The Palm Beach Post published a brief article purportedly describing a couple of appearances by rep. Allen West. They led the article with a couple of juicy sound-bites in the third paragraph:
The conservative tea party icon also got in shots at Democrats and President Obama, who spoke Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University. West said Obama was “scared” to have a discussion with him. He later said “he’s heard” up to 80 U.S. House Democrats are Communist Party members, but wouldn’t name names.
Woo-hoooo! Sounds inflammatory, all right! Those Tea Partiers…!!
So, I read the story to see what he actually said. ‘Cause, you know, the article quotes him as saying, “scared”, and, “he’s heard”…. WOW! Who would ever dare to talk like that!
Reading on, near the end, the article mentions:
West reiterated many conservative stances he recited last week in front of St. Lucie County voters — against leeway for food stamp users, pro-domestic drilling and pro-tax cuts for high earners, for example. He also berated Obama, who spoke in Boca Raton to FAU students about ending millionaire tax breaks.
“I really wish that, standing here before you, was Allen West and President Obama,” West said. “We could have a simple discussion. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.”
“Why not?” an audience member asked.
“Cuz he was too scared!” West responded in a mocking voice.
Okay, that provides context to the “scared” comment…. in that situation, it doesn’t seem too inflammatory – more like a conversational bit of kidding. I have heard Mr. West speak, however, and it doesn’t strike me that he would change his tenses in the middle of a comment – from the future, “We could have a simple discussion. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.” to the past, “Cuz he was too scared!” So, I’m not sure how much I trust the PBPost’s version of the interchange.
But – on to the truly cringe-worthy quote – “he’s heard” about Commies in Congress. C’mon! That’s gotta be worth denouncing him and demanding his ouster from office!
Well, the Palm Beach Post has nothing for us. No quote, no context, nada ….. did Mr. West really say “he’s heard”?!? (Unless he’s speaking of himself in the third person, I seriously doubt he could be quoted as saying, “he’s heard”, unless he was talking about someone else. But let’s give the paper the benefit of the doubt – oh, right – hahahahaha!!! Still, West could have replied to a questioner, “I’ve heard that….”, much the way he responded to an audience member with the “scared” comment.)
So: inflammatory sound-bite that has no apparent basis in fact. Who would take this seriously?!? A whole bunch of trolls at HotAir, for example. Now, I only had patience to read the first 100 or so comments, and it looks that the tone has changed by the fourth page, but…. Seriously – did none of these people notice the gigantic holes in the PBPost story?
It becomes more obvious why The Media gets who they want in the Presidential elections – even nominally thoughtful people swallow whole-hog the swill the media pours out.
And, in the “get a clue” department, people who read to the end of the article could notice how the PBPost gives the last two paragraphs to the Democratic opponent of West, quoting him (a whole two sentences-worth! coupled with a characterization…) denigrating West. Gee, wonder how many flaming progressives are on the editorial board of that media outlet….?
OK. I’m done….. for now.
UPDATE: the DailyCaller now has a 55 second video (scroll down for the vid) of West’s remarks, along with a version provided by his campaign manager:
“I believe there are about 78 or 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party,” West said in response to a question at the event. After a dramatic pause, he added, “it’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”
Watch the video – it puts still a different spin on this.
BTW – in 2010 the Democratic Socialists of America (the largest Socialist organization in the U.S. and the main U.S. affiliate of Socialists International: THE Socialist Party) distributed a list of 70 Congresspeople who they said were members. I remember this from the time, and I remember wondering WHY on Earth they would do this……!