GOP = Hoax Party
I missed the initial bruhaha caused when a video surfaced of Shirley Sherrod making apparent biased comments regarding aid for a white farmer. Sherrod was, at the time of the video's release, the Director of rural development in Georgia for the Department of the Interior. She was forced to resign shortly thereafter and suffered condemnations at the hands of the Obama administration and NAACP.
It turns out that the right wing agency that broke the story of the video released an edited version of the video. In the edited video, Sherrod is telling a story of, 20 years ago, giving a white farmer with less help than she could have. In the full video, she uses that story to make a point about how it made her realize that bias is wrong and that what she wants to be about, and has been about ever since, is helping all poor regardless of race.
This kind of falsification and alteration of evidence has become standard operating procedure for the GOP and those attempting to further Conservative efforts and policies.
We saw the same thing with a leaked video purporting to show Acorn workers assisting a pimp with prostitution efforts. The same producer of that video, James O'Keefe was apprehended in a Democratic Senator's office (Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana) tampering with her phone equipment. It turns out that what happened in the Acorn video was staged and manipulated. One can only imagine what Mr. O'Keefe intended to do with Senator Landrieu's phone equipment. I'm guessing that Mr. O'Keefe intended to tap her phone and release incriminating conversations and if no incriminating conversations were heard, he would edit them to make them seem incriminating.
There is an interesting connection here. The same website that featured James O'Keefe's manipulated Acorn video is the one that released the edited video of Shirley Sherrod.
The website, Biggovernment.com is owned by Andrew Breitbart. Mr. Breitbart has issued vigorous denials when asked whether he knew the Sherrod video was edited and also when asked whether he knew Mr. O'Keefe was going to trespass and tamper with the equipment in Senator Landrieu's office. Is it possible Mr. Breitbart is telling the truth? Maybe, I doubt it but it is possible. It still means that his publishing and fact-checking standards are in the toilet and that no one should believe anything he puts out ever again.
There are more examples of this. A few months ago, hacked emails of climate scientists in London magically appeared in the hands of right wing operatives who provided them to their friends in conservative media. Those tens of thousands of emails purported to have 6-10 excerpted statements that showed issues with the theory of Global warming and intend to hide data. No less than five separate independent investigations have taken place and the investigations concluded that the statements were misinterpreted, taken out of context, the scientists did nothing wrong and there is no effect on the theories concerning anthropogenic global warming.
For some reason, I haven't seen a lot of coverage of the ClimateGate investigation results in the Mainstream Media. There were articles in the Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle that indicate that the scientists were vindicated but little to no TV coverage in the US.
Republicans and their Tea Party alter ego count on the fact that the accusations are exciting but the corrections, retractions and amplifications are less so. Why would anyone support a party that does things like this? Even if you agree in principle with some of the things for which the GOP stands like lower taxes, small government, etc. Why would you lower yourself to support them or their candidates? Why would you go anywhere near people or a party that has happily embraced the three things I outlined above? Supporting the Republicans (or their nom du jour, Tea Partiers) means that you support lying and forged and manipulated data and information. If you are in favor of lower taxes and small government but are in favor of personal freedoms, you could opt for the Libertarian Party. If you are for small government and religious conservatism, the Constitutionalist Party is out there for you.
The point is that there are alternatives for your views if you don't want to support liars and forgers.
The rest of us have to do a better job of expecting this and when I say "The rest of us" I am including my friends in the NAACP (they've already issued a mea-culpa and seem to get it) and Obama administration. When hit pieces get released that contain ugly accusations at prominent Democrats, we've got to allow some time to investigate them before passing judgment and issuing condemnations. We know the Republican Modus Operandi now and need to treat anything remotely like these things as highly suspect.
San Francisco Chronicle article on ClimateGate investigations exonorating the scientists and the theories of global warming
Acorn Fake Pimp connection to Landrieu break in article in Newsweek
California Department of Justice news release on Acorn Fake Pimp video saying the tape was edited and does not show what Republicans tried to show in the edited version and, in the words of the California Attorney General "The evidence illustrates... that things are not always as partisan zealots portray them through highly selective editing of reality. Sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor."