This weekend provided a perfect case study of the disdain that local tea party leaders have for reality and the lengths they will go to in order to try to manipulate the media. At weekly rallies at the K & N corner in O'Fallon, MO, pro- and anti-healthcare reform advocates generally line up on opposite sides of the street. As I wrote previously, last Saturday, a group of teabaggers decided to cross the street with a couple of camcorders to try to stir up trouble. They attempted to bait the health-care supporters into throwing the first punch, and when that didn't work, one of the angry teabaggers grabbed a healthcare supporter by the throat and, according even to the teabaggers, pulled her to the ground. Here's a description from a friend who was there:
Teabaggers crossed the road and tried to provoke us. They had video recorders and wanted us to throw the first punch. Didn't work - so one of their guys (carrying an anti-Obama sign) grabbed a woman from our ranks by the throat and punched her. Prince of a man. He was detained. Cops arrived and all those video recorders were gone. Imagine that. Charges filed.However, since the teabaggers had the cameras, they decided they could try to create their own ridiculous story about what happened. I think it bears repeating that the main guy behind this fake story, Bob McCarty, believes that the Oklahoma City bombings were secretly done by Muslim extremists from Iraq and that there is a massive government cover-up hiding "the truth" on that story. McCarty presented highly edited video on his blog that was still so unconvincing that he had to provide his own narrative. He then presented an equally unconvincing video from one of his fellow bullies.
But the leaders of the St. Louis Tea Party movement did not for one second let any considerations of the truth stand in their way of trying to create a fake controversy, and the way they've reacted speaks volumes about their character. The morally vapid Adam Sharp was of course immediately on the story, posting the video and writing "Props to Bob McCarty":
Bill Hennessy also jumped all over the story, tweeting
and writing the following on his blog:
A Female Red headed Union Thug launched an unprovoked attack on a Tea Party Patriot at the weekly K & N event in Ofallon (emphasis his, don't forget to always bold patriot!)Someone posted a comment on Hennessy's blog, starting with the comment
My husband and I were there today and this isn't exactly what happened. If we, as TPP are after the truth, we must also be truthful.
Hennessy left out the whole, "we must be truthful" part, and instead updated his blog to only leave the suggestion that the "red headed union member" pushed the poor helpless patriot:
Then, unsurprisingly, the crown prince of misinterpreting video, Jim Durbin, managed to pull himself away from Second Life long enough to hatch this Dwightiavellian scheme:
Personally, I'd wait to post the whole video until the union subsidized version of the events appears.Pretty brilliant, no? Keep in mind that Durbin is the guy who single-handedly derailed the public option and is now claiming to have destroyed FiredUp Missouri (although apparently nobody's told them yet that they were destroyed), so in no way is he a man to be trifled with.
They did this with Gladney, and tried this earlier in the year.
Let them lie - then use the video to disprove it.
But the most interesting reaction of them all was none other than Dana Loesch, who originally put this up on her blog:
The K&N protests have been peacefully taking place for the past six months. Again, like we've seen all over the country, trouble doesn't start until the thugs are sent cursing and screaming at people.This is of course, the same Loesch who tried a while back to pretend that she doesn't have anything against union members.
But most remarkable thing about Loesch's post is that she apparently wised up to the fact that McCarty was full of it and removed the post without any comment whatsoever! You can see here the updated blog, with no more story between her Oct. 31 morning post and the Nov. 1 evening announcement of her radio show:
No mention whatsoever from Loesch that the original story was wrong. No mention that charges were filed against the teabagger. In fact, out of all of the above tea party bloggers mentioned, absolutely none of them have corrected the original misinformation to report that charges were filed against the teabagger.
It's pretty obvious why this is the case. The story doesn't fit the narrative they are so carefully trying to build for their naive readers, and even more so for the press. The teabaggers release these stories all at the same time, in hopes that the media will notice something on their google alerts and think, "hmm, something's going on here." They don't care if the story is true, they just want to take a chance that someone will take the bait and report it. And if it turns out to be false, they'll just change the subject and their naive readers will never know any different.
This is why the teabaggers are so careful to never link to other news sites that present an alternative point of view. They literally are reliant on their audience being uninformed and not catching them when they provide false information. It's the same reason Bill Hennessy told his readers not to watch Obama's speech, and then turned around and told them what to think about it afterward. Similarly, it's amazing that Loesch and the rest of them would just go silent and pretend that nothing happened the moment they realized they were getting bad info.
Their behavior pattern is pretty clear: they don't care about the truth. They don't care about their readers. They're just continuously angling for more power in the conservative movement by whatever means necessary, yet somehow pretending that what they're doing is different from "politics as usual."