Oh, Politico, why do you do this? We've noted time and again Politico's tireless devotion to the elevation of absolute nonsense into the national discourse, but even they aren't usually as blatant with their cluelessness. Politico has a list of what they term "50 Politicos To Watch," and among this crowd is - seriously - Andrew Breitbart.
No, this isn't an unfortunate coincidence where some poor congressional aide or K Street lawyer shares a name with serial fabricator and smear artist Andrew Breitbart. This is the Andrew Breitbart, in the same week where his dishonesty was exposed (yet again) in the attack on Shirley Sherrod. This is who Politico holds up as someone with "a certain mystique." That's not mystique, Politico, those are pants on fire.
Even worse, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post asked Politico editor John Harris why would they write a glossy ode to a charlatan like Breitbart? His answer: "The Breitbart piece for the 50 Politicos feature was assigned and reported weeks ago." But we've known for months now that Breitbart's stock in trade is blatant dishonesty. The episode with Sherrod is just the latest fabrication to come from Team Breitbart, but most notable was the undercover ACORN videos the California Attorney General described as "severely" edited. This information about Breitbart was well known and yet Politico still assigned a writer to tell us about Breitbart's "mystique."
What Politico is telling us with this selection of Breitbart is that what they choose to elevate and celebrate in Washington is a figure consistently associated with dishonesty and farce. So be it.
Fox News misreporting on health care reform? You could be excused if you saw the following exchange on America Live with Megyn Kelly and assumed it was a rerun from earlier this year or last summer, because the same old tired and incorrect assertions about the public option turned up again.
The video of now-former USDA official Shirley Sherrod released by Andrew Breitbart's Big Government discussing work she did with the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund was an excerpt from a longer speech. According to Sherrod, the video doesn't show the full context of her remarks and leaves a false impression.
But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren't told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago -- before she got the USDA job -- when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.
Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife.
"And I went on to work with many more white farmers," she said. "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race."
Conservative bloggers have raised questions about the abrupt end of Breitbart's tape, and wondered what the rest of the tape shows. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay Bookman also raises questions about the full tape:
So let's see the rest of the tape, Big Government. Was Sherrod giggling among black folk about the time she put it to the white man, as the leaked excerpt suggests, or was the tape a deceptively edited excerpt of a longer story about getting beyond the issue of race, as she claims?
Let's see the tape. The evidence apparently exists to settle the question. Cough it up.
We've seen this before. When the Attorney General of California finally got ahold of the unedited version of the Breitbart-promoted Giles/O'Keefe videos attacking ACORN, he called them a "highly selective editing of reality."
Based on Breitbart's terrible track record with the truth, until he releases the full, unedited video, the version of the story that he's promoting lacks credibility.
At least 100 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his July 14 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck explained to his audience that he had obtained - via an e-mail - information on an "executive order" purportedly issued by President Obama on July 7. According to Beck, the order would do no less than "reconstruct" the economy of the Gulf Coast region. Even worse, Beck explained that by discussing "tribal councils" in the "executive order" it meant that some purported "debt" would be paid to Native American tribes.
Would you be shocked to find out that none of this is accurate? Because it isn't. First of all, there hasn't been a presidential executive order issued since July 2 (if you're curious, it was about securing biological agents and toxins). What Beck was apparently referring to is a "Memorandum from the President" issued on June 30 and placed in the Federal Register on July 6.
Since Glenn Beck began his weekly "Founders Fridays" sessions, he's generally had guests on-air willing to go along with his contorted history. Especially people like David Barton, whose version of American history -- no matter how far removed it is from actual history -- has thrilled Beck to the point where he considers Barton indispensable. Today's show was something of a departure from form, as his two guests (Larry Schweikart and Burton Folsom Jr.) were clearly conservatives with their own takes on history but were at times visibly uneasy by Beck's spin on things.
Glenn Beck claimed that a quote from Obama appointee Donald Berwick "confirms everything" Beck and Fox News had said about how health care reform would result in rationing. In fact, Beck deceptively edited Berwick's comments to remove Berwick's accurate statement that the U.S. health care system already rations.
One might be tempted to give Fox Business something of a pass due to their miniscule ratings and recent on-air shakeups, but this segment from the David Asman-hosted America's Nightly Scoreboard about the New Black Panther Party and the U.S. Civil Rights Comission was really something to behold. The segment began with Asman getting just about every detail wrong.
On Glenn Beck's show today we were treated to more revisionist history (also, the sky is blue). This time, Beck attempted to equate the New Black Panther case with previous incidents of voter intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan. Beck also conveniently failed to mention that the conservative noise around the case is pretty dishonest.
The most glaring problem with this Beck comparison is that not a single person has come forward to say they were actually intimidated by the New Black Panthers at this polling place. Nobody. That's actually one of the reasons the Department Of Justice obtained an injunction against the man seen wielding a nightstick, but dropped charges against other parties in the case.
Beck compared this action to the Klan. The problem is the Ku Klux Klan has a very long and bloody history in America of not only intimidating voters, but doing so through violence:
Added to that is the history of the Klan engaging in all sorts of racial violence not directly connected to voting and voting rights. So, on one hand an incident with no complaints of intimidation, on the other hand an organization that has plagued Americans trying to exercise their constitutional right to a vote. In the mind of Glenn Beck, these are one and the same. By bending facts to fit a narrative, Beck insults those who have actually suffered from racial discrimination and violent intimidation.
From the July 6 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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