July 19, 2010
The Cleaver Conundrum - and the Brilliance of Breitbart's Bucks
On Saturday, March 20th of this year, Tea Partiers rallied just off the Capitol steps against ObamaCare, which was being debated and voted in the House of Representatives. In an effort to provoke some sort of ugly response, a "YouTube moment" that could be played endlessly against the Tea Party popular front, four members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) -- Reps. John Lewis (D-GA, 85%), Andre Carson (D-IN, 100%), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO, 95%), and James Clyburn (D-SC, 100%) -- waded through the scrum of protesters.
At least three of them, Cleaver, Carson, and Lewis, claimed immediately afterwards to have been mercilessly pummeled by taunts, threats, spitting, and the dreaded N-word, which Lewis (I think) said was hurled at them "fifteen times."
Curiously, not a single video taken during that event -- and there were many -- supports the allegation; not only that, but not a single antique-media journalist, blogger, or spectator, has stepped forward with evidence that there was any racist verbal assault at all... not even an "eyewitness" account that backs up the CBC Four.
Not even when Andrew Breitbart, former Drudge editor, offered first a $10,000 bounty for any such evidence, then later raised it to $100,000: All anyone, including a reporter, need do is come forward with his own substantiated eyewitness testimony that he heard the N-word shouted at the CBC Four, and he can collect a hundred thousand simoleons. But none has stepped forward and applied.
The easy (and correct) conclusion is that the incidident never happened; that's why no journalist claims he heard it. But this begs a most intriguing question: Why not? Why hasn't some left-leaning journalist present at the scene stepped forward and claimed he heard the N-word, even if he has to lie about it?
One would think it would be the easiest thing in the world for two or three or ten reporters simply to fib, to back up the Democrats and tar the entire Tea-Party popular front with the vile epithet "racist." The leftstream media is certainly no stranger to tendentious lying to make the political Left look good; they do it all the time. What could a new "Jayson Blair" possibly have to lose?
The answer is -- his freedom; and therein lies the genius of Andrew Breitbart.
By making his $100,000 offer, Breitbart has changed the game: He singlehandedly elevated the consequences for lying about the alleged incident from simple embarassment if caught, or even a job loss (usually temporary) -- to felony fraud.
Now if some reporter for the New York Times or the Washington Post or CBS News tells the big lie, casting it as his "personal eyewitness testimony," he can be arrested for fraudulently trying to obtain the hundred thousand dollar bounty. And considering the wealth of negative evidence from videotape, audiotape, and hundreds of Tea Partiers and even other reporters, any earwitness thinking of backing up the CBC's fabrication must weigh the possibility that he himself will end up in prison.
Thus is the power of positive bounty... a ton of money makes a federal case out of simple character assassination!
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 19, 2010, at the time of 5:09 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Nerys Ghemor
Here's another thing I don't think anybody has pointed out. I'd have to see studies of the brain to determine the exact number where this occurs, but in that kind of high-pressure, immediate situation with a lot of crowd noise, are you seriously going to be able to keep count to THAT degree of specificity while supposedly in a mob? The specificity of the number--THAT high--was actually quite suspicious to me, because I don't think the normal person's brain is going to count efficiently in that situation and to that high a number. Has anyone ever tried to do the science on that? To me, that was a sign of either a lie or a deliberate exaggeration. And nobody's risen to Breitbart's challenge yet...hmmmmm.
The following hissed in response by: Beldar
Yes, but ...
You're assuming a U.S. Attorney from the Holder-headed Obama-controlled DoJ would prosecute. I don't think that's likely. They have enormous discretion, and they're shamelessly willing, even eager, to put politics ahead of justice.
I too think it's curious that no lefties have tried to claim the reward with a lie, but I don't think it's fear of criminal prosecution that's deterred them. I'm not sure what it is. I tend to doubt the obvious answer (that "it would be wrong to lie"); I think it's rather than none of them would rather be put under a Rather-like (Dan, that is) spotlight sticking to a story that has already pretty much fallen apart (albeit circumstantially and in part by an absence of evidence).
The above hissed in response by: Beldar at July 19, 2010 10:18 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
I’m afraid it will take more than a few prevaricating reporters to claim Breitbart’s $100 grand. According to his Big Government site, “The bounty is now $100,000 for any audio/video footage of the N-word being hurled at Congressmen John Lewis and Andre Carson.” [Emphasis added]
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