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Stephen Glass, Redux? ThinkProgress.org Publishes Completely Fraudulent Video Labeling Tea Partiers Racists

We tell lies when we are afraid … afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  — Tad Williams

Oh, my dear progressive friends … will you ever learn?

Think Progress is an unofficial auxiliary of the Democratic Party, apparently run with the singular purpose of generating reams of dubious (and sometimes shockingly bad) propaganda. One of their more recent abortive efforts was to fabricate a video that they they would like to use as evidence supporting the popular left-wing meme that the growing tea party movement is chock-full of racists. Here it is.

How bad is it?

Put it this way: Think Progress made the following statement yesterday afternoon in their original article:

Think Progress has produced a short video demonstrating the vile racism that has been exhibited at some Tea Party events:

DENNIS: The Tea Party does not focus on the pigment of people’s skin.


TEA PARTY ACTIVIST 1: He’s too black to be President.

TEA PARTY ACTIVIST 2: I’m a proud racist, I’m white.

TEA PARTY ACTIVIST 3: Afro-Leninism! Coming to you on a silver platter, Barack Hussein Obama!

TEA PARTY ACTIVIST 4: Go home wetbacks!

There are four men quoted in the original 53-second video.

Activist 1 is being smeared as a racist by Think Progress, even though he was attending a tea party event with his black wife and bi-racial son. It takes a lot of nerve to edit a video so dishonestly that what remains is the opposite of what the speaker intended. Here is what Activist 1 actually said in the full video recording:

Barack Obama’s just a bad guy. That’s all I can say. He’s … he’s too black to be president. And you look at the color of my wife, it’s not the color of his skin that troubles me, it’s not the blackness of his skin that troubles me.

It’s the blackness inside … his heart. He’s a bad guy.

Think Progress takes an obviously not racist man and edits him into a villain.


Activist 2 is a favorite of Think Progress, and no wonder: he says exactly what they hoped to hear a tea partier say, exclaiming: “I’m a proud racist, I’m white.” Think Progress liked this clip so much they played it not once, but twice.

The problem is, Activist 2 isn’t a tea party protester. He is a tea party crasher.

Think Progress is well aware of this, as they pulled the few seconds of video from a nearly six-minute video of actual tea party protesters singling him out for scorn and chasing him away!

Nice outfit, don’t you think? The man is in fact likely a progressive plant, possibly from that day’s failed “Crash the Tea Party” movement. Note that his Nazi shirt is just out of the package, wrinkled and heavily creased across the fold from shipping. This man was isolated by real tea party protesters, holding signs like the one above, from the moment he showed up.

Think Progress pulled the video of him claiming “I’m racist, I’m white” from the 53-second mark of a nearly six-minute video from conservative blog SharpElbows.Net. The video is entitled: “Proof that the Tea Party is not racist.” It consists of real tea party protesters chasing the man away, and provides a link to where the man bought some of his Nazi gear online.

There is literally no way that Think Progress staffers, using a nearly six-minute video of tea party protesters berating a mail order Nazi and likely progressive plant, could watch this video and come to any conclusion other than that tea party protesters revile racism.

Activist 3 is a little more perplexing. I’m not sure what he means by “Afro-Leninism.” Possibly, it is a reference to the 20 years Barack Obama spent as an eager congregant at Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church, which preaches a racist Marxist liberation theology. But I don’t know, and objectively, neither does Think Progress. No intellectually honest person could make the claim that Activist 3 is a racist from his video.

Activist 4?

He is the reason the original 53-second Think Progress video has shrunk down to an even more anemic 50 seconds.

His brief — inarguably racist — shout of “Go home wetbacks!” is provably a video from 2006.

Years before the tea party existed.

To their credit, Think Progress eventually took down Activist 4’s information.

The remainder of the Think Progress video included several still photos that are intended to provide weak evidence of racism. But once again, the pictures include progressives captured (poorly) masquerading as tea party protesters. These pictures are undeniably of participants of the farcical “Crash the Tea Party” attempt on Boston Common.

Think Progress has committed blatant — and easily falsifiable — fraud. They’ve misrepresented the views of good and decent people.

Painting the father of a multi-racial family as a bigot by twisting his words? Despicable.

Presenting liberal agent provocateurs as real and reprehensible members of a group they intend to undermine by any means necessary? Using video they undoubtedly know proves their contentions false when viewed in its entirety?


Reality would not provide them with the propaganda they sought to exploit for their own political gain. So they invented it.

Real journalists would be fired on the spot for this behavior. The willful perversion of the SharpElbows.net video should end careers.

According to Think Progress’ “About Us” page, Faiz Shakir is vice president at the Center for American Progress and serves as editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress.org. He sets the standards for this group.

Lee Fang, the Think Progress “researcher” that bylines this video, has interned with a similar propaganda site named Media Matters.

In just 53 seconds, they’ve created propaganda so blatantly dishonest as to make their termination mandatory. They’ve abused their readers, and their opponents.

But perhaps that is what they are paid to do.

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