Teamsters president James Hoffa Jr.’s speech to union workers on Labor Day before President Barack Obama took the stage has caught the attention of the media and sparked condemnation from both sides of the political spectrum for the union leader's colorful remarks about "taking out" Obama's political opponents.
However, Media Matters for America reported Monday that the clip controversial clip airing on many news networks had been edited by Fox News, all to allegedly make the Teamsters president appear violent.
After describing the Tea Party threat to unions as a "war on workers," Hoffa originally said in his Detroit speech, "They got a war. They got a war with us. And there’s only going be one winner and it’s going to be the workers of Michigan and America-we're going to win that war. President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Everybody here’s got to vote. Let’s take these sons of b****** out and give America back to America where it belongs!"
However, Fox New edited out the "Everybody here’s got to vote" part in order for it to sound more militant, according to Media Matters.
The version aired by Fox News after Hoffa's speech ran as follows: "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march…Let’s take these sons of b****** out and give America back to America where it belongs!"
The clip shows an abrupt cut directly before the part of the speech featuring profanity.
Conservative pundits have been using the edited version of the speech as proof that a Democrat-supporting organization was calling for violence against the Tea Party.
Brad Blakeman, former special assistant to President George W. Bush, said it Hoffa's edited speech was “thuggery at its best. It’s what unions are good at.”
Glenn Beck poked fun at Hoffa on his radio show by saying he sounded drunk and then imitated a drunk Hoffa crying about the mafia killing his father. Jimmy Hoffa Sr. was allegedly murdered by the mafia in 1975.
The insinuated call to violence touched off a war of talking heads on cable news networks, with commentators calling the heavy-handed rhetoric dangerous, alluding to the shooting attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords earlier this year.
The Tea Party Express has called on President Obama to "condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric," saying it "has no place in the public forum."
"Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members," Tea Party Express chair Amy Kremer said in a written statement.
The White House has not responded to the controversy over Hoffa’s remarks and Fox News has not commented over its edited version of the speech.