Beck, Special Report cropped Dunn quote to falsely claim she said Mao was "the man she turns to most"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

Continuing Fox News' witch hunt against members of the Obama administration, both Glenn Beck and Special Report misleadingly cropped White House communications director Anita Dunn's remarks at a high school graduation ceremony to falsely claim that she was, in Beck's words, "proclaiming Mao [Zedong] as ... the man that she turns to most." In fact, Dunn actually said that Mao and Mother Teresa were "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices" [emphasis added].

Beck, Special Report cropped Dunn comments

From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: This clip is from a high school graduation back in June of this year. And here is what the White House communications director had to say to the teenagers there.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

BECK: OK, "not often coupled with one another" -- laughter -- "but the two people I turn to most."

[...]

BECK: Let's watch it again and just bask in the irony and get ready to laugh this time, now that you know she was making a funny. Watch.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report:

BRET BAIER [host]: Brit, Anita Dunn has responded to a piece of tape that was first run on Glenn Beck's show in which she references what she calls one of her two favorite political philosophers Mao Zedong, the former communist leader of China. Here is that sound bite real quick and then her reaction.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

Beck, Hume smeared Dunn as saying Mao was one of "the two people I turn to most"

Beck: I don't think Mao should be "one that you turn to most." After playing the misleadingly cropped video, Beck purported to repeat it, saying, " 'not often coupled with one another' -- laughter -- 'but the two people I turn to most.' " Beck continued: "You know, I don't think Mao should be anybody's favorite anything, especially not your favorite political philosopher or one that you turn to most, given that his political philosophies included shooting political opponents in the head."

Beck suggested Dunn's response was contradicted by her supposed statement that Mao was one "that I turn to most." After reading from Dunn's reported response to criticism of her remarks, in which she stated that "the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony," Beck again aired the truncated clip of Dunn's speech, then stated: "Hey, you could even make that case if she hadn't have followed it with, 'the two people most turn to -- that I turn to most.' It's not funny. It's not even close to funny." Later, Beck falsely claimed: "She was proclaiming Mao as her favorite political philosopher and the man that she turns to most." Additionally, Beck said: "Now, if the Holocaust Museum quoted Hitler while saying he is one of our favorite political philosophers and that one we turn to most, well, maybe that would make some news, don't you think?

Hume: "she also said that this is the two people she turns to most." After Baier aired the same truncated quote on Special Report that Beck had, Brit Hume responded: "Well, she also said that this is the two people she turns to most. This doesn't sound like it was a one-off attempt to make a joke and imitate the Republican strategist Lee Atwater."

Dunn actually called Mao and Mother Teresa "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point"

From the full video Beck aired on October 15:

DUNN: A lot of you have a great deal of ability. A lot of you work hard. Put them together, and that answers the "Why not?" question. There's usually not a good reason.

And then the third lesson and tip actually come from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say, "Why not?" You're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here's the deal: These are your choices. They are no one else's.

In 1947, when Mao Zedong was being challenged within his own party on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything on their side. And people said, "How can you win? How can you do this? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?" And Mao Zedong said, you know, "You fight your war, and I'll fight mine." And think about that for a second.

You know, you don't have to accept the definition of how to do things, and you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths, OK? It is about your choices and your path. You fight your own war. You lay out your own path. You figure out what's right for you. You don't let external definition define how good you are internally. You fight your war. You let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path.

And then Mother Teresa, who, upon receiving a letter from a fairly affluent young person who asked her whether she could come over and help with that orphanage in Calcutta, responded very simply: "Go find your own Calcutta." OK? Go find your own Calcutta. Fight your own path. Go find the thing that is unique to you, the challenge that is actually yours, not somebody else's challenge. [Glenn Beck, 10/15/09]

Dunn is latest target of Fox News' Beck-led witch hunt against Obama administration officials

Beck previously falsely claimed Dunn "worships" Mao Zedong, "her hero." Throughout most of his October 15 Fox News program, Beck falsely claimed that Dunn "worships" and "idolizes" "her hero" Mao Zedong. In fact, in the video that Beck aired as evidence to support his claims, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao's ideology or atrocities -- rather, she commented that Mao and Mother Teresa were two of her "favorite political philosophers," and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that "you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths" or "let external definition define how good you are internally."

Beck ignored numerous conservatives who previously spoke similarly of Mao. In airing footage of Dunn calling Mao and Mother Teresa two of her "favorite political philosophers" and using those comments to falsely link Dunn to the murder of tens of millions of Chinese under Mao's reign, Beck ignored numerous conservatives -- including Barry Goldwater's "alter ego" Stephen C. Shadegg, Cato Institute president Edward H. Crane, and GOP strategist Ralph Reed -- who have approvingly cited the tactics of Mao, Vladimir Lenin, and the Viet Cong, stating that they had used those tactics in their political work or have otherwise highlighted their philosophies. Moreover, in a 2008 presidential campaign speech, Sen. John McCain stated that "there was a lot of people who said that my political career was not going to succeed. In fact, in the words of Chairman Mao, it's always darkest before it's totally black" [emphasis added], as The Washington Independent noted.

Beck-led Fox News "czar" witch hunt moves to ridiculous smear of Anita Dunn. In attacking Dunn, claiming that she "worships" her "hero" Mao, Beck has targeted yet another Obama administration official in his Fox News-assisted witch hunt of President Obama's so-called "czars." Beck and Fox News have previously attacked with falsehoods and spurious claims White House officials Kevin Jennings, Cass Sunstein, Harold Koh, and Van Jones.

Transcripts

From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Well, hello, America. Welcome to Monday. Our little red phone, yes, I always wanted to say that, only Anita Dunn has the phone number to that. Anita Dunn is the one at the White House. Still hasn't rung. Not once. I mean, I thought Anita would call after the clip we played on Thursday, but apparently I misunderstood. This clip is from a high school graduation back in June of this year. And here is what the White House communications director had to say to the teenagers there.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

BECK: OK, "not often coupled with one another" -- laughter -- "but the two people I turn to most." You know, I don't think Mao should be anybody's favorite anything, especially not your favorite political philosopher or one that you turn to most, given that his political philosophies included shooting political opponents in the head. Anita did have an explanation. Here is what she said, quote, "the Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me." Oh, she is charming. "The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat." ABC's Jack [sic] Tapper tweeted that Dunn said she was joking about Mao. I just love those mass murder jokes, don't you? Of course she was joking, and that's so obvious from the clip. Let's watch it again and just bask in the irony and get ready to laugh this time, now that you know she was making a funny. Watch.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

BECK: Hey, you could even make that case if she hadn't have followed it with, "the two people most turn to -- that I turn to most." It's not funny. It's not even close to funny. Maybe it's just me, I mean, I am one of the stupid conservatives so it's possible I just don't understand it, but I don't see anything close to a joke here. She also is saying that she is quoting Lee Atwater who is quoting Mao. OK. We couldn't find that quote, we'd love to see it, but even if it did exist, it's ridiculous as an excuse, because she wasn't just quoting Mao. She was proclaiming Mao as her favorite political philosopher and the man that she turns to most. There's a difference between just quoting someone and declaring them your favorite political philosopher. You know, I mean, there are a lot of people that quote Hitler. In fact, I was in a building once that had a lot of quotes of Adolf Hitler. It was called the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. You know, do you think that they like him? I didn't get that impression. Now, if the Holocaust Museum quoted Hitler while saying he is one of our favorite political philosophers and that one we turn to most, well, maybe that would make some news, don't you think? People would rightfully say, "Why are you calling Hitler one of your favorite philosophers?" And let me ask you this question, would you then accept the Holocaust Museum's response if the response was, "We were just kidding?" Really? How can Anita Dunn possibly think that what she said was funny to high school students? I contend she didn't find it funny at all. She's covering her tracks.

From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: Brit, Anita Dunn has responded to a piece of tape that was first run on Glenn Beck's show in which she references what she calls one of her two favorite political philosophers Mao Zedong, the former Communist leader of China. Here is that sound bite real quick and then her reaction.

DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.

BAIER: Here is her reaction to that quote: "The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me. The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat." Brit?

HUME: Well, she also said that this is the two people she turns to most. This doesn't sound like it was a one-off attempt to make a joke and imitate the Republican strategist Lee Atwater. But look at the outcome here. So Anita Dunn attacks Fox News and the next thing you know, a piece of videotape turns up with her speaking admiringly of Chairman Mao. In the meantime, Glenn Beck, who's having a field day with this whole thing and is obviously one of the objects of their criticism, not only has the telephone on the set, today he's got a guy sitting next to the phone dressed in a Mao suit. I don't think they can keep this up much longer based on the results, Bret.

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