Andrew Breitbart Is an Ink Blot

That’s not my opinion– that’s what I learned reading the New York Times today (6/27/11). Jeremy Peters profiles the right-wing scam artist, telling readers (emphasis added):

Some of his reader-generated scoops have reverberated all the way to the halls of the United States Capitol, like the Weiner photos and undercover video he released of ACORN workers offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution. After the videos went viral Congress ended grants to ACORN, and federal agencies severed ties with the group.

That wasn’t the lesson of the ACORN videos at all. After a long battle, the Times admitted that much of its coverage of the Breitbart/James O’Keefe videos was misleading. The paper told readers that O’Keefe actually went into ACORN offices dressed in a ridiculous “pimp” get-up. He did not.

What the Times would not concede, though, was that the actual videos show very little in the way of tax evasion and prostitution advice. But that’s the story Breitbart and O’Keefe were pushing; watching the actual videos doesn’t provide much, if any, support for those claims. But they’re still being made in the New York Times–which might be Breitbart’s greatest triumph.

Peters goes on:

The stories and videos Mr. Breitbart plays up on his websites–which include Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Hollywood–tend to act as political Rorschach tests. If you agree with him, you think what he does is citizen journalism. If you don’t, his work is little more than crowd-sourced political sabotage that freely distorts the facts.

This is absurd.

If you think that Breitbart distorts the facts, that’s because HE DOES. To suggest otherwise is to assert that there’s no way to ever know the truth about anything. Is that the standard in “objective” journalism?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.