Those of us on the right soil our own reputations when we lower ourselves to the same kind of shoddy journalism often found on the left. Fox News has been caught doctoring the clip of Jimmy Hoffa and the Tea Party, making it look far more nefarious than it really was. Certainly the foul language and strong rhetoric (Take the sons of B’s out) was much worse than anything Sarah Palin said about “targeting districts or candidates”, but that does not excuse the Fox News hack job of wresting the quote from its context.
Here is the quote from the clip Fox has used in most of its stories, which leaves out a couple of crucial lines. These lines have already been distributed onto thousands of conservative websites.
“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of b***s out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.
Now here is actual quote, with the bold sections Fox left out in most of its stories:
President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. And President Obama, we want one thing: jobs, jobs, jobs… That’s what we’re going to tell him. He’s gonna be … and when he sees what we’re doing here, he will be inspired. But he needs help. And you know what? Everybody here’s got to vote. If we go back, and we keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these son of a b***s out and give America back to an America where we belong.
If you can’t see the difference between the two, you are blinded with hatred. Sadly, the response on most websites has been deplorable by posters/commenters on the right. Some simply deny the context changes things. That is asinine. Worse, many responses include what the FBI or Secret Service should consider threats, even if not “credible” (mentioning of Lee Harvey Oswald, etc.).
Of course, the courseness of Hoffa’s language is not defensible, and Barack Obama’s praise of his work doesn’t help the president in his stated goal of more civil discourse. But we don’t want to lose the mushy middle and the blessing of God by resorting to distortions or threats. Cut it out!
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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