Last September, CNN unwittingly found themselves enmeshed in a bizarre story after correspondent Abbie Boudreau, while compiling a documentary on the emerging guerilla right-wing press, was saved from being "punked" by Andrew Breitbart protégé James O'Keefe, who allegedly had hatched a scheme to "hit on" Boudreau after luring her onto his boat. That remarkably strange incident happened not long after Breitbart released the now-infamous edited videotapes of Shirley Sherrod, which earned him widespread condemnation from all corners of the media, including CNN.
In November, after ABC invited -- and then disinvited -- Breitbart to take part in their election night coverage, Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, described Breitbart as "the conservative activist who pushed the ACORN undercover sting and posted that misleading videotape, the one that made Shirley Sherrod look like a racist," adding: "I'm not sure if Breitbart was the best choice."
CNN should by this point know better than to get involved with anything even remotely connected to Breitbart.
But it seems they haven't quite learned their lesson:
CNN is gearing up for the election season with the addition of political contributors from across the ideological spectrum. Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher, conservative commentator Will Cain, and local Tea Party leader and radio talk show host Dana Loesch will appear across the network's prime time programs, as well as other dayparts and platforms.
Loesch is the editor-in-chief of Breitbart's BigJournalism.com.
Check out this painfully poorly worded passage from Dana Loesch, who edits Andrew Breitbart's site, Big Journalism. The context is her breathless report about a progressive conference call that took place in response to the right wing's latest undercover sting campaign targeting Planned Parenthood:
The majority of the call was spent discussing ways to discredit Rose because of her funding. They surmise that some group which donates to her pro-life magazine is a group donated to by a group given money by the Koch Brothers. So says people who just cashed a $1 million-dollar check from George Soros.
For the sake of argument, assuming that the Koch Brothers (I had to Google them to see exactly what it is they do and how their name isn't pronounced like the sobriquet for phallus but rather, the soda) were as ubiquitous in activism as George Soros is publicly, the greatest irony has befallen our senior fellows who hate big business and personal wealth so much: they are willing pawns in a battle between frillionaires.
So according to Loesch, she had to Google "the Koch Brothers" within the last 24 hours to see "what it is they do." That is a rather astounding admission from someone who's an editor of a political website.
Behold "conservative journalism."
In the wake of the tragic shootings in Arizona, several right-wing media figures have attacked Pima County Sheriff Dupnik for calling for an end to vitriolic rhetoric while discussing the shooting. However, the right-wing media repeatedly praised a different Arizona sheriff, Paul Babeu, who regularly engages in vitriolic attacks against President Obama and Democrats.
We already noted that Andrew Breitbart blogger Dana Loesch posted the confused claim that the New York Times, among others, "underreported" the Tea Party story last year, when in fact the Times managed to publish more than 1,000 articles and columns mentioning the Tea Party in 2010.
Well, look what else appeared on Loesch's soggy list of stories the biased mainstream media have ignored:
Obama's sagging popularity
Gosh darn it, why won't the press cover "Obama's sagging popularity"?!
Possible answer: Because when a president's approval rating remains essentially constant over a 12-month span, there's not much of a news story to cover. But that's just me thinking out loud.
Sadly for Loesch, her latest post appears on the same day that Obama climbs to a 50 percent approval rating at Gallup. But Loesch wants to know why the press won't cover Obama's sagging popularity.
Whining about the stories that the evil, partisan mainstream media supposedly didn't cover last year, Andrew Breitbart blogger Dana Loesch actually put this one on her list of the woefully "underreported" in 2010:
The ever-growing power and influence of the tea party
According to Loesch, you didn't see the New York Times or NBC cover the Tea Party last year.
Except that, of course, you did.
Both the New York Times and NBC, along with virtually every other mainstream news outlet, relentlessly covered the Tea Party to the point of utter exhaustion. Just how often? According to Nexis, the Times published more than 1,000 articles and columns that mentioned "Tea Party," while NBC managed to air roughly 400 Tea Party reports last year.
But aside from that, Dana Loesch is definitely correct that the Times and NBC ignored the Tea Party story in 2010.
For the second year in a row, right-wing media have complained that Time magazine did not choose the Tea Party as Person of the Year, despite the fact that the Tea Party was chosen as one of four "Runners-Up."
As Media Matters noted earlier today, after she reportedly tried to give Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul a fake award last night, MoveOn activist Lauren Valle was wrestled to the ground by Paul supporters and repeatedly stomped on by one of them, later identified as Rand Paul campaign volunteer Tim Profitt. The incident quickly started a blame war in the conservative blogosphere.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit called Valle an "unhinged leftist" and blamed her for having "stalk[ed]" Paul, later acknowledging that it was "over the line to put a shoe on her head and shoulder." Both Hoft and Sweetness and Light offered flimsy opposition research on Valle, pointing out her appearance at protests and her Gulf oil spill activism on behalf of Greenpeace.
Today on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh also shifted the blame onto Valle and MoveOn, asking "What if somebody from MoveOn had tried to move through the crowd and give something to President Obama? What would the Secret Service have done?" Limbaugh called Valle a "professional agitator," and claimed that reports of the assault were exaggerations, saying: "Her head was not stepped on, her shoulders were." Limbaugh also made sure to note Valle's activism with regards to Citibank, Tibet, and the Gulf oil spill.
Big Journalism.com editor Dana Loesch has also chimed in, tweeting: "So let me get this right. Another paid Soros activist tries to incite violence at debate, was restrained. MoveOn owes apology."
The right-wing media bluster comes despite a consensus among those involved that the assailants acted in the wrong. Profitt has apologized; the Paul campaign removed him from his volunteer position as Bourbon County campaign coordinator; Paul himself today appeared on Fox News, saying, "I don't want anybody to be involved in things that aren't civil."
New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino recently said he didn't want children "brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option" as "getting married and raising a family." Right-wing pundits have since defended his remarks, calling his comments "dead on the money," "defensible," and "[not] bad at all."
According to Andrew Breitbart's website Big Journalism, Dana Loesch is now the site's editor. And yes, it's a perfect fit because Big Journalism exists as an open forum for right-wing misinformation about the press (as opposed to a site that produces actual journalism), and Loesch has made a name for herself within the RW blogosphere by making stuff up. (She does the same on the AM dial.)
Like, constantly making stuff up and never bothering to hold herself accountable for the endless lies and smears she produces online. And just basically making a mockery out of the idea of journalism.
So congratulations Andrew Breitbart! You found the perfect person to run your site.
(h/t St. Louis Activist Hub)
On Larry King Live, The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition organizer Dana Loesch and conservative strategist Michael Reagan attempted to paint recently embattled Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams as an obscure, unimportant tea party member. But as NY Daily News points out, Williams' Tea Party Express--of which Williams served as the organization's public face--"is one of the most influential in the conservative movement," and has raised "$2.3 million this year."