Huffington Post Switches To Damage Control Mode Over Truther Hire
During my radio show today I got an email from a flack over at the Huffington Post about my posts on their new national security fellow hire – Donté Stallworth. This flack, who I won’t name because they were only doing their job, sent links to tweets Stallworth sent out today “just to be clear” about his current position on 9/11 and whether or not is was an inside job by the Bush administration.
HuffPo asked if I would update my post to reflect Stallworth’s current/new position. I responded that I was in the middle of a radio show and couldn’t update anything for a while, but would look at the new tweets later and see what I thought.
Well, it’s later, and here’s what I think.
First off, how panicked must Huffington Post be if they’re contacting a fill-in blogger about one post? Very, it seems.
Second, Stallworth’s “explanation” leaves a lot to be desired. He tweeted, “Just to be clear, I no longer feel the way I did in that tweet 5 years ago.”
Which tweet? He sent four unequivocally “truther” tweets in 2009 (you can see all of them here).
Perhaps narrowing in on “that tweet 5 years ago” is nitpicking, but I don’t make the progressives’ rules, I just play by them. Stallworth wasn’t clear.
Huffington Post scrambled to get a mainstream media outlet to weigh in and save face on their new hire. Enter The Washington Post.
In an embarrassing puff piece, the Post quotes Stallworth as saying, “I really didn’t have knowledge other than from a couple of sources. Once I got out of that rabbit hole and started doing my own research…I just understood what a massive intelligence failure 9/11 was…My whole thought process changed on it once was able to dig in and research more about it.”
A couple of things…
First, what planet do you live on that you only have a “couple of sources” on 9/11 EIGHT YEARS after the attack? Moreover, what color is the sky on that planet that the only sources you have are truther sites?
Second, “Once I got out of that rabbit hole and started doing my own research…” Um, what? If you believe, or have only been exposed to the belief, that the federal government conspired to murder thousands of its own citizens and didn’t have the curiosity to at least Google it to find out more information, there’s something “off” about you. Even if you don’t look it up online, wouldn’t you share this important information with someone you know? Wouldn’t they, unless you are living on another planet, call you out for being insane? Apparently that didn’t happen to HuffPo’s new national security fellow at any point in the eight years after 9/11.
Third, the “My whole thought process changed on it once was able to dig in and research more about it,” part. Once he was able to dig into it? How much digging needs to be done? Stallworth had nothing but time on his hands in 2009 since he was suspended from the NFL for driving drunk and killing a man. Well, he had time after he served his 24 days for manslaughter.
The only thing stopping Donté Stallworth from being ignorant was the fact that he was ignorant. He believed it. He may still believe it, but in the interest of getting a job for which he has little to no qualifications, he just claims to no longer “feel” that way.
I don’t know the truth, no one but Donté Stallworth knows the truth. But I’ve never known anyone who truly believed crazy conspiracy theories to suddenly have an epiphany and disavow their former crazy. Maybe it’s happened, but they’re usually selling something.
Even if you take the clearly PR-flack-assisted denouncement of his former beliefs at face value, it still doesn’t address his truther tweet from just last November.
So to the flack who asked me, “Donté tweeted a clarification on the tweets from 2009. Would you be able to update your story? They are below…please let me know,” here’s your answer: No. But I will write a new post.
Forgive me for not giving the benefit of the doubt to a website that banned one of its co-founders, and a good friend of mine, Andrew Breitbart in the name of “civility,” while running vile, hate-filled, lying posts from some of the nastiest human beings to ever crawl out from under a rock simply because they agree with you politically. No, I won’t change my post because it was true when it was written, and I believe it to be true now.
Maybe Donté Stallworth has seen the light, maybe he hasn’t. But you can’t disconnect who someone was from who they say they are now because they have something on the line. Huffington Post wouldn’t give someone who strayed from their thought plantation that benefit of the doubt, so I sure as hell am not going to.
Their rules, not mine.