Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fox Flag Fiction

The mouthpiece of the GOP has outdone themselves in faux patriotic sleaze.

From Media Matters; the people who watch Fox... so I don't have to:

For hours, Fox News reported GOP claims about American flags -- which Cameron called "the Stars and Bars" -- before providing Dem response


Between noon and 3 p.m. ET on September 6, Fox News' America's Election HQ aired numerous reports documenting claims by Republicans and the McCain campaign that they "rescued" American flags that were going to be "disposed of" by the Democrats after their convention at Denver's Invesco Field. During the reports, Fox News gave no indication that it had sought to contact a Democratic Party official or Obama campaign spokesperson for comment. Rather, during the 2 p.m. hour, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron guessed what the "Obama campaign" would say in response to the story, stating: "It's the kind of thing that the Obama campaign will say, look, we ... had come and gone and some stuff just went bad on the ground. We didn't know that this was happening; it was a vendor problem; or it was the collection and the clean-up, and that it shouldn't reflect badly on [Sen. Barack] Obama."

It was not until the 3 p.m. hour of America's Election HQ that Cameron reported a Democratic response, reading a statement from the Democratic National Committee:

CAMERON: Well, the Democratic National Committee Convention's public affairs official, Damon Jones, has now put out a statement that completely changes the tenor of the story. It reads, quote, "American flags were proudly waved by 75,000 people who joined Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention. John McCain should applaud that, but instead his supporters wrongfully took leftover bundles of our flags from the stadium to play out a cheap political stunt, calling into question our patriotism. On the same day he agrees to join Barack Obama at Ground Zero on September 11, John McCain attacks the patriotism of Obama supporters who so proudly waved the American flag at our historic event in Denver just days ago."

In a separate statement, the Democratic National Convention Committee said that "[s]tories circulating about flags at the Democratic National Convention are false," and added that "the flags removed from Invesco field were intended for other events and taken without permission."

Additionally, in a September 6 Huffington Post article, national editor Nico Pitney wrote:

Fox News' Carl Cameron and Bonney Kapp reported that they had "been told" that "a vendor at Invesco Field found the flags, which were going to be thrown out, and turned them over to the McCain campaign."

The Democratic convention official says that's not true.

"It's pretty reprehensible on their part," he said. "Someone made an assumption, took the flags, and essentially lied about what was going to happen to them. I mean, c'mon, we were never ever going to throw out flags."

Emails to three McCain spokespersons inquiring where the flags were found and how the McCain campaign obtained them were not returned.

While Fox News did not air a Democratic response until hours after it first reported the story, during the noon hour of America's Election HQ, co-host Kelly Wright said: "That is a major faux pas. You never discard the American flag."

During the 2 p.m. hour, Cameron also said of the story: "[J]ust having wrapped up the conventions with every single back-and-forth a potential momentum changer, you can be absolutely certain that Republicans will assert that Democrats weren't caring for the Stars and Bars." In fact, as Merriam-Webster Dictionary notes, the "Stars and Bars" is a not a nickname for the "American flag," but rather for "the first flag of the Confederate States of America having three bars of red, white, and red respectively and a blue union with white stars in a circle representing the seceded states." Indeed, an article posted on FoxNews.com notes that "the original flag of the Confederacy" is "otherwise known as the 'Stars and Bars.' "

The Confederate Flag? Riiight. Brilliant.

(And the Great Sleaze Parade marches on.)

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