Defending Former Colleague Gingrich, Fox's The Five Revives Smears About Pelosi
Research ››› ››› MIKE BURNS
On the December 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, in the course of defending their former colleague Newt Gingrich against criticism over his past ethics violation, the co-hosts revived several smears against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), such as the claims that Pelosi falsely accused the CIA of lying to her and engaged in insider trading.
The Five Revives Smear That Pelosi Falsely Accused The CIA Of Lying To Her ...
Perino: Pelosi Said The "CIA Had Lied To Her In Regards To Some Of The Intel Pieces" But Never Produced Any Evidence. On the December 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, during a segment about Pelosi discussing the House investigation into ethics charges against Gingrich, co-host Dana Perino claimed that Pelosi "said that the CIA had lied to her in regards to some of the intel pieces" but failed to produce any evidence when asked to do so:
ANDREA TANTAROS (co-host): But Dana, these were 83 charges that were found to be false.
DANA PERINO: Right.
TANTAROS: And so, what's she actually going to use if her own investigation -- it sounds like it was a joke. What's she going to use?
PERINO: But remember, go back in time, back into when he was speaker, and if you look at the Saul Alinsky model right, you have to try to demonize your opponent, focus on them -- so they filed these 84 charges and came up with 83. And I don't even remember what the 84th one was. She's had this problem before where she says something and then all of a sudden she goes silent. She's like, Oh no no, I didn't say that. And it was when she said that the CIA had lied to her in regards to some of the intel pieces and so then the CIA said, Excuse us? When? Produce it. And she never did -- she never talked about it again. And the media just let it go. I guarantee if a Republican did that they would not be given a pass like she was. [Fox News, The Five, 12/6/11]
... But Contrary To Right-Wing Media Claims, The Evidence Does Not Contradict Pelosi's Claims About The CIA
Pelosi Said That The CIA Misled Her About Whether It Was Engaging In Waterboarding. In 2009, Pelosi stated that during briefings in 2002, CIA officials described the waterboarding technique but did not say that the agency was employing the technique when, in fact, it had been waterboarding detainee Abu Zubaydah repeatedly. [The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/09]
Media Repeatedly Falsely Claimed That The CIA Had Disproved Pelosi's Comments. Media personalities, including Fox News' Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Newt Gingrich, and the Fox & Friends co-hosts, seized on statements by Leon Panetta and others to claim that Pelosi's statement that she had been misled by the CIA had been proven false. But none of the evidence cited by the media actually showed that Pelosi was lying, and, in fact, former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) also said that he was not briefed about the use of waterboarding. [Media Matters, 5/21/09, 7/19/09, 2/23/10; The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/09]
The Five Revives Smear That Pelosi Engaged In Insider Trading ...
Tantaros: "[Pelosi] Has Her Own Ethics Issues. ... Most Recently She Was Hit On Insider Trading." From The Five:
TANTAROS: [Pelosi] has her own ethics issues. Remember, a couple years ago she was accused of using campaign money to pay family members. Most recently she was hit on insider trading. She probably shouldn't be doing this, Eric.
ERIC BOLLING (co-host): No, there's -- well not necessarily insider trading, Angie. It's legal insider trading in Congress, but the other question --
TANTAROS: Still doesn't look good.
BOLLING: No, it doesn't look good, it doesn't smell good, it doesn't pass the smell test. The optics are horrible. [Fox News, The Five, 12/6/11]
... But When Pelosi Was Speaker The House Passed Historic Credit Card Reform
Media Accused Pelosi Of A "Conflict Of Interest" Based On Her Investments In Visa When She Was Speaker Of The House. Media outlets, including Andrew Breitbart's Breitbart.tv website and Fox Nation, attacked Pelosi for supposedly engaging in "insider trading" by investing in Visa while the House of Representatives was considering legislation affecting the credit card industry. [Media Matters, 11/3/11]
But Pelosi Worked On Historic Credit Card Reform As Speaker.
- Wall Street Journal: "Congress And The White House Are Taking Aim At Controversial Credit-Card Practices." [The Wall Street Journal, 4/21/09]
- McClatchy: "Consumers ... Would Get Strong New Protection" Under Credit Cardholders' Bill Of Rights. [McClatchy, 5/12/09]
- AP: "Congress Wrapped Up The Legislation Wednesday And Sent It To President Barack Obama, Who Plans To Sign It Friday." [Associated Press, 5/20/09]
And The Financial Services Industry Opposed That Legislation.
- Financial Industry Consultant On The Credit Card Industry Legislation: "A Deep Recession Is An Odd Time To Assault The Credit Card Industry And Americans' Access To Revolving Credit." [American Banker, 3/20/09, accessed via Nexis]
- American Bankers Association Lobbied Against Credit Cardholders' Bill Of Rights. [American Banker Association Executive Vice President Floyd Stoner's letter to Congress, via Consumerist.com, 5/13/09]
For more information about the historic credit card reform that Pelosi oversaw as Speaker of the House, click here.
The Five Revived Smear That Pelosi's "Brother-In-Law Was Involved In" An Energy Department Loan ...
Bolling: Pelosi's "Brother-In-Law Was Involved In" An Energy Department Loan, And There Were "A Lot Of Questions." From The Five:
BOLLING: Remember that loan that her brother-in-law was involved in?
BOLLING: There were some Energy Department loans, a lot of questions. But the question is, why is she even getting involved? [Fox News, The Five, 12/6/11]
... But Fortune Editor Said It Was "Patently False" To Claim Pelosi's Brother-In-Law Would Benefit From Loan Guarantee
Fortune Editor: It's "Patently False" To Claim That Ronald Pelosi Would Benefit From The Loan Guarantee. In a September 29, 2011 article, Fortune editor Dan Primack wrote:
It is true that Ronald Pelosi is an executive at Pacific Corporate Group, one of the private equity firms that has plugged more than $100 million into SolarReserve. But it is patently false that he will benefit from the loan (as Drudge asserts, although Weekly Standard only implies).
Ronald Pelosi joined PCG this past spring, whereas the firm first invested in SolarReserve three years ago. More importantly, Ronald Pelosi does not have a financial interest in the fund that houses SolarReserve. If the fund generates big profits on its investment, Pelosi gets nothing. If the fund's investment gets wiped out, Pelosi's bank account won't take a hit. [Fortune, 9/29/11]