Reality Check: Hoffa's comments edited by FOX News

Published: Sep. 8, 2011 at 1:40 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2011 at 10:17 AM EDT
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Tuesday night we showed you unedited comments by Vice President Joe Biden here in Cincinnati warning of "barbarians at the gates," a term filled with imagery but not very concrete.

On the other hand, we also showed you a clip of Jimmy Hoffa Jr. saying that the Teamsters were President Obama's army, that they were ready to march, and that they would take out the Tea Party.

The clip captured by Fox News, has been all over news agencies across the country and the internet.

But one viewer, Judith, says I dropped the ball.

"When you played the clip of James Hoffa's opening comments for President Obama in Detroit as part of your story on political rhetoric, you used a clip that abbreviated his actual comments.   Fox used an edited comment - ... I am disappointed that you talk about a reality check but chose a video that that clearly fails that check" - Judith.

I checked it out and Judith is spot on.  The clip used by Fox News omits a very important part of the speech...

Here is the full quote.

 "We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: the war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. the one thing about working people is we like a good fight. and you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. we're going to win that war.

President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. President Obama, we want one thing: jobs, jobs, jobs… that's what we're going to tell him. he's gonna be … and when he sees what we're doing here, he will be inspired. But he needs help. and you know what? Everybody here's got to vote. if we go back, and we keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a b---- out and give America back to an America where we belong."  Said Hoffa.

Here's what you need to know.

There are times when news organizations will shorten a soundbite to allow a comment to be more concise without losing the integrity of that soundbite.  But this is not one of those times.

Granted, Hoffa is very aggressive in his tone and calling people sons of b's isn't polite language but it takes on an entirely different meaning when you remove the words "everybody here's got to vote" just before he says to "take them out".

In the full clip it is clear, this is not a call to violence, it is a call to the voting booth.

Fox News got it wrong, very wrong.

And that is Reality Check.

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