As the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for almost two years, Nikki Haley faced down some of the worst tyrants in the world.
Now, she’s showing she can handle liberals distorting her record at home, too.
The outspoken former governor of South Carolina is hitting back hard after a researcher at the website Media Matters distorted one of her quotes from an interview with conservative commentator Glenn Beck to make it appear Haley had personally honored the Confederate flag.
What Haley was really doing was describing the emotions the flag engendered in some of her constituents.
It was honest, it was honorable. And that made it a prime target for a liberal media smear.
In the quote in question, Haley was discussing the immediate aftermath of the 2015 slaughter of 12 black churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
The gunman in that attack, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof, had posted social media images of himself with a Confederate flag.
“Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of,” Haley told Beck.
“People saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.”
The words and context are clear. Haley was not herself praising the Confederate flag – which is, after all, a symbol of revolt against the United States established by the Founding Fathers – she was describing, accurately, the feelings of many Americans, especially in the South.
That didn’t stop Media Matters researcher Jason Campbell from launching a smear campaign by distorting her words.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about “service, and sacrifice, and heritage” until Dylan Roof “hijacked” it pic.twitter.com/pqdhKIezRl
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 6, 2019
Liberal outlets were quick to leap at the misinterpretation. Rolling Stone, for instance, started its coverage of Haley’s interview with the question: “Who needs history when you can just make s— up?”
The article included the Media Matters tweet as if it helped prove that Haley was making “s—” up. The irony is almost painful.
Branding her critics with the scornful label of “outrage peddlers in the liberal media,” she took to social media to make her case.
1/2 Sad that the outrage media has gone crazy about my recent intv with Glenn Beck.What I said was accurate.Many in South Carolina did see the confederate flag as symbolizing heritage, and many others saw it as symbolling hate.That’s why it was such a difficult issue for so long.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) December 8, 2019
Haley then pointed out she was governor when South Carolina removed the flag from the statehouse grounds after years of controversy.
2/2 I am proud of our state for coming together to remove the flag from our statehouse.If the outrage peddlers in the liberal media are really interested in my views on the flag, instead of distorting them, they should read the first 2 chapters of my book. https://t.co/IQq8YXBrtT
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) December 8, 2019
The original tweet from the Media Matters researcher is still up (it had well over 6,000 likes and 2,000 retweets as of Monday morning). But at least one news outlet that picked it up has had a change of heart.
The website Axios deleted its original tweet and reworded its caption:
We’ve deleted a tweet saying that Nikki Haley said the Confederate flag represents “service, sacrifice and heritage”.
Our story has been updated to reflect that Haley said: “People saw [the flag] as service, and sacrifice and heritage” https://t.co/oTIoBbXy4z
— Axios (@axios) December 6, 2019
Haley wasn’t the only one outraged at the “outrage media.” She had plenty of support.
Now @DNC & media matters are trying to twist a good thing into bad.
It is crass political hackery rooted in fear – should Ms. Haley decide to run for POTUS, she will be impossible to beat.
A woman PoC, 2nd gen immigrant, GOP, supported by Trump = @DNC worst nightmare
— RoninEternales (@RoninEternales) December 9, 2019
The mainstream media and propagandists at Media Matters get caught in real time peddling a lie about former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.
— Tim Gradous (@tgradous) December 8, 2019
Democrat Media Spreads Democrat Media Matters Talking Points Smears of Nikki Haley by Misreporting Confederate Flag Comments https://t.co/HmOSu7Q7Zt
— mathewsjw (@mathewsjw) December 9, 2019
But this one summed it up perfectly.
If you’re a journalist and you genuinely don’t understand why a huge chunk of the country doesn’t trust or believe your industry, take a look at all of your colleagues sharing a completely false narrative of @NikkiHaley’s remarks from Media Matters…that’s why.
— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) December 6, 2019
There’s a reason millions of Americans don’t trust the establishment news media.
Now, granted, Media Matters is not a standard newsgathering organization. The recipient of a $1 million grant from liberal billionaire George Soros back in 2010, as The New York Times reported, it is an unapologetically leftist operation. But that doesn’t give it an excuse to twist the words of public figures.
Fortunately for Americans, Nikki Haley — who served at the U.N. from January 2017 to December 2018 — has seen tougher opponents than Media Matters researchers in her day.
And as the response to the Haley smear showed, there are a lot of Americans who are supporting her.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.