Top brass at the Los Angeles Police Department is refusing to explain who authorized a series of false smears against Breitbart News over the weekend, declining and ignoring requests to speak on the record with police management who publicly maligned Breitbart in a series of tweets.
The LAPD published the false statements starting early Saturday, bowing to pressure from left-wing Daily Beast editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman, who sent a tweet earlier that day demanding to know why an LAPD recruitment banner ad was appearing on Breitbart.
“Uhhhh why is the LAPD running recruitment ads on Breitbart?!” Shachtman tweeted.
Uhhhh why is the LAPD running recruitment ads on Breitbart?! pic.twitter.com/9gr1hnmy4o
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) September 28, 2019
Shachtman has a history of making derogatory and inflammatory statements about conservatives, once comparing American conservatives to ISIS.
Without giving Breitbart a chance to respond, police leaders including Chief Michel Moore (pictured) immediately acquiesced to Shachtman by making false statements about Breitbart, saying via Twitter that the department “celebrates diversity” and that the ad’s appearance on Breitbart “creates a negative juxtaposition to our core values.”
In addition to being pro-police and pro-law enforcement, Breitbart maintains a newsroom staff that is more diverse than many mainstream media outlets. Women and minorities serve in key editorial roles at Breitbart.
Despite these facts, which have been confirmed by the New York Times Magazine, the LAPD said it is launching an investigation into how the ad appeared on Breitbart so that it will never happen again.
“We take matters like this very seriously, and have begun an initial inquiry into the matter and to determine its validity, as well as what future steps can and will be taken to avoid this situation occurring in the future.”
We take matters like this very seriously, and have begun an initial inquiry into the matter and to determine its validity, as well as what future steps can and will be taken to avoid this situation occurring in the future.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) September 28, 2019
A separate Twitter account @joinLAPD, which appears to be dedicated to police recruitment, said Saturday that the banner ad appearing on Breitbart was a Google ad.
Automated programs like Google AdSense serve up ads based on a reader’s past searches. The ad buyer typically purchases ads in bulk and does not specify where the ads should appear on Google’s vast network.
Breitbart reached out to the LAPD through multiple channels immediately upon seeing the series of tweets over the weekend, requesting to speak with top police officials, according to a source close to the matter. But no one from the LAPD acknowledged those repeated requests over the weekend and into Monday morning.
It remains unclear who wrote the LAPD tweets over the weekend that smeared Breitbart.
LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein declined to speak on the record when reached for comment on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Chief Moore could not be reached for comment. Moore said via his official Twitter account that both the LAPD and the city’s personnel department are investigating if the ad was a spoof meant to “discredit LAPD.”
Moore did not explain how a recruitment ad appearing on Breitbart would discredit the police department, which includes avid Breitbart readers among the rank-and-file.
Wendy Macy, who heads the city’s personnel department, did not respond to a request for comment.
The two departments have given contradictory answers over which of them placed the recruitment ad.
Chief Moore said Saturday that the personnel department placed the online ad, not the LAPD. But the personnel department said via Twitter that it “has not made any purchase of LAPD recruitment ads on Breitbart or similar sites.”
But this week, personnel department spokesman Bruce Whidden told the LA Times that the ad ended up on Breitbart as part of a buy made through Google on Sept. 10 using the department’s marketing money.
Whidden said the department spent $3,000 on Google ads in the purchase, which would come out to $40 a day for the ad to appear on a number of sites, according to the Times.
The Daily Beast has a history of running negative stories about police officers, often depicting them as racist. The leftist site seldom runs stories spotlighting the hard work police personnel perform on a daily basis.
Shachtman, the site’s editor in chief, has publicly made disparaging remarks about conservatives and Republicans.
“ISIS and the worst American conservatives hate the same people,” he tweeted in 2016.
ISIS and the worst American conservatives hate the same people. https://t.co/CaoE8q47Jk
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) April 14, 2016
Shachtman once implied that all House Republicans are sexual predators.
“There were House Republicans who *weren’t* pedophiles, right?” he tweeted in 2015.
There were House Republicans who *weren't* pedophiles, right?
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) May 29, 2015
Shachtman has also tweeted obscene comments involving 13-year-old Barron Trump: “Imagine you’re Barron Trump … and you just found your dad fucked pornstars behind your mom’s back when you were just a few months old. Ugh.”
Imagine you're Barron Trump … and you just found your dad fucked pornstars behind your mom's back when you were just a few months old. Ugh.
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) January 18, 2018
Shactman declined a request for comment about his LAPD tweet.
Breitbart has submitted public records requests to both the LAPD and the city’s personnel department concerning their investigations. California allows them ten days to respond to requests.