Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't Let Dishonest Tea Prevail!

I created a video yesterday documenting the dishonest techniques that constitute the new "conservative citizen journalism movement" that the tea party has used so effectively to push their media narrative. The video is a case study of the operations of Adam Sharp of, a local conservative blog. In the past, Sharp has stalked Congressman Carnahan, hilariously tried to accuse Fox 2 reporter Charles Jaco of "assaulting," him (which, BTW, earned Sharp an Ass Clown of the Week award from Riverfront Times voters), and falsely claimed that Congressman Phil Hare said he "doesn't care about the constitution." Now I think most activists in the St. Louis area are well aware of Sharp's act, but I hope this video can demonstrate to everyone that whatever Sharp is doing is a far cry from journalism. Basically, he attends events trolling for sound bites that he can misleadingly edit, and he'll ask the same question literally dozens of times until he finds something he can use. Here's the video of Sharp trying to get some sound bite to claim that I'm a "communist:"

There's a lot I could say about the video, but what I'd really like to put this in the context of is Sharp's attack video on Congressman Phil Hare. First of all, as I've noted previously, Sharp along with Gateway Pundit and Dana Loesch blatently lied about this video when they claimed that Phil Hare said he doesn't care about the constitution:
The St. Louis Tea Party is up to their usual tricks, blatantly lying as an excuse to get on Fox News. The Tea Party claimed on their blogs that Illinois Congressman Phil Hare said that, "he didn't care about the constitution." What Congressman Hare actually said was, "I don't worry about the constitution on this, to be honest," which is pretty obviously a completely different statement. Saying, "I don't worry about it on this bill," is the equivalent of saying, "I'm confident that the bill is constitutional." It's not saying that you don't care at all about the constitution, and anyone who suggests that it is is obviously being willfully ignorant.
Here's the video that Sharp produced, that was featured on Fox News, including Hannity, O'Reiley, and others.

Now, think about this in light of the video I just provided. Not only did Hare not actually say that he didn't care about the constitution, Sharp had been pestering him the entire night. Likely, Sharp had already asked him the same question multiple times, just as he asked me if I was a communist over and over even after I plainly told him I wasn't. Compare the following two conversations:

Person A: Where in the constitution does it say you can mandate me to buy health insurance?
Person B: I don't worry about the constitution on this.

Person A: Health Care is unconstitutional! Waaah!
Person B: Actually, the vast majority of legal experts agree that the bill is fine.
(10 minutes later)
Person A: Where in the constitution does it say you can mandate me to buy health insurance?
Person B: In the Commerce Clause.
Persona A: Nu-uh, because I was watching Glen Beck and he had a legal expert on who said it was totally not in the Commerce Clause.
(10 minutes later)
Person A: Where in the constitution does it say you can mandate me to buy health insurance?
Person B: I don't worry about the constitution on this.

It takes on quite a different meaning in #2, doesn't it? Basically, the answer in #2 is saying, "stop bothering me about this because I've already explained that its not a valid point." We know that Sharp was pestering Congressman Hare with questions during the forum, and then stayed after and continued to harass him. So it seems pretty obvious to me, especially in light of seeing how Sharp was trolling for sound-bites with me, that this was an instance more like #2.

It is widely thought that the original false story that Phil Hare doesn't care about the constitution damaged his campaign and made this race competitive. In fact, Dave Weigel of Slate wrote the following the other day:
Let's focus on Hare, who, if defeated, would go down for a surprising reason. Elected in 2006 to replace his then-boss, Lane Evans, Hare stayed under the radar in Congress and in his district. According to one Republican I know who's working with Hare's opponent, his introduction to voters, effectively, came with a video taken after the health care vote in which Hare dismissed a Tea Party complaint about the mandate by saying he didn't "care about the Constitution" as it pertained to that. That video, I'm told, was as viral in Illinois as it was anywhere else, and it's done real damage to Hare's image. So one clumsy answer, living forever on the Internet, could sink him.
If Republicans win in November, it will be because of the triumph of dishonest and disingenuous information. Don't let dishonesty decide an Illinois House race. Donate to Phil Hare's Congressional campaign here. If you don't have any money, then you can sign up here to help Congressman Carnahan, the other target of Sharp's stalking behavior.

We have a choice in November between, on the one hand, a Democratic Party that is not perfect but at least makes an honest effort towards improving the lives of people struggling to make ends meet and, on the other hand, a group of people willing to lie, distort, manipulate and smear in order to take power. The election is less than a month away, and if you haven't already, the time is now to get involved.

1 comment:

  1. More power to you Adam, you handle Sharp and Loesch very well and it's similar folks such as yourself that will slowly roll these idiots over and expose them for what they really are...

    I appreciate you and your work here on this blog and in your activism