UPDATE AT END OF POST: Tennessee state assemblyman buys the lie!
If you frequent liberal blogs, you were likely under the impression this weekend that Minnesota state Republicans were trying to make it illegal for the poor to carry more than $20 in their pockets or handbags.
Fortunately the Left has someone in its ranks interested in exposing lies rather than spreading them:
Someone on Twitter asked me last night if I’d heard about what was happening in Minnesota with the poor. I didn’t, so they sent me a link to Crooks & Liars that talked about a law proposed there that would make it illegal for poor people to carry more than $20 cash!
So began a fabulous piece by Lee Stranahan, a current Huffington Post contributor and former Kossack whose work has been featured at NewsBusters before.
After sharing some of the headlines from leading left-wing websites, as well as some of their content, Stranahan did what none of them apparently cared to: he actually looked at what the proposed legislation said.
Novel concept, huh?
And what did he find?
During the initial 30 calendar days of eligibility, a recipient may have cash benefits issued on an EBT card without the recipient’s name printed on the card. This card may be the same card on which food support is issued and does not need to meet the requirements of this section.(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), EBT cardholders may opt to have up to $20 per month accessible via automatic teller machine or receive up to $20 cash back from vendor.
The proposed legislation doesn't make it illegal for a poor person to have more than $20 in his or her possession. It instead sets a $20 maximum as to how much participants in one of Minnesota's assistance programs can withdraw in cash each month using their Electronic Benefit Transfer card. This debit card is how they otherwise make purchases for things such as food, clothing, transportation, and utilities.
Sadly, the liberal blogs all got this wrong. Even when Stranahan tried to point out the error to one of the more prominent ones, he ended up getting attacked for it on Twitter.
As Stranahan correctly noted, "This misdirection is common tactic I’m seeing lately."
Indeed it is, although I would suggest that it's nothing new.
As we at NewsBusters and the Media Research Center have been reporting for many years, the reading comprehension and investigative journalism skills of most liberal bloggers are quite pathetic.
Once one starts the bogus ball rolling, it seems none of them will do even the most simple of examinations - like, for instance, looking at a proposed bill - to assure veracity.
Instead, it goes from one website to another like an STD in a co-ed college dormitory. That's unfortunately one of the ways propaganda works in the Internet Era.
Nice busting job there, Lee. Keep up the good work.
*****Update: Stranahan has posted a new piece demonstrating that it's not just liberal bloggers buying and selling this lie. A Tennessee assemblyman by the name of Antonio "2 Shay" Parkinson (D-Memphis) actually tweeted this nonsense to his Twitter followers Sunday.