Breitbart writer Brandon Darby made an appearance on HuffPost Live on Thursday where he was confronted by David McKay, one of the two men that Darby helped convict for their role in planning attacks on the 2008 Republican National Convention. The segment provided a sharp contrast between the viewpoints of the two individuals on the topics of violence, honesty, and personal responsibility.
The interview was part of promotion for the new film Informant, a documentary focused on Darby’s transformation from radical community organizer to conservative leader. Informant is now open in limited release nationwide.
The HuffPost Live segment is significant because it’s the first time a nonconservative news source has given Darby an unedited forum to discuss the case. Unsurprisingly, Darby came off as the adult in the room, appearing calm, cool, and collected, while McKay, who was sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the plot, was defensive, scattered, made several bizarre psychological accusations.
Darby is a former leftist who became an FBI informant after seeing the violent tendencies of his comrades. He received death threats when his role in busting McKay and Bradley Crowder became known. The late Andrew Breitbart took Darby under his wing and helped him complete an incredible political and personal transformation.
Darby and McKay together on HuffPost Live was only the second time that the two have spoken since McKay’s incarceration. The first was on Wednesday night at the Lincoln Center after a screening of Informant. During that event, the angry New York liberal crowd and McKay brought out their new, latest tactic against Darby – labeling him a sociopath.
During the interview, David McKay did not take responsibility for his actions or renounce violence when Darby gave him the opportunity. Instead, he pointed the finger at the people who stopped him from killing or maiming people. It’s not just Brandon Darby who was insulted; McKay also blamed the FBI for refusing to offer him a plea deal early in the case. He did not mention the fact that he was lying to authorities during that period of the case, and the FBI knew it and therefore did not offer him a plea deal based on his deception.
In case anyone is as unclear about what David McKay actually did, as he himself seemed to be during the interview, let’s look at the testimony of David McKay, a.k.a. The Defendant, at his plea hearing.
McKay and Crowder were part of a secret cell, something that leftist activist groups described as a “affinity group.” You may remember the term from Occupy Wall Street, where affinity groups were part of the organizational structure.
You’ll see a reference in this transcript to “shields”; those refer to riot shields McKay and Crowder had made and brought with them to Minneapolis. Here’s what McKay said under oath:
THE DEFENDANT: Well, it was decided at the first meeting that we had that we trusted each other enough to create an affinity group. From what I was explained and what I understand is an affinity group, it’s basically a way to keep — to stay safe, to keep other people from –
THE COURT: Stay safe from what?
THE DEFENDANT: I guess from getting caught doing something bad or a group –
THE COURT: So you had a predisposition to do something bad and you were trying to set up a barrier so that information would not get out; is that what I’m hearing from you?
THE DEFENDANT: From — I mean, from the point where we created it, which was seven months before we came to the RNC, from what I understood, it was an inner circle. It was people you could trust with tactics, like the shields. Our affinity group was doing that.
THE COURT: But why would you want to protect that from –
THE DEFENDANT: So that the cops didn’t find out about the shields somehow through informants.
THE COURT: And why would you not want that to happen?
THE DEFENDANT: Because they were illegal, I think, at the time that we had them or they were — they could be considered a threat to the activities that the cops were enforcing or they could be considered a danger to the RNC.
Later in the hearing, it’s made clear that McKay’s intentions were violent.
THE DEFENDANT: I think, yeah, the main objective was for us as a group to meet — not to infiltrate necessarily, but to meet with other people to create a non — a very disgruntled protest.
THE COURT: Well, what’s disgruntled? Violent?
THE DEFENDANT: Not peaceful, yeah.
THE COURT: No, not –
THE DEFENDANT: Violent.
Apparently, Brandon Darby is supposed to feel morose or guilty for stopping David McKay and Bradley Crowder. That’s why the left is calling Darby a sociopath, by the way. They are saying that there is something wrong mentally with Darby for stopping violence. Such tactics would be pathetic if they weren’t so predictable.
During the segment, Darby properly pointed out that the only reason that McKay is given any credence at all is because of the stated political beliefs. The fact that liberals don’t repudiate McKay and Crowder and their tactics is one of the most troubling things about the entire episode. In fact, both McKay and Crowder are treated as heroes by the left, including many mainstream liberals.
A simple thought experiment explains the hypocrisy: if David McKay had made bombs in order to blow up a Muslim mosque and Brandon Darby had been the person to stop him, leftists would’ve thrown parades in his honor. And of course, had David McKay been planning to use his Molotov cocktails against this theoretical Muslim mosque, Darby would’ve turned him in just as quickly.
But because McKay’s targets were Republicans, his prey are fair game to the left; the fact that they chose to assemble materials and then construct bombs to use at the RNC is justified. After all, it’s just Republicans.
McKay intuitively understands that the key to being a hero on the left is victimhood. Judging from his post-prison appearances, he is all too willing to play that role.