It may be the most celebrated missing recording since Watergate: the nonexistent or unaccounted-for video of the tea-party protesters at the Capitol who three black congressmen claim yelled racial slurs at them on March 20, the eve of ObamaCare's enactment. Jesse Washington, who covers the race beat for the Associated Press, tries to get to the bottom of things. Although he falls well short of establishing the truth or falsehood of the allegation, he comes up with some interesting findings along the way. First, there turns out to have been at least one report of a corroborating witness to the alleged slurs. Washington notes that in its March 23 edition, the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News published this interview with Heath Shuler, the local congressman, a Democrat who voted against ObamaCare: [quote] Shuler was walking with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, an African-American, toward the Capitol building when the crowd starting yelling racial epithets at Cleaver, who was a civil rights activist in the 1970s. They even spat at him. "It was the most horrible display of protesting I have ever seen in my life," Shuler said. Multiple members of Congress reported racial epithets being shouted at African-American members over the weekend. "It breaks your heart that the way they display their anger is to spit on a member and use that kind of language," Shuler said. [end quote] But when we phoned Shuler's office this afternoon, press secretary Julie Fishman told us the local reporter misunderstood. According to Fishman, Shuler's comments to the Times-News referred to the general tenor of the protests, not to the black congressmen's specific allegations. Fishman said that Shuler was not walking with Cleaver and did not hear the "N-word." ...There are videos of the event. They just don't show what John Lewis claimed.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
No one has collected $100,000 for N-word evidence
Congressman John Lewis claimed that March 21, the day Obama's health care takeover passed, he, Emanuel Cleaver, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and other black congressmen had the N-word shouted at them as they passed through a crowd outside the US Capitol building. But the evening news reporting this showed no video. Where is the tape? Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000, then upped it to $100,000, for a single video recording of the claim. Congressman Lewis got real quiet. Sound Politics Another witness was found - Rep. Heath Schuler of North Carolina - reported by Associated Press. Did AP talk to their source to verify the story? No. But James Taranto did: James Taranto at WSJ