At hearings last week on the confirmation of John K. Bush to a lifetime seat on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, a nomination which People For the American Way has opposed, Bush was forced to defend a blog post he had written citing WorldNetDaily, a website infamous for promoting the birther conspiracy theory.
But that wasn’t the only incidence of Bush relying on radical right wing sources in his stint as a blogger:
- In May, 2008 Bush cited the ultra-conservative blog Riehl World View, written by Dan Riehl, to argue that Obama had undiscovered ties to the socialist, far-left New Party. Riehl, who now writes for Breitbart, published a number of incendiary pieces about then-candidate Barack Obama on his blog throughout the 2008 election year. After publishing the post that Bush quoted from extensively, Riehl went on to use his blog to refer to Obama as “Obam-Islamo-Ding-Dong” and “Lil Obama,” and called Obama’s presidential campaign ads “afro-mercials.” Riehl also claimed Obama was a “light-weight” who was “the proof of the failure of Affirmative Action.” Riehl did not reserve his prejudice for President Obama – in 2006, he railed against Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota for getting sworn in on a Quran instead of the Bible, and suggested Ellison could possibly be part of a terrorist “set-up.”
- In an October 2008 blog post, Bush cited Jack Cashill, a conservative writer who frequently makes the unsubstantiated argument that Obama’s memoir “Dreams from My Father” was ghost written by William Ayers. In the American Thinker article that Bush linked to, Cashill called Obama a “struggling, unschooled amateur” who was incapable of writing a memoir on his own, in spite of the fact that Obama holds degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Cashill is now a frequent contributor to WorldNetDaily, where he has advanced the birther conspiracy theory and speculated that Obama may be “a secret Muslim.”
- Once again touting the claim that Obama had affiliations with the New Party, Bush cited Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of American Thinker, in an October 2008 blog post. American Thinker is an online magazine that has published a number of articles that promote racist birther conspiracies about Obama. Lifson himself had, prior to 2008, used his website to raise doubts about Obama’s Christian faith and to make the claim that there is an “Islamic supremacism” agenda in U.S. public schools that seeks to over-exaggerate the role of the Muslim culture in textbooks as part of an effort “to bring about a New Caliphate.”
At best, Bush’s frequent citation of these far-right commentators was irresponsible—in which case, one must call into question his ability to discern fact from unproven conspiracy theories. At worst, he knew exactly who he was citing and chose to do so anyway.
People For the American Way’s Paul Gordon has more on Bush’s record here.