marc ambinder

Marc Ambinder

Hack blogger for The Atlantic magazine who pretends to be a real reporter but who's actually simply a worthless hack. Occasionally sent press releases and tidbits from politicians. Was present when John McCain was asked a question about Juan Hernandez and not only did not ask McCain a follow-up, in his discussion of the question he didn't reveal that Hernandez had previously been a cabinet-level member of the Mexican government, pretending only that the issue was that his "positions on illegal immigration seem to be more liberal than McCain's".

Last modified Dec 22, 2008
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Obama devastates GOP "arguments" live on TV (House Republican retreat) - 01/30/10

Barack Obama appeared at a nationally-televised House Republican retreat in Baltimore yesterday at which several leading Republicans asked him questions which he then handled with ease. He "p0wned" them so badly that Fox News cut away from the coverage twenty minutes before it ended. What the House members asked were weak, open-ended question or simply requests. They weren't adversarial questions designed to reveal flaws in his policies or statements. Because of that, they allowed him to say things like this:

And the notion that I would somehow resist doing something that cost half as much but would produce twice as many jobs -- why would I resist that? I wouldn't. I mean, that's my point, is that -- I am not an ideologue. I'm not. It doesn't make sense if somebody could tell me, "You could do this cheaper and get increased results," that I wouldn't say, "Great." ...The problem is, I couldn't find credible economists who would back up the claims that you just made.

He also shined them on: "Here's what I'm going to do, Mike: What I'm going to do is I'm going to take a look at what you guys are proposing" and referenced those who say tea parties types of things: "But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot."

For your entertainment, the transcript is here, video is here and here, and see Marc Ambinder's take here and a Politico report here.

This incident shows a structural problem the GOP has: their leaders are great at cashing checks, but not so great at representing the interests of the American public. They aren't going to change, so if you want to oppose Obama in a smart and effective way you'll have to do it yourself. See the question authority page for a plan (note especially that the questioner has to be experienced), and here's our guide to asking politicians tough questions.

Politifact "Lie of the Year" misleads (Angie Drobnic Holan; Sarah Palin's "death panels") - 12/19/09

Politifact has named Sarah Palin's claim about there being "death panels" in Obama healthcare as their lie of the year; it was the top "lie" selected by both their editors and their readers.

McCain campaign - not Palin - came up with "palling around"; Schmidt regrets largely true ad - 07/10/09

Marc Ambinder has an advance copy (link) of a book about the 2008 elections from Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, and it might contain a good number of behind-the-scenes tidbits.

For instance, one of the mistakes that Sarah Palin made was to claim that Barack Obama was "palling around" with Bill Ayers.

Except, it was Nicolle Wallace of the McCain campaign - and not Palin - that came up with the "palling around" bit.

That allowed the mainstream media to mislead about the relationship between the two, dismissing that relationship by pointing out that they weren't close friends and using that distraction to cover up the series of past links between them. See the contemporaneous coverage of the article from Scott Shane of the New York Times. Despite the fact that that article tried to cover up the relationship, Wallace wrote the following:

"Governor and Team: rick [Davis], Steve [Schmidt] and I suggest the following attack from the new york times. If you are comfortable, please deliver the attack as written. Please do not make any changes to the below without approval from steve or myself because precision is crucial in our ability to introduce this."

Actual "precision" would have involved pointing out that they had a series of affiliations and that the NYT wasn't telling the whole truth about that. Wallace's idea of "precision" hurt Palin and the McCain campaign.

Further, Ambinder says:

At a post-campaign discussion I attended a few months ago, Schmidt said that he regrets two attacks: an ad linking Obama with an Illinois sex-ed program and the decision to go after Obama's friendship with Ayers.

The Illinois sex-ed ad - the one Schmidt regrets - was largely true.

Republicans that Obama administration listens to include McCain, Schwarzenegger, and Mel Martinez (on immigration) - 06/10/09

From our "For What It's Worth" department, Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic offers "The Six Top Republicans Obama Listens To" [1]. He doesn't provide a source for his information, but it could happen. Especially since all those listed are RINOs.

Michael Steele: Obama wasn't vetted because of his race (Ali Frick /ThinkProgress, Ben Smith, Marc Ambinder) - 05/22/09

Guest hosting for Bill Bennett earlier today, Michael Steele said the following:

The problem that we have with this president is that we don’t know [Obama]. He was not vetted, folks. … He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. “Oh gee, wouldn’t it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn’t it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We can continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky to live in an America with a black president.” Okay that’s wonderful, great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe? … So we don’t know. We just don’t know.

Apparently, we're supposed to be Shocked! and Outraged! by him stating something that is correct to a good extent. At least, that's what Ali Frick of ThinkProgress wants us to think (link). Except, as could be expected from that source, all he can do is engage in a logical fallacy by saying it's "striking" that Steele would say such a thing after some sources said that same thing about him. Frick fails to address Steele's argument by, for instance, providing examples of the mainstream media vetting Barack Obama. To deny that they gave Obama a pass with almost everything he said during the campaign is to deny reallity. Not all of that was due to his race; part was due to the fact that he was a Democrat. However, there were several people highlighting how electing a black president would per se be good thing for the U.S.

And, what starts at the leftwing, George Soros-funded ThinkProgress trickles down to lying hack Ben Smith at the Politico who links to their post at "Your Friday Steele" [1], saying:

What happens on Fridays: Michael Steele guest hosts Bill Bennett's radio show; young staffers at Media Matters and the Center for American Progress listen and compete for the most entertaining sound byte.

And, it's a regular hackfest as Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic raises issues with Steele's "civility" [2] then says:

I still know a few Clinton advisers who would, in their heart of hearts, agree with this.

In other words, he's more interested in being political correct and not telling the truth then looking into how and why the mainstream media completely failed to vet Obama.

[1] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/Your_Friday_Steele.html
[2] politics.theatlantic.com/2009/05/a_lesson_in_civility_from_michael_steele.php

Marc Ambinder pretends Obama's citizenship isn't a "legit" topic - 12/03/08

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic - a blogger who tries to pretend that he's a real reporter - offers "Discourse Watch: Obama's Citizenship A Legit Topic?" (link) in which he falsely states that questions over where exactly Barack Obama was born are "specious" and have "been convincingly refuted". At his post, the last bit links to Snopes, which is not a reliable source.

In fact, where exactly Barack Obama was born has not been definitively proven. Ambinder might want it to be in the U.S., but that's simply wishful thinking. Statements from Obama himself are not proof, since he might not even know. JPEGs on websites - especially one run by an organization that receives money from a foundation that also funded an organization led by Obama - are not definitive proof. In fact, Obama has studiously avoided providing even basic information about his past, including not just his vault birth certificate but also his college applications and other documentation.

It is simply false to state that we definitively know where Obama was born. And, Ambinder is simply an establishment hack who wants to substitute what might be a useful fiction for the truth.

He also goes further:

Today, the Townhall.com spotlight [an advertising supplement] features a fundraising plea from a foundation [the United States Justice Foundation, link] that wants to prove, in court, that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president and therefore wants to do a whole lot of bad things involving amnesty, illegal aliens and the United Nations.

Hack that he is, Ambinder didn't include the whole ad, but presumably the "bad things" refers to ending birthright citizenship, something that is certainly a valid topic for discussion. And, presumably they want to block amnesty, something that is not a "bad thing" but which is supported by millions of Americans, and would be supported by a vast majority if they weren't constantly lied to by hacks like Ambinder.

UPDATE: No matter what I do, trackbacks I send to Ambinder's entries never show up. This site should have sent an automatic ping, I clicked the link twice in an attempt to invoke auto-discovery, and I twice got a success message from some PHP code I wrote to use a trackback class. It's almost like Ambinder doesn't have the guts to approve trackbacks that show how much of a hack he is.

UPDATE 2: He offers a follow-up called "Beating The Dead Donkey: Your Next President Is Eligible For His Job" [1]. I haven't verified the rest of it, but the following is a lie:

Well, his birth certificate is valid, for one thing; it's survived scrutiny and has been sanctioned as valid by the legal authority empowered to sanction such things. A conspiracy to cover this up is -- would be -- preposterous.

Once again: the state of Hawaii has not "sanctioned" his cert, they've only said it's on file. "Sanctioning" it - i.e., validating it - would be illegal without Obama's permission, something that he has not given.

[1] 8/24/10 UPDATE: The Donkey link above appears to have disappeared; it was originally at
marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/_citizen_yes_but_not.php. An excerpt is here.

John McCain still skates on Juan Hernandez issue, again (Matt Lewis) - 06/04/08

On a conference call today (link via this), Matt Lewis of Townhall asked John McCain about his Hispanic outreach director Juan Hernandez, a former cabinet level official with the Mexican government who worked directly with Vicente Fox.

John McCain's Juan Hernandez almost gets MSM attention (Eunice Moscoso, WashTimes, Marc Ambinder) - 02/15/08

John McCain's director of Hispanic outreach is a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen who until 2002 worked directly with Vicente Fox as part of his cabinet.

Allez Obama! (the blogs are alive with sock puppets) - 01/21/08

There seem to be a large number of sock puppets (per Wikipedia an "online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community") running loose on various blog sites and leaving comments supporting various candidates such as Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, and occasionally others.

Matt Yglesias, Ross Douthat, and Marc Ambinder at... The Table - 12/19/07

This video of the premiere edition of The Atlantic's entry into vlogging is just too funny for words. I was laughing so hard at the intro music plus the hosts turning to the camera that I was unable to listen to the rest (probably for the best).