David Barton, Serial Exaggerator

Right Wing Watch has caught David Barton in a lie — an exaggeration by the most charitable possible interpretation — that is entirely pointless. He tells audiences simultaneously that he speaks to nearly two groups a day and that he works so hard on his ranch all day long that he doesn’t have time for other things.

Last year, Barton was the keynote speaker at the Family Leader’s “Celebrate The Family” dinner where he delivered his standard presentation, but one thing caught our attention, which was his standard assertion that he speaks to hundreds of groups every year. In this case, Barton said that he personally “spoke to over 600 different groups” in the last year, which averages out to speaking to a group and a half every single day for an entire year.

That seemed a little hard to believe simply on its face. But it becomes even harder to believe in light of his later assertion that he owns a ranch that requires him to work “from sun up to sun down” fourteen hours a day during the summer.

“We wish we had eight hour days like people in the city have,” Barton said. “We never get eight hour days; that would be a vacation. We work all the time.”

What makes this all the more bizarre is that it’s a meaningless lie. What is the purpose of it? I just don’t think Barton knows how to tell the truth anymore, if he ever did.

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  • LightningRose

    “…his standard assertion that he speaks to hundreds of groups every year.”

    Perhaps he’s referring to tweets.

  • suttkus

    It shows that Barton is One Of Us, a hard working Real American™, not one of those goldarned liberal elites who never have to work because the government just hands them billions of dollars a day. He works 12 hours a day and speaks to two groups a day through a direct miracle of God, like the loaves and fishes, Barton’s time is cut up into chunks that never run out! Only a muslem-atheist-socialist would fail to see this obvious fact.

  • matty1

    You don’t believe that 600 groups visited David Barton on his ranch and he spoke to them while working? Whatever next, you’ll be saying he isn’t a reliable historian!11!!!11111///////

  • kevinalexander

    Give the guy a break. If JESUS can turn some buns and sardines into a feast for the multitudes then certainly He can add some extra hours in a day and days in a year.

    If JESUS can stretch fishes and time then David should be allowed to stretch the truth.

  • Mr Ed

    First Bush now Barton you would thing that the most virtuous thing a person could do is clear brush. Do you mean to tell me that Moses and Jesus’ time in the desert was spent landscaping?

  • Sastra

    The solution is simple: Barton mentally divides people into over 600 groups, ranging from classifications like 100% Christian Patriot With More Than 3 Dogs and Back Problems to 39% Patriot Divorced Single Parent With Some Weird Beliefs from Oprah to 2% Patriot Muslim With Dental Concerns Who At Least Bought My Book Though Didn’t Read It. Therefore, one speaking engagement could easily contain many groups, and he could include diverse radio audiences too and figure there”s at least another 400 groups in that category alone. And we’re not even counting when he talks to people as he shops, gets repairs, etc.

    There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who divide people into over 600 groups — and those who don’t.

  • He’s sending two messages: first, he’s an authority. Don’t ask about what — he’s obviously an authority on everything.

    Second, those pampered liberal city folk ain’t got nothin’ on all us countrified folks. Why, they wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it came up and bit ’em on their soft lily-white posteriors. All us regular people out under God’s blue sky understand what it means to build a country with nothing but gumption, grit, spit, sweat, and the tears of the vanquished whose country it was.

  • Moggie

    He didn’t say groups of people. Presumably there are cattle on this ranch…

  • Rob

    There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who divide people into over 600 groups — and those who don’t.

    Sastra, truly lovely. You made me laugh just when I needed to.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    I wouldn’t presume that, Moggie.

  • Moggie

    All hat and no cattle?

  • John Hinkle

    “We wish we had eight hour days like people in the city have,” Barton said.

    Obviously all those liberal democrats in the city are in unions. Wait till Barton’s wetbacks farm hands demand a living wage and unionize. Then we’re going to see where in the Bible God is for slavery against unions.

  • To be fair, it is quite time consuming shoveling all that BS.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Moggie, exactly!

  • oranje

    He must wear a GoPro while he’s ranching. Or something.

    That explains why he never has time to be interviewed on television, though. Oh.

    And he still fits in time to painstakingly quote mine, I mean study, original documents?

  • And may I just say “Lying Douchebag”?

    No offense meant to actual douchebags of course. No, wait, I lied,

    David Barton really is an offense to actual douchebags.

  • Artor

    I was going to speculate that one of the groups Barton talks to is the undocumented immigrants who actually work the 14 hour days on his ranch. But then I realized he probably pays other people to talk to “those people.”

  • mobius

    I think one requirement for being religious is you must believe two impossible things before breakfast.

  • samgardner

    Oh, come now — if he speaks to fifty people, that’s 25 groups of 2. Maybe even fifty groups of 2 with one absentee.

  • dingojack

    Perhaps he lays his pearls before those who are legion and contain the multitudes.


  • lorn

    What he isn’t telling you is that in counting speaking engagements he includes the little speech he gives to the contents of the toilet before flushing. He also has an ongoing and quite lively lecture series given to the ceiling over his bed.

    You have to remember that anyone who so frequently puts entirely imagined words into the mouths of historical figures and then mistakes his own fiction for fact will have no problems interpreting the meaning of speaking to groups in such a way as to drain it of all meaning.

  • “He didn’t say groups of people. Presumably there are cattle on this ranch…”

    That might help to account for the strong whiff of bullshit that I get every time he opens his piehole.

  • Thumper: Token Breeder

    Right Wing Watch has caught David Barton in a lie

    I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

  • bushrat

    I can attest to the hard workingness of all farmers/ranchers, as I grew up on and around farms. At least the farmer always told us how hard he was working as he was driving into the coffee shop to talk to the other farmers, or going up to the house for his daily extended lunch/nap, or when he took off in the afternoon for the second obligatory coffee shop farmer’s meetup and crop review. Yep, hard working folk, as compared to all us lazy mooching farm hands, idling our days away out in the middle of those pastoral fields. Thinking back on those times, making minimum wage, why I should really have been paying him for the privilege of working his fields. Poor guy could only afford to get his wife and kids all new vehicles every other year.

  • mikeymeitbual

    Come do my easy desk job, Barton. It requires a great deal of intellectual honesty and critical thought, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. My reward for working a 12 hour day is a sleepless night due to not being able to leave my work on my desk – since so much of it happens in my brain, it follows me everywhere I go. I suppose he might liken my situation to his own reality in that case.