Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Back to the rumpus room for the anti-PRT propagandist

(Mock Journalist, Part Deux)
Did Slappy Olson go "berzerk"? Watch the really high-quality video posted by Avipoor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist --

Video of Rep. Mark Olson Going Berzerk [sic] at Yesterday's Minnesota House Session
Only a day after a Judge postponed Rep. Mark Olson's trial for beating his wife, Olson went nuts on the House floor, ranting about suicide and death... watch:

H/T MN Publius.

Hey Kenwood, is that an HDTV set you've got there?

The problem here is not that Slappy is a right-wing Resmuglican -- he most assuredly is one -- or that he is trying to piggyback on the Virginia Tech massacre in order to politicize a debate (about voluntary mental health screening in schools, no less) -- that's what he's doing. The problem is that if those of us on the Left are going to call attention to it, it needs to be done accurately.

1. Did he go "berzerk"? He was certainly worked up by his own speechifying. Hard to tell without seeing more of his remarks. Verdict: Maybe. 2 out of 5 Accuracy Stars.

2. Was he "ranting about suicide and death"? This bears some inspection. Look at Olson while he is yelling: he is looking down at the paper. At this point in his remarks he is reading aloud!

What is he reading? Dunno. But "completed suicide" is a common psychiatric term. Slappy's probably reading from a report about suicide.

Go to the linked MN Publius post; at present there is an audio clip of this same "rant." When you listen, at the very beginning you can hear Olson say:
"next column"

He's reading a list from a table within a report!

So was he ranting? That particular clip may sound like insane chanting, but really he was Shouting While Quoting. Verdict: Obnoxious, yes. Ranting, no. 1 out of 5 Accuracy Stars.

That only this brief clip was offered points to the propaganda nature of its presentation. I can understand someone stumbling on the government cable channel while channel surfing and mistaking this for a wig-out. But Mr. Ovendoor was sitting in front of the TV in his family rumpus room for who knows how long, aiming his video camera at the screen to record Olson's every word.

He recorded the context. He simply chose to omit it.

As already noted, it is fact that Olson used Virginia Tech as an opportunity to politicize a proposal about voluntary mental health screening in schools. That was more than sufficient to call attention to his craven opportunism. Labridor chose to use out of context video to turn fact into propaganda.

The Dept. of Sanitation will not pick up your Ken Avidor if it contains more than 10% recyclable material.

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