On Thursday for Friday's print edition, the New York Times carried a weakly headlined but well-written story entitled "U.S. Opens Spigot After Farmers Claim Discrimination" on its front page. Written by Sharon LaFraniere with the help of three others, it laid out how what began in 1997 as a class-action suit by black farmers (Pigford v. Glickman) claiming they had suffered discrimination at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture "became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms." Moreover, LaFraniere covered how the scope of the litigation grew "to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers" to the tune of over 90,000 claims and potential ultimate taxpayer cost of over $4.4 billion, in the process morphing into a vehicle for the Obama administration to unjustifiably dole out taxpayer money to as many people and constituent groups as possible. It is worth reading the entire story, though it will make just about anyone concerned about the financial and cultural future of this nation shudder.
The Times coverage indeed "vindicates" the late Andrew Breitbart, whose Big Government blog exposed the fraud associated with Pigford, but that vindication is hardly satisfying. We're supposed to be impressed that the paper finally got around to substantively covering it, and that the paper even noted the "Public criticism (which) came primarily from conservative news outlets like Breitbart.com and from Congressional conservatives like Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who described the program as rife with fraud." I don't see why.
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
Looks like liberals are still trying to peddle the discredited allegation that Tea Party members attacked black members of Congress.
The op-ed page of today's New York Times contains a column by James Sleeper, a long-time left-wing activist, now a lecturer at Yale. The gist is the grudging respect that Sleeper came to have for Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor who passed away two days ago. Sleeper writes of how as mayor, Koch wrestled to the ground a protester who had stormed the stage as he spoke and pelted him with eggs. Sleeper wrote that Koch's asking the audience whether they wanted the other protesters removed looked demagogic at the time, "[b]ut not so much now, with Tea Party heckling and assaults on public officials." More after the jump.
Gateway Pundit blog and Michelle Malkin's Twitchy site both reported on Saturday how Ryan Clayton, a far left contributor to DailyKos and Huffington Post, was escorted out a Friday night showing of the documentary, Hating Breitbart, in Arlington, Virginia, for his outbursts during the opening minutes of the film. Clayton actually makes an appearance in the movie, where he shouted bogus allegations of cocaine use and soliciting male prostitutes at Breitbart in 2011.
I actually played a part in getting the leftist booted out of the theater. I went to the 10:20 pm showing at the invitation of Jason Jones of Movie to Movement, who is a good friend and a former boss. I sat towards the back of the theater, as many of the seats were filled by the time I entered. When the documentary started, Clayton somehow thought it was appropriate to add his own commentary track and laughed like a hyena at various points. I spoke up and told him to stop talking. But he didn't stop.
Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.
Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.
The upcoming documentary "Occupy Unmasked" is getting the kind of promotional push too rarely received by right-of-center films.
The movie, directed by Steve Bannon and featuring the late Andrew Breitbart, tells the story of the chaotic, destructive Occupy Wall Street movement. The message hardly fits the standard theatrical template, which routinely sides with or sympathizes with the bedraggled protesters seeking their "fair" share of the one percent's cash.
Just imagine the uproar there'd be if a conservative radio talk show host pretended to talk to the devil to find out how a recently deceased liberal activist is doing in Hell.
Now contrast that with the virtual media silence there's been since liberal radio host Mike Malloy acted as if he was on a phone call with Satan to learn how conservative activist Andrew Breitbart is faring in Hades.That incident took place on Tuesday during Malloy's program, which is heard in 13 markets across the nation and Sirius/XM radio. [Radio Equalizer's YouTube clip of this embedded below page break]
Salon editor Joan Walsh took a truly disgusting cheap shot at the late Andrew Breitbart Friday.
Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Walsh said, "I didn’t think it was possible to get lower than Andrew Breitbart, but his spawn have gotten lower than Andrew Breitbart" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Apart from her crass description of Breitbart's sudden death, Brown got the underlying facts of her complaint wrong, furthering the meme that Breitbart deliberately took Shirley Sherrod out of context and hence was responsible for destroying her career:
New York Times media reporter David Carr's profile of the late Andrew Breitbart, "The Provocateur" was a slightly hostile look at the life and influence of the sleepless conservative activist, that included this unnecessary and petty parenthetical stab: "For good or ill (and most would say ill), no one did it like Mr. Breitbart."
Andrew Breitbart, the 43-year-old conservative media entrepreneur who was laid to rest this week after experiencing a sudden heart attack, rose from an unknown to one of the leaders of the conservative movement in just a few short years. I am proud to have called him a friend.
The swiftness of his rise and his popularity among conservatives, provide a lesson for anyone wishing to understand how to win in the game of politics and media in the 21st Century.
Access to the controversial video released of President Barack Obama embracing a radical professor was prevented by two groups funded by left-wing donor George Soros. The two – WGBH and Harvard University – were granted more than $3.5 million was granted to WGBH and Harvard by Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 2000.
The late Andrew Breitbart’s websites posted the edited version of this video on March 7 and appeared on “Hannity” that evening to discuss it. Breitbart.com Editor in Chief Joel Pollack told Hannity that WGBH refused to respond to inquiries about the video in question. In a video played from Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree’s class, he told the students, “of course we hid this through the 2008 campaign.” If the video was not incendiary, why did he feel the need to hide it from the voters?
A few days ago, conservative author Ann Coulter summed up the left's reaction to the death of Andrew Breitbart with this statement: "Even in death he shows liberals in their true colors". With that, those true colors, the same rage and venom being spewed in Breitbart's direction, continues.
Last week, we saw Rolling Stone publish a piece in which author Matt Taibbi lamented how happy he was for Breitbart to be gone. We saw Slate columnist, Matt Yglesias, proclaim that "the world outlook is slightly improved" with Breitbart dead. And then there was former editor of the New York Press, and Taibbi cohort, Jeff Koyen, mock writers defending Breitbart as "hitching yourself to a corpse".
Continuing in that same vein of sub-standard decency is liberal radio host, John "Sly" Sylvester of WTDY in Madison, Wisconsin. Sylvester recently aired a 20-minute segment on his radio show which was posted as a Podcast entitled, "Andrew Breitbart: Dead (thankfully)".
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media have been less than gracious following the surpising death of conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart.
On Fox News's Hannity Friday, conservative author Ann Coulter said it best. "Even in death he shows liberals in their true colors" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
In a report for Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell referred to Andrew Breitbart as "the shooting star of the conservative blogosphere" and contemptuously remarked: "Breitbart, who called Senator Ted Kennedy a villain and worse when he died, called himself an 'accidental cultural warrior.'"
Former Catholic seminarian and left-wing radio host Bill Press took to his eponymous program today and devoted significant attention to the death of conservative blogger and author Andrew Breitbart. It was not all positive, although he did feature guests who had kind things to say about Breitbart's impact on Internet journalism.
"Raised a Catholic, I was taught the great phrase 'Necal [sic] nisi bonum*' you don’t say anything about the dead unless you’re saying good things about the dead. Well, then I should say nothing about Andrew Breitbart because I can’t think of one good thing to say about him." [MP3 clip here]
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and publisher who died suddenly yesterday was going to really shake up the self-described mainstream media according to a report that he was in talks with CNN to co-host a television show with Anthony Weiner, the disgraced liberal Democratic congressman who famously sent pictures of his underwear-clad genitals to women on the internet.
The idea certainly would not have been out of the realm of possibility for either CNN or Breitbart; the cable network famously invited another disgraced Democratic politician, former New York governor Elliott Spitzer, to co-host a program with moderate conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. Bringing in a real conservative who could hold his own and coherently state conservative beliefs would certainly have been an improvement. The Parker-Spitzer show was a short-lived affair which died soon after it was launched.
New York Times media editor Bruce Headlam was less than gracious after the sudden death of conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, citing in a Times webcast “his willingness to push the limits of what he saw as journalism, what a lot of other people saw as just stunts and demagoguery.”
Media reporter Jeremy Peters wrote the official Times obituary Friday for Breitbart, who died suddenly at age 43 after collapsing while walking outside his home in Los Angeles: “Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Blogger, Dies at 43.” As a news story it was balanced, but compared to the usual Times obituary it was certainly critical, starting in the third paragraph:
There's been a lot of ugly stuff in the blogosphere as well as various social networking websites such as Twitter since Thursday's shocking announcement that conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart died at the age of 43.
I almost hate to draw attention to this incredibly sad example of the intolerant left over at Rolling Stone, but quite frankly, Andrew Breitbart probably would have eaten this up, and tweeted it back out.
Correction appended below page break | Breitbart.com's editor-in-chief went right after CNN for its treatment of the late Andrew Breitbart, when asked about the "controversial" journalist's "tactics" in the Shirley Sherrod incident. The interview took place Thursday afternoon during the 1 p.m. hour of CNN's Newsroom.
Joel Pollock, a friend of Breitbart's, accused CNN of telling a story "completely contrary" to what Breitbart actually did, and challenged the network to "rethink" the way it treated him. "I'm going to do an Andrew Breitbart and ask you if CNN has rethought its tactics on the issue," he contended to CNN host Zoraida Sambolin. [Video below the break.]
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
As someone who was one of the best fighters against the left-wing media hegemony, Andrew Breitbart was also frequently victimized by lazy reporters who didn't bother to report correct information about him. This was a particular problem for Andrew because he was such a target for liberals making up lies which got repeated so often, they've become widely accepted as truth.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the media haven't stopped repeating lies about Breitbart even after his untimely passing. Contrary to much of the reporting about him today, Breitbart did not falsely represent Shirley Sherrod, former U.S. Department of Agriculture director of Rural Development in Georgia in relaying a video of her discrimination against white applicants for a farm subsidy program in 2010.
Today we have a lost a truly brilliant mind and a tireless warrior for the conservative movement. Andrew was one of the few good guys who knew Hollywood inside and out. He coupled that knowledge with the creativity and passion that has become his trademark, offering it for the cause that he so believed in. The entire Breitbart family will be in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.