Newsweek's Daniel Stone just posted a very interesting interview with Andrew Breitbart. While the entire thing is well-worth reading, this question and response is particularly notable:
Stone: But do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?
Well, yes. But I put up what I had. It granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it. If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me.
It's interesting that Breitbart not only doesn't object to Stone's characterization of the video as "edited," but also agrees that it "took things out of context." Breitbart's "Big Journalism" website has been using its ridiculous "correction Alpaca" to demand corrections from outlets - including Media Matters - that correctly referred to the video as "edited."
I guess Retracto needs to turn on his owner now.
Second, "I put up what I had" is an absurd defense. Telling people that you were sent a tape, but didn't bother to fact check it before using it to smear someone as a "racist" does not absolve you of wrongdoing. If Media Matters ran a completely misleading story, but our defense was that someone sent us an inaccurate tip, we would be (justly) pilloried.
While Breitbart does finally acknowledge that he "should have waited" for the full video, he yet again tries to rewrite history in order to paint his own behavior in a positive light by absurdly saying that he "granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it." As we pointed out in response to Fox News' James Rosen making this same argument:
Rosen's evidence is Sherrod's vague-at-best statement at the end of the Breitbart clip, "That's when it was revealed to me that y'all, it's about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white -- it is about white and black, but it's not -- you know, it opened my eyes."
What did the Breitbart clip cut out? Well, there's the lead-in to the story, where Sherrod says that she had originally made a commitment to "black people only," but that "God will show you things and he'll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about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." There's Sherrod's extensive discussion of everything she did to help the farmer. There's her statement that "working with him made me see that it's really about those who have versus those who don't... and 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." And so on, and so on, and so on.
And, of course, there's the fact that Breitbart's blog post introducing the clip called it "video evidence of racism" on Sherrod's part. Apparently, he missed the memo that the clip actually showed "she was inveighing against reverse racism, not glorifying it."
Just remember through all of this that Andrew Breitbart runs a website called "Big Journalism" that purports to lecture the media about journalistic standards.