Sadly, no sooner had Fox’s Greta Van Susteren taken an admirable and even courageous stand against her own Fox News colleague for his sexist attacks on Texas Democrat Wendy Davis, Van Susteren took to the airwaves that very night and threw her own cheap shots at Davis. Attacking Davis seems to have turned into a nightly ritual on Van Susteren’s On The Record show.
On Monday (1/27/14), Van Susteren showcased Republican accusations about Wendy Davis – disingenuously couched in language so as to make it look like she was “just reporting”:
Wendy Davis is lashing out. Now the candidate for Texas governor is at war with Rush Limbaugh and Greg Abbott. This, after a list of big blunders. The candidate called out for lying about her past and accused of going after her Republican opponent – not for his politics – but because he’s in a wheelchair. And Rush Limbaugh is not having any of it.
As for “going after” Abbott “because he’s in a wheelchair,” Van Susteren seems to be taking as truth the latest suspect video from Project Veritas, the group run by law-breaking, deceiving and misogynistic James O’Keefe. In any event, Van Susteren was suggesting that Davis’ slogan “Stand with Wendy” was a slap in the face of the wheelchair-bound Abbott. In fact, the “Stand with Wendy” slogan predates Abbott’s candidacy. And even if Van Susteren was too lazy to check the facts behind her insinuation, common sense should tell her that it’s a reference to Davis’ epic 11-hour filibuster during which she was unable to sit or even lean on a desk.
Van Susteren didn’t even explain what points she thought Davis would score with such a dig. Instead, she played – uncritically, of course – a clip from Rush Limbaugh attacking Davis. As if Limbaugh doesn’t have a terrible record of disrespect to women and the handicapped of his own. The clip Van Susteren played didn’t sound very respectful, either.
This is the woman who made a big, big splash filibustering an anti-abortion law in Texas. And so she became an immediate star in the Democrat party in Texas. And they began pushing her for higher orifice. But the problem, she’s a leftist and therefore there is fraud and deceit woven through her life story. …It seems when you boil it all down, that Wendy Davis would have ended up being really poor and destitute were it not for a man.
All that was before Van Susteren brought on Abbott as her only guest for the segment. When he did arrive, Van Susteren prodded him to attack Davis.
First, Van Susteren cited a Davis campaign quote, “Wendy needs us standing with her,” as further proof of Davis dirty tricks. She added, “I don’t know, maybe I’m a little bit sensitive but… I actually think that’s code. …If I were running against someone who was in a wheelchair, I would be mortified if the word “standing” appeared in any of my literature. …I don’t see that she’s ever disavowed it. …I know she had that filibuster but still. Do you think that they are mocking you with those remarks or do you think it’s coincidental?”
Abbott cited the O’Keefe video as “proof” that he is being mocked. Without challenge from Van Susteren. Instead, she criticized Davis for not making “a very public statement” condemning anyone who may have mocked Abbott’s disability. Even though it’s not clear from O’Keefe’s video that that’s what happened.
But Van Susteren wasn’t done attacking Davis. Last night, On The Record hosted Texas’ current (Republican) governor, Rick Perry, to go after Davis. “What we’re seeing is an incredible amount of mudslinging,” Van Susteren complained. And then blamed it all on Davis.
On the one side, state senator Wendy Davis found apparently fudging her bio and that’s gone, sort of Texas-style big all over the state. Then you’ve got the remarks, the code remarks about the use of the word “stand” – and I don’t know if that was code for the fact that Greg Abbott’s in a wheelchair – but certainly once that sort of became, you know, an issue, it would have been polite for her to call and say, ‘Look, I had nothing to do with it, I never in a million years would intend – but instead, this has gotten down and dirty.
Tonight, Van Susteren continued the trend, this time via an interview with Dallas Morning News’ Wayne Slater, a journalist I admire. But why he allowed himself to be a pawn in Fox’s agenda without noting what they’re up to is a mystery to me. FoxNews.com just happened to call its video of the segment, “Wendy Davis: Her own worst enemy in bio scandal?”
All three videos are below, in chronological order.
The contrived controversy about the “Stand With Wendy” slogan was manufactured by Greta Van Susteren, and Abbott did not take the bait! He would be foolish to do so because it is simply ridiculous as Ellen has pointed out. Furthermore, Wendy Davis called OTR during the show on 1/27. Greta blogged about her statement, but she never mentioned it on her show! How shameful of Greta to go on and on about Davis not coming out and making a statement.
Here it is:
There is no reason to disavow the “Stand With Wendy” slogan! Van Susteren has manufactured it as a controversy and neither Perry or Abbott even came close to confirming her accusations. Their not taking Greta’s BAIT! What she is doing is down right gratuitous!
The blog post that Greta was referring to in the first video (Mon) is here:
I notified the Harris County Democratic Party and they put together this rebuttal:
Greta has not bothered to post their response to her insane accusations! She has been caught not doing her homework again and is trying to save face!