Media Matters reports that "Fox News and its friends in the conservative echo chamber spent much of the week promoting phony, trumped-up allegations against the Justice Department.
In short, conservative media outlets have been aggressively promoting the charge by GOP activist J. Christian Adams that President Obama's Justice Department engaged in racially charged "corruption" when it partially dismissed a case against members of the New Black Panther Party for allegedly engaging in voter intimidation outside of a Philadelphia polling center on Election Day in 2008.
As we have documented extensively, Adams should not be trusted. He is a long-time right-wing activist with extensive ties to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department. Adams himself has admitted that he lacks first-hand knowledge to support his accusations. Additionally, Adams' charge that the DOJ's action in the New Black Panther case shows unprecedented, racially motivated corruption is undermined by the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one of the defendants, and that the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations against a group of Minutemen -- one of whom was carrying a gun -- in 2006.
Even the Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights called the New Black Panthers case "very small potatoes" and said an investigation into the DOJ's decision is full of "overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges."
And yet again, the fact that this is a completely manufactured scandal didn't stop conservative media figures from engaging in one of their time-honored traditions: attempting to obscure their own problems with race by accusing others of racism.
Radio host Jim Quinn -- who once told "race-baiting" African-American "ingrates" to "get on your knees" and "kiss the American dirt" because slavery brought them to the U.S. -- hyped the New Black Panther story by calling the civil rights community "race-baiting poverty pimps."
Rush Limbaugh -- who earlier this week announced that if Obama wasn't black he'd be a "tour guide in Honolulu" and claimed Obama is using the office of the presidency to seek "payback" for the country's history of racism -- forwarded Adams' charge that the case was dropped because of racially charged corruption.
Beck, who infamously called President Obama a "racist" with a "deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture," declared that the Obama administration is "full" of "people that will excuse" the "hatred" of the New Black Panthers. He also relied on falsehoods to try to connect Obama to the New Black Panthers, and claimed today that the New Black Panthers are part of Obama's "army of thugs."