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retraction [updated]

In my haste to post something before I left for work this morning, I neglected to do any research on the poster I attributed to Tennesse Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. The only source I have so far that reports the poster was distributed by Fitzhuhg is the Traditional Values Coalition, a homophobic, radical, far right wing group who I normally - had I been paying closer attention - would never have linked to. (This is the same group who thought that Shrek 2 should be boycotted because it "wrecks family values" and promotes the transgender lifestyle). I have since edited out the entire post until I am able to get confirmation that a) the poster does indeed exist and b) it was put out by Fitzhugh or Tennessee Democrats. I apologize for my sloppy blogging. Update: I'm on the go until later this evening, so I don't have time to make a whole post about this. But Michelle Malkin and Rob at Say Anything have been following up the story and so far, it looks like the accusations are true. Hopefully, I'll have more later.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference retraction [updated]:

» Distasteful from Say Anything
This sort of thing has no place in politics (via Michelle Malkin). According to The Traditional Values Coalition the politician responsible for this flyer is Tennessee Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. You can contact him and tell him how you feel about... [Read More]

» Appalling from it comes in pints?
Several people are talking about this. It's looking more and more like it really was distributed by Congressputz Fitzhugh's office. Even if not, it is distributed by a supporter, which reflects poorly on the Congressjerk, who seems to have a... [Read More]

» Appalling from it comes in pints?
[UPDATE: Now that it has been confirmed that it came from the Congresscreep's office, Michele has reposted her original commentary, and has chosen the Special Olympics as her charity for her bet with Jason Clarke] Several people are talking about... [Read More]

Comments

that figures....

What figures, Brad? Spit it out.

You know, Michele, even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

TVC, (I just read some of their site...eeech) is definitely not my cup o'tea ... definitely fundie in their religious values, but heck, so is the Soc*alist Workers Party and if they found a similar poster being circulated from a Republican candidate, I'd hold my nose and link to it.

Hope this gets confirmed one way or another.

BTW, Brad? May I suggest you switch to decaf?

Darleen, it's the same thing as when Drudge is the sole source for something - it gets a grain of salt warning. Until I find confirmation that this poster really exists and was actually handed out by Fitzhugh's people, I'm going to err on the side of this being a smear job. With over 5,000 readers a day here, I have a responsibility to not used the broken clock theory on this one.

Hey, at least you admitted the possible corruption of your sources up front. Maybe you could get a job giving clinics to certain news anchors whose names will be witheldanrather. Besides, there's much more important stuff going on right now. Namely, baseball and how the yanks nearly squandered an ass-whipping 8 run lead.

Oh Michele, I wasn't criticizing! And I agree.

I certainly would like confirmation one way or another. And that's what I meant... just because they MAY have gotten this right, it certainly wouldn't go to confirming their beliefs on other things.

Sorry I wasn't clearer about the broken-clock analogy.

TVC A LITTLE TOO "RIGHT-WING" FOR YOU?

HMM... LET ME SEE, BEING AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY BEING TAUGHT TO CHILDREN IN SCHOOL? IF THAT'S RIGHT WING, THEN SO BE IT I AM A RADICAL "FUNDIE" RIGHT WINGER.

SOME OF THIS BLOG'S READERS AND APPARENTLY THE BLOGGER IN CHIEF HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO MORAL RELATIVISM AND OTHER LEFT WING MIND TRICKS.

EVERYONE HAS A GAY PERSON IN THEIR FAMILY, SO WHAT?

JUST BECAUSE A PERSON OR GROUP DOES NOT APPROVE OF SOMETHING DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE SCARED OF IT, OR "PHOBIC" OF IT.

NOBODY HAS EVER PROVEN HOMOSEXUALITY TO BE 100% THE RESULT OF GENETICS, UNLIKE NORMAL (YES NORMAL, BECAUSE AT LEAST 90% OF THE POPULATION EXHIBITS IT) HETEROSEXUAL BEHAVIOR. SO, WHY SHOULD CHILDREN BE INDOCTRINATED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

DON'T GET ME STARTED.

Zachary? Stop yelling at me.

TVC promotes dangerous ideas and lies.

Sheesh, Zach...step away from the caplock and whatever you have in the old coffee mug...throw it away

Listen up..whether or not homosexuality is genetic is actually irrelevant. People who are gay are people first, and you have the obligation as a fellow human being to treat them civilly and only consider their behavior and values towards other human beings -- NOT judge just because they are attracted to the same sex. And shouting here is certainly not civil.

Hmm... then again, your post is just a tad Moby.

Zach, although you are a disgrace to the name, I'm glad you posted; I needed a little levity today.

Where the hell do they teach homosexuality in school? I think you're exaggerating just a little bit.
Moral relativism . . . that sounds like a wrod someone might use to describe the backsliding of others so that their own fundamentalism doesn't seem so KOOKY. But really, you can believe whatever you want, it's just that when you start shouting in caps and thumping your bible, it kind of flags you as the Kook Kommander.

it kind of flags you as the Kook Kommander.

Shank, that may have exactly been "his" intention.

Michele ... this may help ...

http://www.teamgop.org/press_archivesb.htm

The flyers have been distributed for at least 2 weeks from State Representative Craig Fitzhugh’s campaign office on the town square in downtown Ripley, which also serves as the Kerry-Edwards campaign headquarters. Dahl said, “At first I really did not believe that Fitzhugh and the Democrats would stoop to such gutter politics, but then people started bringing the flyer to me at the end of last week. I was shocked and disgusted.”

Fitzhugh is a really nasty piece of work, and has used children's special situations against opponents before.

And then we have some silly season stuff from a Texas Dem Congressman charging his Republican opponent with "exposing himself to children" because the Republican, at 18 y/o, was one of 300 college streakers in 1974!

Oh, lord, the laughter is good in purging the nastiness!!

I'm surprised people run for office anymore what with all the mudslinging and low down promotion that goes on in the smaller elections. Imagine what kind of dirt people could dig up on you if they had a budget that size...

I've been in touch with the Dahl campaign (Fitzhugh's opposition). They're assuring me that the flyer came from Fitzhugh's headquarters (which are also the local DNC headquarters).

I also sent an email to Fitzhugh but have not received a response.

You can see everything I've done here:

http://sayanythingblog.com/archives/004560.php

It appears Michelle Malkin is following up with the story:
Update II: Fitzhugh's office is giving me the runaround; I've called several times, but have yet to receive a call back. I have heard from locals that a Fox News crew is down in Ripley now. Hopefully, they'll have better luck catching up with him. Meantime, some people are doubting that this story is true. I spoke with William Klutcs, the editor of the local paper, the Lauderdale Enterprise, which published a short feature on the flyer. He said he has been hearing complaints about the poster for the past two weeks. In addition, I spoke with Susie Ray, a Ripley, TN, citizen who obtained a copy of the flyer from a friend who picked it up at the town's Democratic headquarters. Ray says the issue is "more personal than political for me." She had a loved one in her life with Down syndrome, and she wrote the following letter to the editor after seeing the poster.

Darlene beat me to it.

Michele (with one "l") check out Michelle (with two).

It's not 'Down Syndrome', it's Down's Syndrome. As in Dr John Langdon Down.

Email to and response from Special Olympics:

As the brother of a woman with Down’s Syndrome who has greatly enjoyed your programs over the years, I urge you to take some action or at least issue a public statement taking issue with this disgusting campaign material.

Democrats have gotten more and more vile this election cycle, but this goes way beyond the most disgusting thing I have ever seen used as ‘campaign material’.

This flyer, distributed by Democrat Craig Fitzhugh, states, “Voting for Bush Is Like Running In The Special Olympics – Even If You Win, You’re Still Retarded” and shows the President’s face superimposed on a handicapped runner’s body.

http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=1951

At a minimum, I would think that a quick public response to this disgusting flyer is appropriate.

Sincerely,
Steve Cole

To which I received this reply:

Thank you for your concern. Special Olympics is outraged and has publicly issued the following statement:

STATEMENT IN REGARDS TO DEROGATORY PORTRAYAL OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETES IN POLITICAL FLYER

From the office of Timothy P. Shriver

Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics

We at Special Olympics are astounded and appalled by a political flyer being distributed in Tennessee, showing the head of President Bush superimposed on the body of a Special Olympics athlete, saying, "Even if you win, you're still retarded."

We see this communication as an egregious, gratuitous insult to our almost 2 million athletes in over 150 countries around the world and a stunning affront to the more than 200 million people in the world who have intellectual disabilities.

We cringe at the thought that any one of these capable and courageous athletes would ever have to endure the agony, embarrassment, pain and suffering that this flyer would certainly cause.

We hope that the person or persons responsible for this outrageous political advertisement would come forward, identify themselves, and explain to the people of Tennessee and everywhere else why they would choose to denigrate the spirit, courage, and accomplishments of the Special Olympics athletes.

Sadly, this type of ignorance and bigotry is not uncommon. Comedians in the United States regularly mock people with intellectual disabilities; a common playground taunt even today is “retard”; people with intellectual disability remain the last to be respected or included in our schools, health care institutions, and society at large.

Our commitment in this political season and in every other is to reverse this ignorance and bigotry and to replace them with the stunning realization that many people with intellectual disability are, in fact, among the most gifted within our communities. Their valuable skills for promoting acceptance and understanding are most desperately needed in the political process and in the world today.

There is no reasonable and legitimate defense of this hateful material. We would expect those responsible to make an abject public apology and a sincere, determined effort to clear the public domain of this offensive material.

*************************************************
Kirsten Suto
Global Public Relations
Special Olympics, Inc.
1325 G St. NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 20005
202-715-1147
ksuto@specialolympics.org