Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Case Of the Lying Congressmen

Here is an update on the lying Congressmen.

Claims that the protesters hurled anti-gay and racist epithets at them tore through the blogosphere in the run-up to the vote and were used to decry the protests, but Tea Party supporters are challenging those accounts, saying they didn't hear them, or at least that those responsible were not part of the Tea Party protest.

"Never did I hear any type of racial slur," said William Owens, a black Tea Party activist from Nevada who joined in the D.C. protests Saturday.


Though the claims of racist epithets against Lewis and other congressmen drew a lot of media attention, witnesses say they never heard such language and YouTube videos have surfaced that show protesters booing and shouting "Kill the Bill" but not shouting the n-word.

Kay Fischer, a protester from North Carolina, said she was watching the black lawmakers walk by and, like Owens, heard nothing of the sort.

Asked about such claims, Emanuel spokeswoman Mary Petrovic noted that the online videos of the incident are under a minute — and so don't show the entire encounter. She and stood by her boss' account.

"He heard slurs," she said.

There's another oddity about that incident. Cleaver's office initially claimed that a protester was arrested after spitting on him, but that the congressman decided not to press charges.

However, U.S. Capitol Police said the protester was never arrested. He was only detained and put in handcuffs, then released.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, told FoxNews.com the individual was released because Cleaver couldn't identify him.

"There were no elements of a crime, and the individual wasn't able to be positively identified," she said. "(Cleaver) was unable to positively identify."


Most importantly, Fischer said Frank was the first to start using salty language.

She said she and a half-dozen other protesters were waiting outside a committee room in the Longworth House Office Building on Saturday for about 45 minutes when Frank finally emerged. He was mobbed by reporters, she said, and the protesters started shouting things like, "Kill the bill." Then she said Frank snapped at them.

"He looked at me and said, 'F--- you,'" she said.

Shortly after that, she said, a tall man with brown hair, who hadn't been chanting with the other protesters at all, walked up and said "fag" to Frank.

This has started to sprout some conspiracy theories.

Fischer said the protesters immediately admonished him and told him not to say things like that.

"I have gay friends. ... There were a bunch of people moaning like, 'Oh God,'" she said.

But she said the guy "disappeared" quickly and that was the end of it.

Fischer said she has no idea where he came from, and alleged he was a plant, though she couldn't prove it.

"I think it was staged," she said.

Frank's office was unable to provide clarity.

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