People For the American Way

Congressman Joe Wilson: The Tip of the Right Wing Iceberg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2009

Contact: Drew Courtney or Stacey Gates at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

In response to Congressman Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) disruption of the President’s address to Congress last night, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:

“Representative Wilson’s behavior last night was inappropriate and deeply disrespectful of the President, the Congress, and the millions of Americans who want to hear a reasoned discussion of health care reform. Mr. Wilson was right to apologize, and GOP leaders who spoke out were right to distance themselves from his behavior.”

“But the underlying problem goes beyond one disruptive Congressman and the Republican effort to stop the bleeding from his outrageous outburst. The GOP needs to distance itself from the hateful, paranoid conspiracy theories of right wing leaders who have smeared the President without regard for the truth or common decency.”

“Later this month, Representatives Michelle Bachman and Tom McClintock, along with Governor Mike Huckabee will appear at a conference run by a woman who has promoted the accusation that the swine flu vaccine is a conspiracy to commit mass murder. Janet Porter, the co-chair of the conference, has argued that American government may be in the process of setting up internment camps, placed ads in major papers implying that President Obama is not an American citizen, and used her radio show to host guests who push anti-Semitic claims about Jewish control of the government and media.”

“Republicans in Congress were correct to distance themselves from Representative Wilson. Why won’t they distance themselves from the likes of Janet Porter?”