Previously:3/24/10: HuffPost triples-down on false smears against Tea Party; user hate-fest erupts (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
3/20/10: HuffPost smears Tea Party again, on false charge of racism; user hate-fest erupts (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
3/7/10: HuffPost smears Tea Party again: This time as racist and anti-immigrant; users unleash hate (HuffPost: "Approved!!!")
11/17/09: "Peace" activists physically assault peaceful Tea Partiers; how did HuffPost play it?
This was HuffPost's front page splash story on the morning of March 28:
TEA PARTY ON THE DOLE
Many Tea Party Activists, Out Of Work, Turn To Government For Help...
Before we go any further, let's get a definition of the phrase, "on the dole." From Dictionary.com:
- A portion or allotment of money, food, etc., esp. as given at regular intervals by a charity or for maintenance.
- A dealing out or distributing, esp. in charity
- A form of payment to the unemployed instituted by the British government in 1918
- Any similar payment by a government to an unemployed person on the dole, receiving payment from the government, as relief: They couldn't afford any luxuries while living on the dole
And here is the story page to which the splash headline linked, showing that HuffPost is actually citing a New York Times story:
So now, "Many Tea Party Activists, Out Of Work, Turn To Government For Help," HuffPost?
Really? And what facts do you rely upon to make that blaring assertion?
Well, as has been the case in the past with HuffPost's long history of posting false and misleading headlines, it bases this assertion on nothing. Here is the New York Times story:
There is nothing in the Times story that would lead one to conclude that "many" are "on the dole." To the contrary, what the story does describe is a handful of activists who are collecting Social Security and/or unemployment --- into which all working Americans are forced to pay.
If they are out of work, what is it that you expect them to do, HuffPost? Sacrifice the benefits to which they are entitled, and into which they were forced to pay, to aid them in circumstances such as these? News flash, HuffPost: collecting what is rightfully yours is not being "on the dole."
And what is "many"? According to estimates, as of mid-2009, the number of Tea Party activists nationwide was approximately 600,000. There is absolutely no doubt that by the spring of 2010, twice if not three times this number or more are actively involved. So how many is "many"? We estimate that any reasonable definition would be about 10,000 times higher than what the Times cited.
Lest we forget, it was only a few months ago that Ms. Huffington claimed (emphasis added):
[At HuffPost] there are guidelines that have to be followed -- and they include a prohibition on conspiracy theories or inflammatory claims. [...]
These are actually very good ground rules for Fox News to adopt. I'll send you a copy and cc Roger.
For context, it's good to remember that Glenn Beck didn't come out of nowhere. He's the latest example of what the great historian Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics," which he defined as angry minds that traffic in "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy," and that see "the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms... always manning the barricades of civilization."
Beck preys on fear, political instability, and economic suffering, which, in turn, means that Fox News profits from fear, political instability, and economic suffering.
Furthermore, remember that Ms. Huffington claims that HuffPost is "an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” whose mission is "to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned," and "debunk the left-right way of thinking," and that she sees herself as "the future of journalism, not the end of it." See Section A here.
Yet once again, HuffPost knowingly used its power as the #1 blog in the world to mislead its readers, and libel and attempt to deligitimize the Tea Party organization and its members, apparently thinking that no one is keeping score. How wrong you are, HuffPost.
So what kinds of mass misconceptions, and user comments did HuffPost incite with this misleading, libelous headline --- which it then went on to review, approve and decide to publish? A sampling:
maymay2 18 fans permalink.
Teabaggers are hypocrites!
Posted 01:11 AM on 3/28/2010
NoSillyName I'm a fan of this user 100 fans permalink
Tea Partiers and their leader, Spalin, are nothing but nasty, violent hypocrites.
And, no, it has nothing to do with health care.
Posted 01:15 AM on 3/28/2010
lizr 296 fans permalink
I think part of the point of the article is that they are
BROKE and DISPOSSESSED nasty violent hypocrites. [...]
Posted 01:56 AM on 3/28/2010
With one hand, holding a picket sign, the other outstretched for government assistance pooled from fellow American taxpayers of all ilks. Way to go, teabaggers--bite the hand that literally feeds you. [...]
Posted 01:13 AM on 3/28/2010
melton244 162 fans permalink
We must not let this story di.e, we must demand the media cover this aspect of The Teabaggers. Posted 05:44 AM on 3/28/2010
RichInSeattle 58 fans permalink
I don't like it when these people use the American Flag. It reminds me of the hate and intollerance of Germany in 1930's. When they use the American Flag, they distort its honerable meaning and amazing history. What they stand for and what our flag stands for are NOT the same thing.
Posted 01:33 AM on 3/28/2010
lisakaz2 I'm a fan of this user 268 fans permalink
All, the land of not-making-sense. Let's take government benefits but complain about 'em at the same time. "We deserve 'em but no one else," I guess.
Posted 01:32 AM on 3/28/2010