Media Matters for America is doing a victory lap over their story about Fox News exec Bill Sammon supposedly lying repeatedly on air during the 2008 election after audio they have released shows Sammon saying he found the idea of Barack Obama being a socialist to be ‘far fetched’. But not so fast.
The watchdog group has actually produced a video about the story with blatantly deceptive editing, using trick editing that is so blatant that one wonders why they have such contempt for their fan base. Of course, that fan base includes Howie Kurtz and Greg Sargent. (Is it coincidence that these are the two reporters who were carrying water for Arianna Huffington on the recent Breitbart / Huffington story?)
I’ve done a video showing exactly how MMfA uses editing trickery to lie and frankly, every time I watch the original video I’m stunned with what they try to get away with. They do such a botch job of literally making Sammon say something he never said that repeated viewing make me almost admire their cajones. You’ll see.
But before you watch the video, let’s make clear the real goal of the exercise beyond trying to make Fox look bad. MMfA, Kurtz, Sargent and the rest of the pile-on blogs want to undercut the idea that Barack Obama is socialist by discrediting those claims as crazy lies. Again, they don’t just argue against the idea on the merits of the evidence – they need to discredit completely all sources that say it.
Now, Sammon is also claiming here that Obama’s behavior in office ultimately persuaded him that the original diagnosis of Obama as a socialist turned out to be correct after all. That in itself, of course, is also a ridiculous falsehood. (Emphasis added.)
Once again, Media Matters goal isn’t the truth – it’s discrediting ideas.
Here’s the original Media Matters piece.
And here’s part one of my analysis.
Adding: Media Matter responded to my video.
they corrected one point properly – I said there were three clips they cut together – it was two. This is totally inconsequential. Media Matters tries to make hay from it by saying “That’s a pretty embarrassing error and a good indication of how seriously his work should be taken.” – I could say the same thing about them getting the date wrong in their clip.
Again, they are all about discrediting – not truth.
Beyond that, they don’t even actually respond. For example, how do they justify cutting together two clips from different days in one sentence? Let’s see..
But let’s move on to his accusation that we’re guilty of deceptive editing in switching between those two (not three) clips.
Stranahan believes that by going from this clip:
SAMMON: But I do think that when you start talking about, "spread the wealth around," which is what Barack Obama said to Joe the Plumber —
To this clip on a previous day:
SAMMON: — the red flag went up. I mean, that’s just code – and I knew that conservatives would say, ‘That is exactly code for income redistribution which is tantamount to socialism.’
We’re guilty of "making Sammon say something he never said." Stranahan says that it’s "obvious that Sammon is not stating his own opinion. … Sammon is saying he knew that’s what conservatives would think."
But that’s not deceptive editing. Media Matters included Sammon’s statement that "I knew that’s what conservatives would say." In other words, Stranahan accuses us of deceptive editing in our video by pointing to a line from our own video. Stranahan’s criticism makes little, if any, sense.
Umm – they don’t explain why they cut those two clips together. Nowhere.
And my video explains why cutting I clip that starts “But I do think…” with a clip talking about what someone else thinks is deceptive.
And Media Matters doesn’t address switching from the Joe The Plumber discussion to other things Sammon said. Why does this matter?
Look at what Sammon said in the speech…
SAMMON: You know, speaking of mischief, last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to quote, "spread the wealth around." At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched.
Sammon is talking about the Joe The Plumber part – he makes two references to the time in that one section. Nowhere does Sammon indicate that when he mentioned Obama’s connection to Ayers, for example, was that ‘mischief. But I’ll save some of this for part two.