Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Donald Trump continues to insist that he personally saw Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11 -- yesterday, on Morning Joe, he said they "went wild." Prior to that, on more than one occasion, he said he saw TV footage in which "thousands" of New Jersey Muslims cheered the attacks. Fact checks don't deter him. The recollections of New Jersey residents, up to and including the current Republican governor, an unabashed neoconservative, don't deter him.

His fans never stop looking for more evidence to back him up. They think they have a new smoking gun.

They don't, but here it is. Flagged by some guy on Twitter, touted at a right-wing blog called the Last Refuge (otherwise known as the Conservative Treehouse), and brandished exultantly in a couple of Free Republic threads, it's a column by Fred Siegel that appeared in the New York Post on September 14, 2001, under the headline "The Issue Is Radical Islam." It's not available in the Post's archives (the Conservative Treehouse blogger speculates that it was "scrubbed," for some sinister reason), but it can found in the Internet Archive (here). It reads in part:
Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attacks in New York and Washington.
Trump is right! Suck it, libtards!

First point: Siegel doesn't say there were "thousands" celebrating. Second point: Siegel doesn't say he saw this. He's not a reporter. He's known as a historian -- he teaches at Cooper Union -- but he's better known as a guy who applies a veneer of intellectualism to the usual right-wing boilerplate, as a New York Post columnist, as the author of a book on Rudy Giuliani that the far-from-liberal New York Sun called "hagiography," and as a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. Siegel writes for the Institute's City Journal, where his recent scholarly contributions have borne titles such as "De Blasio's 'Reforms' Will Keep More NYers Dependent on Taxpayers"; "Ferguson Fury: Activists, Journalists Stuck in 1960s Racial Resentments"; "Twilight of the Left"; and "How Public Unions Took Taxpayers Hostage."

So, um, not exactly an agenda-less observer. Siegel is a partisan hack, and he wasn't even claiming that he personally saw any Muslims celebrating on 9/11, in person or on TV. He cites no source.

But the right will call this a smoking gun. And Trumpites will continue to embrace their hero.


Oh, and Trump got more backup yesterday from one of his press agents on Fox & Friends:
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated on 9/11, saying that he knew people who saw it in person and that he saw it on television.

“I actually remember things like that,” Doocy insisted. “I remember, because I live one town away from one of the towns where, according to my neighbors, they saw it with their own two eyes, there were people celebrating.”

“I also remember there was video on television,” he said. “I don’t remember if it was from that town or from New Jersey. Nonetheless, Donald Trump says there are a lot of people out there who have verified the idea of his story.”
Doocy swears his neighbors swear they saw the celebrations! That's all the proof I need!

The clip is below. Stick around for "straight news" anchor Bill Baier saying, "Did it happen in New Jersey? Of course. Did thousands and thousands of people do it? I don't know if we've backed that up." We just can't tell! Trump could be absolutely right!




Never Ben Better said...

Goebbels was right: Tell a big lie, hammer it home again and again, and the people will believe it.

Dark Avenger said...

Anyone remember "The Angel of Mons?"

Arthur Machen and "The Bowmen"

On 29 September 1914 Welsh author Arthur Machen published a short story entitled "The Bowmen" in the London newspaper The Evening News, inspired by accounts that he had read of the fighting at Mons and an idea he had had soon after the battle.

Machen, who had already written a number of factual articles on the conflict for the paper, set his story at the time of the retreat from the Battle of Mons in August 1914. The story described phantom bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt summoned by a soldier calling on St. George, destroying a German host.[1] Machen's story was not, however, labelled as fiction and the same edition of the Evening News ran a story by a different author under the heading "Our Short Story". Additionally, Machen's story was written from a first-hand perspective and was a kind of false document, a technique Machen knew well. The unintended result was that Machen had a number of requests to provide evidence for his sources for the story soon after its publication, from readers who thought it was true, to which he responded that it was completely imaginary, as he had no desire to create a hoax.


Ten Bears said...

If one part of the narrative is irrefutably false, what about the rest of the narrative? The truth is out there.

Victor said...

I bet there are many American Authoritarian followers out there, who swear that Saddam had WMD's - especially nukes - to this day!

Never Ben Better said...

Indubitably, Victor; indubitably.