Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Debunking Breitbart's Hilarious Claims of 'Just Reporting The Facts" On Weinergate

In a post on Big Government, Andrew Breitbart absurdly argued that his websites have been "responsible" in their coverage of the #Weinergate scandal:
Ever since we first broke this story on Big Government and Big Journalism, we’ve been cautious in our reporting, making every effort to present the facts of the story in a fair and accurate way. For example, in connection with our original report, we noted that Congressman Weiner claimed his Facebook account was hacked, and we withheld the name and identity of the woman who allegedly received the offending photo from Congressman Weiner’s account.
Unfortunately for Breitbart, the facts do not support his claim. First of all, as I documented this weekend, Dan Riehl wrote a post accusing Congressman Weiner's spokesperson of "lying" without supporting his contention. As is typical of Breitbart's bloggers, he chose the least charitable interpretation and then pretended that there were no other explanations available.

Second, while Breitbart's bloggers were careful on their blogs, they clearly were declaring that Anthony Weiner was guilty on Twitter. For example, Breitbart has called Weiner (D-9") throughout the events, he explicitly disawoved the notion of presumed innocence, and he outright claimed that the "facts add up against Weiner:"

Likewise, John Nolte, Editor of Breitbart's Big Hollywood, joked about Weiner on Twitter in a way that clearly assumes guilt:

Furthermore, Breitbart declared that Weiner's contention that his account was hacked was "implausible:"

Similarly, though Breitbart bloggers did not "out" the victim (the person who was the target of the lewd tweet) on their websites, they repeatedly "outed" her on Twitter. Both Nolte and Larry O'Connor, editor of Breitbart TV, directly linked to stories discussing her identity and revealing personal information about her:

Breitbart blogger Lee Stranahan put out the victim's name on his first post, and shamelessly linked to every piece of personal information about her he could find online.

So I'll admit that some of the claims in Daily Kos diaries (which, as everyone should know, are not diaries that represent the views of the front-page bloggers) were pretty sloppy. For example, the immediate knee jerk claims that Breitbart had "hacked" the site or was responsible for the photoshopping only served to make liberal bloggers look bad. However, the claim that Breitbart, for the first time in his life, "responsibly reported" on this story is also laughable. The facts will come out through investigation, and having a mob of people publicly pushing innuendo and personal information of private citizens is irresponsible.

1 comment:

  1. He called a lawyer. CNN asked him if it was his dong, and he wouldn't answer. He tweeted earlier that day about going on TV and what time that would be in Seattle. He was also following a 21 year old co-ed in Seattle. He doesn't want an investigation but just wants to "move on". Does this sound like an innocent man to you?