Before Congressman Anthony Weiner eliminated all competing conspiracy theories about his crotch shot with one flick of Occam’s Razor, many people, including Salon’s Joan Walsh, blamed me and Andrew Breitbart. Apparently, we had l33t h4x0r skills, able to simultaneously hijack three different social media accounts of a sitting congressman — or, somehow we Photoshopped a photo of a headless man’s briefs and arbitrarily claimed it was Anthony Weiner.
These theories seemed easier and minimized any liability the left would have to assume for violating principles over which they excoriated Republican harlots John Ensign and Chris Lee.
Joan Walsh spent last week speaking from both sides of her mouth which makes reconciling her Twitter stream and articles on the affair so confusing.
On May 29 Walsh said:
Walsh had a conversation with Ben Smith and Charles Blow wherein she pushed the idea that #Weinergate was a “right-wing smear machine” hitjob perpetrated by the “Breitbart empire.”
On May 31 Walsh promoted a column on her site by saying “this says everything there is to say.”
In the opening graphs of the piece:
What I do know for sure: You can’t trust anything Andrew Breitbart says or anything his websites claim until it’s been independently verified by someone not affiliated with the right-wing media.
Got that? It’s not legit unless progressives say it’s legit.
On June 1st Walsh wrote:
Breitbots have accused me of blaming Breitbart for naming the young woman in question, based on this tweet from me Saturday night … My point was that right-wing blogs were naming her, after Breitbart put out the story, though the original story did not. But I get the confusion: It’s easy to misunderstand things on Twitter.
Walsh specifically wrote Breitbart empire. Not “right-wing blogs.” I see that Walsh appreciates how bad it would appear for her to delete remarks which now she’s obviously regretting, but she shouldn’t try to delete the original meaning via spin when it was incredibly blatant.
Later that day, after an appearance on MSNBC, Walsh wrote:
But we don’t know any of that yet. Right now, you can believe Team Breitbart, or you can give the benefit of the doubt to Weiner and the college student, who deny the photo Tweet went down as charged. We may never know the truth.
During her MSNBC hit in which Chris Matthews owned Walsh, Walsh said:
“He said he didn’t send the pictures out and you know, my position from the beginning has ben, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because this originated with Andrew Breitbart who, you know, released the deceptively edited ACORN tapes —
MATTHEWS: “It wasn’t deceptive, that’s what everybody’s saying about it. I saw the first version of it and he told pretty much the whole story about how that women went through an epiphany of understanding how race works
WALSH: No, you’re talking about Shirley Sherrod, you and I disagree about this Chris —
MATTHEWS: No, I have the facts.
Kudos to Matthews who stopped Walsh’s ridiculous tactic to try to discredit what showed up in Weiner’s Twitter stream by attacking Breitbart.
She continued with her smear job by insisting that the “Breitbart empire” named the girl who received the infamous Tweet in question and “savaged” her. This is categorically false: I was the one who readied the graphic and placed the black boxes over the woman’s identity in the very first post which broke the story. The Bigs had refused to identify her. I notice that Walsh was completely silent when the DailyKos, who shares her ideology, went on later to identify the underage girls of #Weinergate – and refused outright to pull the post.
Walsh later insinuated on Twitter that I was somehow involved in the “manufacturing” of the #Weinergate scandal:
“Great work” as part of the “right-wing smear machine?” “Great work” as in I somehow savaged someone whose identity I and the other Bigs editors worked to protect as the story was first reported? “Great work” as in I helped to hatch a scandal of which a congressman took ownership? Please Joan, elaborate.
Walsh continues on June 6th with faux incredulity.
Despite what Breitbart claims, I never accused him or his journalistic empire of “hacking,” fabricating the Tweet, or naming the woman in question.
In the end, though, Breitbart was right about Weiner.
Comically, Walsh ends it with a mini-lecture on Breitbart “getting his facts straight.” If she truly believes such, Walsh owes an apology. It’s not about needing her validation, it’s about demonstrating to her the importance of getting her own facts straight.