Glenn Beck has made a big deal about how his new website, The Blaze, will be staffed by real “journalists” who will “stand in the middle” and tell the truth without taking sides. But as others have noted, The Blaze seems to be short on actual journalists and long on right-wing political operatives.
One of them is Pam Key, the activist behind the Breitbart-promoted operation Naked Emperor News (as it so happens, The Blaze is edited by former Breitbart operative Scott Baker). Key's videos are well known for attacking the Obama administration while omitting necessary context:
- Key falsely characterized the budget reconciliation process -- at the time reportedly under consideration during debate over health care reform -- as the “nuclear option.” Her video sought to portray Democrats as hypocrites by including clips of Democratic senators in 2005 criticizing what they called the “nuclear option.” But the two were not the same -- the Democrats in the video were criticizing a Republican attempt to change filibuster rules, while the proposal to pass health care reform using reconciliation worked within existing rules.
- Key falsely suggested that Obama promised that he would pass health care reform only with a supermajority of support.
- Key took Rev. Jim Wallis out of context to claim that he supports “forced redistribution of wealth.”
- Key promoted a 2001 radio interview by Obama adviser Cass Sunstein discussing the idea of having websites present opposing views to their own without noting that in 2007, Sunstein declared it a “bad idea.”
- Key took Elena Kagan's words out of context by portraying her argument before the Supreme Court as advocacy of a law banning books “because government won't really enforce it.” In fact, Kagan specifically argued that federal law had never banned books and likely could not do so.
With this kind of history, it's no surprise that Key's first video for The Blaze is similarly misleading. Headlined “Key Obama Ally Works with Socialists for Global Tax,” it features the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka discussing a proposed global transaction tax intercut repeatedly with a clip of Obama talking about spending his birthday with “good friends” like Trumka. Key thus implies that Obama and his administration support the transaction tax.
But they don't.
Key wouldn't have had to go far to find this information out. From The New York Times:
The 27-nation European Union called for a global transactions tax in December, and last November Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain proposed the idea at a meeting of the Group of 20 developed and emerging nations, saying revenue could be stockpiled to finance any future bailouts. But Mr. Geithner has said a transaction tax, on trades of complicated derivatives and other financial instruments, would simply be passed through to investors and other customers, and could put American companies at a competitive disadvantage.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Brown said G-20 members should discuss whether they need some kind of “insurance fee to reflect systemic risk or a resolution fund or contingent capital arrangements or a global financial transactions levy.”
However he conditioned his proposal with warnings that agreeing a levy would be difficult.
Indeed, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said his government wouldn't support that approach.
“A day-by-day financial transaction tax is not something we're prepared to support,” he said in an interview with Sky News.
Clearly, Key is spreading a falsehood by implying that the Obama administration supports a global transaction tax. Beck, meanwhile, has lamented that news organizations that get things wrong won't “lead with the story, 'we got it wrong.'”
So here's your chance, Glenn. One of your employees clearly left out pertinent facts. When can we expect that top-of-the-front-page story on The Blaze explaining how Pam Key's video was misleading? And while you're at it, how about explaining why someone who has made so many misleading videos is being presented as a “journalist” who will “stand in the middle” and be an arbiter of the veracity of others?