Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Innocent Victim of An O'Keefe/Breitbart/Loesch Smear Campaign

As I've said repeatedly, the reason I criticize the leadership of St. Louis Tea Party so much is not because I think the core tenets are offensively wrong (though I do disagree with them). Rather, I criticize the St. Louis Tea Party because of their repeated use of blatantly unethical, dishonest techniques that will destroy innocent people's lives merely for the sake of cheap political points and/or self-promotion. A new story today reveals another innocent victim of a smear campaign by Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe, with aid of course from our own Dana Loesch.

O'Keefe, on probation for breaking the law in New Orleans and discredited after trying to sexually humiliate a CNN reporter (potentially with help from the St. Louis tea party's John Burns), presented a secret video claiming that a teacher called students the "N-word" while she was talking about how hard it is to fire teachers with tenure. Here's how Dana Loesch described it:
O’Keefe’s latest video shows teachers’ union leaders discussing how they helped rig elections and call black students the N word.
The teacher attacked by the O'Keefe video, Alissa Ploshnick, was suspended from her job after the video came out. And, as was reported yesterday, it turns out that Ploschnick was a hero who had previously thrown herself in front of a van to save her students:
Alissa Ploshnick risked her life to save the lives of a dozen Passaic schoolchildren. She threw herself in front of a careening van to protect her students and landed in the hospital with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes. She could have died.

The president of the United States, Bill Clinton then, sent her a letter. It read:

"I recently heard about your act of heroism and wanted to commend you for your selflessness. True heroes are rare in today’s world. And, all too often, those who are really making a difference in our communities go unnoticed and unrewarded. I am delighted to be able to give you the recognition you deserve. You are an example for all of us, and I applaud you for your sense of duty.’’
For those not familiar with the video, it's worth noting that Ploshnick didn't call any student the n-word. Rather, she described another teacher doing it to illustrate how hard it is for a teacher to be fired. There's also nothing in the video to suggest that she was endorsing the use of the term: she seemed to just be making a point about their tenure system. Ploshnick had been taken advantage of by an unethical employee of James O'Keefe:
"I felt like I was raped,’’ says Ploshnick referring to the moment she learned that what she thought was a private, even flirtatious, talk with a "nice" young man who bought her drinks was really part of a political scam to discredit her union in an web videotape called "Teachers Gone Wild.’’

"Give me a smile and say hello and I’ll do anything for you,’’ says Ploshnick. "I’ve always done it. It’s hard to reteach your heart and your brain.’’
Says the blog
O’Keefe made Ploshnick, a teacher who saved the lives of children, an unwitting star in a web-based movie, a phony exposé of nothing but the cynicism of ideologically driven pseudo-journalists. All O’Keefe managed to do was ruin the reputation of a woman who should be honored as a hero — and was, not only by Clinton but also by Montel Williams and Oprah Winfrey, a fan of Gov. Chris Christie’s...

And let’s face it: Alissa Ploshnick wasn’t punished, her reputation wasn’t destroyed, her professionalism and heroism disregarded, because she repeated a word someone else said.

She was sacrificed to a political cause.
And Dana Loesch was right there sacrificing her along with O'Keefe. The site Big Journalism, with Dana Loesch as the Editor, promoted this story in multiple articles. She hosted O'Keefe on her radio show on October 26. Loesch herself attacked a journalist for analyzing O'Keefe's history of dishonesty. Loesch, of course, was previously silent when O'Keefe was busted trying to sexually humiliate a CNN reporter by isolating her on a boat full of sex toys while secretly videotaping her. Its not entirely clear how she squares her blind support of O'Keefe's misogynistic tactics with her self-proclaimed "conservative feminism."

And, in fact, this isn't the first time Loesch has participated in trying to destroy an innocent schoolteacher. Loesch previously claimed that a beloved St. Charles teacher was "indoctrinating students" by forcing them to watch Michael Moore's movie Sicko as part of a "Great Literature" course and had called a student a "teabagger." In fact, the movie was shown specifically for the purpose of asking students to evaluate how Moore used rhetoric to try to make his point (so it was educating students to think critically about rhetoric, the exact opposite of "indoctrination"), and the other students from the classroom all testified that the teacher did not call the student a "teabagger." And after trying to destroy a teacher's credibility without even bothering to get the full story, Loesch never offered any context or issued any corrections.

But of course, the mainstream media will continue to offer up false equivalencies between the Left and the Right (pretending that these Breitbartian strategies are the moral equivalent of Keith Olbermann being too enthusiastic about name-calling), and will continue to treat any criticism of these dishonest and evil tactics as disagreements about political positions. It's truly sad that our standards have fallen so far that the media, for the most part, no longer pushes back against dishonest smear campaigns and attacks on the innocent.

No comments:

Post a Comment