NYT Follows USA Today in Attempt to Tie QAnon to John Birch Society

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NYT Follows USA Today in Attempt to Tie QAnon to John Birch Society

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Following on the heels of USA Today’s smear piece thinly disguised as an op-ed comparing The John Birch Society (JBS) to the wide-ranging (and mentally exhausting) conspiracy theories of QAnon, the New York Times decided to get in on the action. In an opinion piece on Tuesday, the Times spent seven paragraphs comparing JBS (apples) to QAnon (oranges).

While it is true that — in all fairness — the articles from USA Today and the Times are two distinct articles, it appears they were pressed with the same cookie cutter. The Times piece regurgitates — thought for thought, if not word for word — many of the same tired, old arguments as the USA Today piece. This writer addressed the USA Today piece in a previous article. But the new hit piece by the Times deserves its own analysis.

After attempting to tie President Trump to QAnon — even after his answer to that question in a press briefing should have been sufficient to drive a stake through the heart of any further attempt to do so —Times contributor Geoffrey Kabaservice spent seven paragraphs trying to tie JBS to QAnon. And like his counterpart over at USA Today, he failed miserably. Because there is no connection — either in the organizations or their underlying philosophies.

Kabaservice wrote:

QAnon presents the same kind of threat to the Republican Party that the far-right John Birch Society did in the late 1950s and ’60s. The Birchers trafficked in similar concepts of an evil elite corrupting and betraying the country. The society’s founder, the retired candy-maker Robert Welch, considered even President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, to be “a conscious, dedicated” Communist agent.

Kabaservice is either dishonest, lazy, or both. Because a simple search would have showed him that this magazine — a subsidiary of JBS — had just answered that very claim in a previous article. That article, published online Friday, addressed that claim because it had just been made by USA Today’s Jonathan Zimmerman. From our response:

Zimmerman’s claim that “Welch insisted that former President Dwight Eisenhower was a ‘dedicated, conscious agent of the communist conspiracy’” is misleading, to say the least. Prior to the founding of The John Birch Society, Welch wrote in a long private letter that later was published in book form called The Politician that Eisenhower could have been an opportunist, too dumb to recognize that his actions were helping the communists, or “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist Conspiracy.” He offered his opinion that it was the latter, while also acknowledging that readers could choose any of the three possibilities to explain Eisenhower’s actions. And the specific words Welch used to express his own personal opinion made clear that he did not view Eisenhower as a “communist” (though over the years many liberal commentators have falsely accused him of saying this), but as an “agent of the Communist Conspiracy.” Readers may disagree with that conclusion, but there is no question that the facts assembled by Welch in The Politician (which is still in print) make a very compelling case that Eisenhower’s actions both before and when president benefited the communists while undermining America — a much, much more compelling case than liberals who claim today, despite the absence of facts, that Trump is an “agent” of Putin.

Next, Kabaservice wrote:

Birchers were never more than a small fraction of Republicans. But in some key states like California, they made up a sizable share of the party’s primary voters, donors and activists — what we now would call “the base.” Barry Goldwater became the 1964 Republican presidential nominee in part thanks to their efforts.

Even so, many Republican officials were willing to condemn the Birch Society, particularly after public revulsion over right-wing extremism (among other factors) contributed to the party’s catastrophic losses in the 1964 elections. Robert Taft Jr., the son and grandson of famous conservative politicians, emphasized that extremism was alien to Republican philosophy and that the party should not be “a home for the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, or any similar group.”

Here, Kabaservice reaches low for two of the Left’s tiredest, oldest attacks on JBS: First, only referring to the JBS in the past tense, implying that the JBS is a thing of the past. In fact, JBS is alive and well. Second, he introduces the “sandwich smear” by quoting someone who mentions JBS and the Ku Klux Klan in the same sentence, implying that JBS shares a philosophy of racial superiority with the Klan. In reality, the record of JBS on this front is clear: The John Birch Society has always condemned the Klan and all those who share their idiotic views. Again — a little basic research would have told Kabaservice that, if he had cared to know.

Kabaservice then spends another 288 words (or 1,830 characters) recycling more of the same garbage (often using the same words) that Zimmerman tried on Friday. The end result is the same — he winds up with a screed of lies, exaggerations, and errors that would embarrass any honest journalist. He fails in both his attempt to connect JBS and QAnon and in his attempt to connect Trump and QAnon.

But it does bring up an interesting question. If he truly believes JBS is a defunct relic of a bygone era and so irrelevant as to be worthy only of dismissal, why spent seven paragraphs slandering the organization?

Methinks he doth protest too much.

As to the alleged connection between Trump and QAnon, this writer reported on that absurdity when the president answered it in a press briefing on August 19. That article included — in toto — the relevant portion of the transcript from that briefing, showing the President Trump does not endorse QAnon. If this writer could find that transcript, Kabaservice could have as well.

As to the connection between JBS and QAnon, it just so happens that this writer has also addressed that issue. It was actually done before either Zimmerman or Kabaservice wasted perfectly good pixels on their hit pieces. In an article originally published in print and then published online, I addressed the lack of credibility and veracity of QAnon’s wild claims and conspiracy theories. I also compared (and contrasted) QAnon and JBS, writing:

Perhaps a comparison between Q and this magazine’s parent company, The John Birch Society, will help illuminate what real patriot leadership looks like. Since its founding in 1958, The John Birch Society has published innumerable books, articles, and other documents to expose the forces bent on global control. In all of the claims made by JBS, four points stand out. First, they are all deliberately clear, never vague and obfuscated to create confusion or misinterpretation. Second, they have all been painstakingly researched and documented, usually including citations to original source material. Third, JBS has never been shown to have gone out on any limbs with unfounded theories. In other words, JBS has never credibly been accused of making false claims or predictions. And fourth, when JBS exposes a problem, it also proposes a solution that members and others can work to employ. In other words, the JBS recognizes that if we are going to save our freedoms, we must work to bring that about through our own hard work (while, of course, also recognizing the need for God’s help); we cannot sit back and watch the show, expecting somebody else to save our freedoms for us. None of this can be said of Q. And above and beyond all of that, JBS publishes a list of its leaders, both at its headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, and in the field staff across the country. While Q’s followers have speculated wildly about who Q is, no one knows. But given the facts populating this article, the question should be raised: If the Deep State wanted to discredit and neutralize American patriots, could it have invented anything that would have been better designed for that purpose than Q? Of course, considering the trollish nature of 4chan, it is just as likely that Q is a group of 20-somethings laughing themselves silly for having pulled of a large-scale Internet prank that has taken on a life of its own.

One thing is obvious: Q is not — as claimed — someone with access to classified information involving the battle between the Trump administration and its opponents in the liberal establishment and who is working to save America by sharing the truth.

Given the tone of that article — published by the magazine wholly owned and operated by JBS — would any reasonable person conclude a connection between JBS and QAnon? But this writer digresses; we are not dealing with reasonable persons.


C. Mitchell Shaw is a freelance writer and public speaker who addresses a range of topics related to liberty and the U.S. Constitution. A strong privacy advocate, he was a privacy nerd before it was cool.

Courtesy of The New American