Andrew Breitbart

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Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart was the conservative blogger who operated the web site, BigGovernment.com. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne referred to him in a July 26, 2010 op-ed column as a "right-wing hit-man."[1] On March 1st, 2012 it was reported that Breitbart died of natural causes while walking near his home shortly after midnight.[2]

Race baiting

Breitbart was behind the July 2010 attempt to smear Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod by heavily editing a video of a speech she gave to make it appear she was confessing to being racist. The story she told, in its entirety, was exactly the opposite -- it was a story of redemption in which Sherrod explained how she had overcome feelings of racism to realize everyone needed to be treated equally.

Media Matters described the episode this way:

In a July 19 BigGovernment.com post -- headlined "Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism -- 2010" -- Breitbart purported to provide "video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient." The heavily edited video clip Breitbart posted shows Shirley Sherrod, then the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaking at an NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia, and stating that she didn't give a "white farmer" the "full force of what I could do" because "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land." Breitbart characterized Sherrod's comments as her "describ[ing] how she racially discriminates against a white farmer."

Full video vindicates Sherrod, destroys Breitbart's accusations of racism. On July 20, the NAACP posted the full video of Sherrod's remarks, exposing how the clip Breitbart posted had taken Sherrod out of context. The heavily edited clip included her statements that she initially did not help the farmer, but removed her statements indicating that she ultimately did help him save his farm and learned that "it's not just about black people, it's about poor people."

Immediately prior to the portion of Sherrod's speech included in Breitbart's clip, Sherrod says that she originally made a "commitment" "to black people only," but that "God will show you things and he'll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people." Immediately following the portion of the video included in the clip, Sherrod detailed her extensive work to help the farmer save his farm. She then said, "working with him made me see that it's really about those who have versus those who don't," adding "they could be black, and they could be white, they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people -- those who don't have access the way others have." She later added, "I couldn't say 45 years ago, I couldn't stand here and say what I'm saying -- what I will say to you tonight. Like I told, God helped me to see that its not just about black people, it's about poor people. And I've come a long way."

Breitbart portrayed Sherrod as a member of the Obama administration when she made the comments, which wasn't the case. The video of her speech was made in 1986, many years prior to the Obama Administration.[3][4]

Distortion

Breitbart was also behind the coordinated release of heavily edited undercover videos that misrepresented the activities of the community group ACORN. Media Matters writes,

On September 10, 2009, conservative activist and videographer James O'Keefe posted an entry to BigGovernment.com in which he revealed that he and fellow activist Hannah Giles had posed as a pimp and prostitute at a Baltimore ACORN Housing office and secretly filmed their meetings with ACORN staffers. As O'Keefe wrote, their intention was to take "advantage of ACORN's regard for thug criminality by posing the most ridiculous criminal scenario we could think of and seeing if they would comply -- which they did without hesitation," the "scenario" being the "trafficking of young helpless girls and tax evasion." O'Keefe would later release similar recordings of their interactions with ACORN and ACORN Housing employees at several other ACORN offices nationwide. Breitbart authored a separate September 10 BigGovernment.com post "introducing" O'Keefe and making it clear that he and BigGovernment.com would play a central role in the distribution of O'Keefe and Giles' videos. But as Breitbart, O'Keefe, and Giles released and promoted the "heavily edited" videos, their allegations about ACORN and its employees were undermined by numerous falsehoods and distortions. Subsequent investigations revealed no pattern of intentional, illegal misconduct by ACORN, and no criminality by ACORN personnel. It did, however, find the videos had been heavily edited to cast ACORN in a negative light. [5]

Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal or Weinergate

This section needs to be completed.

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References

  1. E.J. Dionne Enough right-wing propaganda, July 26, 2010
  2. CNN reports Andrew Breitbart's death [1]
  3. Media Matters Big Falsehoods: An Updated guide to Andrew Breitbart's lies, smears, and distortions, accessed July 26, 2010
  4. Lamar W. Hankins Freethought San Marcos: Race and transformation in America, San Marcos Mercury, July 26, 2010
  5. Media Matters "Nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation", July 21, 2010