In an interview posted on the Politics Daily website, Andrew Breitbart stood by his decision to post a deceptively edited video smearing Shirley Sherrod. Asked whether he "made a mistake by rushing to get the Shirley Sherrod video out to soon," Breitbart said "[i]t had to be done at the exact moment in time that so the press would notice it."
From Politics Daily:
Q: Do you feel like you made a mistake by rushing to get the Shirley Sherrod video out too soon, though?
A: It had to be done at the exact moment in time that the press would notice it ... I grant her that she had her redemptive transformation. I said that her humanity caused her to help the farmer, and that it's not just about race. Notice how the press conspicuously ignores that. It's in the video and it's in the text [of Breitbart's original post on the topic]. Who is doing the selective editing here? This is about destroying me.
This is quite an astounding claim from somehow who has asserted that "Context is everything." It seems that Breitbart couldn't care less about what nonsense he pushes so long as it is picked up by the media in what he deems a timely manner.
The interview concluded with a grossly dishonest comment, even for Breitbart. Responding to a question about what "else folks should know about" him, Breitbart began his response by saying: "Believe it or not, one of my primary motives on this planet is to stop this racism, and to stop the Democratic Party's use of race that divides us intentionally."
Given that Breitbart released the edited Sherrod video claiming it showed "evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee" before knowing all the facts, it's hard to believe him.
There's a lot to dislike about Jill Lawrence's Politics Daily post about liberals and the flag, starting with the headline: "Another Patriotic Holiday, Another Day of Liberal Flag-Avoidance Syndrome," but the most pernicious aspect is clear: Lawrence's implication that people who do not display the flag do not love their country.
Lawrence begins with a discussion of her own relatively recent conversion to the ranks of the flag-wavers:
Once again on a patriotic holiday, only two flags flew on my block, and it breaks my heart. What is it about liberals that makes so many so disinclined to embrace patriotic symbols, to show the world that they care?
For many years the only flag enthusiast in our household was my husband, a Southerner who served in the army during the Vietnam era. … That all changed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. … practically overnight I began to feel a visceral love for its ideals and possibilities, and a strong protective urge. … I became proud of the large flag adorning our porch on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, the 4th of July. It did not seem to me that this constituted putting my brain or critical faculties in a blind trust. Who would not want to remember and celebrate our soldiers, the birth of our nation?
Of course, plenty of people who fly the flag do so without thinking for a moment about the birth of our nation or what it means, or about soldiers. And plenty of people think about those things every day without ever flying a flag. That fairly obvious reality seems to elude Lawrence.
Here's Lawrence's conclusion:
Liberal politicians have so much trouble proving they are patriots, even those with stellar service records (George McGovern was a World War II bomber pilot; John Kerry earned five medals in Vietnam). They spend a good portion of their campaigns trying, and often failing, to reclaim patriotism and patriotic symbols for the Democratic Party.
The task would be a lot easier for Democrats, particularly presidential candidates, if liberals became unabashed flag-wavers. It's not an impossible prospect. Granted, it's sometimes hard to love this country as it is, but it's easy to love it for what it aims to be. That's how I think of the flag, and that's how this one-time closet patriot learned to love waving it. [Emphasis added]
Lawrence suggests that if only liberals could learn to love their country, they'd become "unabashed flag-wavers." Again, what she seems to miss is that many people love their country -- both what it is and what it aims to be -- but don't feel the need or desire to display a flag to prove it. Just as some people love the Rangers, but don't attend hockey games in face paint. Some people just aren't into making public displays of their beliefs and values. Others are. Neither is an inherently better approach.
Lawrence's column would be perfectly reasonable if it was simply an explanation of why she, and others, choose to display a flag. Where she goes wrong is in suggesting that those who do not choose to display a flag must not share her feelings towards their country.
Plenty of people didn't need the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to remind them that they love what America aims to be, and they don't need Jill Lawrence to tell them how to express that love. But if she insists on doing so, I'd suggest another approach: Focusing not on those who fail to fly the flag, but on those who support institutionalized discrimination, torture, and other policies that are, arguably, rather inconsistent with what America "aims to be." Of course, she wouldn't get to promote stale old stereotypes about unpatriotic liberals if she took that approach.
On the March 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis advanced dubious claims first made by the Wall Street Journal that certain provisions relating to overhauling student loans in the reconciliation bill were added to benefit "a handful of favored nonprofit companies." The legislation in question eliminates the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, which, as the New York Times reported, gave commercial banks "guaranteed federal subsidies to lend money to students, with the government assuming nearly all the risk." Under the legislation, qualifying state-based nonprofits would be able to continue servicing federally subsidized student loans. Lewis and the Wall Street Journal suggested that this provision was added to benefit, as Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy put it, "some of" the Democrats' "nonprofit pals."
Their evidence? The Journal claims that one of the "several dozen nonprofit firms" that could be affected by this legislation, ALL Student Loan, "may have helped its cause by retaining the services of Vincent Reusing, a lobbyist whom the Chronicle of Higher Education has described as a 'personal friend' of" Rep.George Miller (D-CA). Lewis repeated this charge on Fox & Friends. Without explaining how, the Journal claims that ALL Student Loan counts as one of the "favored nonprofits" who will be receiving a new "revenue stream" from this legislation. But considering the Journal itself admits that ALL Student Loan is only one of "several dozen nonprofit firms" that could benefit from the legilsation, it's hard to see how this provision was included in order to benefit one nonprofit who hired one lobbyist who may or may not be a "personal friend" of one of the lawmakers involved in drafting the legislation.