Twitter is buzzing with left-of-center accounts of a Tea Party “crowd” telling GOP Rep. Diaz-Balart to “speak English” while making remarks in Spanish at the House Leadership Immigration press conference which followed the main Tea Party rally Wednesday at the Capitol. Here’s a tweet from that presser:
— David Grant (@DW_Grant) June 19, 2013
That is where some claimed multiple Tea Party people in the crowd told Diaz-Balart to “speak English”:
— Patrick Burgwinkle (@Burgwinkle) June 20, 2013
— Greg Greene (@ggreeneva) June 20, 2013
So it was a crowd of people. Or was it just one?
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) June 20, 2013
Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski splits the difference with “a Tea Party protestors”:
FL GOP Rep. Diaz-Balart spoke briefly in Spanish & was heckled by a Tea Party protestors who yelled “learn English!” http://t.co/fZU7SN0jir
— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) June 20, 2013
A singular and a plural in the same story is a nice way to cover your backside when the actual number isn’t clear.
And from there, after the “Tea Party crowd yells ‘learn English'” meme has already caught on fire, more details became available (but unfortunately no video as yet).
At Buzzfeed, Kate Nocera reported just one protester (and assumes the person was from the Tea Party):
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican working on a House immigration bill, spoke briefly in Spanish at the McMorris Rogers event and was heckled by one of the Tea Party protestors who had wandered over and yelled “learn English!”
Emma Dumain from Roll Call reported things differently:
At one point, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., addressed Hispanic media outlets in Spanish — only to get heckled.
“If they all learned English …” someone shouted from the sidelines, then trailed off, as a woman arrived wielding a sign that read, “Do not reward criminals, no amnesty for illegal aliens!!!”
The speakers sought to brush it off.
At this point, we’ve gone from a “crowd” heckling Diaz-Balart to “learn English” to one person (not necessarily a Tea Party member) saying that people who come to live in the United States should learn English.
To sum it up at this point:
- Roll Call: Someone said “If they all learned English …”
- Buzzfeed: One Tea Partier said “Learn English!”
- DNC spox Brad Woodhouse: “All Tea Partiers want to destroy the universe.”
Meanwhile, Red Alert had a reporter on the scene who made no mention of the incident whatsoever.
We saw the shameless left-wing media spin machine in action when the lie of “gun nuts” heckling a Newtown father was being perpetuated, so we’ll wait for more context to this story before reporting any claims as factual.