How Bradlee Dean ‘Writes’ His Columns

Bradlee Dean’s latest column reveals something rather important about him, which is that he writes his column by cutting and pasting from those same inaccurate emails your right wing uncle sends to you. In this case, he cites word for word that was circulating nearly 15 years ago and was debunked by Snopes long ago.

For example, the signers of the Declaration of Independence endured the following:

*Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.

*Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

*Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

*Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

*John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside when she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.

*Lewis Morris and Phillip Livingston suffered similar fates.

All of those are taken verbatim from that old email full of false claims. Five signers of the Declaration of Independence, but none of them died during capture and none were tortured. They were held and released after the war. And none of the signers of the declaration died from wounds or hardships during the war, with the possible exception of Button Gwinnett, who died from wounds received during a duel with another American soldier. And all of that stuff about John Hart is crap. His wife died before the British ever arrived. And he died of kidney stones nearly three years later, not from “exhaustion and a broken heart” a “few weeks later.”

But best of all, he ends the column with this:

Think the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case was bad? You should see what MSNBC and Rachel Maddow did to Bradlee Dean.

Yeah, you think getting shot and killed was bad? That’s nothing compared to Rachel Maddow quoting him accurately on the air. Hilarious.

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  • Zeno

    Looks like Bradlee forgot to mention (or the source he plagiarized from forgot to mention) that the “so help me God” part of the oath is optional. And he writes about himself in third person? Zeno finds that pretentious.

  • sbh

    Alexis de Tocqueville stated, “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    No. He didn’t. Even David Barton has admitted that this one is “unconfirmed.” As I have written elsewhere, this line is a misquotation from another foreign visitor to the United States, Andrew Reed, who along with James Matheson visited the United States from Great Britain during the Jackson administration. In one of his letters he wrote back home “Universal suffrage, whatever may be its abstract merits or demerits, is neither desirable nor possible, except the people are the subjects of universal education and universal piety. America will be great if America is good. If not, her greatness will vanish away like a morning cloud.” Quoted a number of times during the nineteenth century, it was garbled early in the twentieth and misattributed to Alexis de Tocqueville.

  • CaitieCat

    Even if de Tocqueville had said it, since when does the Religious Reich put so much stock in the words of dead French guys?

  • matty1

    It is to be noted that every one of these headlines stands in direct violation of the laws of our republic!

    Headlines are illegal now?

  • CaitieCat

    Headlines are illegal now?

    Only when they hang out with other headlines too much. When they sort themselves into one headline to head each submissive article, as God intended, then it’s okay. In a pinch, sometimes it’s okay to let a headline have more than one article, but under no circumstances may an article have more than one headline. Cuz God.

  • composer99

    Frankly, the word column should go into scare quotes too. I mean, calling that travesty of composition a column is an insult to the word.

    In fact, personally I would put Bradlee Dean and His in scare quotes. I mean, who’s to say Dean actually wrote the article, or that Dean is even a real (male-identifying) person (rather than, say, a bot programmed to string together Tea Party bullshit memes)?

    So the only word that doesn’t belong in scare quotes is How (and I’m not sure about that, either):

    How “Bradlee Dean” “Writes” “His” “Columns”.


  • Abby Normal

    That was a bit of a lengthy quote there. So I decided to see how likely it would be to qualify as Fair Use if challenged. One of the four factors considered in making that determination is the amount used relative to the substance. But I had to give up on my analysis when plugging the substance metric of the original article kept producing a divide-by-zero error.

  • tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    Even if de Tocqueville had said it, since when does the Religious Reich put so much stock in the words of dead French guys?

    Err, since one is talking about reaching nut jobs here, don’t you mean –

    Even if de Tocqueville had said it, since when does the Religious Reich put so much stock in the words of deservedly dead cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

  • dcsohl

    Lewis Morris suffered a similar fate … in 1798. 16 years after the war ended. And Philip Livingston died in 1778… while attending a session of the Continental Congress.

    Both of which are similar to John Hart’s alleged fate, in that they all died. That’s about the extent of the similarities.

  • Childermass

    From the link: “Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will also be deleted.” Oddly enough, the article has not been deleted.

    Off-topic: The Oklahoma Gazette has a cover story on atheism. It also has a story on a possible wrongful conviction.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Young and courageous he was, but when he died, Nathan Hale did not say, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” At least that’s not what he said according to Captain Frederick Mackenzie, a British officer who witnessed Hale’s death. Mackenzie’s recently discovered diary states that Hale’s last words were: “It is the duty of every good officer to obey any orders given him by his commander-in-chief.”

    –Richard Shenkman, Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History

    As I recall (but can’t find the relevant book on my shelves), Daniel Boorstin in his The Americans trilogy attributed the familiar false quotation above to Parson Mason Weems, the same hack who invented the stories of young G. Washington & the cherry tree, the older Washington hurling a dollar coin across the Potomac, and P. Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!”

  • democommie

    I thought Alexis DeTokeville was a nom de guerre for some NORML dude.

    “Succeeding generations have given the ultimate sacrifice to magnify the laws of our republic against the crimes that are tolerated in America today. The following are the number of casualties in each listed war:

    World War I: 116,516

    World War II: 405,399

    Korea: 36,516

    Vietnam: 58,151

    Iraq-Afghanistan: 8,000 and counting”

    I find it odd that he doesn’t list the Revolution, The War of 1812, The 1st Campaign to Exterminate the Original Inhabitants of MurKKKa, The Mexicommie/MurKKKan War, The War of Southern Aggression, the 2nd Campaign to Exterminate the Original Inhabitants of MurKKKa, The various–and prosecuted with varying degrees of success–Monroe Doctrine Expeditionary Campaigns of the 18th and early 19th centuries, The Teaching The Filipino Browns A Lesson Or Six, The Puttin’ Down The Yellowmens After The Boxers Thing, The Helpin’ Out The Whites Against The Bolsheviks Action*, The Second Wave Of Monroe Doctrine Expeditionary Campaigns, The Mayaguez Incident, Grenada, The Vincennes Shootin’ Down The Raghead AF Bomber**, Somalia, The Balkans: The Enemy Of My Enemy’s Enemy’s Friends’ Enemies–Never Mind, Just Kill Allathem MoFo’s! and a few that I may have left out. Did those actions not result in deaths to MurKKKan serviceheroes or were allathem sojers just cowards?

    * Honest to GOD, Wilson didn’t know that they was ALL fuckin’ Russkies!

    ** Cleverly (or maybe not so cleverly) disguised as an Airbus A300-200

  • Ed Brayton

    Err, yeah. Big cut and paste fail there. It copied the whole article instead of the one sentence I intended. Fixed now.

  • Area Man

    Yeah, you think getting shot and killed was bad?

    I rather doubt that Dean sees Trayvon Martin as the victim.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Of course what happened to Bradlee Dean is worse than what Happened to Trayvon Martin. His readership thinks that one is a clever human being and that the other is a rabid animal.

  • daved

    His readership thinks that one is a clever human being and that the other is a rabid animal.

    The readership here might agree, but not necessarily with which is which.

  • exdrone

    So, Ed, you’re just commenting on the plagiarism angle of this story rather than the accuracy of forwarded e-mails, right? I wouldn’t like to think that my money is not coming from Nigeria after all.