Standing Up To Ignorance…Selectively

Foe Of Ignorance

Yesterday on Meet the Press, host David Gregory berated Speaker of the House John Boehner thusly:

…MR. GREGORY: And, indeed, members of Congress speak publicly and are outspoken and will say what their views are. And sometimes they have an effect on what people believe around the country . And there was a — something that caught my eye this week that was on Fox News on the Hannity program, a focus group with voters in Iowa led by Frank Luntz , the Republican strategist, and he had this exchange with them. I want to show it to you.

Unidentified Woman #1: I believe that Barack Obama ‘s religious beliefs do govern his foreign policy .

MR. FRANK LUNTZ: And what are his religious beliefs ?

Woman #1: I believe that he is a Muslim.

MR. LUNTZ: You do?

Woman #1: Yes.

Unidentified Woman #2: No.

Unidentified Woman #3: Yes.

Unidentified Man #1: Yes.

MR. LUNTZ: How many of you believe that here?

Unidentified Man #2: How many believe it?

MR. LUNTZ: Wow. You believe he’s a Muslim.

Unidentified Man #3: Yes.

MR. GREGORY: As the speaker of the House , as a leader, do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: David , it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people . Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

MR. GREGORY: But isn’t that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you’re not standing up to obvious facts and saying, “These are facts. If you don’t believe that, it’s nonsense.”

SPEAKER BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian. I’ll take him at his word. But, but…

MR. GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance about whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t — it’s not my job to tell them.

MR. GREGORY: Why isn’t it your job to stand up and say, “No, the facts are these”?


MR. GREGORY: Didn’t John McCain do that…

SPEAKER BOEHNER: I, I, I just did.

MR. GREGORY: What you’re saying, “It’s good enough for me,” is that really standing up and saying, for those who believe that or who would talk about that — you had a member of Congress , you had a new tea party freshman who was out just yesterday speaking to conservatives, and he said, “I’m fortunate enough to be an American citizen by birth, and I do have a birth certificate to prove it.” That was Raul Labrador , a new — a congressman from Idaho . Is that an appropriate way for your members to speak?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: The gentleman was, was trying to be funny, I would imagine. But remember something, it’s not — it really is not our job to tell the American people what to believe and what to think. There’s a lot of information out there, people read a lot of things…

MR. GREGORY: You shouldn’t stand up to misinformation or stereotypes?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: …but, but, but, but, but I’ve made clear what I believe the facts are.

MR. GREGORY: But is, is it, is it because it weakens the president politically, it seeks to delegitimize him that you sort of want to let it stay out there?…

Gregory’s breathless outrage in defense of Obama’s assertion that he is a Christian and a natural born American citizen is admirable and…selective. I just don’t remember Gregory or any of his liberal media colleagues badgering any Democratic office holders like, say, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to denounce those on their side of the political aisle for spreading the following “ignorant” claims:

1. That Bush and Cheney knew about the 9/11 attacks before they occurred.
2. That Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks and warned Jews not to go to work at the World Trade Center that day.
3. That Bush/Cheney knew that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq before the war and thus “lied” in order to avenge Saddam Hussein’s attempted assassination of Bush’s father.
4. That the “neo-cons” (read: Jews like Wolfowitz, Pearl, Libby, and Feith) in the Bush administration manipulated the dumb Gentiles (Read: Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) to go to war against Saddam Hussein to benefit Israel.

Victor Davis Hanson provides some more examples of “ignorant” beliefs that Democrats were never pressured to renounce by the likes of David Gregory and Company.

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  • Ben Hoffman  On February 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    1. That Bush and Cheney knew about the 9/11 attacks before they occurred.

    3. That Bush/Cheney knew that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq before the war and thus “lied” in order to avenge Saddam Hussein’s attempted assassination of Bush’s father.

    There is a lot of evidence that those things were indeed true. There’s no evidence that Obama is not a citizen or that he is a Muslim. It’s just fear and hate mongering.

    • ron james  On February 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Neither the 9/11 Commission nor the Robb Commission produced any credible evidence that Bush had advanced knowledge of the attacks or knew about WMD before the war.

    • Ron  On February 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Did the 9/11 Commission or the Robb Commission produce such “evidence”? I still don’t understand why this citizenship question persists, since it could be easily refuted if Obama authorized Hawaii to release his birth certificate. The other week, the governor said he was going to do it and then said he wasn’t because it has to be approved by Obama? I accept that he’s a citizen, but it would seem to be easy to settle the question.

  • Circle City News  On February 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    First, David Gregory wasn’t hired to host MTP until after President Obama was elected. So, he couldn’t really ask Democrats about their Bush/Cheney, 9/11 opinions when he wasn’t even the host.

    Second, the Democratic leadership wasn’t really making these (Bush/Cheney) claims, although there was some evidence (credible or not) that there was advance notice of bin Laden’s plans.

    Third, it wasn’t just Democrats that believed Bush/Cheney were wrong about 9/11 and Iraq.

    Fourth, I don’t know who said the 9/11 attacks were committed by Israel. First I heard of that one but I definitely never heard Democratic leaders making that claim.

    • Ron  On February 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      First, David Gregory was White House correspondent for NBC news where he could’ve asked Gibbs or Obama to repudiate those charges, but he didn’t.
      Second, the Republican leadership haven’t been making claims about Obama’s birth or his religion. Gregory asks the leadership to repudiate them. However, Democratic leaders and journalists like Maureen Dowd have claimed that Bush lied about WMD. Bush’s administration did admit that they were wrong about the intelligence which isn’t the same as lying about it.
      I didn’t say Democratic leaders accused Israel, only the Michael Moore types on the fringe of the left. But again, no one ever asked Democratic leaders to get the Michael Moore types to stop spreading ignorant ideas.

      • Circle City News  On February 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        You may not have heard about the Republicans that have questioned his birth and religion but I can give you a partial list.

        Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze (republican)
        U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla
        Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen (republican)
        Arizona state Rep. Judy Burges (republican)
        U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga
        Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
        Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (republican)
        U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo
        U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
        New Hampshire State Rep. Laurence Rappaport (republican)
        Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz
        Rep. Allen West replublican from FL.
        Rep. Michelle Bachman Republican

        BTW: Michael Moore is an entertainer. I know you’re aware of the Republican entertainers that question the president’s birthplace and religion (Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin among others)

  • ron james  On February 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Can you give me a few examples of what any of these people said? I’d appreciate it.

    I do remember Hillary Clinton, Democrat, saying about Barry’s religion that she believed he was a Christian, “as far as I know.”

    • Circle City News  On February 16, 2011 at 1:49 am

      I’m not sure who Barry is but I am sure there isn’t a religious requirement to be president, per the Constitution.

      • Ron And Eleanor Ja  On February 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

        I like to call him Barry which,as I understand it, was his name for most of his life before he decided he needed some multiculti street cred. A harmless bit of aggression, which you probably consider racist. Who said anything about a religion requirement?

        Sent from my iPod

    • Circle City News  On February 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Yep, you can add Hillary to the list, too. And since you seem to be so good at finding quotes, you should be able to find quotes from the republicans, too.

      The fact that many republicans believe President Obama is a Muslim and a Muslim is unfit to be president of the United States is religious discrimination. Therefore, a religious requirement.

      I looked up the name Barry and it was not his name. Apparently, White people called him that because they didn’t like his birth name, Barack.

      I don’t consider what you said racist but do question why you seem so eager for someone to call you a racist.

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