From today's "Sunday Pops":
United Steelworkers union boss Leo Gerard, on MSNBC, warned that those who compromise are not “real Democrats.” And a while back, FrontPage Magazine reported that Mr. Gerard considers capitalism to be economic “inequality ... that leads to instability and violence.” This, from the same fella who once advocated street violence to promote Barack Obama’s socialist vision. Ahem. [Bold text in original.]Wow. Pretty damning, isn't it? This Gerard guy must be a nasty piece of work, huh?
Not so much when you track down all the sources that the Braintrust cites then compare them to how filtered them for your consumption. Let's take them one at a time.
When did Gerard warn Democrats about compromise? It was on The Ed Show on MSNBC, November 20. After pointing out that the way out of the current economic mess is to get people back to work and that letting the Bush tax cuts expire is not a tax increase (as they were "designed to expire"), Gerard reminds Ed's viewers how badly the Tea Party did in the last election and how much the voters support the President's agenda. When Ed asks about Democrats who are "getting nervous" Gerard responds:
The best compromise is that the Republicans ought to start to understand that they are the ones that have caused this mess by trying to hold up the president`s agenda for four years. Democrats don`t need to compromise. The president won on an economic agenda that included rebuilding the manufacturing base, fixing the infrastructure, letting the Bush tax expire not for the bottom 98 percent, but for the top 2 percent. And any Democrat that gets weak knees on that isn't a real Democrat. [Emphasis added.]See? It's not about compromise in general (which is what Scaife's braintrust wants you to think) it's about compromising on any the stuff the Dems won on in November. It's on what to compromise on, not that there should be compromise.
By filtering out enough details to present a narrative that doesn't conform to reality, Scaife's braintrust is lying to you.
But that's just the beginning. Let's take a look at Gerard's views on capitalism. The reference to Front Page leads to this piece by Matthew Vadum.
We've met Mr Vadum before, haven't we? He's the guy who's on record as saying:
Registering [the poor] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country -- which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.Note that he's not talking about anyone other than poor citizens. Knowing the source, we can expect a certain amount of, uh, skewing to reality.
And skewing Vadum does. Here's how he quotes Gerard:
To Gerard, it is not radical leftist agitation that leads to violence but capitalism itself. Economic “inequality,” he says, “leads to instability and violence.”Knowing that that sentence was written by Matthew "burglary tools" Vadum, I think we can reasonably ask whether Gerard actually said that? And if so what was the context?
With the glorious google we find that he did, in fact, type out those words. But he was quoting someone else.
Who? You might ask.
The Vatican. In a piece for the Huffingtonpost about the dangers of the widening gulf between the few rich and the many poor, Gerard cites this report from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He writes:
The result is that the richest 20 percent of households got more money in those 30 years than the entire bottom 80 percent. That is redistribution of wealth -- moving it from the poor and middle class to the richest.And then he quotes the Vatican report:
The CBO study cites several factors contributing to the rising inequality, including federal tax policy. The CBO says tax policy fed inequity as the incomes of the wealthiest rose astronomically and their federal tax burden shrank.
This pattern is consistent internationally. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development determined that from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s income inequality increased in three-quarters of the 30 developed countries studied.
If basic morality fails as a reason to reverse these trends, then the Pontifical Council suggested another. Such inequality leads to instability and violence. [Emphasis added.]
If no solutions are found to the various forms of injustice, the negative effects that will follow on the social, political and economic level will be destined to create a climate of growing hostility and even violence, and ultimately undermine the very foundations of democratic institutions, even the ones considered most solid.Now take a step back to see what Vadum said. He chose to lie to his audience and omit the faith-based conclusions that Gerard was quoting and agreeing with. Scaife's braintrust at best failed and at worst lied to their audience by not checking the source of Vadum's assertion.
Now go take a look at the blurb at the Trib. How much corresponds to reality? How much of it looks ridiculous? How credible is it? How credible do its readers think it is?
This is how the right wing echo chamber filter works.