Green Room

Timeline: Anatomy of a Tea Party Smear by the Democrat-Media Complex

posted at 12:28 pm on April 4, 2010 by

This article attempts to reconstruct the events of 3/20/2010, in which Congressional Democrats were reportedly harassed by Tea Party activists with racial and sexual slurs during their walks to and from the Capitol building. Reports that black Congressmen had been called the “n-word” and were spat upon spread into mainstream media reports within minutes.

3/20 14:30

At around 2:30pm, members of the House uncharacteristically walked from the Cannon Building to the Capitol in the middle of a massive Tea Party protest. Michelle Bachmann said this journey was unprecedented in her experience. She stated, “In three years I have never seen Nancy Pelosi cross the street, the way that you saw in that picture… They deliberately went through that crowd perhaps to try and incite something.”

There were a variety of videotapes of the incident (for example, the walk to the Capitol is covered here and here, the walk from the Capitol here, here and here). Furthermore, as you can see above, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. appears to have videotaped the walk, presumably to catch protesters in the act of hurling racial slurs.

3/20 14:34

Lauren Victoria Burke, a self-described “unbought and unbossed” blogger reporting upon “the 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus” tweets the first report of the use of the “n-word”. @CrewOf42 is Burke’s Twitter handle.

Her first tweet reporting the incident came at 2:34pm, just four minutes after — according to Cashill’s timeline — the CBC departed the Cannon Building for the Capitol. @CrewOf42 tweeted that Rep. Carson said he’d been called the “N-word”, the HuffPo DC bureau chief re-tweeted the news. There was no link and no attribution associated with this message.

Her tweet was posted from the web, which means she posted from either a high-powered smart-phone, a full-blown laptop or a desktop.

3/20 15:42

Lauren Burke posts the following on her blog.

Reps Andre Carson and John Lewis had racial epithets hurled at them while walking from the Cannon Building to the US Capitol to vote about 45 minutes ago. Andre Carson reported to me and several other journalists in the Speaker’s Lobby off the House floor that he and Lewis were repeatedly called the N word while on the ir way to vote. About 300 demonstartors were yelling and waving signs outside the Longworth and Cannon House Office Buildings as GOP members made their way from a Caucus meeting in Cannon and Democratic members were leaving a meeting in Longworth.

Put simply, these were flat-out fabrications. If they were “repeatedly” slurred, why don’t the tapes capture even one of the epithets? Andrew Breitbart has offered $100,000 to anyone if they can come up with audio proof — and there have been no takers.

3/20 16:36

According to Twitter’s time-stamp, the original McClatchy article hits the web.

3/20 16:51

According to a screen-cap of the content management system provided by online editor Mark Seibel, McClatchy reporter William Douglas’ original article was entered into the system.

Bill’s first version of the story was posted at 5:01 p.m. (Eastern) Here it is in its entirety: “WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said Saturday that some demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol to protest the health care overhaul legislation called him “ni–er.” [Ed: Redaction mine]

Lewis, a longtime civil rights activist who is head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said some demonstrators also spat on black members of Congress as they left the Capitol after meeting with President Barack Obama.

The claim could not immediately be confirmed.”

3/20 16:56

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein breathlessly punches out a story advancing the allegations of rampant racial smears.

In just minutes, Stein cranks out a 400-word piece including interviews with Rep. James Clyburn and a staffer, has it edited and then posted.

First Posted: 03-20-10 04:56 PM

A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spat on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a ‘ni–er.’ And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a “faggot,” as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president’s speech, shrugged off the incident… But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed…

3-20 17:12

McClatchy updates the article with version 2 of the story, according to Mark Seibel’s CMS archive.

WASHINGTON — Demonstrators outside the Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted the N-word Saturday at Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama in the 1960s, and shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers said.

“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”

Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building when protesters shouted “Kill the bill, kill the bill,” Lewis said.

“I said ‘I’m for the bill, I support the bill, I’m voting for the bill,” Lewis said.

A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying “Kill the bill, then the N-word.”

“It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialog and debate,” Lewis said.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis but distinctly heard the N-word shouted out.

“It was a chorus,” Cleaver said. “In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff – they’re being whipped up.. I decided I wouldn’t be angry with any of them.”

CNN reported that protestors inside the Capitol also used a slur to refer to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., an openly gay member of Congress.

In short, within 16 minutes, McClatchy’s writer(s) added three interviews and a CNN report to the original story, whose allegations appear to be entirely false.

3/20 16:15

HuffPo editor Nico Pitney tweets several messages, one to Sam Stein reporting he “personally witnessed Barney Frank being called a “faggot,” protesters then continued with lisp-heavy chants”; the other re-tweeting a Huffington Post message with the original allegations.

The latter message read “RT @huffingtonpost: Congressmen called ‘ni**er,’ ‘faggot,’ spat on by Tea Party protesters (with protest pics)”.

03/20 17:19

McClatchy’s Mark Seibel describes the posting of the third version of the story:

The second version, posted at 5:12 p.m., corrected when the incident had taken place (it was on the way to the Capitol that the n-word incident happened, not on the way back) and was nine graphs long. The last graph cited a CNN report on the Barney Frank incident. That citation was changed to HuffPost in version 4 at 5:19 p.m. after I was alerted by a Nico Pitney tweet.

As Jim Hoft and Kevin Jackson (author of The Big Black Lie) wrote several days ago:

The state-run media is now pushing their anti-tea party propaganda from sources at the anti-military Jew-hating conservative-hating Huffington Post. And, they’re reporting this propaganda without a single piece of evidence.

At least one report said that it was “a chorus” of racist hatred. Another report said the Congressional members heard the n-word at least 15 times.  Reporters from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX News, (including Bill O’Reilly), MSNBC, and so on, repeated this horrible story.

Unfortunately, it was a fake. The media had no evidence… Nothing. As the story was a complete fabrication. It was totally made up.

In fact, several videos were later released that proved that there was no “chorus” of racist hatred and no one screamed the n-word. It was all a lie.

Democrats in Congress wanted to provoke a racial incident. That’s why their media drones started tweeting word of the incident just seconds after their walk began.

And a state-run media complex — as liberal as the day is long — acted either as ignorant dupes or as active accomplices (take your pick) to market the scam.

From all appearances, this entire incident appears to have been scripted by Democrat representatives to provoke a racially divisive incident. But because the Tea Party movement is freedom-loving, it embraces all races, creeds, religions and colors. Because the freedom tent is the biggest tent of all. And the tyranny tent gets smaller by the day.

Update: Andrew Breitbart writes:

The Democratic Party is trying to signal to the black community and to progressive media types that the way to push back against the Tea Party and Republicans is to use the reliable race card by provoking a racial incident. The ensuing rhetoric about the bill and about the nature of the Tea Party is based upon repeated talking points. Propaganda. Everyone is on message that Republicans and Tea Partiers are racist — a divisive and dangerous argument, so lacking in any shred of evidence save for the fact that the majority in the Tea Party, as in America itself, is white. This is Duke lacrosse politics at its worst.

Those in the movement who are Hispanic or black are given the Clarence Thomas treatment: mocked, ridiculed and marginalized. The Democratic party cannot afford for minority groups to break from the pack, so they show that apostasy is met with high-grade ridicule. Those willing to withstand vile and hateful un-American taunts are some of America’s greatest patriots…

…We’ve called their bluff. And they have tried to back off. They realize that this race warfare can backfire, just as it did with the railroaded Duke lacrosse players, as it did with professor Madonna Constantine and her faked noose incident at Columbia and the Sergeant Crowley boner by Barack Obama who stupidly said the white police officer had behaved “stupidly” in handcuffing Skip Gates.

The first Alinsky president is now using surrogates to split this nation into two hostile parties so he can puppeteer the have-nots against the perceived haves. The non-response to my $100k challenge is a tacit acknowledgement that the Congressional Black Caucus and Barack Obama don’t have the stomach for doubling down.

The other part of the strategy that is built into the N-Word Capitol Hill Walk is the strategy to incite. The media is doing their job for them by speaking of an unhinged white Tea Party mob. Absent any evidence other than creatively selected hand-crafted signs from the fringe of the audience that are presented to represent the whole, the media is simply repeating assumptions that Democrats and media elites have against fly-over types. What we have here is hardcore media elitism mixed with politically correct class warfare.


Cross-posted at: Doug Ross @ Journal.

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A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain

Chip on April 4, 2010 at 2:10 PM

And Republicans and Conservative still think we should be nice and polite to these charlatans and liars. Where is our bare-knuckle fighter? I’m not calling for violence, they can be fought with political tactics.

Otherwise it means we will still be Ladies and Gentlemen living in their Gulags.

sleepyhead on April 4, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Nice work. Hope it gets more traction than the original sham, but I guess we all know better.

Robert17 on April 4, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Excellent post! Typical of the Huffington crowd. Would love to see a response from Media Matters.

Rovin on April 5, 2010 at 10:34 AM

The crowd was simply shouting the reps are getting nearer-(see Blazing Saddles),

bondomon on April 5, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Put this link out to your local sites. The Houston Chronicle is still writting it the way it was reported on the first day.

DanMan on April 5, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I feel sure Paul Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, perfecter of the “Big Lie” technique of propaganda, which is based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses, would take great pride in seeing how well his techniques were being applied today.

And, of course, as this observation isn’t very original (or surprising), I repeat it merely to offer up, yet again, the best counter offensive to the “Big Lie”; the “Real Truth”.

To wit; The Left’s systematic abrogation of America’s civil rights is in danger of collapse and they’re increasingly desperate to stage the “Big Lie” in the most glaring of burlesque

So desperate in fact, they, as most pathological liars will, have come to believe their own perfidy.

magicky on April 6, 2010 at 4:33 AM

A friend of mine heard about this, and told me she thought of me (knowing I’m a Tparty person). She said she knew it was lies, because she knows me.

That’s where the tissue of lies falls apart. So who are they fooling? Only the people who still believe them anyway, and we know fewer and fewer people believe them, via stats and polls on media failure.

Still, every time we can document such an instance, a few more may see the light.

jodetoad on April 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM

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