Then, to top it off, Ostroy calls it “despicable" and "shameful” to attack Congressman Cleaver, when he does the exact same thing to the protester, in whom he just admitted it being “hard to tell” whether the protester intentionally spat on the Congressman
By Larry Simons
March 30, 2010
Our favorite liberal wingnut Andy Ostroy is at it again; showcasing the litany of contradictions that frequently emit from both sides of his mouth. In his latest article, titled, “SpitGate: It Was Just Projectile Drool, I Swear!”, Ostroy offers his views on the spitting incident [or what may not have been] that happened on March 20, 2009 during a Tea Bagger protest of the health care bill that was passed the next day.
First, let me accurately explain what the incident was:
As Congressman Emanuel Cleaver walked past shouting protesters, it appeared there was some altercation between Cleaver and a protester. As Cleaver walked up the stairs, as he made his way in front of the shouting protester, you see Cleaver turn his head, as if he was startled at how close he was to the protester.
You see Cleaver wave his left hand twice then begins pointing at the protester with his right hand. At this point, the two are having an angry exchange. Cleaver points again and slowly walks away. Cleaver continues his walk up the stairs, then looks behind him again at the protester, turns forward again and continues walking and then wipes his mouth with his right hand. The entire incident lasts 17 seconds.
watch the clip
This brings us to the hilarity that is Andy Ostroy’s March 30th article on this incident.
Ostroy ends his article by saying:
“The rush to unequivocally deny the occurrence, while simultaneously attacking Cleaver's credibility, reputation and motives, is despicable and shameful”.
Interesting that Ostroy rebukes those who attacked Cleaver [whoever they are] while in the very first paragraph of the article, Ostroy calls the protesters' actions “vile”:
“The accusation has sparked heated passions on both sides, with Democrats condemning the vile behavior while Republicans uniformly accuse Cleaver of lying.”
Ostroy attacks the protester in his very next sentence by calling his act “despicable”:
“Right wing talking heads Sean Hannity and others have spent hours of radio and TV time mitigating the circumstances and denying the despicable act occurred.”
Ostroy would be completely justified in attacking the protester and calling his actions “vile” and “despicable” IF it was a known fact that the protester intentionally spat on Congressman Cleaver. Ostroy would even have the right to his own opinion that the protesters' actions were “vile” and “despicable”, except for the fact that Ostroy admits in the very same article that it’s hard to tell if the protester spat on Cleaver intentionally. Ostroy says:
“I admit, it's pretty hard to tell if the enraged Tea Bagger intentionally spit on the Congressman.”
Wait a minute here. Ostroy admits he isn’t sure that the protester intentionally spat on Cleaver, but he’s using words like “vile” and “despicable” to describe what could be unintentional spitting?
Ostroy closes by saying:
“Maybe, just maybe, this cretin actually did spit on Cleaver. And to be sure, he clearly did something highly offensive to the Congressman. Why can't Republicans then, out of simple human decency, just acknowledge and condemn this unacceptable behavior?”
Once again, Ostroy, who just admitted that it was hard to tell if the protester intentionally spat on Cleaver, is calling the protester a “cretin” and then says his behavior was “unacceptable”? How can an action that is unintentional be deemed as “vile”, “despicable” and “unacceptable”? How can one be called a “cretin” for an action that, even if it did happen, was accidental?
Ostroy offers what he calls “highly suspect circumstantial evidence” that the protester did indeed intentionally spit on Cleaver. I will list each point of his “highly suspect circumstantial evidence” and then follow with my debunking of it in [ ].
Ostroy’s “highly suspect circumstantial evidence”:
1. “Cleaver obviously is either a great physical actor or some "spit-like" fluid definitely hit him in the face as he passed the protester, causing his entire body to jerk away from the accused”
[What I saw was Cleaver first turn his head because it looked as if he was startled at being so close to a man yelling. If any spit did hit Cleaver’s face, why didn’t he immediately wipe it off? Instead, he waits until he points at the protester several times, yells at him and then proceeds to continue walking up stairs to wipe off anything. Odd behavior for someone that was just spat upon. How many people do you know who get spit on and do not immediately wipe it off? Also, Cleaver’s entire body did not “jerk away” from the accused. Cleaver took a step or two away from the protester, that was it. There was no jerk. The only jerk I see is Andy Ostroy himself for over-sensationalizing the incident.]
2. “the angry, visceral reaction from Cleaver to the protester clearly signals that something very bad had just happened. Something beyond simple partisan, anti-reform shouting”
[Must not have been that bad. There was a cop right alongside Cleaver during the entire incident and not once did Cleaver summon the cop to intervene or taze the guy. Spitting is assault. If Clever was intentionally spat upon, I’m quite sure the cop, who was inches away from Cleaver, would have been utilized.]
3. “notice how the protester's hands are strategically cupped over his mouth, which would conveniently conceal the act of spitting. Keep in mind that both men at this point are perhaps two feet away from each other, which would mean the rabid protester's vein-popping shouting at Cleaver would easily be heard sans hand-cupping, and that such distance might also make the "spray it" theory a bit of a stretch”
[What Ostroy conveniently omits is the fact that the protester had been cupping his mouth with his hands LONG BEFORE Cleaver walked past him, as my photos below show. Either the protester spat on everyone who walked by, or Ostroy is intentionally deceiving his readers. Hmmmm, I wonder which one it could be?]
4. “After he passes, Cleaver begins to wipe something off his face in disgust. Again, great acting?”
[Maybe he is wiping off his own spit from shouting at the protester. I’ve wiped off my own spit from my mouth quite a bit in my life, but Ostroy leaves out this possibility. Maybe he is wiping off the protester’s spit, but if so, one has to wonder why he hadn’t done that immediately.]
Another observation worth mentioning is the question of why Cleaver would walk so close to angry protesters who were there to oppose their votes? Democrats had to know their party was the main target of the anger, along with anyone who voted for the bill. In the clip, you see Cleaver walk right up against the partition that the protesters were not allowed to cross. Am I suggesting it was staged and Cleaver was faking? I can't say one way or another. It could have been, and that's another possibility that Ostroy omits.
Additionally, something else very peculiar happens at roughly 1:23 into the above clip. From the bottom of the screen, Cleaver enters the picture again, this time with another policeman. He seems to be looking for someone. Maybe the protester who "spat" on him? Who knows? Cleaver seems to be looking in the exact spot where the incident happened, as if he might be looking for the culprit but not being able to locate him.
If this is the case, what makes this behavior absolutely mind-boggling is the fact that the very same protester is right in front of Cleaver and the policeman!! If Cleaver is looking for the "spitter", there's three explanations as to why Cleaver is not immediately pointing him out to the cop:
1- Cleaver can't see him. If this is the case, then how did he ever find the policeman? He'd be too fucking blind to put on his own shoes!
2- Cleaver knows this is being filmed and he is intentionally creating the illusion of being the tough guy by going to get the police. Since the protester is right in front of Cleaver's nose hairs makes it obvious that the protester never spit on Cleaver, or he would be pointed out and arrested immediately.
3- the protester is a highly skilled Jedi Knight [we're talking Obi-Wan powers here] and he is simply using the force to evade arrest by the use of mind control. "No one spit on you"...."I am not the protester you're looking for"...."move along".
At roughly 1:54 into the clip, Cleaver and the policeman disappear off the camera, and you never see them again. Naturally, Ostroy completely omits any mention of this later appearance by Cleaver from his article, despite the fact that Ostroy has posted on his site the very same 2 minute and 30 second clip that I have posted.
Not only did I provide enough evidence that Cleaver’s credibility should be attacked, but so did Cleaver himself. In the clip below, Cleaver admits he doesn’t want to talk about the issue, nor be interviewed about it. He just wants it all behind him. Maybe that’s because he knows damned well that if spit was involved in this incident, it was accidental. If I was spit on intentionally, especially if I was a Congressman, I would want the guilty party charged. But no, Cleaver doesn’t even want to talk about it. Because he knows there is nothing to talk about. If it happened at all, it was an accident…case closed, and Cleaver knows it.
I sure wish Andy Ostroy did too!
Here is a clip of Cleaver being interviewed about the incident