Pigford Shows Citizen Journalism is the New 'Shoe Leather' Reporting
After highlighting the Pigford scandal on their front page last week, the New York Times not only vindicated our friend and mentor Andrew Breitbart by bringing the story just some of the major attention it deserves, but also proved Andrew’s business model of “citizen journalism” is a force to be reckoned with, and that it is filling the void of the old-fashioned “shoe-leather” reporting that many journalists abandoned a long time ago.
From the first time I ever heard of Pigford, at Andrew’s 2011 CPAC press conference, to a road trip I took with him from Chicago to St. Louis, when he spent half the time on the phone with Lee Stranahan discussing Pigford, Andrew said, “This is big, and it just keeps getting bigger.”
Andrew’s discovery that the case was laden with fraud, discrimination and racism led him to dig deeper--even as he was targeted by the institutional left for asking the questions the “mainstream media” would not.
Andrew, pounding the pavement, out in the streets, looking for answers, even hiring a liberal journalist, Lee Stranahan, to help lead the investigation, continued to bare the proof that black farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA have still not received justice, while others have pillaged the U.S. Treasury in their names for what amounts to reparations cloaked in a discrimination settlement that they do not deserve.
The Times coverage of Pigford is not the first time Andrew has been vindicated, but it might be the most important. Andrew lived and breathed Pigford. He said he would investigate Pigford and fight to help black farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA get their justice until his last dying breath. And he did.
In many ways, Andrew was like a farmer, because Andrew planted seeds. He planted seeds with stories like Pigford, that are sprouting even after his untimely passing. And Andrew also planted seeds in all of us who continue to gumshoe through the weeds of the left, in the shadow of his legacy for truth.