Anderson Cooper gave Michele Bachmann an F in American history on his Monday show, dressing the Republican congresswoman down for several false statements she made about the history of discrimination and slavery in the United States.
Cooper called Bachmann's comments, which she made at a Tea Party event in Iowa, "startling." He played a video of Bachmann talking about people arriving to America throughout history, saying, "it didn't matter the color of their skin...their language...their economic status...once you got here, we were all the same."
"As good as that sounds, that's simply not true," Cooper said. "Irish immigrants didn't feel the same walking past storefronts with signs reading 'No Irish need apply.' Japanese Americans didn't feel the same when they were placed in internment camps during World War II. And, of course, enslaved Africans certainly didn't feel the same when they were brought here against their will."
He then played another clip of Bachmann saying that the Founding Fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
Again Cooper rightly said, she was wrong, pointing out that many of the founders, including Jefferson and Washington, owned slaves, and that protection of slavery was written into the Constitution via the three-fifths clause.
Cooper said he was focusing on Bachmann's comments because "we believe facts matter, particularly where our history is concerned." He said Bachmann had not responded to requests for an interview or a statement.
It's not the first time Cooper has reprimanded Bachmann for saying untrue things: in November, he busted the myth about the cost of President Obama's trip to Asia that she was largely responsible for pushing.