Right-wing blogs distort Frank's comments to suggest he "admitted" Dems seek to "increase" government control "on every front"

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

Numerous right-wing websites, including the Fox Nation and the Drudge Report, have parroted a misleading headline posted on October 26 by Real Clear Politics and NewsBusters asserting that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stated, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government." In fact, while specifically discussing financial regulation, Frank actually said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" [emphasis added].

Headlines on RCP and right-wing blogs claimed Frank said, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government"

Real Clear Politics: "Frank: 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government.' " On October 26, Real Clear Politics posted a video of Frank's comments from the October 26 edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show with the headline, "Frank: 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government' ":

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NewsBusters headline: " 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government.' " On October 26, NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein posted the video and stated, "Give Ed Schultz credit for something: on his MSNBC show this evening, he hosted an amusing smackdown between Barney Frank and Ralph Nader." Finkelstein added, "Frank was finally so provoked that he claimed/admitted that when it comes to regulation, Democrats are 'trying on every front to increase the role of government.' " The headline of the post read, " 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government.' "

Gateway Pundit: "Frank admitted" that Dems are "trying on every front to increase the role of government." On October 27, Jim Hoft posted the video clip of the exchange and wrote, "Barney Frank admitted in a recent interview with Ralph Nader that democrats are, 'trying on every front to increase the role of government.' No kidding." The headline of the post stated, "Barney Frank: 'We Are Trying On Every Front to Increase the Role of Government.' "

Drudge Report linked to Real Clear Politics video: The headline, "Barney Frank: 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government' ..." was posted on the Drudge Report by 8:30 a.m. on October 27:

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Fox Nation linked to NewsBusters post with same headline. On October 27, the Fox Nation posted the video clip with the headline, " 'We Are Trying on Every Front to Increase the Role of Government,' " and quoted Finkelstein's assertion that "Frank was finally so provoked that he claimed/admitted that when it comes to regulation, Democrats are 'trying on every front to increase the role of government.' " From the Fox Nation on October 27:

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Free Republic linked to Real Clear Politics with same headline. On October 27, Free Republic featured the headline, "Frank: 'We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government,' " and linked to the Real Clear Politics video:

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In fact, Frank said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" during discussion of financial regulation

Frank's comments on The Ed Show were part of a conversation about financial regulation. The video and transcript of the exchange show that Frank was referring to financial regulation when discussing increasing the government's role. Following Ralph Nader's statement that "[derivative regulation] is where I think Barney is the weakest," Frank responded, "We are establishing a great framework for the regulation of derivatives. We are moving forward in that. And I -- we've done as much as we can politically." Frank added: "I'll tell you, here's the real irony of this, Ed. The right wing took control of government and ruined it. They gave it a bad reputation. Now that we are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area, we run into this public opinion that says, 'Hey, those are the guys who screwed up Katrina.' So, the frustration is they're benefiting from their own incompetence."

Transcript

From the October 26 edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show:

NADER: But the important thing is -- and this is where I think Barney is the weakest. In 2000, he voted for a bill that continued the deregulation of the burgeoning derivative racket. And now he's supporting a bill that has a huge loophole in terms of exempting trillions of dollars of certain categories of derivatives.

ED SCHULTZ (host): All right.

FRANK: Let me respond to you. Look, Ralph --

[crosstalk]

SCHULTZ: All right, Mr. Nader. Let him respond to that.

NADER: And the other is he didn't -- he didn't support a categorical ban on abuse of derivatives.

SCHULTZ: All right. Quickly respond to that, Barney.

FRANK: Well, first of all, I think, you know, Ralph gets to luxuriate in the purity of his irrelevance. We're in there fighting these things. I had overwhelming Republican opposition to any regulation derivatives, and some Democrats. And we fought hard for it. We are establishing a great framework for the regulation of derivatives. We are moving forward in that. And I -- we've done as much as we can politically.

But the fact is that we have a political situation. And I'll tell you, here's the real irony of this, Ed. The right wing took control of government and ruined it. They gave it a bad reputation. Now that we are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area, we run into this public opinion that says, "Hey, those are the guys who screwed up Katrina." So, the frustration is they're benefiting from their own incompetence.

Network/Outlet
The Drudge Report, NewsBusters, Fox Nation, Gateway Pundit
Show/Publication
Real Clear Politics, Free Republic
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