Mar
02
2012

How Breitbart Got Away With His Lies

Andrew Breitbart (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

Kudos to Paul Farhi of the Washington Post (3/2/12) for talking about the obvious deceptions and inaccuracies in right-wing publisher Andrew Breitbart's work: News organizations found, for example, that the ACORN videos–which purported to show a young Mr. Breitbart ally named James O'Keefe posing as a pimp seeking advice from the organization about how to establish a brothel and evade taxes–actually presented a heavily edited account of what had happened. An investigation by the California attorney general's office concluded that O'Keefe had added footage of himself and an ally dressed in flamboyant costumes that they had not worn to ACORN's […]

Dec
07
2011

Covering OWS, With Expert Commentary by Andrew Breitbart

USA Today's Rick Hampson has a piece today (12/7/11) on Occupy Wall Street's Occupy Our Homes actions, which include efforts to move families into vacant housing. This coverage is a good sign if you think there is still something happening with this movement after the evictions in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. But why does the article include commentary from right-wing scam artist Andrew Breitbart? The paper reports: Conservative online publisher and commentator Andrew Breitbart said the movement's new focus demonstrates that Occupy Wall Street is not "an authentic grassroots movement" but a political maneuver backed by organized labor […]

Aug
26
2011

O'Keefe's Bogus NPR Sting Lives On

Jesse Jackson had some tough criticism for the Tea Party movement at a Martin Luther King event on Thursday. USA Today's Melanie Eversley covered his remarks, getting a Tea Party activist to respond to his criticism. The piece then added this, presumably in order to add some context: The group has faced criticism of being a racist group, a claim made most visibly by former National Public Radio fundraiser Ron Schiller, who was caught on hidden camera calling the group racist and xenophobic, prompting his immediate resignation. In other words, lots of people seem to hurl accusations of racism at […]

Jun
27
2011

Andrew Breitbart Is an Ink Blot

That's not my opinion– that's what I learned reading the New York Times today (6/27/11). Jeremy Peters profiles the right-wing scam artist, telling readers (emphasis added): Some of his reader-generated scoops have reverberated all the way to the halls of the United States Capitol, like the Weiner photos and undercover video he released of ACORN workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution. After the videos went viral Congress ended grants to ACORN, and federal agencies severed ties with the group. That wasn't the lesson of the ACORN videos at all. After a long battle, the […]

Feb
11
2011

More 'Liberal Bias' at CNN

According to this post at Media Bistro (2/10/11), CNN is adding three new contributors. Two are right-wingers: Dana Loesch, a Tea Party radio host and editor of Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism website. Will Cain is a commentator at the National Review website. And the "left"? His name is Cornell Belcher, a pollster and advertising/messaging consultant for various Democrats. Beyond the 2-1 numerical tilt in favor of the right, this is a good example of how corporate media often pick their pundits. The right-wingers are true believers, drawn from the ranks of the conservative media world. TV leftists are generally not […]

Jul
23
2010

Sherrod Hoax Exposed, but Breitbart's ACORN Fraud Lives On

Reporting on Andrew Breitbart's latest bit of deceit–using a selectively edited video to paint a low-level USDA official Shirley Sherrod as a racist–has given the media a chance to resurrect one of their favorite myths: Breitbart's triumphant takedown of the community-organizing group ACORN. In September 2009, Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com posted videos, made by conservative activists Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, supposedly showing ACORN employees counseling the pair–ostensibly pretending to be a prostitute and a pimp–on how to avoid paying taxes and other illegal activities. The videos were later found to be completely misleading. Among other things, it was revealed that […]

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 […]

Jul
21
2010

Sherrod Story Raises Question: How Many Breitbart Frauds Will Media Fall For?

The lesson of Shirley Sherrod's disgraceful treatment by right-wing and not-so-right-wing media (followed by her equally squalid dismissal by an administration that took that media at face value) boils down to a single question: When will journalists see Andrew Breitbart as the serial promoter of journalistic frauds that he is, rather than as a legitimate source for story ideas? FAIR readers will remember Breitbart's dissemination of videos that purported to show ACORN employees advising a "prostitute" and her "pimp" — conservative activists Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe–on how to avoid paying taxes. The videos have since been heavily debunked. As […]

Jun
02
2010

Stephanopoulos Hypes ACORN Hoaxers

ABC's Good Morning America got an "exclusive" with ACORN video hoaxters James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart on June 1. Here's how host George Stephanopoulos set up the segment: James O'Keefe became a media sensation after he and a friend posed as a pimp and prostitute and secretly recoded ACORN workers giving them advice on how to cheat on their taxes. As FAIR noted in an action alert to the New York Times, O'Keefe didn't "pose" as a pimp–he didn't wear his absurd "pimp" get-up when he went in to ACORN offices, and in almost every case he presented himself as […]

Apr
15
2010

Why Is WP Listening to Andrew Breitbart?

Andrew Breitbart is the right-wing Internet provocateur behind the ACORN video hoaxes, which purported to show a pretend pimp-and-prostitute duo getting criminal advice from the community organizing group ACORN. That's not what happened, but Breitbart's inaccurate presentation was taken at face value. Yet some in the media are still treating Breitbart seriously. Washington Post ombud Andrew Alexander wrote a column on April 11 taking his cue from Breitbart's latest effort, which is to attempt to cast doubt on the widely reported racist incidents at Tea Party protests at the Capitol on March 20, the day of the final health reform […]