One More Media Matters Con Man

Ilana Mercer, September 2, 2011

Terry Krepel authors a website called ConWebWatch. “The focus of ConWebWatch,” Krepel declares on the site, is “the ConWeb—large, well-funded, Internet-based conservative ‘news’ organizations [such as] NewsMax, WorldNetDaily and” (I’ve inserted words in parenthesis so as to alert the reader to the edit. Accurate reporting should enable readers to distinguish editorial from authorial input.)

As a biographical note, Krepel adds that he “became employed by Media Matters for America in July 2004.” At his Huffington-Post perch, Krepel is duly described as a “Media Matters senior editor.” Media Matters for America purports to be a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

Our ace writer ought to have stated that he has been employed at Media Matters since 2004. “I became employed” thus might be ugly English for, “I was once but am no longer employed by Media Matters.” Conversely, perhaps this is a fellow whose intelligible written English is confined to the words “racial discrimination”?

Himself Krepel describes as “a veteran of 17 years in professional journalism as a newspaper writer, designer and editor. I know the ins and outs of the business and how it can be used and misused—and I see how the conservative Internet media is misusing journalism.”

His mission Krepel defines as documenting “the distortions, excesses and hypocrisy of these conservative media sites.” Almost daily Krepel will dissect what Joseph Farah, Erik Rush, Aaron Klein, Jerome Corsi and others on and have to say.

His method, crows Krepel, is to “hoist the conservative media on the petard of hypocrisy, accuracy and objectivity” by “using their own words.”

Untrue; at least in my case. Krepel has libeled me not by “using [my] own words.” Instead, this self-styled “veteran of professional journalism” has omitted quotation marks from sections of the column, “Don’t Believe Michelle Obama,” which he excerpted liberally on ConWebWatch. (The omission begins with, “Washington and Westminster,” and ends with “the disaster that is post-apartheid South Africa.”)

Leaving off quotation marks has allowed Krepel to seamlessly inject his own interpretations of my words into his “report,” and frame these superimposed distortions as opinions I promote.

Krepel began his litany by accusing me, on June 12, 2011, of lionizing Eugene Terre’Blanche, the murdered leader of South Africa’s Afrikaner Resistance Movement. This daughter of an anti-apartheid activist (me) also stands in the dock for “pining for the days of apartheid,” and helping to hide Terre’Blanche’s “group’s history of violence and white supremacism.”

In the “War on White South Africa,” I had reported on the manner in which the controversial 69-year-old Mr. Terre’Blanche was bludgeoned to a pulp with pangas and pipes by two black farmhands. The old Afrikaner had not threatened anyone.

But Terry Krepel bays for the blood of Terre’Blanche, who “reaped what he sowed.” Or so writes Krepel of Terre’Blanche’s “violent life” and “violent death.”

What, then, of the many farming families who’ve met a similar fate?

As my book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” documents, South Africa’s farmland is a vast burial ground for thousands of farmers. How does Krepel dismiss their deaths? And why does Krepel conceal that the Terre’Blanche killing bore the telltale signs of a farm murder? Do these victims deserve the fate that befell Terre’Blanche?

Pray tell us, Terry Krepel, if you believe that the indefatigable Dr. Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch also harbors “racial ambitions,” for expressly recognizing that innocent Anglo- and Afrikaner farmers, many of whom might have held racially impure thoughts, are being targeted? For some time now, Dr. Stanton has been warning about the systematic extermination of rural whites in South Africa.

Alas, for failing to celebrate Terre’Blanche’s murder, I am said to be a lionizer and a sympathizer. Contra Krepel—and without fear or favor—I sympathize with innocents murdered, no matter their political persuasion, a stand that I extend to Col Muammar Gaddafi’s son and grandsons, who were eliminated by the proxies of President Barack Obama.

As do I disavow democracy. The rights to life, liberty and property were not meant to be subject to the vagaries of majority rule. For this perfectly proper position, Krepel has implied that I’m racist.

Ignored by Krepel is what every democratic theorist worth his salt knows: South Africa doesn’t even qualify as a democracy. The scholarly data cited in my book stipulate that a prerequisite for a classical liberal democracy is that majority and minority status should be interchangeable and fluid; that a ruling majority party should be as likely to become a minority party as the obverse. By contrast, in South Africa, the majority and the minorities are permanent, not temporary.

That’s untrammeled tyranny.

By leaving off quotations marks—and failing to separate, via block quotes, much of my excerpted words from his own superimposed interpretations—Krepel has been able to impugn me for ideas I have not expressed. To go by Krepel, my ultimate purpose is that “people not like [me] shouldn’t get to vote.” Commensurate with Krepel’s dishonest journalism, this assertion is unsupported by citations.

“Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa” is faithful to the classical liberalism of the American Founding Fathers. Thus, the book distinguishes between natural rights and political rights, as classical liberals of the founders’ era did. These thinkers saw men as endowed with natural—but not necessarily political—rights. People fuss about apartheid having denied the majority its democratic rights (the vote). Denying people political privileges does not necessarily amount to depriving them of natural justice.

As explained in the book, apartheid “did more than disenfranchise the majority; it denied the majority’s economic freedoms. Citizenship rights, after all, are not natural rights. It is natural rights that the law ought to always and everywhere respect and uphold. “In its police state methods—indefinite detention without trial, declarations of a state of emergency—apartheid destroyed the individual defenses of equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, habeas corpus and various other very basic freedoms. That the apartheid regime contravened natural justice by depriving Africans of rights to property and due process is indisputable as it is despicable.” (Page

Disputes about democracy notwithstanding, there can be no disagreement over Krepel’s crappy journalism.

September 2

CATEGORIES: Classical liberalism, Crime, Democracy, Ethics, Founding Fathers, Left-liberalism, Media, Natural rights, Political Philosophy, Propaganda, Racial issues, South Africa

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