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Obama’s Assault on Free Speech: The Sequel

A few weeks ago, I offered an account of the effort by the Obama campaign to shut down an interview with Stanley Kurtz on Chicago’s WGN radio.

Well, here we go again.
Last night, WGN’s studio lines were bombarded with irate calls from Obama supporters in response to yet another interview on “Extension 720,” hosted by the venerable Milt Rosenberg. This time the offending “card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine” was National Review’s own David Freddoso, author of The Case Against Barack Obama.
What, pray tell, are Freddoso’s transgressions? According to the Obama Action Wire email, he peddles “baseless lies,” engages in “dishonest, extreme hate mongering,” and has made a career out of “vicious partisan attacks.” The email urges supporters to call in and “confront” Freddoso before “this goes any further.” They’re also encouraged to report back the details of their phone calls through a special dedicated page on Obama’s website.
The email even boasts about the success of a previous blitz on free speech:

A couple weeks ago, we asked you to call into Rosenberg’s radio show when he hosted unapologetic smear artist Stanley Kurtz’ incoherent rantings about Barack and William Ayers.

And you responded. Rosenberg’s producer said the flood of calls and emails the show received was the biggest response ever for something like this.

How true! Never before had Rosenberg’s show been inundated with hysterical telephone calls and threatening emails aimed at not at debate but at disrupting a legitimate interview. The Obama campaign’s characterization of the Kurtz conversation as “the incoherent rantings” of an “unapologetic smear artist” is particularly absurd.
During the August fiasco, outraged pro-Obama callers fumed that WGN had offered Kurtz an unchallenged forum, despite the fact that Team Obama had declined an invitation to appear alongside Kurtz for the duration of the program. This time, however, Freddoso was actually paired up with an Obama-supporting counterpart. This wasn’t good enough for the Obama thought police, who blasted out marching orders to shut down the discussion. Once again, the phones melted down. The Obama campaign should be proud.
Interestingly, the call-to-action email devotes a great deal of space to trying to discredit Freddoso himself — citing allegedly offensive articles he authored as far back as 2003. Apparently shooting the messenger is a major element of what the email calls “fighting the good fight.”
Other elements of the Obama “fact check” are just laughable. Consider, for instance, this item:

“Freddoso asks Barack, “How many unrepentant Communist terrorists do you have as friends?” [p. 126] This question is so ridiculous it refutes itself. Barack might as well ask Freddoso how many leprechauns he’s friends with.”

A “ridiculous” question? At last count, Obama is friends with at least two unrepentant terrorists. Despite attending Notre Dame, I don’t think Freddoso has ever known any actual leprechauns.

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