HuffPo Smears Breitbart, Fails, Owes Apology *UPDATE: HuffPo Retracts, Apologizes

I don’t expect top-notch commentary whenever The Huffington Post is concerned, but I do expect accuracy.

In their latest piece, HuffPo accuses Andrew Breitbart of “editing” this clip wherein Norah O’Donnell exclaims to Jay Carney: “We got nothing!”

It was a video requested by me for this post and I watched the broadcast as I was prepping for my radio show. I reached out to editor Larry O’Connor and asked him if he saw it and if he could, to pull that clip straight from the air, as he has the ability to do so with live television. O’Connor did not “edit” the video in anyway, I did not “edit” that video in any way, and Breitbart certainly did not edit the video in any way and any rational, bipedal human with more than two brain cells to rub together could see that as well.

I watched the entire presser and even within the context of O’Donnell’s questions it was difficult to make out the beginning of her remark due to crosstalk, which was noted in the original article and skimmed over by HuffPo. I wrote of this on Big Journalism:

It’s difficult to tell if O’Donnell is quoting the Democratic base for the sake of the question (inaudible due to crosstalk in the beginning) or if she included herself in that “we” to cast her lot in with Democrats on this, but it’s an interesting clip.

What makes it even more interesting, though, is when Carney tells O’Donnell: “We didn’t get the grand bargain … up front.”

Wait! that’s on … a… Breitbart site? A post that debunks the entire narrative coming from HuffPo? But, but! Why is it an interesting clip? Because a member of the press that isn’t Ed Henry or Jake Tapper is arguing with the White House. A “hate-hate” (strong, but you get the idea) relationship, exactly as the media and government should be.

Shame they skipped clarifying this in an effort to avoid writing about how Joe Biden and almost every single MSM outlet yesterday called tea partiers “terrorists” and/or “extremists” in a tantrum over the economy. That seems like a pretty big “edit” from the pages of HuffPo, no?

Patterico does what HuffPo is too hysterically partisan to do, which is to compare the video excerpted from the original broadcast and the original broadcast:

Anyone who actually bothers to play the two can easily see that nothing has been edited. The content is exactly the same in the relevant portion of the clip. The sound is a little clear in the second version. That’s all.

What’s amusing, if distressingly predictable, is how few of the commenters at HuffPo actually bothered to watch the clips and notice this. The comments are full of “Typical for Breitbart” style idiocy.

Those who don’t know the proper definition and use of the words “excerpt” and “edited/doctored” in the context of video production have no business writing about it unless they like the embarrassment that comes with ignorance. It sounds positively ridiculous on par with Chicken Little and you look like overacting fools.

The Huffington Post and all those whose zeal trumped their knowledge in this asinine story should apologize to Breitbart for the smear. I’m sure an apology will be “edited” out from this story as well, so I won’t hold my breath.

*UPDATE: After this post published, The Huffington Post removed the story (same link) and issued this retraction and apology:

Editor’s Note

A HuffPost story on an exchange between Norah O’Donnell and Jay Carney incorrectly raised the possibility that Andrew Breitbart had “doctored” a video clip from a White House briefing to make O’Donnell look like she was “distraught over the debt compromise.” A viewing of the clip in question clearly shows that he did not. We regret the error, have removed the story, and apologize to Mr. Breitbart.

We at the Big sites appreciate that the The Huffington Post corrected and apologized for their error. Kudos to them for doing so.


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