Friday, June 03, 2011

House Republicans Want To Bring Back Elizabeth Warren For Yet Another Round Of Lying Abuse

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

We all saw what happened the last time Elizabeth Warren testified before a Republican-led House committee: She was repeatedly called a liar by the committee's chairman -- a bank-financed wingnut, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina -- that day, including on a CNBC appearance before the hearing.

Now Republican Rep. Darrell Issa wants her to come back for a full day's grilling:
Issa's letter said he wanted to question Warren again to give lawmakers more time to grill her. He cited her "unwillingness to provide direct and responsive answers to a number of important questions" at last week's hearing, according to the letter.

The California Republican asked her to clear an entire day in June for the hearing. The hearing would be Warren's third appearance before a GOP-controlled House panel this year.

"The American people have a right to know how you intend to organize and operate the CFPB," Issa said in the letter.
Warren, for her part, played it cool:
Warren "looks forward to her next appearance before the committee," said Jennifer Howard, spokeswoman for the consumer bureau.

"As the former chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, Professor Warren appreciates the importance of and value in checks and balances," Howard said.
Warren has Republicans so freaked out that they're refusing to adjourn so that President Obama can't make her a recess appointment. Mitch McConnell thinks she "could be a serious threat to our financial system".

And they know they already have the complicity of the Beltway media in hand -- since the McHenry smear was treated by the press as just another political tiff, as CJR's Ryan Chittum explains:
So somebody’s got to be wrong, right? Who is it? We’re not told. So readers end up with McHenry says Warren lied, and Warren denies it. Thanks for nothing.

The Wall Street Journal was no better, nor was Reuters, The Hill, or almost any of the other mainstream news stories I read.

But for anyone half paying attention, much less a beat reporter, this is not a close call: McHenry is full of it.
Moreover, Chittum notes, this is a clear case of the press simply repeating Republican lies and treating them as mere versions of the truth:
There’s no way around it: By passing on McHenry’s already debunked claims without fact checking them, the press lent credence to falsehoods. In other words, it’s helping politicians lie and perpetuating a smear against Warren.

There’s no excuse for that.
Oh, we know their excuse: "Hey, everybody does it." It's just a profoundly lame one, that's all.

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