)

  29. Suppose, just suppose…

    The FCC revoked a station’s broadcast license, but the station continued to broadcast?

    Further suppose…

    That the governor of the state in which said station was located, invoked her/his authority as commander of the state militia, and ordered the station to be protected against an FCC-ordered shutdown – by use of deadly force if necessary?

    Hmmm.

    Trouble (0b9dec)

  30. In Hudson County, and I expect in Chicago, we live with this every day. Come election day, the Dems quite literally bring in thugs who work elections all over the country. They make sure “the vote gets out” (i.e., pounding on doors in housing projects &* nursing homes, making sure union officials know which side of the bread their butter is on, etc.). In between elections, protests are routinely silenced using a number of methods.

    The press hides under the bed, and most people are too intimidated to speak.

    So, hearing this about Obama is no surprise at all. The surprise is to hear people speaking about this for the first time in my experience, as if it were new.

    Mister Snitch (0a8453)

  31. How about this story? It’s another example of the same sort of Obama thuggery>

    Obama sends out the goon squad

    EyeDoc (09b583)

  32. Don’t you know? Republicans can’t send such letters because the sainted Democrats never, ever create campaign ads that contain untruths!

    Pious Agnostic (b2c3ab)

  33. Let’s face it: this kind of thuggery is standard operating procedure for the left.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but legal beagles of “the left” apparently know little or nothing about FCC regs, procedure or enforcement priorities.

    The sole remedy for federal political candidates who don’t like the opposition’s ads is to buy time on the same station for their own ad. The regs enforce “equal time”. The FCC is not going to make itself judge a “false advertising” pissing match between candidates.

    It’s got better things to do, like whacking licensees with fines for saying “pissing match” on the air.

    Occasional Reader (123131)

  34. It’s really amazing. I just saw a screening of the film “Blocking the Path to 9/11″ that really goes into this and it’s frightening!

    Pinkie (2f3c82)

  35. AFTER the 2004 election, punitive lawsuits were filed against some of the veterans and their organizations that opposed Kerry, including one of the Vietnam POWs himself. All were dropped after the defense costs had been spent and the point was made that messing with rems can get ordinary citizens, including war heroes, sued with expensive but groundless SLAP suits.

    John Moore (02ccd3)

  36. Steverino: the Harpinator’s circuitry will explode, like when Kirk faced down Nomad on the old “Star Trek.”

    I notice old harpy isn’t chiming in on this one. But there was one lefty who uses an alleged tu quoque to defend Obama.

    Peter, tell me this: when was the last time a Republican candidate threatened to yank the broadcasing license of a tv station that aired political ads unfavorable to him?

    Please tell us, so we can all denounce him.

    Steverino (db5760)

  37. Looks like the demacreeps are sending out their own brownshirts to try and squelch oppisition OFF WITH THE DEMACRATIC DONKEYS HEAD

    Krazy Kagu (8c2752)

  38. They make sure “the vote gets out” (i.e., pounding on doors in housing projects…

    OMG!!! They’re encouraging the Negroes to vote!!! Damn thugs!!!

    Grupetti (72e6bc)

  39. That’s the only rational basis I can think of for such bully tactics, though even then I’m amazed the Obama campaign is conducting them under its own name rather than through surrogates.

    The MSM will cover for them.

    Michael Ejercito (a757fd)

  40. What the letter said was true. Ads like these make the rest of the world laugh at the US. Hey we’re all a bunch of Gun toting liars are we?

    The NRA are paranoid, and this is just a response and a sensible one to that paranoia.

    Rednecks . . .

    Abdula (c84cf0)

  41. For the party that routinely squeals about people squelching freedom of speech, chilling the freedom of the press, etc … they have no qualms about taking affirmative steps to keep others from expressing their own views.

    Abdullah – Think often?

    JD (f7900a)

  42. So Freedom of speech means freedom to lie and freedom to slander?

    These aren’t views they are distortions, and thus Obamsa’ camp is free to object.

    BTW the name is Abdula not Abdullah and I think more than you Rant which means I think ALOT.

    But by all indications the opinion of the Republican party will be irrelevant after the election (-: so we dems will have nothing to whine about will we Ha Ha ha ….

    Abdula (c84cf0)

  43. Abdula – If they are all lies and slander, you should be able to demonstrate that clearly to us, rather than simply assering same. We await your response …

    JD (f7900a)


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