U.S. Politics

Breitbart News Has Always Been A Disaster

Shapiro Breitbart Pollak


Breitbart News is currently imploding. The site’s decision to prioritize its support for Donald Trump over its responsibilities to its own reporters has triggered what seems to be a staff uprising and potential exodus, with four writers out the door and others reportedly circulating their resumes. Breitbart management is now embroiled in a vicious back-and-forth with no end in sight.

The purged are invoking the journalistic “legacy” of the site’s creator, the late conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, as a key reason to flee. “Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed,” wrote editor-at-large Ben Shapiro in his statement of resignation. “Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy.”

Under Andrew Breitbart’s leadership, this story goes, the website did great things, but those who inherited his empire have ruined it.

As a member of Media Matters‘ research staff, I have been reading the various elements of Breitbart’s network since his “news” site Big Government went live in 2009. I have watched the launch of various sub-sites under the “Big” umbrella under Andrew Breitbart’s stewardship and the relaunch as the Breitbart News Network shortly after his death in 2012. I can say with some authority that the notion of a “golden age” of Breitbart journalism is fiction.

By all accounts, Breitbart was a loving father, husband, and friend, and a cherished mentor to a generation of young journalists. That said, his news site was always a hotbed of ridiculous smears and lies pushed by writers with little interest in the truth.

Following the conservative writer’s death, The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf wrote of Breitbart’s work:

It would have been great if the Big sites aimed for higher quality journalism. Said libertarian press critic Jack Shafer in his obituary of Breitbart, “I liked the idea of Andrew Breitbart better than I liked any of his work at Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, Big Peace, Breitbart or Breitbart.tv.” And no wonder. What are the best 10 pieces published in the history of those sites? You’ll find more quality work in a single issue of City Journal than the sum total of everything Breitbart wrote or commissioned and published in his whole career.

Breitbart’s media empire began with his news aggregation site Breitbart.com and his video aggregation site Breitbart.tv. Big Hollywood, his group blog focused on culture, launched in January 2009. But it was Big Government, his political news site, that first made him a national political figure when it debuted in September 2009.

The Big Government site launched with a major exclusive: conservative activist and videographer James O’Keefe’s “nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation,” a series of videos documenting supposedly illegal behavior by staffers for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a community-based organization that advocated and provided services for the poor. The story drewfirestorm coverage from the media as new videos trickled out one by one on Breitbart’s website, triggering congressional action to ban federal funding for the organization and eventually leading to its collapse.

It was also based on a lie.

Continue reading here>>>

Affordable Care Act



Y’see, they’re all felons out to scam you in support of the socialist agenda, that is if they’re not secret members of ACORN — or something like that! In fact, if you look back at a few things the GOP did last week, a pattern energes:

Beware anybody trying to help people sign up for health insurance under Obamacare.

That’s the line from top Senate Republicans, who have magnified their smear campaign against the law’s so-called navigators, groups that have received federal money to assist people in enrolling for coverage. Their latest shot: darkly warning that Americans could put their personal and financial safety at risk if they seek out assistance…

It all seems to have stemmed from a line of questioning that Cornyn posed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Nov. 6, at a hearing that was supposed to focus on HealthCare.gov.

“Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background, even though they will receive personal — sensitive personal information from the individuals they helped sign up for the Affordable Care Act?” Cornyn inquired.

“That is true. States could add an additional background check and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement,” Sebelius replied.

“So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual, unbeknownst to them,” Cornyn said.

“That is possible,” Sebelius said. “We have contracts with the organizations, and they have taken the responsibility to screen their individual navigators and make sure that they are sufficiently trained for the job.”

But Republicans only heard the first part. …

The next day on the Senate floor, McConnell seized on Sebelius’s comments: “These revelations are really concerning.”

“Americans who’ve lost their insurance and find themselves forced onto the exchanges — the last thing they need is to worry about some felon stealing their identity,” he said.

Then last week, Cornyn called on the Obama administration to shutter the navigator program altogether, citing Sebelius’s testimony and a video by the conservative activist group known as Project Veritas, which is overseen by James O’Keefe, which purportedly shows a navigator encouraging one of their clients to lie on their insurance application.

O’Keefe, you might remember, was responsible for the deceptively edited video that led to the resignation of an Agriculture Department employee (and litigation against Andrew Breitbart, who published it) and other notorious gotcha videos.

I wonder if Issa will call O’Keefe to testify in that pimp outfit he rocks so foercely (sic).

Ginni Thomas · Justice Clarence Thomas

Is Ginni Thomas’ Expanding Activism a Problem for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?

Rex Curry/ZumaPress Chris Zumma/ZumaPress

This issue was raised by then Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY).  Shortly after tweeting about the Thomas’ questionable political ties, his first round of infamous tweets became public.    Weiner tried to tell anyone that would listen that Thomas should not be on the bench.  Weiner and the late Andrew Breitbart got into a very public Twitter feud over the entire issue.

Just saying…

Mother Jones

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is no ordinary Supreme Court spouse. Unlike Maureen Scalia, mother of nine, or the late Martin Ginsburg, mild-mannered tax law professor who was good in the kitchen, Thomas came from the world of bare-knuckled partisan politics. Over the years, she has enmeshed herself ever more deeply in the world of political advocacy—all the while creating a heap of conflict of interest concerns surrounding her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Her role in Groundswell, the coalition of conservatives waging a “30 front war” against progressives and the GOP establishment that was revealed by Mother Joneson Thursday, revives questions about the propriety of Thomas’ activism on issues that have or could become the subject of Supreme Court cases.

Conflict of interest issues were first aired during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991, when critics argued that Ginni Thomas’ political work might compromise her husband’s objectivity. At that time, her political resume included stints as a Capitol Hill aide to a Republican congressman; a staffer at the US Chamber of Commerce, where she fought the Family and Medical Leave Act; and as a political appointee at the Labor Department during the first Bush administration. Thomas didn’t leave politics after her husband was confirmed. “I did not give up my First Amendment rights when my husband became a justice of the Supreme Court,” she has said in the past. She would later return to the Hill as a staffer to House majority leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) and work for the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. But in those jobs, Thomas kept a relatively low profile.

That changed around the same time that the tea party exploded in American politics, and Thomas became an outspoken member of the movement. In late 2009, Thomas founded the political advocacy group Liberty Central, which would later become a fierce player in the opposition to health care form. Detractors pointed out that Liberty Central was a potential vehicle for people with interests before the Supreme Court to make anonymous donations that might influence her husband.

The group was formed with a $500,000 anonymous donation that came as the Supreme Court was considering Citizens United, a case that ultimately resulted in loosening the restrictions on corporate giving to political campaigns. The anonymous donor was later revealed to be Harlan Crow, the Texas real estate developer. Crow was also a friend of Clarence Thomas’, and he was later linked to a scandal involving the justice’s failure to publicly disclose gifts from the developer and trips aboard his private jet. (It didn’t help that Justice Thomas had also failed to include his wife’s $150,000 annual salary from Liberty Central on his financial disclosure forms, which he later had to amend.) In January 2011, the good-government group Common Cause asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Justice Thomas should have recused himself from Citizens United based on his wife’s role at Liberty Central. (Common Cause also asked the IRS to revoke Liberty Central’s nonprofit status. Nothing came of either request.)

Continue here…

U.S. Politics

Thom Hartmann: Andrew Breitbart – The Bell Tolls for Thee…

I thought this was poignant enough to share with my friends here at TFC.  It’s a couple of days old but the sentiment is timeless…

Andrew Breitbart – the guy you were just watching – died last night at the age of 43. Andrew lived in a paranoid, libertarian, I-got-mine-and-screw-you world. Andrew was the perfect right-wing front man. I know – he was on my show many times over the years – and never failed to push that cruel, Libertarian line that anybody who couldn’t claw their way to the top didn’t deserve any help from the rest of us in any way. It’s really quite sad that Andrew never realized that we’re all in this together – that every individual clod of humanity is part of the continent of humanity.

As John Donne wrote in 1624 in his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions…

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill that he doesn’t know that it tolls for him 
No man is an island, Andrew, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main 
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Andrew, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a house of your friend’s, Andrew, or of your own were 
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind 
Therefore, Andrew, don’t ask for whom the bell tolls 
It tolls for thee. 

God bless and good journeys…

The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV & FSTV “live” 9pm and 11pm check http://www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings

U.S. Politics

Friday Blog Round Up

Sheriff Claims Obama Birth Certificate Forged

Did Obama say everyone should go to college?

Romney’s and Obama’s tax plans, in one chart

Olympia Snowe: Why I’m Leaving The Senate

Gas prices are no silver bullet for GOP

Fox Attacks On Obama Ignore Bush Apology For Quran Desecration

The Funniest Rick Santorum Photo You’ll See Today

Andrew Breitbart Dead At 43

Newt’s Undead Campaign Is Helping Romney?

Romney Pants On Fire

Limbaugh: Make Sex Videos, You Slut

Herman Cain Watches Girl Torture Goldfish From Mountaintop

Women's Health · Women's Rights

CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Defends Virginia ‘State-Sponsored Rape’ Bill As No Different Than Consensual Sex

Dana Loesch received an Accuracy In Media award from CPAC last week.  I’m not sure why, except that to CPAC folks, lying about an issue is called accuracy in their world.

Think Progress

This week, a Virginia state House committee overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound before they can have an abortion. Because the majority of abortions happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, many women would have to undergo an invasive procedure “in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced,” as Dahlia Lithwick explained last week.

CNN contributor and Andrew Breitbart blogger Dana Loesch, however, sees no problem with a law that effectively legalizes state-sponsored rape, saying the procedure is no different than penetration that occurred during consensual intercourse that “resulted in the pregnancy,” as Little Green Footballs reported:

LOESCH: That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth. […] There were individuals saying, “Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?” What? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.


Unfortunately, such a radical view isn’t unique to conservative talking heads like Loesch. According to Lithwick, an unnamed Republican delegate made the same argument in support of the bill, saying women consented to being “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”

Right Wing Extremism

Alec Baldwin calls Breitbart a ‘festering boil on the anus of public discourse’

I have never been a real big fan of Alec Baldwin.  However, that has all changed since reading this headline on the Raw Story. I have tweeted Andrew Breitbart a few times telling him what I thought of him, but never could I have composed such a “poetic” description of creepy Breitbart.

The Raw Story

Apparently Keith Olbermann isn’t the only person who thinks Andrew Breitbart’s recent attempt to smear the “Occupy” movement as serial rapists is a bit beyond the pale.Mediaite is reporting that actor Alec Baldwin took to Twitter today to excoriate the Big Government blogger and media provocateur, calling him a “festering boil on the anus of public discourse.”

The dust-up began when a Twitter user asked Baldwin’s opinion as to whether Breitbart was using the so-called “rape rant” as a smoke screen to distract public attention away from the Shirley Sherrod scandal. (Sherrod was a USDA employee whose career and reputation were impugned in a heavily doctored video that was first aired on Breitbart’s website.)

Baldwin replied to the query with the very descriptive phrase mentioned above, which prompted a great deal of back and forth between the 30 Rock star and Breitbart, as well as many of Breitbart’s and Baldwin’s fans. The actor threw in the towel around 2:00 pm, Tweeting, “OK, enough festering boils for this weekend.”

Interested readers can view screen grabs of the Twitter feeds and a detailed timeline at Mediaite.

U.S. Politics

Keith slams Breitbart and anti-Occupy ‘propagandists’ for ‘exploiting rape victims’

If one takes the time to observe Andrew Breitbart, one might find that inside that angry facade is a very mean person who hates liberals with a  passion.   So much so in fact, that he might at times, manipulate videos to his own advantage or outright lie about the people that he hates,  just to make them look like the “slime” he perceives them to be.

Keith Olbermann gives a stunning example of this…

The Raw Story

Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night blasted conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart for claiming that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement condoned rape.

“The subject of rape itself is no laughing matter,” he said. “The allegation that a political or cultural group condones or encourages rape and sexual assault, against anyone, is virtually as serious a charge as can be leveled. Yet nearly just as bad, is to fabricate, twist, and alter facts, to make it seem like such a charge against such a group has credence.”

Breitbart recently shouted that members of the 99 Percent movement should “stop raping people,” a reference to reports of crime and sexual assaults at some “Occupy” camps.

The various demonstrations across the country took place in public parks and most of them offered free food and shelter. This attracted a number of people who were not strictly a part of the movement, including criminals and other troublemakers.

After DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas appeared on Olbermann’s show on Tuesday and accused Breitbart of “mak[ing] stuff up,” Lee Stranahan of Big Journalism demanded an on-air retraction and apology. He cited a list of 17 news stories of rape and other sexual crimes at “Occupy” protests.

But Olbermann said that list include some stories twice and could not be attributed to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. In four of the stories, he noted, neither the victim nor the assailant were even associated with the protest. In seven other stories, the protesters were the victims, not the assailants.

“That is the evidence that Andrew Breitbart has submitted to rationalize his irrational attempt to smear the Occupy movement and Occupy members, as rapists, and to brand anybody who points out his dishonesty, his twisting of the facts, and who bothers to actually read the stories that disprove his own contention, as a rape denier or rape apologist,” Olbermann said.

“What Mr. Breitbart and his fellow propagandists have done, in fact, is to take at least eight women, eight members of Occupy, who were raped or otherwise assaulted, and blamed them.”

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, at link here

Related articles

U.S. Politics

Andrew Breitbart ‘Flips Out’ at Occupy Protesters (VIDEO)

Veracity Stew

Right-wing activist and blogger Andrew Breitbart must be under a lot of stress lately from legal battles and having so much of his hard work discredited.

He may have finally cracked under that pressure on Friday evening outside the CPAC gathering in Washington, D.C. According to eyewitnesses, Breitbart  flipped-out  and unleashed a tirade at the protesters, calling them “freaks.”

The whole thing was caught on video and posted online by Emily Crockett of Campus Progress.

[we really hope someone takes the time to auto-tune the hell out of this]

Wing-Nut Rhetoric · Wing-Nuttery

The Insanity of Andrew Breitbart

I mentioned this a couple of days ago, but I like Mario Piperni’s spin on bat-crap crazy, Breitbart’s manifesto…

Mario Piperni

“You take the blue pill – the story ends,
you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland
and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
~Morpheus [The Matrix]

Andrew Breibart addressed a Tea Party group last week and had this to say.

“I’m under attack all the time. The call me gay. There are death threats… There are times when I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot. Bring it on.’ Because I know who’s on our side.”

“They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns… I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with. ”

A fine example of the dangerous and irresponsible dribble, and nonsense which Obama and Dems have been dealing with for the last three years.  These people are clearly unhinged.

The most frightening part of the right’s complete immersion into their delusional world of crazy, is knowing that there is no rational way to address insanity of this magnitude.  The right has chosen the blue pill.

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