Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Right Wing Talking Point? I Heard It Through “The Grapevine”

Reported by Priscilla - April 26, 2008 -

One of the ongoing memes of the right wing, from the time of Vietnam and continuing today, is the misbehavior of anti-war protestors. Right wing keyboard warriors and conservative (hate) talk media, last year, ran with a report from the NY Times (funny, how they source it when it suits their purposes) that a disabled veteran, Joshua Sparling, was “spit on” at last year’s anti war protest in Washington D.C. The Times article reported that someone spit near him and the veracity of that report has been challenged. Another myth, courtesy of the Washington Times, arising from the march, was that House Speaker Nancy ordered the Capitol Police to not arrest those protesters who allegedly were spray painting the steps of the Capitol. The Capitol Police say otherwise; but the myth is still out there

Last night’s “Grapevine” on “Special Report” led off with a story which was sourced from “The NY Post” which is owned by the same parent company as Fox News – an incestuous relationship which was not acknowledged in this piece. The title of the “picking” was “Low Blow.” Bret Baier reported that an “anti war protester,” German Talis, was arrested after punching a wheel-chair bound girl outside the venue where First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna were doing a promotion for their children’s book. Notice that Baier did not use the adjective “allegedly” before the word “punching.” Baier noted that The Post reported that the girl, Maureen Lovetro, was struck by Talis and her father, John Lovetro, “fought him off.” The photo which appeared beside Baier was a map of NY City with a protest sign in the foreground.

Now one would think that such a big story would be making the rounds of the media. However, in googling Lovetro, Talis, Bush, etc. there were no NY area newspapers, other than The Post which reported on it. The Google “top results” page yielded about nine articles, from obscure publications which sourced The Post and of course, this Fox story. All the other results were from rightwing websites which were taking great delight in the tale of the “raging” protester. However, in doing the research, I came across the transcript from the Alex Jones Show, where Mr. Talis was interviewed and claims that he didn’t touch the woman and that her father was the one who initiated the physical contact. The show read an e-mail which was from someone claiming to be a witness (who had a photo of Talis being restrained by police and who supported Talis’ account.) Mr. Talis is a member of anti-war group “We Are Change” and not “United for Peace and Justice” which was the group on Baier’s “visual aid.” Baier did not mention that Mr. Talis is considering suing the NY Post for libel.

Comment: This small “grape” is yet another instance of Fox communicating a right wing talking point that anti war protesters are violent. It is also another instance of Fox reporting on what’s all the “rage” in the right wing blogosphere. The Post story is strange. Was it’s author, Philip Messing, actually “on the scene” and if so why didn’t he have any photos of the altercation? (The only photo is of the woman, looking very happy, holding a framed photo of her taken with Laura Bush on another occasion.) Why haven’t the other news outlets picked up on it? This is NY City where incidents like this usually attract the media like flies on you-know-what. One hopes that in the inevitable interview with the Lovetros, Fox will also interview Talis. Obviously, if this girl was beaten, that is reprehensible; but in the US we do believe in "innocent until proven guilty" and Fox has already convicted Talis. Rather than “real” journalism, the adjective here should be “tabloid” or maybe “junk” which in its avoidance to tell only the “right” side of the story is also “unfair and unbalanced.”