Monday, May 9, 2011

Taking Apart the Right's History Lies

Wednesday was a big day for the Right Wing's favorite rewriter of American history, David Barton

Barton insists that the United States was founded as a Christian nation ... and that the Bible and Jesus's teachings directly oppose progressive taxation, the capital gains tax and collective bargaining rights for unions.

David Barton's influence on the Right has been steadily rising. Glenn Beck has called this faux historian "the most important man in America." He has the ear of several possible GOP presidential candidates and many members of Congress -- Michele Bachmann has even invited him to deliver a "history" lesson to her Tea Party caucus. And he has been instrumental in efforts to replace sound history with right-wing propaganda social studies textbooks and curricula in public schools across the country, most visibly in Texas last year.

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a high-profile article about Barton which linked to our report, Barton's Bunk. While our report exposes this charlatan for what he is, the Times report unfortunately focused too much on Barton's personal life and not enough on the insidious threat posed by his lies about American history, our Constitution and the Founders.

That same night, David Barton appeared as Jon Stewart's guest on The Daily Show. This was a follow up to Mike Huckabee's guest appearance when Stewart made Barton a big topic of the discussion. Stewart challenged Huckabee on previous statements he had made praising Barton. In fact, Huckabee's praise was so emphatic that at one speaking engagement, he said that he wished "all Americans would be forced -- forced at gunpoint no less -- to listen to every David Barton message." Huckabee's over-the-top endorsement is just one example of the importance with which the conservative movement treats Barton.

Even as deft an interviewer as Jon Stewart couldn't keep up with Barton's lies and distortions. The shear volume of the lies pouring out of Barton was incredible, as was the egregiousness of those lies.

Good thing our Right Wing Watch blog was there to fact check. Using our extensive past coverage of Barton on Right Wing Watch, as well as our Barton's Bunk report, we have been able to offer point-by-point refutations of distortions and falsehoods Barton so shamelessly peddled on The Daily Show.

Barton told Stewart that he "never had to retract a single thing" But we've provided a ong list of times when Barton has had to retract his statements and assertions, as well as times that he has been directly called out for misrepresenting quotes and lying about historical events and figures. That's just one example.

Read all about it at

Also, please read and circulate our Barton report. And follow PFAW on Twitter and Facebook for updates on our Right Wing tracking.

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