In an interview on Tuesday with FOX 4 News, Rep. Cleaver would not directly answer the question of whether or not he was intentionally spit upon.Well, that's a lie, just like the whole allegation of racial slurs and spitting is a lie! Contrast that with the Washington ComPost online story from March 20.
"I haven't talked about this incident on TV or anywhere, and I've been approached to talk about it on every national TV show," said Rep. Cleaver in an interview with FOX 4 News. "I never, I never reported anything, never a single thing in Washington, not one thing. People assume I went somewhere, never done press conference, never done an interview on it and I'm not going to do it."
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) issued a statement late Saturday saying that he was spit upon while walking to the Capitol to cast a vote, leading the Capitol Police to usher him into the building out of concern for his safety. Police detained the individual, who was then released because Cleaver declined to press charges.
"The congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The congressman would like to thank the U.S. Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care," said Danny Rotert, a spokesman for Cleaver.
Protesters outside the Capitol hurled epithets at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as they left the building after President Obama delivered an 11th-hour speech on behalf of the health care bill. Carson told reporters that protesters yelled "kill the bill," then used a racial epithet to describe Carson and Lewis, who is a revered figure on both sides of the aisle.
According to observers, Frank was confronted by about 100 protesters inside the Longworth House Office Building, where Democrats were huddling for another meeting about the legislation. Some targeted Frank with anti-gay epithets and urged him to vote against the bill.
Democratic leaders and their aides said they were outraged by the day's behavior. "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus," said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black official in Congress.
Jack Cashill has a great piece at American Thinker that questions McClatchy News Service, who broke the story.
Agree. William Douglas & McClatchy Newspapers, as do the Congressional Black Caucus, owe a public apology and retraction to the Tea Party Movement.
William Douglas, an African-American reporter for the liberal McClatchy Newspapers, seems to have broken the story at 4:51 PM on Saturday, March 20, just hours after the alleged incident took place. Douglas did so with the seriously inflammatory headline, "Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman."
At 7:21 PM that same evening, Douglas upped the ante with a headline that moved from inflammatory to incendiary: "Tea party protesters call Georgia's John Lewis 'nigger.'"
As Douglas reminds his audience in the lead of the second posting, "civil rights icon" Lewis, now a Georgia congressman, "was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s." The focus on Lewis encouraged the Washington Post's Colby King to opine a few days later that "[t]he angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956."
King's take perfectly mirrored the Democratic talking points. If the immediate strategy was to discredit the Tea party movement as racist and split the movement's base from the Republican Party, then it was working splendidly.
By Sunday morning, March 21, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was publicly denouncing the actions on the Capitol steps as "reprehensible." What Boehner did not know at the time is that he had been himself victimized in one of the most appallingly successful media scams in recent years.
If it were not for those damn ubiquitous video cameras, House Democrats and their media allies would have gotten away with it entirely. Instead, they must content themselves with a victory only among those who rely for the news on an increasingly myopic major media.
To discover what did happen, I have reviewed video from at least four different sources, talked to several eyewitnesses, and analyzed the early media reports from the scene.
Bottom line: the Douglas story would seem to meet the standards for libel. It is provably false, preposterously reckless, quite possibly malicious, and has caused real damage to publicly identified Tea Party leaders.
Below is the anatomy of a smear.