Another Defenestration

Anatomy of a Hit Piece

May 14, 2019

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Anatomy of a Hit Piece

A corrupt Memphis journalist tried to shoot down a conservative judge, and he used me as the bullet. Here’s the whole sordid story.

It all started with illegal immigration. Shelby County (Tennessee) Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey has a weird idea about the law: He thinks it should be obeyed. So, when illegal immigrants appear in his courtroom for offenses like drunk driving or robbery, if they get probation, Judge Lammey tells them, “Now that you’re on probation, you get sent to jail if you violate the law. Your continued illegal residence is a crime, so I’m keeping you in jail for violating the law while on probation” (he also gives illegals the option of turning themselves in to ICE).

To Judge Lammey, it all comes down to this: A judge can’t turn a blind eye to an offender committing a crime—any crime—while on probation.

Judge Lammey is not an immigration court judge. He only encounters illegals when they commit a separate offense within his jurisdiction. “The bottom line is if you enter the country illegally then don’t break the law. That way I won’t ever see you,” Lammey recently told a local reporter. Commonsense advice, right? Not to leftists. Lammey must be destroyed for merely saying, “You already broke one law by entering the U.S. illegally. Is it too much to ask that you don’t break another?”

We’ve met the good guy. Now let’s meet the villain.

Daniel Connolly writes for a Memphis newspaper called The Commercial Appeal (a name that sounds like something you pick up for free at the supermarket for coupons). According to his personal website, he “uses rigorous reporting to tell true stories about immigration, economics and globalization.” He brags about his ace reportage on vital stories like “debates over garbage fees and a zoo exhibit on chickens.”

Well, give that guy a Pulitzer! Remember Murrow’s piece on zoo chickens? Of course you do; it defined him as a journalist.

Connolly is quite the ideologue when it comes to immigration. He’s one of those “no human is illegal” fanatics, and, as fanatics do, he doesn’t allow ethics to get in the way of his agenda. This extends to altering the words of others. Connolly wrote a tearjerker book about a Mexican illegal trying to “fit in” or something like that, and on his website, he took this sentence from the Kirkus review—“A story of one child of illegal immigrants that has much wider, timely resonance”—and cut the “illegal immigrants” from the quote, thus changing the meaning of the reviewer’s sentence.

As you’ll soon see, Danny loves misrepresenting the words of others.

One last thing, and this is totally trivial. Physically, Connolly bears an unsettling resemblance to The Wire’s sleazy, dishonest, unprincipled Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Templeton, the most irredeemably foul character on a show filled with foul characters.

So that’s the backstory. A judge who is unwilling to turn a blind eye to illegal conduct, and an activist, pro-illegal-immigration reporter backed by a mass media that applauds sanctuary cities that flaunt the law, and condemns jurists who uphold it. You’ve met the hero and the villain. Time to bring in the cussing, alcoholic antihero.

In my column from a month ago, “Stop With the Golems, Already,” I wrote about how my fellow Jews are often their own worst enemy, specifically when it comes to importing immigrants who hate them. At least Mexican immigration is born of a common border. But there’s no reason for over a hundred thousand Somali Muslims to be in the frigid Midwest. That’s not organic; it’s a situation that was engineered by open-border “multiculturalists,” including many influential leftist Jews. My column was not “anti-Semitic.” My argument was that we Jews need to stop supporting policies that bring in foreigners who are anti-Semitic.

“You’ve met the hero and the villain. Time to bring in the cussing, alcoholic antihero.”

My good friend Ann Coulter told me she thought it was a brilliant piece, and the next day, as she so often and so kindly does, she tweeted it out four times to her 2.14 million followers. Judge Lammey saw it on her Twitter, read it, and posted it on his personal Facebook page, calling it an “interesting read.”

And Danny Connolly pounced. “Memphis judge posts Facebook link to Holocaust denier’s essay calling immigrants ‘foreign mud,’” screamed the April 30 headline in the Penny Saver (I mean, Commercial Appeal). Soon the piece was picked up by USA Today, and a coalition of Latino, black, Jewish, and Muslim advocacy groups (including the ADL, CAIR, Latino Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission) swiftly demanded Judge Lammey’s removal.

Connolly basked in the glory of his “accomplishment,” crafting a lengthy Twitter thread explaining how he pulled off such an amazing feat of investigative journalism (the doofus acted like he’d uncovered the Pentagon Papers). According to Connolly’s thread, it all started when some random dude told him, “Hey, check out Lammey’s Facebook; it’s not private.” And Connolly went to Facebook and scrolled. That’s the literal extent of his “investigative reporting”: He scrolled a page. Then he ambushed Lammey with the accusation that he’d posted a column by a “Holocaust denier,” even though Connolly’s own source for my background, a 2013 piece in The Guardian, specifically and purposely states that I’m a revisionist, not a denier. Connolly also neglected to tell Lammey that I’m Jewish, and he failed to point out that my Holocaust-related essays (at Takimag and on my own site) are staunchly anti-denial. Essentially, he sought to entrap the judge with misinformation.

In his article, Connolly excerpted a total of ten words from my 1,837-word essay. Ten words. One six-word half sentence, and two two-word phrases (“integration craze” and “foreign mud”), presented with zero context. In fact, Connolly outright misled regarding “integration craze,” claiming that I’d “criticized” integration, when in my piece I was actually criticizing the hypocrisy of leftist Jews who fight for things like forced busing, only to remove their kids from public schools once those policies are implemented (I’ve written of this phenomenon previously regarding the 85% black L.A. public schools I attended in my youth). Connolly’s comment that I “criticized the ‘integration craze’” is a barefaced lie, pure and simple.

The “foreign mud” phrase referred to Jewish lore, in which enchanted earth (mud or clay) is used by fearful Jews to build protective monsters called golems that inevitably end up turning on their masters. I compared the domestic (figurative) golems modern-day Jews had created to the new, foreign golems, which I defined as immigrants who hate Jews. The “foreign mud” comment clearly referred to the golem-esque nature of anti-Jewish Muslim immigrants, but Connolly’s headline falsely stated that it referred to all immigrants, another blatant lie by Mr. Zoo Chickens.

My essay is anti–Jew hatred, a plea to stop supporting the artificially engineered population transfers that import people like Ilhan Omar—blind zealots who come here not to adapt but to alter, bringing with them their own animosities, vendettas, and dysfunctions. Claiming my column called all immigrants “foreign mud” borders on libel.

And Connolly’s braggadocio regarding the “impact” of his column? USA Today is a fellow Gannett newspaper. It routinely plucks filler from affiliated local papers like the Smart Shopper (I mean, Commercial Appeal). And that coalition of advocacy groups? Each member is only involved because Connolly contacted those groups himself on Twitter, encouraging the formation of the very coalition he now reports on…while never mentioning his role in its assembly (typically unethical behavior on his part).

Due to the limitations of Connolly’s journalistic skill set (which consists solely of scrolling and lying), the piece failed to go viral. He tried to interest The Guardian, but Connolly didn’t realize that I make regular appearances in that genuinely respected newspaper, and never as a denier (usually as an expert on Hollywood conservatives). However, a week after publication, the hit piece was spotted by the JTA, and from there it spread to The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, The Forward, the Daily Mail, The Independent, and Heavy. I expect more to come next week.

Realizing he was in over his head, Connolly sent me an email promising, for future articles, to respect my “preference” for being called a revisionist, not a denier: “If I write future articles on this subject, I can note that this is your current preference. If you have another preference, let me know.”

“These aren’t gender pronouns,” I replied. “Don’t be concerned with my ‘preferences,’ Mr. Connolly. Be concerned with your ethics.”

And behold, in his follow-up article on the Lammey case, Connolly redacted all mention of “David Cole” and “Holocaust denier.” What used to be the lede—the literal headline—was now absent from the story. Let’s be clear about what happened: Connolly used “judge posts Holocaust denier’s essay” in order to get the judge in trouble. And now that the judge is in trouble, he erases “Holocaust denier” from the story, like it never existed. The duplicitous Connolly would fit right in at the NY Times. “Did we say we were accusing Trump of collusion? No, never. It was always about obstruction!”

In a last-ditch effort to dig themselves out of their hole, Connolly and his editor at the Fearless Flyer (dang, did it again! Commercial Appeal) encouraged me to sound off on their letters-to-the-editor page. I told them that it would be beneath me. However, if I ever have an exclusive on zoo chickens, I’ll certainly drop those amateurs a line.

Judge Lammey might lose his job simply for posting my column, all due to the machinations of a dishonorable pseudo-journalist. I want to stop that from happening. If I can help a good man, I’m happy. If I can help a good judge, I’m very happy. And if I can figuratively kick the stuffing out of a bad reporter, well…I’m ecstatic.

On May 8, the Shelby County Commission Law Enforcement and Courts Committee endorsed a resolution to censure Judge Lammey, following a hearing in which black, Latino, Jewish, and Muslim activists took turns hysterically calling the judge a Nazi. A vote by the full commission on the endorsed resolution will take place on the thirteenth (too late for my deadline). After that vote, a formal recommendation for Judge Lammey’s removal can be presented to the legislature. And if the legislature acts, the left will have successfully destroyed exactly the kind of judge we all need in this country right now.

The county commissioners have asked Judge Lammey to appear before them ahead of the full vote. The judge has very kindly provided me with the text of his letter of response, which I will run in full, because you can bet the press won’t. Next week, I’ll provide an update.

May 10, 2019
To the Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners
160 N. Main Street
Suite 600
Memphis, TN 38103

Thank you for inviting me to appear before your next scheduled meeting May 13, 2019. I must respectfully decline your invitation to said meeting due to my heavy trial docket scheduled that day. I have 45 cases seven of which are set for trial as of this writing. These separate trials include three Murder First Degree cases, three Aggravated Robbery cases and one Rape of a Child case. This is a fairly typical Monday schedule in just one of ten similar criminal courts who are all working hard for the citizens of Shelby County.

Additionally, as is widely reported, I am required to respond to a pending Board of Judicial Conduct complaint that would also make it impossible for me to appear, until such complaint is resolved. Besides it seems you’ve already reached a conclusion without my side of the story.

I adamantly deny the characterization of me by the local media and certain interest groups as being a Holocaust Denier, anti-immigrant, and racist. Please find attached a note sent to me from the author of the article I shared that everyone, who obviously did not read it, seems to be so offended by. I merely said it was “Interesting.” It sets the record straight against those who so maliciously mischaracterize me as an anti-Semite hater of all immigrants. The writer is Jewish and not a Holocaust denier. The local newspaper’s initial dramatic heading, tying me to a Holocaust denier, and accompanying article was all based on a falsehood. This is character assassination at its best. It is perhaps libelous as well since the falsehood has maliciously continued to flourish, even here. Incidentally, I believe all immigrants should come here legally. That’s my constitutional right under the First Amendment.

I have taken an oath to administer justice without respect of persons. I have lived up to that oath for 29 years and I will continue to do so. I have a sworn duty to apply the law fairly and justly. I have a solemn duty to the decent law abiding citizens of Shelby County Tennessee to follow the law and not ignore it. I intend to do just that.

Sincerely,

Judge James M. Lammey, Jr.
Criminal Court Division V

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