Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) rescinded her praise for the Nation magazine’s controversial blogger, Lee Fang (pronounced like bong), following a Free Beacon report revealing Fang’s history of filing stories laced with factual errors, Sunlight Foundation records show.
"Good move for both @lhfang and @thenation," Pelosi tweeted yesterday as she promoted a Nation announcement that stated: "We welcome Lee Fang as investigative contributing reporter".
Pelosi’s tweet, deleted moments later, was immediately archived by the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops project, which weeds out deleted messages sent via Twitter by lawmakers.
A Pelosi spokesperson would not comment on the record about the deleted tweet.
However, Pelosi's office may have had seconds thoughts about praising a reporter whose work contains only a dime-bag of facts for every ounce of anti-conservative spin.
Gabriela Schneider, a Sunlight Foundation spokesperson, explained that lawmakers often experience embarrassing gaffes via Twitter.
"Often when we delete things in public, there might be a reason," Schneider said. "There’s going to be times when errors are made."
"On the Internet," she added, "nothing is really deleted."
Fang was hired last week by the Nation, a far left publication with a history of sympathy for Communist movements, despite his record of puffing up conspiracy theories that have on numerous occasions come back to burn the publications that employ him.
Questions continue to surround a series of misleading stories that Fang filed during his time as a writer for the Center For American Progress Action Fund’s ThinkProgress blog, and for the Republic Report. While both groups agitate for greater transparency in politics, neither discloses all of their funding sources.
In one instance, Fang published a story that purported to reveal a secret plan by the Telecom industry.
"Representatives from various front groups launched a new coordinated campaign to kill net neutrality," Fang snorted.
However, the technology website C-Net revealed the following day that Fang’s smoking gun—a PowerPoint presentation that he claimed the Telecom industry had prepared to help kill net neutrality—was actually a class project.
C-Net exposed that Fang’s report was completely false:
It turns out that the PowerPoint document was prepared as a class project for a competition in Florida last month. It cost the six students a grand total of $173.95, including $18 for clip art.
The "No Net Brutality" campaign idea was one of the four finalists created as an assignment for a two-and-a-half week "think tank MBA" program. The other finalists were a project promoting free speech in Venezuela, one supporting education reform in Poland, and one dealing with sales taxes rates in Washington, D.C. ("No Net Brutality" came in third. The Polish reform idea won.)
Not only was the PowerPoint document presentation no secret, but it was posted publicly on the competition's blog, along with an audio recording of the event in Miami where the student contestants presented their ideas to the judges.
ThinkProgress never corrected the story, but rather distributed two "updates" in defense of the bogus piece.