Three big deceptions have come to light in the past week, and I find myself trying to decide which is the most reprehensible.
First up, the delightfully-oxymoronic “Think Progress.” They put together a video that they said showed the “inherent racism” of the Tea Party movement. In that video, they showed video clips of four people.
It didn’t take long to utterly shred the integrity of that clip — and that group. Bob Owens did an amazing job with his chainsaw.
Guy #1: “(Obama’s) too black to be president.”
The rest of the original clip shows the full context:
Barack Obama’s just a bad guy. That’s all I can say. He’s … he’s too black to be president. And you look at the color of my wife, it’s not the color of his skin that troubles me, it’s not the blackness of his skin that troubles me.
The guy’s wife (a black woman) was also present, along with their bi-racial son. Some bigot.
Guy #2: “I’m a proud racist, and I’m white.”
The rest of the original clip shows the full context: the guy wasn’t a Tea Party member, but a Tea Party crasher. He showed up with Nazi regalia to make the Tea Party look bad — and was driven off by genuine Tea Partiers.
Guy #3: Rants about “Afro-Leninism.” What the HELL does that mean? I’ll give them half a point on that one.
Guy #4: “Go home wetbacks!”
Full context: the original video was shot in 2006, over two years before the Tea Party movement started.
Deception #2: The JournoList reveal that members had conspired to kill the Reverend Jeremiah Wright story and smear anyone who dared dissent from their narrative. It included discussing how to properly punish ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (a former Clinton crony, in case you forgot) for allowing the subject to come up in a Democratic debate, and…
Well, I can’t put it any better than The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong: In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
We will never be able to tell the full consequences of that deception. It was no great secret that the media was pretty much wholly in Obama’s pocket, but the revelation here is just how far they were willing to go to push his election. Also, it demonstrates that the “shut up the critics by calling them racists” game was a known, recognized tactic two years ago.
Deception #3: Andrew Breitbart’s release of the carefully-edited Shirley Sherrod video. I’m not gonna bother recapping that one; I already did that once today, and my fingers are getting sore.
So, which was the worst of the three?
For once, I’m not going to offer an opinion. I’ll make an argument for each, but I’m not going to say which I think was the most reprehensible. To be blunt, I’m not sure at this point.
Think Progress. Their gross propaganda video required incredible malice. They selectively edited two videos and outright lied about the origin of a third in their attempt to perpetuate the smear that the Tea Party movement is made up of a bunch of racists. The sheer recklessness, combined with the deliberate lies and refusal to admit even now that they were caught, is utterly unforgivable.
JournoList. Their conspiring had the greatest consequences, and went on the longest. They definitely had a part in swaying a presidential election by suppressing lines of inquiry they found distasteful, and planned ways to defame those with whom they disagreed. Further, they held positions of power and trust, and betrayed that trust for their own political agenda.
Breitbart. Whether or not he knew the video clip was selectively edited (taken out of context, referring to events of over 20 years ago when Sherrod was not a government employee), he should have done more digging before releasing it. Further, he’s “one of us” — he’s on the right side of the political spectrum. Think Progress, JournoList — they’re liberal activists; lying and deception comes as second nature to them. We shouldn’t expect anything better. Breitbart, though — we need to hold him to a higher standard.
Finally, the release of the edited video led to Sherrod being thrust into the national spotlight, summarily fired from her job, and attacked by the NAACP. The firing and condemnation are the fault of the bodies who actually did it, but it was all based on Breitbart’s original release of the video.
So, have at it, folks. Make your best cases for which deserves the most condemnation and put its perpetrator(s) in the worst light.