Breitbart, Big Government's sensational claims about SEIU assault case fall flat

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Local officials in St. Louis have charged six people in connection with a scuffle that broke out outside an August health care forum. Two of those charged are SEIU members who were hit with misdemeanor ordinance violations in connection with their altercation with Kenneth Gladney. They're accused on beating him up.

Problem for Breitbart and Big Government, as well as the rest of the over-excited right-wing blogosphere, is the low-key charges don't back up any of sensational allegations they've been making for months about the Gladney case. Namely that Gladney was savagely beaten within an inch of his life. (Note the "misdemeanor ordinance violations" that were filed.) That Gladney was the victim of a "hate crime." (No such charges were filed.) And that, most incredibly, the White House "directed" union members to beat up town hall protesters.

What's always been clear about the St. Louis event, since it was partially captured on video, was that a scuffle broke out the night of the town hall forum. Now six people face relatively minor charges and will have a chance to defend themselves. What remains a mystery is why the right-wing catapulted this minor event into the rhetorical stratosphere and concocted all sorts of wild claims about hate crimes, savage beatings, and (best of all) a White House connection. There's still no evidence any of that ever took place.

UPDATED: Not surprisingly, Breitbart's crowing about the Gladney "hate crime" case. And of course, there is no Gladney "hate crime" case. It doesn't exist. Period. It only exists within the fervent imaginations of right-wing bloggers. (Or do those "misdemeanor ordinance violations" somehow qualify as hate crime charges in the state of Missouri?) Then again, those community workers weren't actually "praying" to Obama, and that didn't stop Breitbart from spreading that lie. So there's a definite trend in play here.

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