Governor Rick Perry partnered with the Aga Khan Foundation to develop a severely whitewashed, Islam-friendly curriculum. When Pamela Geller and I broke the story of that curriculum in 2011, the reaction was furious: Weasel Zippers demanded I stop linking him, and former friends and associates denounced us with a cult-like fervor that I still find hard to believe that a clueless and compromised Norquistian nonentity like Rick Perry could have inspired.
They were all working from blogs by a certain David Stein, who falsely claimed that the curriculum material we had uncovered (Geller had found some of it, and then I found more) was not really the curriculum at all, and tried to pass off one teacher's private notes as the real curriculum. Ace, Weasel, Commentary and others picked up Stein's false claims with enthusiasm: Ace called Stein's answer to our case "the greatest rejoinder in the history of blogdom."
There was something odd about the rapidity with which Stein's claims spread, since his explanations were flimsy and full of holes, and in June 2011, just before the Perry firestorm, his blog, CounterContempt.com, had all of 179 visitors all month. Yet somehow blogs with tens of thousands more visitors daily found Stein's false claims about the curriculum and spread them far and wide in defense of Perry.
It was remarkable testimony to the power, as well as the anxiety, of the Perry faithful that David Stein's obscure blog, with no readership, no history, and no reputation for credibility, could publish a false claim about the curriculum that so many big blogs would be ready immediately to publicize, while publishing the most outlandish charges against those of us who published the real curriculum. How the big conservative blogs and even Commentary all found David Stein's tiny blog has never been explained.
And then we saw Texas public schoolchildren made to dress in burqas and declare that "Allah is the Almighty God." Yet no retractions, no apologies came from any of the Perry cult members who denounced us in 2011. And they won't come after this, either:
"Hollywood conservative unmasked as notorious Holocaust revisionist," by Rory Carroll in The Guardian, May 3 (thanks to all who sent this in):
To those who knew him, or thought they knew him, he was a cerebral, fun-loving gadfly who hosted boozy gatherings for Hollywood's political conservatives. David Stein brought right-wing congressmen, celebrities, writers and entertainment industry figures together for shindigs, closed to outsiders, where they could scorn liberals and proclaim their true beliefs.
Over the past five years Stein's organisation, Republican Party Animals, drew hundreds to regular events in and around Los Angeles, making him a darling of conservative blogs and talkshows. That he made respected documentaries on the Holocaust added intellectual cachet and Jewish support to Stein's cocktail of politics, irreverence and rock and roll.
There was just one problem. Stein was not who he claimed. His real name can be revealed for the first time publicly – a close circle of confidants only found out the truth recently – as David Cole. And under that name he was once a reviled Holocaust revisionist who questioned the existence of Nazi gas chambers. He changed identities in January 1998.
Pamela Geller weighs in here; Big Fur Hat has a terrific takedown of Ace and Weasel here, and Zilla has another here. Big Fur Hat gets right to the heart of the matter: "Ace and Zip pointed and laughed at Pamela’s vetting of Perry while heavily relying on the work of a guy they never vetted. The work of some closeted neo-nazi jerkwad was 'good enough' in order to smear Geller."