...And a few of my own recent media appearances to discuss the ongoing crash and burn of rightwing hit-squad 'journalism'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2010, 5:46pm PT  

[See bottom of article for explanation of asterisk in headline]

If you're not on Twitter (you can follow The BRAD BLOG antics here), you probably didn't get to enjoy last night's extraordinary Twitter Tantrum by wingnut propagandist Andrew Breitbart (follow him here) in the wake of terrific coverage by Max Blumenthal yesterday at Salon pulling together the indisputable dots of Breitbart employee/accused felon/fellow wingnut operative James O'Keefe's years-long racist obsessions.

O'Keefe, of course, is the guy who was recently arrested with three other GOP operatives (one, the son of the acting U.S. Attorney) in Louisiana for attempting to commit felonies in Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's office, and who did not dress up as a pimp in his secretly taped, heavily-edited and over-dubbed ACORN hit videos, despite continuing false claims to the contrary by Breitbart (and the mainstream media that felt for it --- but more on that part soon.)

A few lowlights from Breitbart's hilarious rant last night were reposted at Sadly No under "Breitbart Twitter Meltdown Enters Fifth Frantic Hour." Yes, Andy actually went on that long, longer in fact, desperate sad tweet after desperate sad tweet, essentially shouting out any racist-like comment he could find by any Democrat as a way to say, I guess, that some Democrats have made racist comments, so he's happy to employ someone whose a real racist. Or something. Who knows?

The entire meltdown was colorfully characterized by @KevinKross: "lonely man, hotel room, curtains drawn, on floor, stained underwear, empty bottles, frantically twittering away on his phone."

But it's Andy's employment and support of O'Keefe which he needs to answer for at this point, as today Blumenthal followed up his article from yesterday with more on O'Keefe's disturbing pattern of racism and race-baiting. At the end he asks Breitbart directly: "Why are you paying and defending a racist?"

Good question. I'm sure he'll answer that one, right after he answers these. Which is to say, um, never. While he has time to attack me incoherently on Twitter, he apparently doesn't have time to answer to those questions which I emailed him directly many days ago...

Amusingly, as Breitbart and his acolytes (at least the ones who haven't opened their eyes yet to the continuing Breitbart/O'Keefe scam) have been desperately pounding out their Breitbart-suggested/paid "outrage," demanding that O'Keefe is "innocent until proven guilty" --- a standard never applied to their ACORN scams or anybody else they don't care for, naturally.

The latest laffer came with a straight face, much self-righteous indignation, and apparently no sense of irony at all from Breitbart's BigJournalism.com paid (ed note: see correction note below) staffer Larry O'Connor (who Twitters as Stage_Right). He concludes his piece today, challenging whatever pieces he can find to quibble with in Blumenthal's reportage, with: "I am questioning this use of McCarthyite tactics using guilt by association, intimidation and outright lies."

Wondering where Larry's condemnation is of Glenn Beck and Andy et al for their brilliant years-long use of such tactics against any Democrat, Barack Obama, everyone in his administration, and those who were (pathetically) fired from his administration, such as Van Jones who was forced to leave after the entire crew "used McCarthyite tactics, guilt by association, intimidation and outright lies" to assault him in their journalistic blatantly partisan, rightwing, lie-filled, hit-scheme against him.

I'm now scheduled to appear on Larry's Internet radio show next Tuesday night @ 9:15pm PT, so perhaps he'll be able to share links to his past articles of outrage condemning the alleged tactics he now suddenly decries, when they were so effectively used by Breitbart and fellow members of the lockstep rightwing rat pack media.

And yes, while it all seems rather childish, it actually all matters. Breitbart's very powerful operation is at the very heart of the Republican attempt to game elections any way they possibly can. These are the GOP dirty tricksters who are still gunning for ACORN for little more than having the temerity to register millions of low and middle-income voters who tend to vote Democratic, to legally participate in their own democracy. So, naturally, they must be destroyed.

That's what Breitbart's after, for a start --- though it's questionable how many in his goon squad actually understand that, or have just been conned into believing they are fighting the great fight for freedom, or democracy, or the Constitution, or against big government, or whatever it is they've been fooled into going on about, even as they've spent years doing precisely the opposite whether it's registered in their little tea-bagging brains or not...

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Speaking of media, I've been appearing on quite a few shows of late to discuss all of this. A few of the appearances I was able to capture or procure are posted below for you and posterity:

• Monday 2/1 on The Peter B. Collins Show:
NOTE: Since PBC's show is now podcast only, broadcast language restrictions are off. So, given the subject matter here, a few comments in regard to the old Nixon-era nickname used to describe the type of operatives that O'Keefe and Breitbart are, will not be safe for work...
Download MP3 or listen below [appx 35 mins]..

• Monday 2/1 on The Nicole Sandler Show:
Download MP3 or listen below [appx 26 mins]..

• Wednesday 2/3 on WMNF's RadioActivity in Tampa:
Download MP3 or listen below [appx 30 mins]..

• Wednesday 2/3 on AM1490's Nick and Paul Show in Santa Barbara:
Download MP3 or listen below [appx 18 mins]..

* * *

CORRECTION 2/5/10, 12:46pm PT: Larry "Stage_Right" O'Connor tells me via email that, unlike O'Keefe, he is not currently paid for the contributions he makes as a contributor to the various Breitbart websites. Taking him at his word, I've corrected the article above to reflect that and regret the original error.

* CLARIFICATION 2/16/10, 11:29pm PT: After Larry O'Connor read this article two weeks ago, as noted in the correction above, he waited until tonight, while I was a guest on his radio show, to criticize me at length for a headline that he feels was unfair to O'Keefe and not supported by the information in the article. The headline was originally "The Disturbing Racism of James O'Keefe & the Hilarious Twitter Tantrum of Andrew Breitbart", which he believes is unfair. Though I believe the article fully explains the use of the word "Racism" in that original headline to describe O'Keefe's documented history of racial obsessions, as noted in the article itself, O'Connor believes that the headline characterization is unfair.

As clearly he read it to mean something different from what was explained in the actual article, I'm happy to modify it to "The Disturbing Racial Obsessions of James O'Keefe..." so others will not read a similar mischaracterization into it --- particularly if they don't bother to read the actual article, or misunderstand what I was hoping to get across to readers. Apologies for any confusion and, as ever, our comments section --- and email address --- is always open to share any such concerns at the time they come up.

P.S. I hope O'Connor will show the same courtesy to Blumenthal, about whom O'Connor wrote in criticism of his Salon article: "This is what he offers as proof and justification for smearing a man. For calling a man a racist and a white supremacist." To my knowledge, Blumenthal did not call O'Keefe either "a racist" or "a white supremacist". And while O'Connor, on his show tonight, indicated that's not what he meant, but rather something more like 'Blumenthal might as well have called him a racist, white supremacist, etc.', obviously, his words can be misread as easily as mine. I he'll make the appropriate change, and offer a transparent correction/clarification in his article, as I have here to mine.

CORRECTION 2/21/10: Thanks to O'Connor for pointing out that Blumenthal asked Breitbart, as I quoted in the original article above: "Why are you paying and defending a racist?" I stand corrected on my P.S. above where I wrote "To my knowledge, Blumenthal did not call O'Keefe either 'a racist'". Since O'Connor waited two weeks to mention any of it, I had forgotten Blumenthal's words quoted in his three week old piece. In the meantime, O'Connor has still failed to correct his assertion that Blumenthal called O'Keefe a "white supremacist" as he did erroneously here, and as I pointed out almost a week ago.

Apparently these guys are interested in corrections for everyone else except themselves and other wingnut media when they report erroneously --- or, of course, when non-wingnut media report erroneously, but the error works to benefit their political agenda. That is, of course, all this is about for these guys. Journalism and truth and stuff has absolutely nothing to do with it, as you've likely figured out by now.

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