Jul
22
2010

In USA Today, Breitbart's Old Lies Live On

Sometimes it almost seems like one of the requirements for a high-placed job in corporate media is an inability to learn from experience. Take the front page of USA Today (7/22/10)–the "cover story" is about Shirley Sherrod (FAIR Blog, 7/21/10), whose ordeal is blamed in part on "conservative blogger" Andrew Breitbart taking advantage of "a media culture in which half-truths can spread like a virus online, to be instantly and endlessly chewed over on cable TV."

And right next to this piece, the paper's lead story is about voters being registered at welfare offices. It concludes with a right-wing spin insinuating that registering poor people to vote is a form of electoral fraud:

Jason Torchinsky, a former Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration, says liberal groups want welfare offices to replace the work of ACORN, a coalition of anti-poverty groups that disbanded this year after allegations of voter fraud.

"With the demise of ACORN, the left needs somebody to pick up that function," he says.

Except, of course, ACORN didn't disband after allegations of voter fraud; it disbanded after that same Andrew Breitbart who smeared Shirley Sherrod put out an equally fraudulent video that falsely portrayed the group as giving professional counseling to a guy dressed like Superfly–you know, one of those half-truths that spread like a virus online and wad instantly and endlessly chewed over on cable TV…and has clearly not yet been spit out by USA Today.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.