How careless, mendacious and indifferent to the truth is the Leftist media? Here's a case study.
Practicing Saul Alinsky's recommended tactic of demonizing and attempting to isolate and marginalize someone they hate, fear, and cannot refute, the Leftist media is in an uproar over a David Horowitz Freedom Center trip to Turkey scheduled for September 7 through 15, featuring Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, author and journalist Claire Berlinski, and me. Think Progress and Truth Dig are pressuring Rubin to denounce me and drop out of the trip, following their usual practice of trying to dictate to freedom fighters whom they can associate with and who is outside the bounds of acceptable public discourse.
News of this trip is also traveling far and wide on Twitter:
...to the degree that one Islamic supremacist professor, Haroon Moghul, pleaded with his readers to go to Turkey with him instead of with me:
Aside from the whiff of the Stalinist show trial and its attendant denunciations and demonizations, there is just one problem with all this: the Turkey trip has been canceled for months. On March 15, Pamela Geller and I sent out a national press release announcing our International Freedom Defense Congress, which will be held in New York City on September 11. How could I be in both Turkey and New York City on September 11? I know that Leftist and Islamic supremacist spokesmen think I possess Zionist black arts that allow me to cast passages into the Qur'an and Hadith, but I've never before known that they think I can bilocate as well.
Obviously we would not have announced that I'd be cohosting an event on September 11 in New York City if I was going to be in Turkey that day -- and our press release went out March 15, fully two and a half months before the Think Progress piece was published, and over three months before the one in Truth Dig. Nor did Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, the hard-Left propagandists who authored the Think Progress piece, or Nathan Lean, Reza Aslan's gunsel who wrote the TruthDig piece and has issued veiled threats to me and my family, bother to contact the David Horowitz Freedom Center to see if the trip was still on. In reality, this trip was first planned in 2010, but dropped after the Mavi Marmara jihad flotilla incident dampened interest in traveling to rapidly Islamizing Turkey. Then in June 2012 some Leftist found an old DHFC flier, and the frenzy began.
Lean's contribution to that frenzy is a lengthy farrago of half-truths and outright lies, including one about my graduate study. Ordinarily I wouldn't address this at all, as I have never based anything I say on some argument from authority that depended upon my having an MA -- to do so would be absurd, and in any case most of what I know about Islam I have learned in independent study anyway. However, it is illustrative of how brazenly the Left lies. Lean says: "Spencer does not hold qualifications that allow him to speak with authority on Islam or Turkey. In fact, religious studies professors at the university where he obtained his one-year graduate degree in early Christian history have consistently rejected the notion that he is someone whose writings are anything other than armchair agitation."
The idea of asserting that I have a "one-year graduate degree" is to portray me as some kind of moron who couldn't or didn't take a full Master's program, and to buttress the absurd but oft-repeated Islamic apologetic claim that one has to have a degree in Islam in order to be able to speak about it accurately. The point here is not that my degree is important, but that Lean is lying: I have a full MA, and it is not in "early Christian history." The University of North Carolina doesn't offer degrees in early Christian history. It's in Religious Studies, and in reality I began studying Islam in earnest at that time. I studied Islam with Gordon Newby, author of The Making of the Last Prophet and A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam -- which is not to say that he and I saw eye-to-eye on much of anything. While in grad school also I wrote an extensive study of how the Qur'an's teaching on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see 4:157) was influenced by Gnostic Christian traditions.
Again, my graduate school record is howlingly unimportant. I would never have thought about those years again if the enemies of freedom didn't keep bringing them up. The only point I am establishing here is how the Left media and Islamic supremacist spokesmen lie outright to make their case. One-year degree? No, a full MA: here's my transcript (the "H" grade, by the way, means "High Pass," the highest possible grade):
Early Christian history? No, Religious Studies: here's the report of my oral examination committee -- note the "Excellent" recommendation for doctoral study (which I did not pursue because the field was already too politicized, and it has only gotten worse):
Ancient history, and completely unimportant, except to show that the Left and Islamic supremacists care nothing for the facts. Nathan Lean is not only a two-bit thug; he's a liar, as is his boss Reza Aslan.
UPDATE 2:06PM (Pacific): TruthDig appears to have taken down Lean's article, without explanation or apology, although the comments to it linger like orphan ghosts. Apparently some lies are too outlandish even for the hard Left media.
SECOND UPDATE 2:32AM (Pacific): Nathan Lean just wrote me to alert me to the fact that his Truth Dig piece is back up, with no corrections or changes. It thus becomes a key illustration of the fact that the Leftist media simply has no regard for truth or accuracy to the slightest degree.