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Sunday, February 24, 2008
An Anti-Revisionist's Revisionist History
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 24 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer attacked an Associated Press article because it allegedly "linked criticism of [Barack] Obama's patriotism strictly to conservatives, rewrote the history of the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry," and "played a game of misdirection regarding the candidate's failure to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem." But Blumer is involved in his own revisionist history.

Responding to the idea that "criticism of Obama's patriotism" is being pushed only by conservatives, Blumer claimed that "The 'conservative consultants' are smart enough to know that you don't have to be a conservative to take umbrage at the Obamas' statements and actions." But he offers no evidence of non-conservatives taking offense at Obama'spurported indiscretions. Further, he failed to take note of the conservative consultant quoted in the article, Roger Stone, as the creepy mind behind an anti-Hillary group with the acronym C.U.N.T. Does Blumer approve of such activism by a Republican consultant?

Blumer then claimed that the Swift Boat Veterans' accusations against John Kerry in 2004 "in fact, were far from 'unsubstantiated.' With very rare and relatively insignificant exceptions, the allegations of the Swifts' stand unrefuted," further claiming that the "correct definition" of "swift boating" is "telling the truth about Democrats." In fact, the Swift Boat Veterans got numerous things wrong.

Blumer also asserted that the article "engages in classic misdirection" regarding the issue of whether Obama at one public appearance didn't put his hand over his heart during thte national anthem by noting, "It has been repeatedly reported that the moment came during the Pledge of Allegiance, but that's not the case." Blumer responded: "That's not the topic. What about what Obama actually did or didn't do during the anthem? Martin Finkelstein at NewsBusters was among those who correctly noted that the photograph involved was taken during the national anthem, and explained the significance of the incident." He further insisted: "Obama wasn't doing what most Americans instinctively do during the national anthem."

Talk about revisionist: Blumer gave Mark Finkelstein a new first name! 

Blumer suggests that whether or not Obama put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem is a distinction without a difference. But as Finkelstein himself admitted in the post to which Blumer links, he got it wrong and didn't at first "correctly note[] that the photograph involved was taken during the national anthem":

NOTE: The original version of this item, based on a reader submission, stated that the photo was apparently taken during the Pledge of Allegiance. I've now located the original "Time" image, whose caption states that it was taken during the National Anthem.

Finkelstein certainly thought there was a difference, or else he wouldn't have bothered to correct it.

Blumer offers no evidence that the hand-over-heart rate among Americans for the national anthem is equal to or higher than the rate for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:24 PM EST

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