This morning at a breakfast hosted by Politico, Mike Allen asked Eric Cantor about allegations of anti-Semitism in the House Republican caucus. The issue was originally raised by the press because Cantor donated $25,000 to a Republican candidate challenging incumbent Jim Manzullo of Illinois, who had once said that Cantor couldn’t be “saved” because he was Jewish.
Allen asked Cantor, “have you detected any anti-Semitism among members of Congress?” Cantor said “No,” and then stated that he “didn’t want to talk about those comments,” (presumably the Manzullo statement), calling it “the darker side” of politics. Allen continued to prod him, saying “so you’re saying there is a darker side,” and Cantor explained that he did believe there were problems of religious and racial intolerance in the U.S. When Allen came back at his general comments by saying, “we’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,” Cantor didn’t respond.
Of course, Cantor’s negative response was entirely clear, and his office, when reached for comment, pointed to the fact that his answer was clearly, “no,” there is not evidence of anti-Semitism in Congress.
But that’s not what ThinkProgress got from the video, headlining their post with the spectacularly dishonest assertion, “Cantor Suggests Anti-Semitism Is A Problem Within The House GOP Caucus.”
#more#The post elides the fact that Cantor said “no” to a question asking precisely that. TP reported, “Calling it the ‘darker side,’ Cantor responded to Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-semitism in Congress by trying to avoid commenting.” While TP is understandably eager to portray the House GOP caucus as “the darker side,” they’re not just spinning his words, they’re lying: Cantor answered the question directly, and didn’t attempt to avoid comment. The fact that he eventually grew tired of Allen’s games and didn’t respond to the final needling can’t be taken as evidence that he actually believes the precise opposite of his initial, straightforward response — which is exactly what TP tries to do.
The video, which hardly wants for clarity, is below: