Your Tax-Exempt Media Matters at Work: Oliver Willis Lies About Breitbart

Tax-exempt (and therefore federally subsidized) Media Matters for America pretends to provide education and fact-checking services to justify their charitable status. But it looks like the fact-checkers need to use some Soros funds to fact-check themselves.

In a pitiful attempt to attack Andrew Breitbart, Oliver Willis’s misleading headline screams: Big Dodge: Breitbart Again Ducks Responsibility For His Own Website

Only problem: It’s a complete fabrication.

As I detailed earlier today, Univision’s Jorge Ramos attempted to sandbag Breitbart by challenging him on a 159-word post written at Big Peace four months ago by Jason Bradley. Never mind that it is unprofessional and obnoxious for a news anchor to expect a publisher to immediately recall the details of a post when his sites have posted over 55,000 articles or videos in the past four years, the idea that Breitbart “ducked responsibility” for the post is an outright lie. And worse, it’s a lie subsidized by your tax dollars.

Here is the exact exchange as detailed by the sad clowns at Media Matters:

RAMOS: In one of your websites, in “Big Peace,” there was an article written by Jason Bradley titled “Terror Babies: A Growing National Security Threat.” Do you share Mr. Bradley’s point of view?

BREITBART: I didn’t even read that article but I can tell you this, I created the Huffington Post in the United States of America which is a left of center blog. I created my blogs which are mostly right of center and I believe in open debate in our society. That’s why I believe so strongly in the first amendment, so I don’t know the specifics of that article, had I known going into this interview, I would’ve read it and we could have talked about the specifics.

RAMOS: Well the specifics is that Mr. Bradley’s view is that children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are terror babies.

BREITBART: I’ve never read that, I’ve never heard that and I’d have to see the context of that to give you an opinion. I would never call people that are born in this country who are from Mexico terror babies.

According to Media Matters’ Willis, Breitbart’s answers in this exchange amount to him “ducking responsibility” for something written at one of his websites. Is that really what he did? Of course not. This isn’t even a matter of opinion. Willis is just lying here.

Let’s look at Breitbart’s words again:

BREITBART: I didn’t even read that article but I can tell you this, I created the Huffington Post in the United States of America which is a left of center blog. I created my blogs which are mostly right of center and I believe in open debate in our society. That’s why I believe so strongly in the first amendment, so I don’t know the specifics of that article, had I known going into this interview, I would’ve read it and we could have talked about the specifics. [my emphasis]

Is this ducking responsibility? Of course not. It isn’t even a matter of opinion. Breitbart is stating facts here. He did not read the article. He does not know the specifics of the article. Had he known it would be discussed he would’ve read it so he could have discussed it in detail.

If this is Oliver Willis’ smoking gun to back up his claim that Breitbart was “ducking responsibility” for the Big Peace post, it fails at every level. Mr. Willis is not fact-checking here and he is not educating. He is not even drawing an opinion based on the facts at hand (something that he certainly has the right to do on his own time, but it is not something that falls under the tax-exempt charitable function of the organization he wrote this post for).

Maybe Breitbart’s “ducking responsibility” for the post appears later in this exchange. Let’s look:

RAMOS: Well the specifics is that Mr. Bradley’s view is that children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are terror babies.

(This is an outright lie. Please read my post earlier today on how Jorge Ramos completely mis-represented the Big Peace post and lied to Breitbart and the Univision viewers)

BREITBART: I’ve never read that, I’ve never heard that and I’d have to see the context of that to give you an opinion. I would never call people that are born in this country who are from Mexico terror babies.

So, objectively speaking, is Breitbart “ducking responsibility” here? Of course not. Again, he is stating the FACT that he has not read the article and he would like to read the context to give an opinion.

So if Breitbart is not “ducking responsibility” in any of his responses, then what is Oliver Willis doing in his capacity as a Researcher for the tax-exempt Media Matters for America? He isn’t fact-checking because there were no facts that were erroneous here. He isn’t writing an opinion piece because his job title is Researcher and Media matters does not receive its tax-exempt status to simply provide opinions. If that were the case, then the NY Times opinion page, or the Rush Limbaugh Show or Big Journalism could apply for tax-exempt status, couldn’t they?

It’s clear what Mr. Willis is doing: He is lying. He is lying and your tax dollars are subsidizing that lying through Media Matters’ tax-exempt status.

One final point: I’ve read the entire post in question and I suggest you do the same. (It’s telling that Mr. Willis does not pull any quotes from the post itself. If it is as offensive as Mr. Ramos claimed, a juicy quote from it would have really nailed Breitbart, wouldn’t it?) Not only is it a pretty straight forward recitation of information drawn from resources like Mother Jones (racist right-wingers) and the non-partisan Center on Immigration Studies, but it is also very specific in referring to “terror babies” as being the children born of illegal immigrants who have grown up and committed terrorist acts against the United States of America. I know Breitbart pretty well. I suspect that after he reads it he will, in fact, stand by the post based on what it actually says, and NOT by the way Jorge Ramos lied about it.

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