CNN Attacks Breitbart Hours After Death
What an honor it was to work for a man like Andrew Breitbart, a man so uncommonly decent that those who would seek to defame him in the hours directly after his death would only have complete and utter falsehoods to work with.
I'm looking at you, CNN.
Thursday, in private, we reached out to CNN with the request that they correct the record. Since they have made the choice to let their falsehoods stand, we are now publicly requesting CNN make a full retraction.
Just hours after his death, during two different segments, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Howard Kurtz epitomized everything Andrew Breitbart dedicated his life to fighting: the intentional furthering of completely false narratives; the attacking of people unable to defend themselves; and the repeating of that which isn't true until it "becomes" true.
This first clip with Malveaux aired Thursday morning at right around 11:25 ET. Please watch and listen closely:
First Malveaux says this [bold my emphasis]:
Breitbart was the first to post the infamous Twitter photo of Congressman Anthony Weiner last year, in which the Congressman sent pictures of himself apparently in his underwear.
This is a small thing, but I think it's a revealing look into the mindset of CNN and the media in general. Anthony Weiner rates an "apparently." Even though there is photographic evidence of Weiner in his underwear, Malveaux throws a candy-coated "apparently" his way.
When it comes to Breitbart, though, there will be no such journalistic niceties. Just this complete and utter falsehood:
It was Breitbart who first posted portions of a speech [Shirley Sherrod] gave before the NAACP. Now, the online video was edited to make it appear as though Sherrod was making racist statements. She was quickly fired, but when the entire speech was made public it became clear she was telling a story of racial reconciliation.
1. The online video was not edited to make Sherrod look racist. The video Breitbart posted can be viewed here. Sherrod's realization that she was wrong not to help the white farmer -- that she realized that this is not about race, but about "poor versus those who have" -- is part of the clip.
2. In the accompanying write up, Breitbart wrote the following about Sherrod: "Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help."
So Malveaux is simply and provably not telling the truth.
But CNN wasn't done. A little over an hour later, Howard Kurtz doubled down:
Kurtz at right around the 1:25 mark:
Had [Breitbart] not had a tendency to go too far on occasion, I think he would be remembered more as a successful warrior on behalf of causes on the right. But in the example of Shirley Sherrod, who, as your viewers may recall, he had posted an incomplete edited video that made her appear to be saying racist things when her message exactly was the opposite. Not only did he do that, but he never really apologized for it. And that's the reason I think he actually leaves behind a mixed legacy.
Shorter Howard Kurtz: Since I am basing my "mixed legacy" argument on a complete falsehood, Breitbart's legacy is not at all mixed.
Here are the facts:
Breitbart did not publish anything deceptive about Shirley Sherrod. Breitbart never had the full video and what he did publish included the fact that she helped the white farmer. Breitbart acknowledged that in the accompanying blog.
The full video reveals that Sherrod had a variety of controversial views on race, some of which could be considered offensive. Almost no one who writes or comments on this issue has watched the full video, seen the short clips, or read Andrew's blog. Those that have--even Chris Matthews of MSNBC--have sided with Andrew.
The lawsuit is motivated by a desire to shut Breitbart's site down, as Sherrod herself told CNN. Sherrod accused Andrew--without any evidence--of being a racist. She said he wanted to take blacks back to slavery. She had the grace to extend her condolences Thursday, but the mainstream media insists on using the issue to tarnish the legacy of the man who had their number every time.
If anyone is currently building a "mixed legacy," it is CNN, Malveaux, and Kurtz -- whose behavior not only reflects on them but the righteousness of the cause that defined the founder of this site, Big Journalism.