Right-wing bloggers misled by dishonest Fox News video editing are attacking Teamsters President James Hoffa for supposedly urging violence against Tea Party activists during a Labor Day speech. Conservatives are also attacking President Obama, who appeared at the event, for "sanctioning violence against fellow Americans" by failing to denounce Hoffa. But fuller context included in other Fox segments makes clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress.If you'll read Media Matters' story, you'll learn that Fox News' Ed Henry initially provided the context of Hoffa's remarks, but in another segment that contextual remark, bolded above, was removed. Media Matters goes on to say, "Andrew Breitbart's Big sites, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, the Media Research Center, and the Drudge Report have all highlighted that footage, using it to condemn "the violence emanating from union thug bosses" and demand that Obama "denounce" the comments. Sarah Palin, predictably, jumped to conclusions, just like Breitbart, et al. Sarah Palin's Facebook can be added to the list.
During the segment that the bloggers have latched onto, Fox edited out the bolded portion of Hoffa's comments:HOFFA: Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
Here is an ABC News video:
And here is ABC's transcript of Hoffa's remarks:
“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Hoffa told thousands of workers gathered for the annual event organized by the Detroit Labor Council.
“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march…Everybody here’s got a vote…Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he concluded. [emphasis added]
There is nothing wrong with Hoffa's remarks. There is a war on against workers, against the middle class and the poor. There are more voters outside the tea party than inside. So vote! Win the war!
People like Sarah Palin could actually demonstrate their support for workers by supporting a living wage. With a living wage, unions might disappear. With a living wage, WalMart workers wouldn't need food stamps to survive. With a living wage, tea partiers wouldn't have to pay taxes to subsidize business.
A living wage is not the minimum wage. See Wikipedia' Living Wage entry for a brief synopsis. An advantage of having a national, federal government is that a living wage could be implemented nationwide, for all workers who aren't paid enough to support themselves.
TPM has "Teamsters President: ‘No Regrets’ After Fiery Speech Draws Right-Wing Criticism."
Update: The Washington Monthly has "Hoffa and the fainting couch," which states:
... [Hoffa] was talking about voting. This was not a call to violence — Hoffa wants to take the far-right politicians out of office, not out of existence.The Washington Monthly story also compares Fox News' "quote" of Hoffa's remarks with Hoffa's actual remarks.
The right almost certainly realizes this, and is making a fuss just to make a fuss. Fox News, in particular, just about threw a fit over the notion that Hoffa was recommending violence against Tea Partiers. A paid CNN analyst, meanwhile, said that if President Obama “doesn’t condemn” the comments, “he is sanctioning violence.”
This is all pretty silly. If the right is comfortable with Rick Perry’s comments about Ben Bernanke, and Sarah Palin’s “reload” cliche, and Mitt Romney talking about “hanging” Obama, I think conservatives can probably stop clutching the pearls over Hoffa’s line about voting.