Setting the record straight on Shea-Porter’s ‘Chinese’ fiasco
Outgoing Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and her partisan dead-enders are in full spin mode after a comment she made in an ABC News interview came to light, in large measure because of NH Journal’s original report. A few myths have surfaced in the wake of this desperate spin cycle. NH Journal would like to clear some of them up.
MYTH: Shea-Porter never uttered the quote in question. This was the Shea-Porter partisans’ rallying cry immediately after our story broke.
FACT: The Shea-Porter apologists made one fundamental error: They blogged before actually reading the original ABC News article. They watched the highly edited video of the interview, which does not contain the quote, but failed to read the accompanying article, which does.
MYTH: Shea-Porter was only talking about lobbyists, not the Chinese.
FACT: According to the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, “The ABC story was badly written; there was no antecedent at all for the quote’s plural pronoun.” Shea-Porter claims she was only talking about lobbyists when she said, “They’re in the halls of Congress everywhere.” But lobbyists for whom? The ubiquitous Big Oil? No. Wall Street? No. Shea-Porter mentions only the Chinese. As the Union Leader opined on Thursday, Shea-Porter “specifically identified China as a player in financing campaigns to bring down U.S. politicians. One presumes she wasn’t referring to Al Gore’s 1996 fundraiser at the Buddhist Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, Calif. So what was she talking about? She doesn’t say. Because she can’t. Because she just made it up.”
MYTH: “The congresswoman was not referring to her specific election,” according to Shea-Porter’s spokesperson.
FACT: This is particularly obnoxious spin. The entire pretext of Shea-Porter’s appearance on the ABC News program was that she had lost her re-election campaign and will not be coming back to Washington. Had she won, she would not have been invited onto the program. Just prior to the quote in question, ABC News reported, “All four members [including Shea-Porter] said they felt somewhat brutalized by the current political climate.” What race could Shea-Porter have possibly been referencing if not her own? The Sheriff race in Grafton County? The Rand Paul/Jack Conway Senate race in Kentucky?
MYTH: Those covering the story used “that quote and others from different parts of the interview to claim Shea-Porter was blaming anonymous Chinese donations to Guinta for her loss,” according to WMUR.
FACT: We certainly hope WMUR is not talking about NH Journal. We referenced a single, self-contained paragraph in our original story, not other quotes “from different parts of the interview.” And NH Journal never claimed Shea-Porter was accusing the Chinese of making donations to Guinta. She speculated they could have funneled money into “some group that now doesn’t even have to say where they got it.”
MYTH: Mainstream media sources that covered the story have retracted it and backed away.
FACT: Not one news outlet has retracted the story. Not ABC News. Not the Hill. Not Real Clear Politics. To be sure these outlets have run clarifications (after presumably being harangued relentlessly by Shea-Porter) to include Shea-Porter’s clean-up quote, which NH Journal reported immediately.
NH Journal will always endeavor to hold office holders, Republican or Democrat, accountable for their words and actions.