Today on ABC's This Week, George Will denounced Barack Obama as an "elitist" and then told an outright lie about Obama, claiming that Obama had tried to "commiserate" with Iowans about high food prices by citing the price of Arugula at Whole Foods. Will observed mockingly that there are no Whole Foods stores in Iowa.
Unfortunately for Will, the reality is much different. Obama wasn't showing his sympathy about high food prices. He was talking to Iowa farmers and making the point that farmers often don't receive the high prices paid. That's why Obama said last year, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff."
Last August, Will wrote an OpEd on Obama and judicial confirmations that began by quoting Obama's arugula remark. In that piece, however, Will accurately noted the context about farmers, how at places such as Whole Foods the prices were exorbitant and so farmers in places like Iowa should be entitled to some of the profits. So why is Will lying about it now? He wants to push the "elitism" story to try to take down a popular progressive leader. Of course, the notion of George Will as the man of the people, defending them against liberal elitists, should start everyone laughing.
All of this is part of the longstanding attacks against Obama as the "wine track" candidate, the candidate of liberal elites rather than the working people. It's been a lie told about Democratic presidential candidates many times before. But Obama has a certain advantage: with his grassroots campaign, his massive rallies, and his ability to use YouTube to gain direct access to the voters, the power of mainstream media and the unchallenged lies of George Will and other pundits has been severely weakened. Obama can overcome the nattering nabobs in the press, the elitists who falsely imagine that they have direct understanding of what the "working man" thinks.
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