The leftist press give gaffes made by Republicans years and even decades of shelf life. They roasted Bush 41 Vice President Dan Quayle for years for adding a "e" at the end of "potato" with the "help" of a flashcard which had the word spelled incorrectly — not only in the press, but also on the late-night talks shows.
Gaffes by Democrats, liberals and even far-lefties tend to get a complete pass, or are mentioned very briefly and then quickly forgotten. One such example relates to Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who seems to have learned everything he knows about World War II from Animal House.
Most Americans never learned about then-candidate Barack Obama's completely unforced and erroneous reference in May 2008 to how "I have now been in 57 states, I think one left to go." He then went on to exclude Hawaii and Alaska as ever having been eligible for a campaign visit, therefore betraying a belief, at least as communicated, that the U.S. has 60 states.
RedState explained what really happened after a hypersensitive Obama spokesperson resurrected the matter in 2010, claiming that Obama had only been joking:
On one level, Obama simply misspoke, which we all do. He started to say “fifty states”, then realized that wasn’t accurate. He finished the sentence by what he thought was saying he’d been in forty-seven states, with one left to go to visit all lower 48. Yet he was too arrogant to think the crowd was laughing at him over missing one word out of the thousands he had already spoken.
Therefore, it didn't even occur to him that he might have been the one who misspoke.
As I noted in a NewsBusters post at the time, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press all failed to report Obama's hysterical gaffe. Ignoring Obama's gaffes has now been their stock in trade for at least 8-1/2 years.
Ellison's March 2012 howler is intensely funny on one level, and intensely sad on another.
It's funny because it coincides with a scene from National Lampoon's Animal House. It's sad because the congressman's error was so obviously unforced that it betrayed a fundamental lack of knowledge on the part of the guy who wants to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Here are the two clips in succession, with Animal House appearing first, followed by a snip from Ellison's interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News. The topic under discussion was the degree of concern the U.S. should have over Iran's nuclear ambitions:
(From 1978 movie Animal House)
JOHN (BLUTO) BLUTARSKY: What? Over? Did you say "Over"?
Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
(Bill O'Reilly Show, Fox News; March 20, 2012)
BILL O'REILLY: I will point to history. The same mindset was taken when dealing with Nazi Germany: "We're not going to go into aggressive action. We don't believe they're going to do this. We don't believe they're going to do that." And they absolutely did everything.
So I think you got to learn from history.
KEITH ELLISON: In World War II? In World War II they attacked Pearl Harbor. That would be enough for —
O'REILLY: No, this is the German theater (i.e., "This is the German theater we're talking about, not the Japanese theater.").
As of over 4-1/2 years ago, Keith Ellison placed more credibility in what was shown in a movie theater (in a comedy, no less) that with what the history books have said happened in the German and Japanese theaters.
The above video is all the more satisfying because of the smile on Ellison's face as he listened to O'Reilly's recounting of actual history before he delivered his breathtakingly ignorant line.
NewsBusters' late great Noel Sheppard covered this incident in 2012, and wrote: "the truly delicious "Life Imitates Art" irony is that John Belushi's immortal John Blutarsky character ended up becoming a United States Senator." That's pretty close, Noel. Ellison is strong candidate, and arguably the leading candidate, to become the chairman of one of the country's two major parties.
If Keith Ellison were a Republican or conservative, the press would never have let anyone forget this, and the chances that he would be a strong candidate to even hang on to his or her political office would be virtually zero.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.