Anatomy of a Smear: David Brock Edition
Last edited Thu Feb 11, 2016, 08:35 PM - Edit history (1)
This morning, Civil Rights icon and longtime Congressman John Lewis, according to the media, insinuated that Bernie Sanders' bona fides in the Civil Rights movement might not be as deep as the Sanders campaign has contended when he said, "I never saw him. I never met him," Lewis said. "I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved with the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed (the) voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President (Bill) Clinton."
Taken at face value, Lewis' comment may or may not mean anything other than he never met Sanders, which, in and of itself doesn't mean a thing. Sanders was protesting in Chicago in 1964 as chairman of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and his actions were localized.
If that was it, then there would be little left to say. We have newspaper clippings and letters proving Sanders did protest segregation and served on the CORE commission and Lewis' involvement is legendary. There were many students across the nation actively involved in CORE and other Civil Rights groups. There is no way one could know and/or meet everyone.
But, as a result of the way Lewis worded his statement, any thinking person could draw a myriad of conclusions, including that Lewis had meet the Clintons in the 1960s.
However, that doesn't seem to be the case. Both researchers on this board and in the media have discovered passages from Lewis' own books that suggest he didn't even hear of the Clintons until the early 1970s and met them in 1991, at least half a decade after the bulk of the movement:
Still, Lewis is an older man and I begrudge no one of misremembering exact dates. I'm 46 and forget that my glasses are on my head. The human memory is fallible - no matter how old or young you are. Ask a police detective working a crime.
None of this, however, deserves the attention its getting. Lewis prefers Clinton just like Harry Belafonte, another Civil Rights icon and MLK confidante, prefers Sanders. Period.
This should be the end of it, until...
Enter well-known smear merchant David Brock.
Brock recently acquired Blue Nation Review and is using it to further Clinton's campaign. Brock's Correct the Record SuperPAC works closely with the Clinton campaign through a series of creative federal loopholes.
There's no question Brock supports Clinton. No reason to even argue that point.
But what Brock did today hearkens back to his time as a right-winger hell bent on destroying Anita Hill to further the nomination of now Justice Clarence Thomas, arguably the most incompetent member of the Supreme Court.
Within an hour or two of Lewis' comments, Brock's "reporter" had a story lined up and ready about how Sanders' supporters were trolling Lewis: http://bluenationreview.com/civil-rights-legend-john-lewis-trolled-by-bernie-supporters/
Pretty quick "reporting" there, Brock. Or was this a political set up?
When one reads most of the comments, they are from people who SAY Sanders supporters are trolling Lewis, but aren't Tweets from those who actually are. Most of the comments are from Twitter denizens who are warning trollers not to troll, which is fine and perfectly acceptable, but it's still not examples of a cadre of race-baiting Sanders supporters.
There are some derogatory comments, sure, but not from self-described Sanders supporters. A quick read of their accounts don't even MENTION Bernie Sanders on their homes pages and some are obvious right-wingers.
So how many Bernie supporters making angry statements did Brock's team dig up?
One a definite and the other a maybe. Hardly enough to garner the screeching headline, "NEW LOW: Civil Rights Legend John Lewis Getting Trolled by Bernie Supporters."
Were there horrible remarks directed at Lewis? Yes.
Were most of them Sanders fans? No.
So why does Brock's "reporter" call all of them Sanders supporters?
To spin a narrative, of course.
Brock is attempting to promote the idea that all the derogatory comments were from Sanders supporters and that Sanders supporters were all trolling Lewis, which is simply not true. But, the purpose, of course, is to turn undecided PoC from supporting Sanders based on the actions of (two of) his supporters.
Hasn't that meme gotten old?
I've spent half the day talking with younger supporters who mostly misread the headline and thought Lewis said he'd never met Sanders at all and were confused, but none of them trashed Lewis on his past or for any of the actions he did to promote Civil Rights.
Are there more Sanders supporters trashing Lewis that Brock didn't quote? Possibly. Everything is possible, but, given that I follow and am followed by dozens of his supporters and given I read the Sanders-related hashtags, I didn't see very much evidence of this alleged bash. It's Brock spinning like Linda Blair's head.
This is the "kitchen sink," folks.
The best policy is to ignore Lewis' comments or Brock's spin and simply keep pointing to Clinton's less-than-stellar record of supporting her husband's disastrous crime bill and financial ties to the private prison industry. For once, this isn't really about Sanders. It's about Clinton.
sooner or later end up fighting dirty.
I can't know Lewis' motives or if he was insinuating anything, but I do know Brock's past behavior in the arena of slime and it's not pretty.
but his American Spectator honed hatchet and smear skills are alive and well today as demonstrated above.
I am getting the message that we take it on the chin and shut our mouths.
Lewis is entitled to support who he wants. I didn't like the insinuation that Bernie wasn't active and the Clintons were, but, as we've seen and I've posted, many in the media have cleared that up.
Sad to see people asking you to cow down. I've got your back.
What Brock does is despicable and everyone should know. He kept a safe harbor in Media Matters for years, but it seems he didn't unlearn how to be a sleaze merchant.
You look at their feeds and they don't mention Bernie, at least not the ones I looked at. This is David Brock and this is why team Hillary hired him.
Actually only met him in 1991.
It's neither here or there to me.
People misremember things all the time. We even have a funny name for it: brain fart.
P.S. I edited my post to reflect exactly what the book says. Thanks.
Yeah, seen a lot of that these last couple years. It's amazing how many people read about 'Twitter threats' and think they're real.
A one-time Twitter threat is nothing. Block them and move on. It's just stupid people making knee-jerk commentary. However, let's not forget there has been some real stalking and harassment involving women in gaming and the tech industry (I am female and work in the latter. Thankfully, that is NOT tolerated at my job, but I've seen it happen to others in real life).
But, in-so-far-as Brock using poor examples to make his "case," yes. He's well-versed in slime.
Just that the narrative deflected a huge amount of it on people who DIDN'T do it, which was what I'm looking at here too. And Bernie will run into the same problem those people did - no proof that the person involved doesn't support him, so the narrative will blame the whole movement.
Just wanted to be clear.
But, I understand a lot of the technical aspects growing up with a father who was an engineer. I've worked in PR for technical companies since I left reporting in my early 30s. I may not be running the networks, but I can tell you how it's done.
Bravo for you, though. My company makes a point of trying to hire women in that field. Are you retired or in a different field, now?
I actually wanted to be a negotiator (not police, think like at the UN or something) at one time, even. Always thought I'd enjoy one of those high-stress jobs. As it turns out, I probably made a better decision not doing so.
Sadly I'm no longer in the daily labor force, although I hope to return one day soon. I seem to be on the mend despite expectations to the contrary, and I don't like to be held down! In the meantime, I'm learning a new language to expand both my understanding of language and the world, and my career prospects (again, assuming I can return someday).
the causes he is more intune with these days than when his was a young man. It's very hard not to let "The System" rule your thoughts when in your later years you have moved on from your youth.
I'm thankful that Bernie "Moved On" and built on his youth and didn't "Let the Dream Die." So, I support Bernie over whatever John Lewis has dealt with in his own life that he felt was so important that he COMPROMISE.
We each have to deal with our own demons...
But, there is always the possibility he purposefully misspoke.
In any case, it's clear the media researched this and is, at least in this case, doing its job and pointing out that what he said isn't accurate.
Glad to see that, at least.
and thanks for the this post and David Brock's latest dirty trick
The snip from the Lewis book mentions he had interactions with Bill & Hillary through the "Democratic Leadership Council." So...Lewis could very well have purposely misstated making it sound like the Clintons were part of his movement when they were young, when in fact that was not the case, according to the dates Lewis states in his own book. If Lewis was DLC then we kind of know where he comes from philosophically and why he would go out of his way to support Hillary. ugh.
She's not a Bernie Sanders supporter, but she's fed up with what she calls the "old guard" Civil Rights leaders.
I think this fits in this discussion.
I'm a trained reporter. I left the profession, sadly, nearly 14 years ago when I was divorcing my son's father and need to earn more than 8 bucks an hour (local reporters make crap).
I miss is it (although, I do get tasked to do some media criticism and stories on how the media doesn't understand Islam pieces occasionally - I work for Russ Baker when I do.)
This piece was too easy. It's horrid that no one in the M$M even cares to notice this shit anymore.
...as he was voting against the Civil Rights Act.
you hit the bottom it falls back on you and thats where the sink landed. at the bottom so it's falling back on her
A post got hidden for quoting from Conversations with William Jefferson Clinton: From Hope to Harlem simply because the poster found the quote at hotair and didn't bother to google to link to the book. Hide for posting truth. Truth that is not positive to the Clintons is now considered right wing crap. If anything is right wing crap, it's punishing people for posting truth. Well, at least this crowd cannot hold a post burning.
DU's alert stalkers disgust me more all the time and, unfortunately, so do some jurors.
I will post the shameful jury results here because I cannot post them on the thread, given that hiding the OP also locked the thread.
On Fri Feb 12, 2016, 01:37 AM an alert was sent on the following post:
who would have imagined John Lewis lied for the Clintons? color me shocked.
REASON FOR ALERT
This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.
hotair.com is an extreme right wing website which refers to Bernie Sanders as a communist. This kind of right wing crap doesn't belong on DU.
You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Fri Feb 12, 2016, 01:49 AM, and the Jury voted 4-3 to HIDE IT.
Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: I'd like to see this claim vetted. If it's wrong I'm sure HRC fans wil show us pictures of the Clintons at Selma in the 1960s
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Stop it. The quote is from a book and only reprinted by hotair. Telling both sides of a story is not right wing crap. Refute or not, but keep your hands off the alert button.
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Not usually a post hider, but this one reeks on so many levels.
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Accusing John Lewis of lying on this website is counter-productive. It is not only hurtful, but Bernie would be ashamed of this post.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #7 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.
Ironically, no Hillary fan has posted, either.
Hard to argue with facts.
been claiming "make DU suck," alerting on a factually accurate post has to be #1 suck maker in my book.
It also makes America suck, just as it made Germany and Russia suck. I wish the alert stalkers would cut it the fsck out.
Then again, truth doesn't seem to be their goal.
That's why I rec'd it anyway even though it was locked. It's not much, but all I can do to say "that sucks!"
Glad that Fawke Em got a post IBTL to this thread.
This sentence of yours says it for me:
If anything is right wing crap, it's punishing people for posting truth.
And one more thing, which shouldn't need saying but it does...
If John Lewis doesn't want to be criticized, then John Lewis needs to not do the act that is worthy of criticism. It isn't up to us to ignore shady stunts like the one pulled today.
I knew about his comment and I thought it was strangely desperate-sounding on his part in a very tacky way, but I didn't know how outright deceptive it is.
And there are no sacred cows here in America. So no, I will not refrain from criticizing Lewis just because he's Lewis. He should be ashamed of himself! The best I can say is, it's ethically challenged... on the part of all involved.
When he turns his "talents" against Democratic candidates-- we can do without his kind.