After Rep. Steve Scalise came under serious criticism for doctoring a video to make it look like Joe Biden supports defunding the police, he got a warm welcome from Fox & Friends to double down on his misleading attack.
The Daily Beast explains:
Scalise found himself the target of intense backlash on Sunday after he shared the video accusing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of wanting to defund the police. The clip featured Barkan, [an ALS patient] who speaks through computer voice assistance, asking Biden at one point: “Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding for police?”
The original exchange between Barkan and Biden, however, reveals that the activist never said that, with the Scalise video adding “for police.” Furthermore, the exchange in question was part of a larger conversation about police reform and redirecting some funds and responsibilities from the police to other social services—something Biden noted is markedly different than “defunding the police.”
The full context of the conversation, as previously noted, shows the former vice president explaining that redirecting some funds is not the same as defunding police departments, as he noted that federal funding should be conditioned on law-enforcement departments meeting certain standards and guidelines.
Barkan blasted Scalise and demanded an apology to the disability community.
.@SteveScalise,— Ady Barkan (@AdyBarkan) August 30, 2020
These are not my words.
I have lost my ability to speak, but not my agency or my thoughts.
You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain.
Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology. https://t.co/N6G5RgMXlO
Instead of apologizing, Scalise doubled down on Fox & Friends. Not surprisingly, the three sycophants saw it as their job to help him, not to educate or illuminate.
Cohost Steve Doocy did the propaganda honors.
DOOCY: I know that a number of Republicans have said, and Joe Biden says he would defund the police. That was after he did an interview with a rep – somebody who was asking him some questions about, uh, police brutality and funding of the police and things like that. This is the exact quote from the original, uh, interview with Joe Biden on July the 11th, from NowThis. Watch.
BIDEN: There’s a whole range of things that we can do, The idea of no-knock warrants for drug cases is bizarre. We don’t need that. It’s just, it just invites trouble. There’s a need for fundamental change in us being able to have transparency, be able to have access to the records of police when they have misconduct charges against them.
My generic point is that –
BARKAN: Don’t we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?
BIDEN: Yes, absolutely.
DOOCY: So, you, you’re taking some heat over the weekend from Twitter because you took the last part of that but, uh, you added from earlier in the, in the interview “the police” and put it right in there and you were accused of manipulating a video. What do you have to say about that?
SCALISE: Well, you know, look, it shouldn’t have been edited but at the same time, the comments were always about – in fact twice in that interview, he asked Joe Biden if he was for redirecting money away from police and in both times, Joe Biden said yes.
And you saw that last response. Joe was excited about saying yes, that he would redirect money away from police. So, you know, look, we sent out the video again, the full video, in fact. If anybody wants to see it with that full interview. But again, multiple times, Joe Biden is asked if he supports redirecting money away from police and Joe Biden says yes.
Redirecting and defunding the police are the same thing if you’re a police officer and they’re redirecting money away from you. Doesn’t matter where else it’s going. It’s going to make it harder for those police officers to do their job safely and to keep those communities safe.
This is misleading at best. As The Daily Beast noted, Biden was not talking about taking away money from police to cut back on their services but to enhance community safety by relieving the police of work they are not cut out to do.
Rolling Stone explains the concept:
The concept is simple: When cities start investing in community services, they reduce the need to call police in instances when police officers’ specific skill set isn’t required. “If someone is dealing with a mental health crisis, or someone has a substance abuse disorder, we are calling other entities that are better equipped to help these folks,” [Lynda Garcia, policing campaign director at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights] says.
Police themselves will admit this — that they are being called to respond to situations beyond the scope of their job. “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said in 2016, after five of his officers were targeted by a mass shooter. “Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it… Here in Dallas we got a loose dog problem; let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail, let’s give it to the cops… That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”
Not one of the three cohosts clarified Biden’s position.
You can watch Fox & Friends let Scalise misinform viewers below, from the August 31, 2020 Fox & Friends.