Fox hypes Bartle's Bull

Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Continuing to serve as the bullhorn for those pushing the trumped up New Black Panther Party story, Fox & Friends hosted Bartle Bull as a firsthand "witness" to the incident. Bull was identified as a "civil rights attorney," "Bobby Kennedy's campaign manager in New York state," "Jimmy Carter's campaign manager in New York state," and a "poll watcher that day." Missing from this identification was the fact that Bull was a McCain "poll watcher that day" who pretty intensely dislikes Obama. And, he's figured out a way to tie the New Black Panthers incident to ACORN.

Bull was on Fox & Friends to help them advance the narrative that the decision to drop most of the voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party and some members was racially motivated. Bull did just that. He said that one of the New Black Panther Party members who was present at the Philadelphia polling station told him, "Now you will see what it means to be ruled by the black man, cracker." He went on to claim that he's never seen anything like this before, even in the 1960s when he was involved in the civil rights movements, a claim he's made in the past and one that even some of his supporters have distanced themselves. The chyron during the segment read: "Race related corruption?"

Like any good Fox-generated controversy, Bull brought something else to the table--a way to tie this incident to ACORN. That's right. He claimed that the New Black Panther Party members "were largely there to intimidate the poll watchers. The critical thing here was that the previous week, on October 27, the New York Times reported that ACORN had registered over 400,000 illegal fraudulent voters. So what these guys were doing was they were protecting the illegal ACORN voters by intimidating the poll watchers." (Note: the Times did indeed report that 400,000 of ACORN's voter registrations had been thrown out for various reasons, but that ACORN estimated only 1 to 1.5 percent of them were fraudulent registrations. The Times did not in anyway report that those 400,000 rejected registrations translated into attempts by some to vote illegally.) Fox & Friends ate this claim right up:

DOOCY (co-host): So when you--an ACORN guy comes in, those guys would be right there, and you--rather than you said, "hey, check the ID on that guy," you would be intimidated.

BULL: Yes, yes, yes. They were establishing an atmosphere of intimidation around the polls they were dropping by, and that was very clear.

To be fair, Bull has been pushing an ACORN angle to this story for a while.

For instance, in April 2009, Bull appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to criticize the Department of Justice for, in his mind, not sufficiently pursuing the voter intimidation case. During that interview, Bull posited that the reason Attorney General Eric Holder was reluctant to do so was because he feared alienating his base, ACORN "community organizer activists." Bull theorized that Holder didn't want to "go after" the New Black Panther Party "[b]ecause these are his supporters" and because "they wanted to maximize the ACORN vote." Check out this exchange from the O'Reilly Factor (accessed via Nexis), and note that in this case, he tried to claim that "hundreds of thousands, one-third of all ACORN...voters were fraudulent," which is definitely not what the Times reported:

O'REILLY: Why doesn't Holder want to go after this whole scenario? Why doesn't he want to make examples of these people?

BULL: Because these are his supporters, partly.

O'REILLY: You don't believe it's politically motivated?

BULL: 100%.

O'REILLY: New Black Panthers is so fringe and so.

BULL: 100 percent politically motivated.

O'REILLY: Really?

BULL: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You believe that?

BULL: Yes.

O'REILLY: See, that would be something a Rush Limbaugh would say.

BULL: Well, I'm not a Rush Limbaugh.

O'REILLY: That's for sure. Because that's why I'm surprised that you would say it. How do you know that?

BULL: We're making judgments. We don't know it, but the fact is that they want to maximize their vote. This is basically ACORN vote that they want to.

O'REILLY: This gets tied into ACORN?

BULL: I didn't say that. I said they wanted to do is to maximize the ACORN vote. And you do that by not challenging this sort of procedure, because these are the same people who are registering voters. Also, "The New York Times", for example, said hundreds of thousands, one-third of all ACORN board voters were fraudulent last time.

O'REILLY: Right. All right, so you see it as a bigger picture.

BULL: Oh, of course.

O'REILLY: Don't interfere with the community activist group?

BULL: Of course. Of course.

O'REILLY: You know, if it's true it, it reflects very poorly on the president and his administration.

Bull clearly has an ax to grind. In addition to being a McCain supporter, Bull seems to have a longstanding dislike of Obama. Consider this: On November 3, 2008, Bull reportedly "embraced Republican John McCain for president, hurled Barack Obama under the bus, and then backed it slowly over the Democratic nominee." He said, "Character in the White House should be more important than charisma on the campaign trail... Barack Obama does not want to 'change' America. Barack Obama wants a different country." Bull declared, "Obama's notion of economic fairness is pure Karl Marx plus a pocketful of Chicago-style 'community organization.'" Recently, on Fox's America Live, Bull said of Obama: "I didn't like Obama from the beginning, I thought he was a hustler and I think he still is."

Bull currently chairs a campaign to draft Rudy Giuliani to run for New York Governor. What a Democrat.

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