political convention

political convention

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trumps 'Breit' Choice

Now that Donald Trump has picked Steve Bannon, chairman of the Breitbart News website, to lead his presidential campaign, some history about the Breitbart organization might reveal the next direction for operation Trump. The following articles were published by LaughingStockNation in 2012 and 13. 

Andrew Breitbart, a longtime conservative writer, blogger and notorious political provocateur, died March 1 after collapsing on a Los Angeles sidewalk. He was 43. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known. Breitbart gained notariety in 2009 when he and associates distributed an undercover video purporting to show members of ACORN, a liberal voter registration organization, offering assistance to actors posing as a pimp and prostitute. An investigation by the California Attorney General’s office concluded that the video had been selectively edited to show criminal activity when none existed. Nevertheless, a national conservative outcry forced ACORN to cease operation. In 2010 Breitbart was responsible for a video broadcast on cable news that showed Shirley Sherrod, a Department of Agriculture official, speaking to the NAACP about her work in rural Georgia. Sherrod, who is black, acknowledged that she was hesitant to help a white farmer get government aid because of her past experience with racism. But she told the NAACP audience that she eventually recognized that her feelings were wrong and she successfully helped the man. Breitbart’s video, however, was edited to leave the impression that racial animosity continued to affect her work. As a result of the video, Sherrod was abruptly fired. Later, when it became clear the video was an intentional distortion, Sherrod was offered her old job back, which she declined. She sued Breitbart for defamation and the the suit was settled between Sherrod and Breitbart's estate in 2015. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.  

Not So Breit

Breitbart.com, founded by the late political provocateur and fraud monger Andrew Breitbart, has fallen for a second news hoax in little more than a month.  Breitbart reported as true the made-up story that Chuck Hagel, newly appointed Secretary of Defense, had accepted money  from an organization called Friends of Hamas.  The fake news was floated as a joke by a reporter and some people took it seriously.  Now Breitbart.com,  joined by one other far right website, has distributed a story that says respected New York Times columnist and Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has filed for bankruptcy.  In his twice-weekly column in the Times, Krugman often belittles Republicans for their self-serving fixation with the U.S. budget deficit. Krugman reminds his readers that under President Obama the deficit has actually declined.  Republicans don’t want to believe it. Imagine their glee on hearing that Krugman is a fiscal dead beat who can't even balance the family budget.  Turns out the bankruptcy story is fake. But it proved irresistible to an organization that likes that kind of news best. 

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