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Salon Can't Get Facts Straight In Gladney Smear Piece


I’m not surprised; after all, this is the publication edited* by Joan Walsh who immediately thinks of black people when she hears the word “welfare” and who insinuated, sans apology, that Andrew Breitbart and I somehow fabricated Weinergate.

Alex Pareene wrote could barely contain his glee at the victory of big money over the little guy. I felt the need to examine Pareene’s piece graph by graph as a lesson in passing off uneducated propaganda as journalism.

Remember the story of Kenneth Gladney? You probably don’t, unless you’re a right-winger. He was a guy who got knocked over for a second during a contentious town hall meeting in St. Louis in 2009. He quickly became a folk hero to right-wing bloggers, because he was, if you squinted, a black conservative victim of Union Thug Violence.

Can Pareene explain to me how the video of the incident begins with Gladney on the ground as SEIU members stand over him? In fact, can any progressive explain this? They act as though a much-smaller Gladney attacked the SEIU members’ feet with his head.

Yes, he became a hero to conservatives and an “Uncle Tom” to progressives. Additionally, no one to this day has asked Gladney about his political ideology. Progressives assume and must vet those who ask for help, apparently, while conservatives simply saw a man being attacked and knew he deserved help regardless his politics. Thanks for illustrating that so perfectly, Alex!

He was also uninsured — yep! — and the hospital visit he had to make in order to demonstrate the severity of his “beating” also made him a right-wing charity case. He then began appearing at Tea Party rallies and on Fox News in a wheelchair, etc., etc. Liberals laughed bitterly at the “uninsured person protests government-funded healthcare” story and then forgot all about Gladney, forever. But the conservative bloggers never forget an exaggerated or wholly invented tale of victimhood.

Pareene here demonstrates a classic example of more zeal than knowledge. He wanted to write something nasty about this case more than he wanted to sound knowledgeable about it. Gladney was insured, in fact, through his wife’s employer. I’m sure Pareene didn’t bother checking Gladney’s medical records with the hospital either to see the extent of Gladney’s injuries, as other bloggers have done, since he couldn’t bother to verify whether or not Gladney was insured.

Even more disturbing, Pareene’s tone towards Gladney’s need betrays the progressive loathing of charity. Progressives will eagerly trot out the poor to use as electioneering devices but when it comes time to actually care for those in need, they kick them over to the government. They can’t be bothered. There are Appletinis to drink!

(Gladney wore a neck brace during the trial. The neck brace was unrelated to the two-year-old incident. You know that whole thing about frivolous lawsuits and tort reform and the culture of victimhood and ambulance-chasing trial lawyers? Yes, well, the conservative movement totally means all of that, until someone in an SEIU shirt briefly knocks someone over.)

Gladney wore a neck brace to the trial because he just had spinal surgery. Also, how is this a frivolous lawsuit again? Did Gladney ask for a frillion dollars in damages? Does Pareene understand what “tort reform” means?

This is where it gets really good: TBogg found’s explanation for how this travesty of justice was allowed to occur. Because of Media Matters! See, SEIU paid Media Matters some money, and then, mysteriously, Kenneth Gladney lost his case.

Actually, that wasn’t the point at all, but again, I don’t expect someone who doesn’t know he should verify information before he prints it to possess the reading comprehension required to understand the intent. Considering that Big Journalism focuses on journalism, the piece explored how Media Matters saw no conflict of interest in smearing Gladney and defending SEIU while being on the SEIU payroll. Pareene, of course, showcases the Myspace aesthetic of his blogging by refusing to further explore this aspect of the story.

Apparently SEIU and Media Matters for America and George Soros and the Tides Foundation and Eric Boehlert and the city of Montclair, N.J., acting on orders from the White House, all used their wizard powers to convince a jury in St. Louis that Kennedy Gladney was not actually assaulted. And that is how the vast left-wing conspiracy works.

The Gladney attack occurred right after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged union members on a conference call to show up to town halls, right after the Obama admin told supporters to “punch back twice as hard“:

And they screened TV ads and reviewed the various campaigns by critics of the Democratic plan.

“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,” Messina said, according to an official who attended the meeting.

You’re telling me that the same publication that encouraged the public to blame Sarah Palin for the Tucson shooting refuses to acknowledge the relationship between the Obama administration encouraging union aggression and the Gladney attack?

They’re more disingenuous and partisan than I’d ever before realized.

*Walsh took the opportunity to point out that she has been demoted from Editor of Salon, despite describing herself as “Editor at Large” on Twitter. Noted – yet she still has not apologized or corrected her previous insinuations related to Weinergate.


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