The Boston Globe Attacks JBS with Falsities

The Boston Globe Attacks JBS with Falsities
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Mr. Ted Widmer from The Boston Globe wrote a nasty August 24th article about Robert Welch. Starting with insult-laden labeling of Welch’s followers as a “troll army,” the piece was filled with errors, misrepresentations, and downright falsehoods. Anyone who finds a need for some verifiable history about Massachusetts would be wise to look somewhere other than the Massachusetts Historical Society where Widmer is advertised as a “trustee.”

A great deal of the piece is simply dead wrong. Other parts are shaded to make Welch and the Society he formed seem like unreliable, even libelous, miscreants. For the record, here are some corrections and comments about his screed.

No one in the John Birch Society ever warned that the UN was “going to invade Texas.” For all the years of my association with the Society (I joined in 1964, accepted a staff position in 1966, and stepped aside as a full-time employee in 2016), I either saw other staff personnel put down such rumors or I initiated the put down myself. Same about Obama being born in Kenya and 9/11 being an inside job. Same about numerous other rumors that the Society helped to squelch.

Welch was indeed a “boy genius” but, contrary to the assertion, he never claimed that label for himself. Others who took the time to get to know him, his history, and his prodigious intellect found that indeed, he was a prodigy at an early age.

While a student at Harvard Law School, Welch sought to correct Harvard Professor Felix Frankfurter who insisted that labor and management were “enemies” whose distaste for each other would always be a key to U.S. economic woes. Welch defended the traditional stance that labor and management were partners in productivity, not enemies – an attitude that counters the kind of Marxist divisiveness that Frankfurter spent his life promoting.

The “loss” of China to Mao Tse-tung’s murderous forces wasn’t merely a “so-called” historical event. The government under Mao took the lives of so many innocent millions that he won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as history’s greatest mass murderer. Yet Mr. Widmer  termed Welch’s seeking to alert the American people about such an enormous tragedy as an example of “extremist views.” Incredible!

Welch’s letters in the 1950s weren’t photocopied because photocopying hadn’t yet been invented. (Small point but evidence of sloppy journalism.)

The Welch-led Society opposed fluoridation of water, not because of its supposed health benefits, but because it amounted to government forced mass medication, something advocated by the likes of Adolph Hitler. Shortly after the Society found itself victimized by charges that its stand, absent the reason for its position being given, was worthy of your type of ridicule, a professor at Tufts University suggested that the then-rising U.S. population could be countered by adding birth control substances to the water supply.  And he pointed to fluoridation of the water supplies as a precedent that could be followed. Even the Boston Globe published this man’s totalitarian suggestion.

About Welch’s 1963 book presenting the career of Dwight Eisenhower, no facts in its 300 pages have ever been shown to be false. Even today, readers find the revelations collected and published by Welch to be important history. All of it should be worthy of the time of a “trustee” of any state’s Historical Society.

Earl Warren was never “hated” by any member of the Welch-led Society.  What he did to advance the cause of Communism within the U.S. caused domestic Communists to hold a huge rally in New York City to salute the Supreme Court leader and the help he was providing to further communism’s subversion.  Pointing this out, and showing fellow Americans the harm created by the Warren-led court, wasn’t “hate.” It amounted to supplying facts and perspective needed by Americans.

The Society recommended letter writing. It formed a speakers bureau. It gathered people into rallies. And, yes, it either employed tactics or made recommendations that even Communists were using – each of which was morally based, legal and sensible. But Communists use moral and legal tactics along with immoral and illegal means to carry out their work. Communists have always published a newspaper. The Boston Globe’s owners publish a newspaper. But the Society never accused the Boston Globe’s owners of adopting a Communist practice in publishing their newspaper.

The Society is frequently pilloried for not publishing its membership lists, thereby earning the charge made by Mr. Widmer and others that it is a “secret” organization. But the Boy Scouts, the League of Women Voters, and many other organizations also don’t publish their membership lists. Mr. Widmer seems to have no appreciation for easily understood practices followed by many. Publishing a membership list would violate a trust accorded to members, which is why so many organizations refuse to do so.

The Society never, I repeat never, labeled Martin Luther King a Communist. Its publications did show that he hired communists, accepted funding from communists, attended communist training sessions, and frequently started demonstrations that turned into communist-led rioting and destructiveness. It was these associations that led former Attorney General Robert Kennedy to wiretap King’s phone and take other steps to thwart what King was doing. When J. Edgar Hoover labeled King the “most notorious liar” in America, he had plenty of reason to do so.

Mr. Widmer also claims that some of “the beliefs that Birchers held were racist.” That charge is odious, something our black and Jewish members would eagerly resist.

It goes on to describe members of the John Birch Society as a “merry band of radicals.” Shame on him for denigrating some of the finest people in our nation with that slur.

He and many other opponents of our Society rely on the claims of William Buckley to buttress his attacks. But Buckley betrayed his own beliefs when he announced support for abortion, when he suggested that colleague Joseph Sobran and ally Patrick Buchanan were tainted with anti-Semitism, when he accepted membership in the world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, and more. As the “Pied Piper” for the Establishment he once opposed, he became the favorite of numerous liberals who despised constitutional conservatism.

Enough! Mr. Widmer has discredited himself enormously. That the Boston Globe would publish his rantings discredits the Globe.

An apology is due. If one comes, I will gladly have it reprinted here.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Nothing New about Fake News

Nothing New about Fake News
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Would anyone deliberately plant and then spread false information on the Internet and elsewhere?  The answer is so obvious that it’s akin to asking if tomorrow’s sun will rise in the East. Of course it will happen. And, of course, deliberate issuance of what is known to be false has lately become a relatively common occurrence.

(Photo by Public Domain Pictures, CC0 Public Domain).

Hillary Clinton recently broke the silence that has been her fate since losing the recent election. She spoke at a farewell party for retiring Nevada Senator Harry Reid. Intoning solemnly about an “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda,” she obviously hoped that her own use of the tactic wouldn’t be recalled. But she is an expert at issuing falsehoods.

In 1996, she visited Bosnia as America’s First Lady to salute U.S. forces in the region. More than ten years later, she claimed that her plane had landed amidst “sniper fire,” even adding that there “was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the airport, but we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Several news sources eventually debunked the story, some citing Major General William Nash, the U.S. commander in Bosnia who said there was no such “sniper fire.” The fake news she issued was surely delivered to advance her desire to be known as courageous.

Mrs. Clinton would later tell news sources that her daughter Chelsea narrowly managed to flee the vicinity of the Twin Towers in 2001 as those buildings crashed to the earth. Supposedly, Chelsea was fortunate to run away from all of the destructiveness. But Chelsea was nowhere near the site of the 9/11 destruction on that fateful day.

As Secretary of State in 2012, Mrs. Clinton blamed  an inconsequential anti-Islam video made in in Los Angeles for the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The U.S. ambassador and three others died in that skirmish. But the privately made video wasn’t the reason for the attack at all. Her planting of that bit of fake news went so far as to tell the mother of one of the deceased Americans that the video alone led to the four deaths. She sought to cover up her own inadequacies with that bit of false news.

Fake news has sometimes spawned enormous consequences. In August 1964, President Lyndon Johnson pointed to an attack on U.S. warships by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. The supposed attack spawned congressional passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that led to a huge escalation of the war in Vietnam. But there was no such attack by enemy torpedo boats according to U.S. pilots flying over the area at the time. The mythical Tonkin incident was fake news used by those anxious to expand the war in Vietnam.

In 1963, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren placed blame for the assassination of President Kennedy on the right wing. There was no evidence to back up that assertion but it did result in a few bricks being thrown through the windows of The John Birch Society headquarters in Massachusetts. Fake news does lead to real action.

Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or with the brick throwing. But her use of fake news for her own purposes makes her a leader in the fake news field. In her speech honoring Harry Reid, she called for congressional hearings and eventual legislation to deal with the “epidemic” of fake news that places “lives of ordinary people at risk.” She places herself as a leader in efforts to cancel the right to – rightly or wrongly – discuss political issues.

She knows what can happen when falsehoods are spread, especially when spread by people who are supposed to be reliable. Her newly outspoken concern about falsehoods may indicate her desire for government control of the Internet where false news has found a home.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Media Double Standard Clearly Evident

Media Double Standard Clearly Evident

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Recent headlines insist that Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s choice for a top advisory post, is a hate-filled ogre. Rallies and demonstrations throughout the nation describe him with explosively charged rhetoric. The demonstrators also don’t accept the Trump victory on November 8th while claiming that the President-elect is a racist and sexist hater of gays, Muslims, and immigrants.

Image by Sollok29 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Let’s go back a few years and recall there were no protesters when the hate-filled outbursts of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s became known. Wright was the pastor of a Chicago church where Barack Obama could be found for many years. He and Michelle were so close to Wright that they chose him to perform their marriage ceremony. But a video of Wright captured him exhorting his compliant congregation to join him in proclaiming “God d–n America.”

Obama wasn’t in attendance when Wright’s hateful outburst was caught on film. How many other times the left-leaning pastor called on his parishioners to condemn America isn’t known. But the acceptance by his congregation of his strident condemnation of our nation surely indicated that his call for the Almighty to destroy our country wasn’t an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence.

When that video surfaced, Obama was just a candidate seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination. He quickly responded in a televised speech in which he sought to separate himself from the angry pastor. But there were no protests or riots because of the denied connection between the candidate and his pastor.

Nor did either the mass media report or the protesting minorities make note of Obama’s close relationship with Saul Alinsky, the so-called community organizer who saluted “Lucifer” and taught Marxist political tactics. The mass media would have eagerly pounced on most others for anything remotely equivalent in their background.

Then, there’s the numerous unanswered questions about the Obama birth certificate. Yes, Trump eventually accepted it as legitimate and sought to convert the matter to non-issue status. But questions that the media should have asked, but never did, remain.

For instance, the birth certificate released by the White House after years of ignoring the matter states that the race of Obama’s father was  “African.” But in 1961, blacks were termed Negroes and the term African-American was used by no one. This birth certificate lists the site of Obama’s birth as “Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital.” But in 1961, there was no such institution by that name. A merger of the two separate facilities didn’t occur until 1978 when the hospitals were combined and the new name created. Further, the birth certificate states that Obama’s father was born in “Kenya, East Africa.” But Kenya didn’t exist in 1961. Later formed as an independent nation (in 1963), the region was known in 1961 as “British East Africa Protectorate.”

We point out these remarkable inconsistencies, not to insist that Barack Obama was not a “natural born citizen” but to provide more evidence of the mass media’s willingness to overlook important information that might unfavorably impact one of its favorites. Had Donald Trump, or any Republican for that matter, produced a similarly flawed document or been credibly linked in a relationship with an anti-American like Jeremiah Wright, you can bet the angry youngsters clogging the streets and the liberals and leftists who dominate the Fourth Estate would never let such “juicy” information die.

Those who protest Trump’s victory and media stars who refuse to ask meaningful questions about Obama’s legitimacy show their bias. But the Trump victory indicates that their hold on the thinking of millions of Americans is slipping away. And that’s very good news.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.