Fox News, ABC Air Edited Version of James Hoffa Speech, Drawing Tea Party Criticisms
UPDATED: The Teamsters president introduced President Obama during a Labor Day rally in Detroit, referring to tea partiers as “son-of-a-bitches.”
James Hoffa is under fire for his controversial comments during a Labor Day rally for President Obama, though Fox News and ABC may have added fuel to the fire.
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Reportedly, a selectively edited version of Hoffa’s speech was aired on the networks, omitting certain segments of the appearance. According to Yahoo’s The Cutline, Hoffa called upon Teamsters to vote tea partiers, whom he refers to as “son-of-a-bitches,” out of office.
“Everybody here has got a vote,” he said. “If we go back and we keep the eye on the prize. Let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out and give America back to America where we belong.” He then used war analogies in reference to a “battle” between union workers, or Obama’s “army,” and the tea party.
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In the clip aired on several media outlets, specifically Fox and ABC, Hoffa’s call for a vote was omitted, leaving the remainder of his comments out of context.
“Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members,” Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer said in a statement. “Lying attacks on the tea party movement have disturbingly increased in recent days. It is high time that elected leaders like President Obama were held accountable when their key supporters engage in harmful and divisive rhetoric.”
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Fox News later aired Hoffa’s speech in full, though critics continued to blast his comments. The Cutline notes that Republican consultant Brad Blakeman likened Hoffa to Tony Soprano, calling his comments “thuggery at its best.”
A spokesperson for ABC News tells The Hollywood Reporter that the network has not recieved any complaints about their broadcast, but ABC News' Jake Tapper became involved in the heated discussion while grilling Obama's press secretary Jay Carney. During Tuesday's White House Media briefing, Tapper demanded to know whether an apology would be issued.
Neither Obama nor the White House has addressed Hoffa’s controversial comments -- Watch here.