Giffords' doctors explained today that what Obama said was “true” and that while Giffords had previously opened her eyes in response to stimulus, yesterday she opened them spontaneously, which represented a “major milestone” in her recovery.
Last night during his speech in Arizona, President Obama revealed that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords “opened her eyes for the first time” shortly after Obama's visit to her hospital room, in the presence of Giffords' husband, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and other friends. The Arizona Republic, which described Obama's speech as a “a stirring tribute to the fallen and the living,” labeled the revelation that Giffords had opened her eyes “the most emotional moment” during Obama's address.
But Gateway Pundit and Breitbart blogger Jim Hoft had a different take.
This morning, showing his steadfast commitment to smearing the president based on flimsy or manufactured “evidence,” Hoft announced that it “Looks Like Obama Fibbed About Giffords 'Opening Her Eyes for the First Time” in his speech last night. Hoft wrote that it was a “very emotional moment” but “unfortunately it was not true.” His evidence?
A blog post by a website called The Sonoran Chronicle -- which even Hoft acknowledged had since been taken down (he's linking to the Google cache) -- that reported that at a press conference on Sunday, Giffords' doctor Peter Rhee said that she can open her eyes. Unfortunately for Hoft, this is a complete misquote of what Rhee actually said in his press conference (emphasis added):
QUESTION: Has she -- you said it has been simple commands. Has she verbalized at all? And we were also told that there was a reviewing of sorts with her husband last night? And she did recognize him. Can you talk about that?
RHEE: No, we can't get into too much more detail than what we already have. But I can tell you right now with the type of surgery, her eyes, she can't open her eyes at this point, mechanical standpoints, and she's also on the ventilator, so she can't speak at this time.
Now, perhaps it should have given Hoft pause that the website he is sourcing has since pulled down the post. It also might have occurred to anyone with an iota of journalistic responsibility to go back and check the transcript of Rhee's press conference, or look for a single other media outlet reporting this information other than a blog that has since deleted their post.
But Jim Hoft doesn't care about accuracy. He has shown, time and again, that he is far more committed to smearing liberals and Democrats than he is in conveying accurate information to his readers. He's the worst kind of partisan hack.
Earlier this week, Hoft embarrassed himself by falling for an obviously fake Facebook profile for Jared Loughner in order to claim he was a “typical leftist nut” that “idolized Obama.” Hoft sourced this information to a random Examiner.com blog post, whose only source was a commenter on the fringe message board Free Republic. (He later pulled the post from his website and lamented that the “Soros-funded” Media Matters took screenshots.)
How many times does Hoft have to do something like this before he is no longer treated as a reliable source of information in the conservative blogosphere? We're still counting.
PS: Before you pull your post, Jim, I took screenshots again.