The Associated Press has now reported the controversy underlying the assertion that Obamacare protesters subjected Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, James Clyburn, John Lewis and Andre Carson to racial abuse as they walked through the crowd to the Capitol on March 20. According to the AP, the “wrong video” (of congressmen walking from rather than to the Capitol) has spurred the controversy. The focus of the AP story is misplaced, but the lack of any supporting evidence other than the congressmen’s say-so can be deduced from it.
Doug Ross has posted several videos here and the AP story refers to yet another. No video documents the story propounded by the congressmen.
Unfortunately, the AP missed a few items of evidence for those trying to weigh the evidence. The original source of the story appears to have been Rep. Andre Carson. Carson breathlessly recounted his version of events to Washington Times reporter Kerry Pickett and others on March 20 (audio here).
According to Carson, he was walking down the steps of the Cannon House Office Building when he, Lewis and Lewis’s chief of staff were subjected to the racial epithets by 15 protesters. “It was just the three of us walking down the steps,” said Carson.
In the March 20 McClatchy account of these events, Cleaver claims to have been somewhere behind Lewis. The McClatchy story portrays Lewis as the subject of the abuse. Clyburn mysteriously materializes to reprise the theme at the end of the story.
Pickett’s tape catches Carson’s informative take on the Obamacare protesters. Carson betrays an illuminating animus toward them. Alluding to part of his stint in law enforcement, Carson comments on the dangerous nature of the crowd: “I’m from intelligence, and I’ll tell you, one of the largest threats to our internal security…I mean terrorism has an Islamic face, but it really comes from racial supremacist groups. (inaudible) Its the kind of thing we keep a threat assessment on record [for].”
Where is Clyburn? He remains unmentioned in the AP story today. Clyburn is the black member of Nancy Pelosi’s whip team and a key proponent of the story; he too claims to have been part of the doings. The March 20 McClatchy account quotes Clyburn climbing on to the story: “I heard people saying things today I’ve not heard since March 15th, 1960, when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus. This is incredible, shocking to me.”
Clyburn’s echo of the immortal Casablanca‘s immortal Capt. Renault was undoubtedly unintentional, and like Capt. Renault, Clyburn was laying it on a bit thick.
UPDATE: Jim Hoft weighs in here and checks in with Andrew Breitbart.
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