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The "Grapevine" Untruth Squad Strikes Again

Reported by Priscilla - September 30, 2008 -

As I have previously noted, “Grapevine” takes something that is hot-hot-hot with the right wing hate radio and blogging community and just runs with it without doing any further fact checking. (But who needs facts when it’s all about the propaganda!). The latest bit of trash talking started with a Drudge link to a TV news report which was picked up by World Net Daily which led to an article in the National Review; but it’s taken on a life of its own. Yes folks, the gang that wants to censor the ladies of the View is now upset that the nefarious forces of the Obama campaign are trying to silence the holy hordes of John McCain. Fox, of course, has joined the peasants with pitchforks. The thing is – it’s not true. (But who needs truth when it’s all about the propaganda.)

Correction: I had previously stated that the NRO was Murdoch owned. Although it is a conservative publication, it is not owned by Murdoch.

Last night’s (September 29th) Special Report “Grapevine” began with the news that “a St. Louis TV station reports a group known as the Barack Obama Truth Squad is coming under fire because a number of state prosecutors and sheriffs have joined and may crack down on free speech. KMOV-TV says the group was set up to respond to advertisements and statements about Obama it considers misleading and possible violations of the state's ethics laws.” According to “Grapevine” Missouri Governor Roy Blunt says that this is “scandalous” and meant to “frighten” people…and to chill free and open debate.” (Comment: the irony is rich considering Fox’s frequent use of the fear factor when it comes to minorities, Muslims, and Barack Obama. And Fox is not exactly known for open debate!) And to let the audience know that the valiant army of peasants with pitchforks is on the march, it was noted that ”meanwhile, KMOV-TV has been inundated with calls from angry viewers as far away as New York and Florida. The station reports many are expressing concern that people could be prosecuted for stating their political views.” The chyron for the piece was “censor squad.”

Comment: While not exactly on the level of the 2004 RNC West Virginia flyer which claimed that John Kerry was going to take away bibles and force gay marriage, this is right up there on the top 40 Republican sleaze hit parade. According to the Obama campaign, “the mission of the Missouri Truth Squad will be to respond quickly, forcefully, and aggressively when John McCain or his allies launch inaccurate claims or character attacks about Barack Obama, or when they distort Barack Obama's record or plans. Judging by how much the McCain campaign has lied and distorted over the past 2 months..” So how is a debunking group a “violation of state’s ethic’s laws?” And those involved in the debunking – “a group of leaders from around the state who will be proactive in letting voters in the Show-Me State know the truth in the face of the distortions by the McCain campaign. The Missouri Truth Squad will be anchored by United States Senator Claire McCaskill and will include other elected officials and members of the Missouri law enforcement from throughout the state.” Nothing in the mission statement implies that these people will act in an official capacity. Obama had a similar truth squad in California which wasn’t a problem; but that might be because California isn’t a peasants with pitchforks kind of place. But the damage has been done, As noted in the “Grapevine” piece, the TV station is being inundated with calls like the one in which a caller stated that Obama was "planning to send police to the homes of elderly women because of their political statements.” The video of the news report shows reporting that indicates that the Truth Squad would be responding to ads that violate ethics laws; but which did not specify what these laws are as the Obama press release did not address that issue Despite the apparent misinformation, Governor Roy Blunt has issued a vitriolic and partisan statement which has further inflamed the issue.

The one who are trying to frighten people are not those in the “Truth Squad” but the right wing hate community which is misrepresenting the truth. Not surprisingly, Fox is right there with the pitchforks!!!!