Yesterday, the popular right-wing blog Powerline smeared Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) as an apologist for Hezbollah using an edited clip from local Detroit television. The post, entitled “Dingell: What’s Wrong With Hezbollah,” features this misleading transcript, complete with edited audio:
Asked, “You’re not against Hezbollah?” Dingell answers, “No…”
Here’s what Dingell actually said:
Q: You’re not against Hezbollah?
DINGELL: No, I happen to be “” I happen to be against violence, I think the United States has to bring resolution to this matter. Now, I condemn Hezbollah as does everybody else, for the violence.
Dingell was arguing that the United States should seek to maintain its historic role as an “honest broker” in the Middle East. There are legitimate criticisms of this position, but they should be based on Dingell’s actual views, not a dishonest caricature. Watch the entire exchange:
Email Powerline and (politely) request that they tell their readers that, right after the audio clip they posted cuts out, Rep. Dingell says, “I condemn Hezbollah.”
DINGELL: First of all, our problem is that we must be a fair and honest broker and a friend to all parties. The resolution didn’t make us that. We have to have the trust of both of the people of Israel and the people of the Arab countries around it, in order to help resolve the problem. If we don’t, the possibilities of regional war, calamitous situation with regard to israel which has 5 million people amidst a billion and a half Arabs are a real potential for calamity. Having said at that, what we have to do is to see to it that finally we begin to address the problems that exist to abate the difficulties that are preventing a– a honest solution to the problem and a negotiated end. It takes– it takes a lot of work to get the trust that it takes to do this. The resolution did not instill that kind of trust and the end result would be quite frankly, the real solution to the problems that exist in the middle east would probably have been and probably will be put off.
ANCHOR: Overall majority of your colleagues didn’t see it that way and some would suggest that if– even though there are obviously a lot of issues with Lebanon and with Palestinian cause wrapped up in this, that this largely boils down to israel against Hezbollah and Hezbollah is a group that the United States has deemed a terrorist organization, that there’s only one side for the Americans to come down on in this fight.
DINGELL: Well, we don’t, first of all, I don’t take sides for or against Hezbollah or for or against Israel.
ANCHOR: You’re not against Hezbollah?
DINGELL: No, I happen to be — I happen to be against violence, I think the United States has to bring resolution to this matter. Now, I condemn Hezbollah as does everybody else, for the violence, but I think if we’ve got to talk to them and if we don’t — if we don’t get ourselves in a position where we can talk to both sides and bring both sides together, the killing and the blood let is going to continue.