Breitbart embarrasses himself; AP rewards him with a puff piece profile

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Perhaps this media cycle is never going to be broken. Y'know, the one where Andrew Breitbart makes stuff up, pushes phony, mean-spirited, race-baiting attacks, is revealed to be a charlatan, and then mainstream reporters rush in to write puffy profiles about what a buzz-worthy character he is, while mostly playing dumb to the blatant dishonesty he peddles.

After Breitbart successfully sold the ACORN hoax last year, lots of glossy magazine scribes responded with thousands and thousands of words, writing mostly soft profiles that played up the character angle and obediently turned a disinterested eye to the fact that Breitbart's job as a "conservative journalist," as best I could tell, was to make stuff up. In almost each case the reporters called me up for quotes and in each case I told journalist the same thing: Breitbart is pathological and you cannot believe anything he says.

Then the Shirley Sherrod fiasco unfolded, in which Breitbart simply proved my point on a grand, national scale. But guess what? He's being rewarded with another round of puff pieces about what a compelling character he is. (Surprise!)

This time the AP does the I-hung-out-with-Breitbart honors and pretty much rehashes what every other Breitbart writer has already explained about the man's past. Amazingly, in 2,100-word profile coming in the wake of Breitbart's Sherrod debacle, the AP only set aside 13 of those words to quote a Breitbart critic.

Any way, this AP passage in particular is just awful [emphasis added]:

Last year, one of Breitbart's websites debuted the hidden-camera sting videos made by James O'Keefe III and Hannah Giles that brought down the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. Giles posed as a prostitute, and the videos show ACORN staffers offering advice on taxes and other issues. Critics said the heavily edited tapes shaped a deceptive narrative, a charge Breitbart denies.

Oh, well that's interesting. "Critics" claim the ACORN tapes were deceptively edited, but Breitbart denies the charge.

But of course, that's dead wrong.

"Critics," such as Media Matters and blogger Brad Friedman, didn't say the tapes were heavily edited to create a deceptive narrative. We proved it. And we had some help from law enforcement on the East and West Coast who confirmed our claims that the ACORN tapes, without question, were heavily edited. But in the sympathetic eyes of the AP, the charge is quite fungible and Breitbart is allowed to simply deny it.

Keep in mind that the ACORN tapes, prior to Breitbart's Sherrod face-plant episode, represented the crowning achievement of his career. Yet the fact that his one-hit wonder turned out to be a Milli Vanilli fake is of no interest of the AP, which lets Breitbart simply swat the embarrassment away by saying he "denies" the charge.

Good Lord, imagine what Breitbart's press clippings would look like if his Sherrod gotcha had been a success?

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