Leave it to Nordlinger

Yesterday at NRO’s Corner Jay Nordlinger cited another instance of the mainstream media’s pollution of the record involving the Obamacare protesters doing their thing on Capitol Hill on March 20. We devoted some 18 installments of our “Don’t leave it to Cleaver” series to the subject Jay addresses here, but Jay’s expression of disgust adds to the record:

The New Republic had a long, long piece on how Obama and the Democrats got Obamacare through. It was called “How They Did It: The inside account of health care reform’s triumph.” Don’t you love that “health care reform”? Isn’t it interesting how conservatives’ proposals — liberalizing ones — aren’t called “reform”? Only socialization is? Anyway, this was a very long piece, sort of a little book. Someone gave it to me to read. And I thought I’d give it a try.
Before settling in to read it, I sort of scanned it — and my eyes fell on this sentence: “Conservative protesters descended upon Capitol Hill, marching on the lawn and through the House office buildings, hurling racial and homophobic epithets, and — in one case — saliva at Democrats.”
First of all, the punctuation is wrong; there should be a comma after “saliva.” But that’s not the point. I have read quite a bit about this matter: about how the protesters allegedly screamed, or uttered, the “N-word,” and how one of them spat. (Someone did make an anti-gay remark.) And I happen to know these allegations are baloney — or at least very, very much in dispute. Yet this author presented them as fact.
The rest of his article might have been 100 percent accurate — but I didn’t read it. Once you’ve read something like the passage I’ve quoted, you just can’t trust the rest. You know? If he was willing to say that — what else was he willing to say?

Jay adds this pointed postscript referring to the unclaimed bounty offered by Andrew Breitbart that we also covered in our Cleaver series:

P.S. You think the New Republic writer should try to collect Andrew Breitbart’s 100 grand — the money he is offering for proof that the protesters used a racial epithet? You see, liberals need this to be true: because they are invested in the belief that the “tea party” is racist. It’s not just that tea-party activists have a different view of the economy and government. They hate blacks. And if the protesters didn’t use the N-word — well, they should have, according to liberal belief.

The New Republic article is by TNR senior editor Jonathan Cohn and is accessible here for TNR subscribers.
Some enterprising editor at the Wall Street Journal, or NR, or the Weekly Standard, or Commentary, or the New Criterion, really should commission an article on the pathogenesis and propagation of the lie involved here. It would make a highly illuminating case study.

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