Monday, June 09, 2014

Ben Shapiro: Political Hack of the Day

Via Joe. My. God. Ben Shapiro has come out with a book making the case to arrest President Barack Obama. Shapiro has a rather dubious journalistic history. Shapiro wrote an article on Breitbart.com claiming a terrorist group called "Friends of Hamas" gave campaign contributions to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”

The problem with Shapiro's story is "Friends of Hamas" does not exist. David Weigel looked into "Friends of Hamas" and could find no proof of its existence.

Here's the problem: There's no proof that "Friends of Hamas" actually exists. At best, it's an organization so secret that nobody in government has thought to mention its existence. At worst, it's as fake as Manti Te'o's girlfriend. The Treasury Department, which designates sponsors of terror, has done so to many charities tied to Hamas. "Friends of Hamas" is not among them. The State Department doesn't designate it, either. And a bit less holistically, a Lexis search for the group reveals absolutely nothing.

Weigel contacted Shapiro. Pressed on his sources, Shapiro ducked the question.

But the "Friends" accusation goes further than that. It supposes that a pro-terror group exists, and further supposes that the non-existent group would back Hagel somehow. This morning I wrote Shapiro to clear up the accusation. "Have you found any more proof that this group exists?" I asked. "Is it just shorthand for some people who might support Hagel, or a real group?"

"The original story is the entirety of the information I have," he said.

Shapiro went on Thom Hartmann's show to accuse Sesame Street of spieling anti-liberal propaganda. Hilarity ensues.

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