The debate now seems to have honed in on a potential conspiracy between the CBC and the media over how quickly and broadly these claims made it to print. Doug Ross has much more on this and is continuing to update. Be sure to check regularly. One of the updates includes an email that Ross received from McClatchy's online editor, Mark Seibel who actually makes a valid point and conservatives should follow-up on it.
Here is the relevant excerpt from Seibel in reference to a video posted by Jack Cashill on American Thinker:
I've seen no video of the event. The americanthinker video displayed is not the event -- the Capitol is clearly in the background and the Congressmen are walking away from it, not to it. The n-word incident, as relayed to Bill, happened when they were headed to the Capitol. I went over this afternoon to see where the videographer was standing when he shot what's on the Web. There's no way it could represent the incident as the incident was relayed to Bill -- or at a time consistent with when Bill interviewed both Lewis and Cleaver in the Visitors Center before they left to go back to their offices. If the videographer had been there when the Congressmen left for the Capitol, that would be useful.Unless I'm missing something, Seibel is right about this. Check out the video and watch for the Capitol in the background. In fact, you can hear the narrator say that the congressmen chose to "walk right through the protesters toward the Capitol." Literally, as he's saying this, the Capitol can be seen in the Background. Keep reading after watching the video because I am not saying the video doesn't raise further questions or serve as very damning evidence for these claims. In fact, it very well could be more damaging to Cleaver - because of what's in the statement his office put out after the alleged incident - than to those who wrongfully claim the CBC members were walking to the Capitol when the incidents occurred.
For the video, Via American Thinker
As Seibel rightfully claims, these CBC members were NOT walking TO the Capitol in the video. They were walking FROM the Capitol TO the Cannon office buildings. However, that is not consistent with the claim of the spitting incident either. Cleaver's office released a statement after the alleged incident which said, in part:
This afternoon, the Congressman (Cleaver) was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him.Cleaver is still not talking about the incident but if what you see in the video is when Cleaver was spat on, it means he too was not heading TO the Capitol when it happened. It means he was walking FROM the Capitol TO the Cannon building. This can only mean one of two things.
1.) Cleaver was spat on twice and this is just one of the two times.
2.) The statement is incorrect.
If he was "spat on" twice, that means there are two lies about the Police arresting perpetrators as there is NO police record of either one. If the statement is incorrect, does that mean all of these alleged slurs along with the spitting non-incident occurred as the CBC members were walking FROM the Capitol and TO the Cannon building?
I find the possibility that Cleaver was spat on twice to be utterly laughable so I will not entertain that notion at this time; even he didn't have the gumption to make that claim.
So let's assume for a minute that the statement was incorrect and that the incident we see on the video is the one in question. If this is it, it's incredibly damaging to Cleaver for multiple reasons.
Not only was the alleged spitter yelling at all of the congressmen who passed by but Jesse Jackson Jr. was in his face with both of his video cameras just ahead of Cleaver.
There was also a female cop directly behind Cleaver who witnessed the entire incident. If Cleaver was spat on, she would have arrested the man right then and there. In the seconds that follow, Cleaver is seen coming out of the building with a completely different cop than the female one who was following behind him.
The reason? Presumably, Cleaver retrieved the second officer to find the perpetrator of the glandular assault.
Why would he do that and not corral the female cop who witnessed the event?
The possible answer? As both Cleaver and the officer who didn't witness the event are seen standing on the steps, Cleaver cannot locate the man who allegedly spat on him. The problem with that is that the man never left and is within inches of Cleaver. He could have easily been identified RIGHT THEN AND THERE. If Cleaver would have brought out the female cop who witnessed the event, she likely would have said there was no incident because she witnessed the entire thing.
As further evidence Cleaver is lying, if the man was actually guilty of spitting on him, why would he stick around as a Congressman (Cleaver) was calling the cops?
h/t to Doug Ross