Ben Johnson

New Phony Quotation Alert: Frank Gaffney Targeted

Posted on October 23 2009 1:26 pm
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"You have got a sanctimony factor here that is extraordinary."

First, phony documents were intended to sink President Bush’s 2004 reelection. Then, phony quotations prevented Rush Limbaugh from purchasing an NFL team. Now, the Left seems to be preparing its next tall-tale transcript to smear conservative foreign policy expert Frank Gaffney. Today’s Wonkette recounts last night’s skirmish between Gaffney and Ron Reagan Jr. on MSNBC’s Hardball, which I reported earlier today. The blog claims:

Gaffney screams at Reagan, who’s like, “…” Then Reagan essentially tells Frank Gaffney that he and all his stupid arguments are red herrings, like red herrings in a barrel that you shoot easily. And then, THEN, Gaffney’s all, “Your father must hate you so hard from beyond the grave.” This displeases Ron Reagan so!

The only trouble is, all its facts and quotations are false.

Anyone who watched the segment can verify his actual words. I included a partial transcript in my blog this afternoon. Matthews and Ron-Ron ganged up on Gaffney, who was as measured and unshaken as ever. When Ron interrupted Matthews, Gaffney asked, “Let me be attacked one-at-a-time.” He told Matthews the Afghan people prefer American “occupation” (Chris’s word) to Taliban rule. Then he pivoted to Ron Reagan, asking, “Would you, Ron? Would you want to be ruled by the Taliban?” Reagan then raised his voice, claiming that toppling the Taliban was not the raison d’etre of the Afghan war (!).

Near the end of the segment, Gaffney told Reagan, “Your father would be ashamed of you.” Reagan, shorn of his tutu, replied, “You better watch your mouth about that, Frank.”

Then Chris Matthews equated religious conservatives with the Taliban and the segment ended.

I don’t read Wonkette and thus do not know if her reporting usually involves flights-of-fancy. Presumably this was intended to be funny. And faking transcripts has been a problem for MSNBC. But in in today’s poisonous atmosphere, where inventing and then ascribing hate speech to conservatives is the Left’s lone stock-in-trade, it’s almost impossible to imagine this phony quotation not being recycled to hurt Frank, listing her blog as a “source.” Caveat lector.

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