Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Charles Johnson, posting at his site Little Green Footballs, has led a vicious smear campaign against the Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft and myself over the GP report on the now-canceled plans for a resort hotel for illegal alien children in Weslaco, Texas.
Writing in articles and tweets Johnson has repeatedly used incendiary language to accuse Jim and I of a “Bald Faced Lie” for reporting that BCFS (formerly Baptist Child and Family Services) was awarded a $50 million federal contract to run a transition center for illegal alien children flooding the border at the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites.
“Gateway Pundit Claims the “Obama Admin” Awarded a “$50M Contract” to House Migrant Children: A Bald-Faced Lie”
“That’s right, folks; Kristinn Taylor is simply lying about this. He completely made it up (yes, Kristinn is a man).”
Johnson has railed against Jim and I for the past two days over this, inciting hatred against us though his outrageous defamatory language. Johnson’s claims have been repeated with similar defamatory language at sites including Wonkette, Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars. Salon and Media Matters also accused us of lying.
The charge is that I made up a lie which Jim published about the $50 million contract that ended up harming illegal alien children and the town of Weslaco.
Johnson cites a Valley Morning Star article published two days after the Valley Morning Star article linked to in my report that uses similar language to report a Hidalgo County commissioner saying the contract would “have an annual economic impact of some $50 million” to somehow prove I was lying.
What Johnson fails to report is that I link in my article to a report by KRGV-TV posted July 14 that states:
“WESLACO – BCFS Health and Human Services secured a $50-million federal contract to house young illegal immigrants in Weslaco.
“The network of non-profit agencies will take over the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites on FM 1015.
“BCFS officials say they plan to have 600 beds once the hotel is turned into immigrant housing. They say 650 jobs will be created at the site.”
The KRGV-TV report includes video showing their anchor reporting on air the same report about a $50 million federal contract for BCFS.
Charles Johnson and those who have repeated his falsehoods, smears and attacks owe the Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft and myself prominent front page apologies and retractions on their sites and other sites where they made statements or their statements were repeated by others such as Twitter and Facebook.
Johnson should post an equal number of apology tweets on Twitter to those he tweeted with his malicious and reckless falsehoods.
Johnson’s malicious statements with reckless disregard for the truth are I believe actionable. The sites that recklessly and maliciously repeated his statements with reckless disregard for the truth are also likely subject to action.
It was only well after my report was published that unnamed “officials” told Fox News that BCFS had not yet submitted a proposal to the federal government for the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites:
“Officials said the project never reached the point of submitting a proposal to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but one of the hotel’s current owners confirmed that a sales agreement with BCSF had been in place.”
BCFS did not explain why they told the local media that they had secured a $50 million federal contract and had told local officials the deal was worth $50 million to the local economy.
As Gateway Pundit reported BCFS is a federal contracting juggernaut having been awarded a $190 million contract by the Obama administration just this month. All told In 2014 BCFS has received nearly $300 million in federal contracts to attend to illegal alien children.
BCFS obviously had the green light from the Obama administration to rush in to a deal that was worth the group spending a reported $3.8 million in what BCFS claimed would have been non-federal money to buy the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites to house illegal alien teens there starting October 1st . Otherwise it would not have risked its reputation in its home base of Texas and its relationship with the Obama administration by telling the local media and government officials it was buying a $3.8 million resort hotel to fulfill a $50 million annual federal contract to handle illegal alien teenagers.
It is not our fault the currently open Palm Aire Hotel and Suites advertises (with eye-catching photographs) it has large beautiful swimming pools, Jacuzzis, saunas, tennis courts, racquet ball courts and a spacious exercise room with 20 machines and free weights.
Again, Charles Johnson and the others: apologize and retract.