What is it with Newsmax columnists inventing quotes?
In March, we had James Humes putting words into President Obama's mouththat he never substantiated. Now, a May 21 column by James H. Walsh begins by quoting Obama adviser David Axelrod as saying, "The 'TEA Party' movement is an unhealthy mutation from public dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s economic policies."
But Axelrod didn't say that -- that quote doesn't exist. A Google search uncovered no evidence of Axelrod saying this exact quote.
What Walsh appears to be referring to is an appearance by Axelrod on the April 19 edition of CBS' "Face the Nation," in which Axelrod does use the word "unhealthy" and "mutate." But the full context is something other than the quote Walsh made up:
HARRY SMITH (guest host): What do you make of this spreading and very public disaffection with, not only the government, but especially the Obama administration -- the tea parties this week? You even have the governor of Texas even using the word secession? What -- should Texas be allowed to secede?
AXELROD: Well, I don't think that really warrants a serious response. I don't think most Texans were all that enthused by the governor's --
SMITH: But what about the first part of the question. This building disaffection --
AXELROD: -- by the governor's suggestion. Look, I think any time -- I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy.
SMITH: Is this unhealthy?
AXELROD: Well, we're in a -- this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves, and so far, these are expressions. Now, one thing I would say is, the thing that bewilders me is this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. So, I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere, because he certainly understands the burden that people face.
Axelrod is not talking specifically about the tea parties; he's also addressing the idea of secession -- and Axelrod is specifically responding to the secession issue when he refers to "an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy." Axelrod never called the tea parties an "unhealthy mutation."
Nevertheless, Walsh asserts: "Since when is free speech, as personified by the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party grass-roots citizens movement, 'unhealthy'?" -- even though Axelrod specifically says that "this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves."
Apparently, it's easier for Newsmax to make up stuff about the Obama administration than report facts.