Dobbs is lazy and wrong April 23, 2012
In last week's editorial about an alleged statement by Florida Congressman Allen West, Editor Mike Dobbs violates two of the oldest rules of journalism "consider the source" and "check with the person being involved" before publishing. Instead Editor Dobbs joins a long line lame-stream media lazily passing along a misquote that was deliberately fabricated by the Palm Beach Post, an ultra liberal rag. Dobbs writes that West says, "There are about 80 Communists serving in the Congress in the guise of Democrats." Dobbs challenges West to "name names."
Had Dobbs called West's campaign manager, Tim Edson, Edson would have showed him the actual quote from West's speech: "I believe there are about 78 or 80 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party; it's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus."
Edson told the Daily Caller (one of the few news organizations that bothered to check) "One stupid reporter with a local publication misquoted the entire thing, and they all jumped on one press account without verifying it."
All Allen West did is simply point out that in his opinion the Congressional Progressive Caucus shares a lot of the same values and beliefs as the Communist Party, and this is arguably a defensible statement, since they do both push socialist, statist, big-government, agendas. Dobbs can find the names of the caucus members on Congress' website.
Dobbs doubles down when he compares West to Senator Joe McCarthy, who also had a list of names of Communist Party members in the Fifties. While Progressives love to call McCarthy's hearings a dark period in American life, they omit the fact that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the names of scores of Hollywood elites of the McCarthy era were found on the list of Communist party members kept by the East German and Russian secret services. Joe McCarthy was right all along. So is Allen West.
Editor's response: So West has changed the verb "heard" to "believing" and maintained that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are Communists.
What proof does he have that any of there people are promoting Communism? And what brand of Communism? The kind practiced in the former Soviet Union? The kind practiced now in China?
There is a difference between socialism and communism, so which ideology are these members of Congress advocating?
If a member of Congress insists on calling someone a name as a "Communists," then I expect him or her to actually be able to show proof of belonging to a Communist Party, of meeting to conspire to over-throw the government and exhibiting through legislation an efform to subvert the Constitution.