10 Reasons Andrew Breitbart Should Apologize (Or Just Shut Up and Go Away)
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Public apologies are often the source of captivating and prurient entertainment. There seems to be a genetic compulsion in the human DNA to observe our heroes, celebrities, and of course, adversaries, fall from grace and beg forgiveness. Monday was Rep. Anthony Weiner’s curtain call, but like any good melodrama, he was upstaged by an ambitious and vainglorious rival, Andrew Breitbart.
After commandeering the podium at Weiner’s press conference, Breitbart declared, “I’m here for some vindication.” He portrayed himself as a media-contrived victim of character assassination and challenged the reporters in the room to substantiate their alleged assaults on his reputation.
“The media says ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie. One. One. Journalists? One. Put your reputation on the line here.”
For some reason, no one in the room responded. It’s almost as if the press were clueless stenographers, unfamiliar with Breitbart’s past, and were incapable of providing a substantive rebuttal.
This is actually fairly typical of the modern press corps. Another example occurred when the New York Times asked Breitbart about the Weiner affair on Saturday and he attempted to strike a non-partisan tone, saying, “I am as offended when John Ensign acts like an idiot, when Chris Lee acts like an idiot.” However, the Times failed to note that Breitbart’s Big Government blog did not publish a single story about the travails of either Ensign or Lee. Not one single story. How offended was he? Compare that to his obsession with Weiner, which produced 17 separate stories and consumed every single headline (except for the plug for his book), and that was four days after the story broke.
For those who are interested, including members of the press who were struck dumb yesterday, here is a brief compilation of Breitbart’s "reportorial" resume, replete with dishonesty and deliberate disinformation. Feel free to offer these in response to Breitbart’s future challenges. We will await his profuse and heartfelt apologies.
1) ACORN: Breibart’s Web site was the central agency for disseminating videos that were later shown to have been heavily edited in order to convey a fictional scenario smearing a social service organization that had for years been assisting low-income citizens with financial advice and voter registration. Every investigation of the affair exonerated ACORN and affirmed the videos' deception. Breitbart’s henchman, James O’Keefe, is being sued by former ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera.
2) Shirley Sherrod: In this episode, Breitbart was responsible for slandering a USDA employee by calling her a racist. Lately he has been defending himself by saying that he had included the “redemptive arc” of her story revealing her innocence. But let’s not forget how he originally portrayed the situation:
“In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions. [...] In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer.”
That is a pretty clear accusation of discriminatory behavior on the part of a federal employee. It is also a lie. Sherrod did not discriminate against the farmer, as Breitbart later acknowledged, and the story she told was about an incident that occurred 20 years before she held a federal post. Nevertheless, Breitbart’s reaction at the time was another demonstration of his paranoid narcissism, as he whined, “As difficult as it probably was for her, it’s been difficult for me as well .” Poor guy. Sherrod is suing Breitbart.
3) Clinton Plotting a Tea Party Attack: Breitbart published a story with no evidence, about an alleged conspiracy that never came to pass: