More Hits from the Anti-Warren Whopper Factory

More Hits from the Anti-Warren Whopper Factory

More Hits from the Anti-Warren Whopper Factory

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 27 2011 2:15 PM

More Hits from the Anti-Warren Whopper Factory

I'll hand it to the Massachusetts GOP: They're copying the playbook that Democrats used against some Tea Party candidates in 2010, and they're using it to make Elizabeth Warren seem crazy. It's almost too bad that the strategy runs on hilariously unconvincing lies.

Exhibit C: Their new web ad, which continues the theme of taking a Warren quote and assuming she meant to cause violence against people.

Count the whoppers! Here's one: A quote from Doug Schoen.

Screen shot 2011-10-27 at 1.59.58 PM

The problem here is that Schoen likes to combine the legitimate research of his firm with lazy punditry that plays well on NewsCorp products. His survey of Occupiers found only 4 percent of them wanting "radical redistribution of wealth," and only 4 percent wanting to overthrow the "representative/capitalist system." By contrast, 5 percent of them wanted to institute a flat tax.

Whopper two:

Screen shot 2011-10-27 at 2.05.43 PM

Those words did come out of Elizabeth Warren's mouth. But at this point, days after the interviewer put out the whole quotes, there's no good excuse for ommitting the context. Asked why she "hadn't embraced" the movement, she said that she was playing a different role: "I support what they do. I want to say this in a way that doesn’t sound puffy. I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do." Without being prompted, she specifically denounced violence: "Everybody has to follow the law. That’s the starting point."

"Wait a minute," you ask. "How's this attack on Warren any different than, say, Harry Reid attacking Sharron Angle for saying the threat to liberty might require 'second Amendment remedies'?" The difference is that Angle never backed down from the idea that the remedies could be violent. Months later, given a chance to explain herself, she said she didn't want violence but "anything is possible."

The theme continues. In order to morph Warren's popular critique of finance into something unpopular, there have to be lies, and the media has to accept them.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.