Sargent explains how it works:
It’s simple: Keep making noise, regardless of the facts, and hopefully with a big assist from the major news orgs, until the other side caves from sheer exhaustion, in order to make the noise go away.
Conservatives and Tea Partyers have managed to generate a third straight day of outrage about Jimmy Hoffa’s non-call for violence on Labor day. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is now raising money off of Hoffa’s speech, circulating an email with a subject line that says: “Take us out?” It calls on Obama to “condemn this call to violence against Republicans.”
The Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity is also citing Hoffa’s “take these sons of bitches out” line as proof of “hate” from “left wing labor bosses.”
Of course, these folks know that Hoffa didn’t call for violence at all. His quote was actually a call for people to go out and vote. And the Tea Party’s most preeminent spokesperson in Congress, Michele Bachmann, used virtually identical langage about her own political foes — at a Tea Party rally, no less.
And, because our media is for the most part lazy and worthless, or a member of the ruling tribe and eager to peddle the propaganda, it works:
See the entire portion of the Hoffa quote that has to be omitted in order to created the Hoffa quote Fox News hyped? And sure, we’d expect Andrew Breitbart bloggers and Washington Times columnists to push the phony, stitched-together Hoffa quote.
The problem is so did the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. (In a subsequent article, the Times got the Hoffa quote right.)
And so too, it turns out, did the Washington Post, USA Today and CNN. Even after Media Matter had debunked the Fox News charade, all those news outlets used the doctored, Foxified quote, leaving out the part where Hoffa was clearing referring to voting Republicans out of office. (USA Today at least used an ellipsis to indicate to readers that parts of Hoffa’s quote were skipped over.)
In no instance is it okay for journalists to take a portion of somebody’s quote at the beginning of a paragraph, tie into together with a portion of a quote –mid-sentence– at the bottom of the paragraph, skip everything in between and pretend that person is being accurately quoted.
They simply don’t care.