The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jess Levin (202) 772-8162

Enough Is Enough

Right-wing machine's targeting of Jennings is latest in smear campaign against administration officials


Today, Media Matters for
denounced the latest development in the ongoing, highly coordinated,
Fox News-driven smear campaign against Obama administration officials and

Media conservatives recently called for
the firing of Department of Education official Kevin Jennings.
Their demands, based
on made-up claims
, follow what has become a clear pattern for the
conservative media: launching baseless attacks against administration officials as part of an ongoing
witch hunt designed for pure partisan gain.

"There is no line
the right-wing media won't cross in their relentless quest to destroy the Obama administration,"
said Eric
Burns, president of Media Matters. "This
isn't investigative journalism -- it's a partisan witch hunt. It is time
responsible journalists called it what it is. Enough is enough."


The smear campaign underway against Jennings
relies on the made-up charge that Jennings
"cover[ed] up statutory rape" that he was purportedly informed of 21 years ago. In fact, Jennings' attorney wrote in a 2004
letter that the student involved was 16 years old, which is the legal age of
consent in Massachusetts.
But conservative media figures, among them Sean
Hannity and the Washington Times,
have recklessly advanced the smear.

Such indefensible accusations follow a well established pattern. As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, members of the
conservative media, Glenn Beck key among them, are conducting a relentless and frequently defamatory witch hunt for "czars" in
the Obama administration.

Office of Safe and
Drug-Free Schools Director Kevin Jennings

  • Hannity and Fox News
    defended Hastert during Foley scandal

  • Despite evidence to
    contrary, Fox News machine claims Jennings
    "cover[ed] up statutory rape"

  • After
    truncated Jennings'
    quote, Wash. Times,
    Fox Nation accuse "safe school czar" of "encouraging"
    statutory rape

  • More witch-hunting:
    Fox News targets "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings

White House science
and technology adviser John Holdren

  • Hannity falsely claims
    science adviser Holdren "advocated compulsory abortion"

  • Hannity again
    falsely claimed Holdren "has talked in favor of compulsory abortion
    and sterilization"

  • Fox's Pinkerton:
    "mad scientist" Holdren "calling for mandatory euthanasia
    and sterilization and population control"

State Department
legal adviser Harold Koh

  • Hannity advances
    dubious claim that Koh "advocates Sharia law in America"

  • Hannity again claims
    Holdren "supports compulsory abortion," Koh "says the U.S.
    should follow Sharia law in certain cases"

  • After Hannity smears
    Holdren, Koh, Sunstein, Stephanopoulos replies, "I will have to
    investigate them"

Chief diversity
officer at the Federal Communications Commission Mark Lloyd

  • Wash. Times
    enlists in Beck's crusade against FCC diversity officer Mark Lloyd

  • Beck claims FCC
    "diversity czar" Lloyd's statement that we need "more
    people of color, gays" in "important positions" is

  • Dobbs now
    race-baiting Mark Lloyd, FCC's chief diversity officer

Office of
Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein

  • Witch hunt
    continues: Fox goes after Sunstein with false smears

  • Napolitano on
    Sunstein: "His potential damage is limitless"

  • Fox News' Rosen:
    "Rats could attack us in the sewers and court systems if all of Cass
    Sunstein's writings became law"

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.