After Fox News aired a doctored version of Teamsters president James Hoffa's Labor Day speech, the right-wing media pointed to the clearly edited video to accuse Hoffa of encouraging violence against conservatives. In fact, unaltered video -- video aired by Fox hours after the clearly edited version had been heavily promoted throughout the conservative media -- shows that Hoffa was encouraging the crowd to vote against Republicans in the 2012 election.
Hoffa Used Labor Day Address To Emphasize The Need To Vote
Hoffa: "Everybody Here's Got To Vote ... Let's Take These Son Of A Bitches Out And Give America Back To America Where We Belong." During a Labor Day event in Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters president James P. Hoffa said [emphasis added]:
We gotta keep an eye on the battle that we face: the war on workers. And you see it everywhere. It is the tea party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is, we like a good fight. And you know what? They got a war. They got a war with us, and there is only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan and America. We're going to win that war.
President Obama this is your army. We are ready to march. And president Obama we want one thing: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. That what we're going to tell him. He's going to 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 bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much! [ABCNews.com, 9/5/11]
How Fox News Helped Turn Hoffa's Call To Vote Into A Violent Threat Against Conservatives
Drudge: "Jimmy Hoffa: 'President Obama, This Is Your Army. We Are Ready To March. Let's Take These Son Of Bitches Out." At 12:36 p.m. ET on September 5, a Drudge Report headline excised Hoffa's comments:
[The Drudge Report, 9/5/11]
Fox's Henry: Hoffa "Said Of The Tea Party And Of Republicans, Quote: 'Let's Take These Sons Of Bitches Out.' " At 1 p.m. ET, September 5, Fox News reported on Hoffa's comments. Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry reported:
HENRY: The Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa Jr. [sic], was speaking a couple of moments ago and saying, "We'll remember in November who's with the working people." He was chiding Republicans, specifically named the tea party, and then his language got a lot stronger. And pardon my language as I repeat it, but he said of the tea party and Republicans, quote: "Let's take these sons of bitches out." It got some cheers from this crowd here in Detroit. [Fox News, America Live, 9/5/11]
Fox Then Aired Clearly Edited Video Of Hoffa's Comments. Approximately 20 minutes after Henry's initial report on Hoffa's comments, Fox News' Megyn Kelly reported that Hoffa had issued "a pretty harsh attack on the tea party and Republicans. Here's some of that now." Fox News then aired a clearly edited version of Hoffa's speech:
HOFFA: We gotta keep an eye on the battle that we face: a war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there's only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what, they got a war, they got a war with us, and there's only gonna be one winner. It's gonna be the workers of Michigan and America. We're gonna win that war.
HOFFA: President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march.
HOFFA: Let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much! [Fox News, America Live, 9/5/11]
Blakeman: "I Think It's Thuggery At Its Best." After she aired the clearly edited version of Hoffa's remarks, Kelly asked Republican consultant Brad Blakeman to respond. He said, "I think it's thuggery at its best" and "these are the kind of remarks you'd expect out of Tony Soprano, not a union president." Blakeman further said: "When a union president says, 'let's take these son of a bitches out,' it usually means somebody's legs are going to get broken, somebody's going to disappear." [Fox News, America Live, 9/5/11]
Fox's Henry: "Full Quote, Jimmy Hoffa Jr: 'Everybody Here's Got To Vote. If We Go Back & Keep The Eye On The Prize, Let's Take These Sons Of Bitches Out." At 1:26 p.m. ET -- approximately the same time Kelly was delivering her report that included the clearly edited video of Hoffa's comments -- Henry posted what he called Hoffa's full quote on his Twitter feed:
Dana Loesch: Hoffa Issued A "Call Of Violence Against Americans." Minutes after the doctored video of Hoffa's speech aired on Fox News, CNN contributor and editor of Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism site Dana Loesch characterized Hoffa's comments as "the call of violence against Americans by union thugs." [Media Matters, 9/5/11]
Real Clear Politics Used Doctored Fox Video To Claim: "Hoffa Threatens GOP At Obama Event." The website Real Clear Politics posted Fox's doctored video of Hoffa's comments with the headline: "Hoffa Threatens GOP At Obama Event: 'Take These Son Of Bitches Out'." [RealClearPolitics, 9/5/11]
Drudge Report Linked To Doctored Fox Video. The Drudge Report later added a link to its initial headline, which directed readers to the Real Clear Politics post that included Fox's doctored video. [Drudge Report, 9/5/11]
Big Government Posted Altered Video, Criticized Obama. At 11:08 a.m. (presumably Pacific Time as Breitbart sites are based in Los Angeles), Big Government posted the edited Fox News video under the headline: "Obama Declares He's 'Proud' of Hoffa -- After Hoffa Declares 'War' on Tea Party 'Sons-Of-Bitches'." [Big Government, 9/5/11]
Big Journalism Posted Doctored Video, Claimed Hoffa "Threatens Tea Party." At 11:09 a.m. PT, Big Journalism also posted the doctored Fox News video with the headline: "Union Boss Intros Obama in Detroit, Threatens Tea Party 'Let's Take These Sons of Bitches Out'." [Big Journalism, 9/5/11]
Fox News Then Showed Video Of Hoffa Urging People To Vote. At approximately 3 p.m. ET -- after the edited Fox News video had been promoted by right-wing blogs -- Fox News finally aired Hoffa's comments urging people to vote. The full context verified what Henry had reported via Twitter hours earlier -- that Hoffa was simply emphasizing the need to vote:
HOFFA: 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 bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much! [Fox News, Fox Report, 9/5/11]
Hot Air Also Used Doctored Video Of Hoffa. Hot Air blogger Allahpundit posted the doctored Fox video of Hoffa's speech and wrote that Hoffa was "threatening his political enemies while a union-stooge Democratic leader sits by and smiles." [Hot Air, 9/5/11]
Gateway Pundit Used Doctored Hoffa Speech. Right-wing blogger Jim Hoft posted Fox News' edited video and wrote: "Jimmy Hoffa took his attacks on the tea party to a whole new level today during his Labor Day speech." [Gateway Pundit, 9/5/11]
The Five Doctored Speech And Said Hoffa "Essentially Declared War On The Tea Party." At 5 p.m. ET -- two hours after Fox News aired Hoffa's full statement urging people to vote -- Fox News' The Five again broadcast a clearly edited video of Hoffa's speech that did not include his comment that "everybody here's got to vote." Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said that Hoffa "essentially declared war on the Tea Party." [Fox News, The Five, 9/5/11]
Fox's Palin Called Hoffa's Speech "Thuggery." In a Facebook message posted at 2:50 a.m. on September 6, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin urged union members to not be "taken in by union bosses' thuggery like Jim Hoffa represented yesterday." [Facebook, 9/6/11]
Beck Claimed Hoffa Was "Inciting Violence" During Speech. Glenn Beck aired a doctored audio version of Hoffa's speech but left out his call to vote out Republicans and forwarded the fabrication that Hoffa was "inciting violence" against conservatives. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 9/6/11]
RedState: Hoffa "All But Called For" Tea Party Leaders To Be Killed. Citing the doctored Fox News video posted by Real Clear Politics, a RedState blogger wrote that "on Labor Day, James Hoffa all but called for the leadership of The Tea Party Movement to take a nice, refreshing dirt nap in The Meadowlands End Zone." [RedState, 9/6/11]
Limbaugh On Hoffa's Speech: "That's A Call For Violence, Folks." After playing a doctored clip of Hoffa's speech, Rush Limbaugh said: "That's a declaration of war. I mean, that is a come on to violence. That's a call for violence, folks. From Don Hoffa to Barack Obama." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/6/11]