Black lawmakers claim protesters shouted racial epithets as they walked to the Capitol to vote for health care reform last month. Andrew Breitbart published a video conclusively proving that this didn't happen, even though it was filmed an hour later.
Representatives John Lewis, Andre Carson and Emanuel Cleaver all say a person or persons in a crowd of hundreds of screaming angry white protesters shouted the word "nigger" at them as they walked to the Capitol. Rep. Heath Shuler says he heard the word, too.
But because there is no evidence that anyone involved in the Tea Parties is ever racist, ever, this is obviously a terrible and vicious smear. The proof that these lawmakers made the whole thing up is that there is not yet a video of someone clearly saying the word directly in the microphone of a Flip camera.
Right-wing bloggers have also decided that Emanuel Cleaver lied about being spat upon, even though there is video of him being spat upon (about 1:15 in). But because he declined to press charges, and because he acknowledged it could've been accidental, it is actually a thing that didn't happen.
We know why Civil Right Hero John Lewis would lie about this: he is a Democrat Socialist. But why did the media just repeat his claims without somehow fact-checking them?
Dave Weigel has an explanation: maybe the journalists just repeated this story told by a congressman and corroborated by three other congressmen because there was no reason to doubt it, based on the behavior and make-up of the crowd that day?
On Saturday, I was with a batch of tea party activists who'd gathered outside the Capitol, believing that President Obama had arrived there. One protester glared up at the dome, yelling "Bring out your boy Obama!" over and over again. Another protester yelled "We took care of one Hussein, we're gonna take care of another one!" That same protester engaged another protester in a conversation about how "they" had ruined the city of Detroit, and that "we have one of them in the White House right now."
Why is Dave Weigel smearing the Tea Parties with his direct quotes of things he heard them saying at a rally where Andrew Breitbart proved conclusively with video science that none of them were racist?
(By the way, do you think the "they" that ruined Detroit, that we now have in the White House, is black people or Muslims? Or... auto company executives?)