Headline at The Washington Times:
depicted an outhouse as the "Obama Presidential Library"? Eric Holder's Justice Department is going to investigate it, says The Washington Times! And it's not just the Times that tells us, in outrage, that DoJ is going to investigate this float:
* Gateway Pundit: Forget the IRS Scandal -- Holder DOJ to Investigate Obama Outhouse FloatSee also: Fox Nation; the Drudge Report; et cetera.
Breitbart: Holder DOJ Finally Finds A Scandal Worth Investigating -- An Anti-Obama Parade Float
* The Daily Caller: Eric Holder Gets Serious About Limiting Speech, Investigates Obama Outhouse Parade Float
* I Own the World: Nothing better to do, DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of thin skinned Obama
Um, here's what's really happening, according to the Omaha World-Heral:
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.Yes -- the Justice Department's Community Relations Service (CRS) is engaging in discussion, not investigation. That's because the CRS -- established under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- acts strictly as a mediator, and doesn't conduct investigations:
The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
The Odd Fellows organized the parade....
The Community Relations Service provides confidential mediation, facilitation, training, and consulting services to help communities enhance their ability to independently prevent and resolve future conflicts. CRS also works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, community-based organizations, and civil and human rights group. CRS is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice that does not takes sides in a dispute, and it does not investigate, prosecute, impose solutions, assign blame, or assess fault.(Emphasis added.)
In fact, Title X of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states,
No officer or employee of the Service shall engage in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions of any department or agency in any litigation arising out of a dispute in which he acted on behalf of the Service.But the right-wing press won't let the facts stand in the way of a useful talking point. So now every angry right-winger in America "knows" that the Holder Justice Department is "investigating" this parade float.
First, last, and always, the America right is a propaganda operation. That is its main function.
UPDATE: A point I overlooked:
@nomoremister Wingnuts freaked out about CRS during George Zimmerman trial last year, claimed it was inciting racism against whites.— Gary Legum (@YeDevolutionist) July 14, 2014
Judicial Watch wrote:
A little-known unit of the Department of Justice, the Community Relations Service, was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.PolitiFact Florida rated this claim "Mostly False":
Armed with public documents, Judicial Watch said the Department of Justice sent the Community Relations Service to Sanford in the wake of Martin's death "to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman."
Judicial Watch's statement contends an element of truth: Justice Department employees were sent to Sanford, in part to deal with community uprising, including protests. But they were sent with the idea of keeping the situation peaceful and calm, not to instigate or condone protests or violence.
That’s a critical distinction being ignored in this particular claim. We rate it Mostly False.