From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Andrew Breitbart (/ˈbraɪtbɑrt/; February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012) was a conservative American publisher, commentator for The Washington Times, author, and occasional guest commentator on various news programs, who served as an editor for the Drudge Report website. He was a researcher for Arianna Huffington, and helped launch her web publication The Huffington Post.
He owned the news aggregation site, Breitbart.com, and five other websites: Breitbart.tv, Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism, and Big Peace. He played key roles in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. As of August 2013 he remains dead.
Breitbart was born in Los Angeles, California. He was the adopted son of Gerald and Arlene Breitbart, a restaurant owner and banker respectively, and grew up in upscale Brentwood, Los Angeles. He was raised Jewish (his adoptive mother had converted to Judaism when marrying his adoptive father). He had explained that his birth certificate indicated his biological father was a folk singer. He was ethnically Irish by birth, and his adopted sister is Hispanic.
While in high school, Breitbart was a pizza delivery driver; he sometimes delivered to celebrities such as Judge Reinhold. He earned a B.A. in American studies from Tulane University in 1991, graduating with “no sense of [his] future whatsoever”. His early jobs included a stint at cable channel E! Entertainment Television, working for the company’s online magazine, and some time in film production.
Previously left-leaning in his politics, Breitbart changed his political views after experiencing an “epiphany” during the late 1991 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, who was charged with sexual harassment; Breitbart later described himself as “a Reagan conservative” with libertarian sympathies.
Listening to radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh helped Breitbart refine his political and philosophical positions, igniting an interest in learning that he had suppressed due to his distaste for the “nihilistic musings of dead critical theorists“ that had dominated his studies at Tulane. In this era Breitbart also read Camille Paglia‘s book Sexual Personae (1990), a massive survey of Western art, literature and culture from ancient Egypt to the 20th Century, which, he wrote, “made me realize how little I really had learned in college”.
TABACCO TRANSLATION: Political figures, who mutate from Liberal to Conservative, from Left-Wing to Right-Wing, have NO PRINCIPLES! These Individuals are OPPORTUNISTS, who smell MONEY on the Right they cannot obtain on the Left.
Enough of this “philosophical” BS! Substitute “pragmatic” instead! Breitbart simply wanted to make as much Money for himself as quickly as possible, philosophy notwithstanding! Can you say Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms!
Authorship, research and reporting
In 1995 Breitbart saw the Drudge Report and was so impressed that he emailed Matt Drudge. Breitbart said, “I thought what he was doing was by far the coolest thing on the Internet. And I still do.” Breitbart described himself as “Matt Drudge’s bitch“ and selected and posted links to other news wire sources. Later Matt Drudge introduced him to Arianna Huffington (when she was still a Republican) and Breitbart subsequently assisted her in creating The Huffington Post.
Breitbart’s work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online and the Weekly Standard Online, among others. He wrote a weekly column for The Washington Times, which also appeared at Real Clear Politics. Breitbart also co-wrote the book Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon with Mark Ebner, a book that is highly critical of U.S. celebrity culture. On January 19, 2011, the conservative gay rights group GOProud announced Breitbart had joined its Advisory Council.
In April 2011 Grand Central Publishing released Breitbart’s book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, in which he discussed his own political evolution and the part he took in the rise of new media, most notably at the Drudge Report and The Huffington Post.
Main article: Breitbart.com
Breitbart launched his first website as a news site; it is sometimes linked to by the Drudge Report and other websites. It has wire stories from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Fox News, PR Newswire, and U.S. Newswire, as well as direct links to a number of major international newspapers. Its Blog & “Network” links tend to run to the right within the U.S. political spectrum(e.g., National Review and Townhall.com). The site also has a search engine powered by Lingospot and a finance channel powered by FinancialContent. In 2007, Breitbart launched a video blog, Breitbart.tv. In addition, Breitbart.com is the source for the unofficial BreitbartMate Android app. 
Breitbart appeared as a commentator on Real Time with Bill Maher and Dennis Miller. In 2004 he was a guest commentator on Fox News Channel’s morning show and frequently appeared as a guest panelist on Fox News‘s late night program, Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld. Breitbart also appeared as a commentator in the 2004 documentary Michael Moore Hates America.
On October 22, 2009, Breitbart appeared on the C-SPAN program Washington Journal. He gave his opinions on the mainstream media, Hollywood, the Obama Administration and his personal political views, having heated debates with several callers.
TABACCO: My question is this, “If Ted Kennedy was all those things, then what the hell is George W. Bush?” Of all ‘luminaries’ in the Republican Party, Andrew Breitbart is truly the least qualified to ‘throw stones’, absent glass houses notwithstanding.
This is exemplary of how the Right-Wing chooses its Targets on the Left while concurrently using those rose-coloreds to ignore those of equal or worse character among their own people. This is the Rule, not the Exception!
In February 2010 Breitbart received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. During his acceptance speech, he responded directly to accusations by New York Times reporter Kate Zernike that Jason Mattera, a young conservative activist, had been using “racial tones” in his allusions to President Barack Obama, and had spoken in a “Chris Rock voice”. From the podium, Breitbart called Zernike “a despicable human being” for having made such allegations about Mattera’s New York accent. At the same conference, Breitbart was also filmed saying to journalist Max Blumenthal that he found him to be “a jerk”, and “a despicable human being” due to a blog entry posted by Blumenthal.
See also: Tea party movement
Breitbart often appeared as a speaker at Tea Party movement events across the U.S. For example, Breitbart was a keynote speaker at the first National Tea Party Convention at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville on February 6, 2010. Breitbart later involved himself in a controversy over homophobic and alleged racial slurs being used at a March 20, 2010, rally at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., by asserting that slurs were never used, and that “It was a set-up” by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party. Breitbart offered to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund “for any audio/video footage of the N-word being hurled”, claiming that the several Congressmen made it up. Breitbart insisted Congressman John Lewis and several other witnesses were forced to lie, concluding that, “Nancy Pelosi did a great disservice to a great civil rights icon by thrusting him out there to perform this mischievous task. His reputation is now on the line as a result of her desperation to take down the Tea Party movement.”
In February 2012 a YouTube video showed Breitbart yelling at Occupy D.C. protesters outside a Washington D.C. hotel hosting a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The video showed security escorting Breitbart back to the hotel while he told the protestors to “behave yourself”, and alluding to reported assaults of women at Occupy encampments, he repeatedly yelled “stop raping people” and called the protestors “filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!”. David Carr said with the incident Breitbart had caused his last “viral storm on the Web”.
Breitbart appeared posthumously in Occupy Unmasked, a documentary film that contends that the Occupy Wall Street movement of “largely naïve students and legitimately concerned citizens looking for answers” is actually orchestrated by sinister, violent, and organized leaders with the purpose of not just changing, but destroying the American government.
On March 1, 2012, Breitbart collapsed while walking in Brentwood. He was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he later died. He was 43 years old. An autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office showed that he had cardiomegaly and died of heart failure. Despite conspiracy theories surrounding his death, the toxicology report showed “No prescription or illicit drugs were detected. The blood alcohol was .04%. No significant trauma was present and foul play is not suspected.” A personal friend of Breitbart, Bill Whittle, had said that Breitbart had a “serious heart attack” just months before his death.
His funeral was held March 6, 2012, at a Jewish cemetery in West Los Angeles. Attendees included his father-in-law Orson Bean, Matt Drudge, Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, Greg Gutfeld, Ed Morrissey, Guy Benson and Rob Long.
A documentary concerning his life and impact called Hating Breitbart was released posthumously on October 19, 2012, seven months after his death.
Resignation of Shirley Sherrod
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
On July 19, 2010, Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign from her appointed position as Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture because of administration reaction to misleading media reports on video excerpts from her address to a March 2010 NAACP event and commentary posted by blogger Andrew Breitbart on his website. Based on these excerpts, the NAACP condemned Sherrod’s remarks as racist and U.S. government officials called on the official to resign. But, when the story was understood to be about the NAACP audience reaction to Sherrod’s story, and not Sherrod at all, the NAACP, White House officials, and Tom Vilsack, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, apologized for the firing and offered Sherrod a new position.
Extensive media coverage of the excerpted videos, various parties’ comments, and later corrections when the full story was discovered, exacerbated the affair. The event brought to the forefront current debates regarding racism in the United States, cable news reporting, ideological websites on the internet, and decisions made by President Barack Obama‘s administration.
The Obama administration apologized to Sherrod, and offered her a full-time, high-level internal advocacy position with the USDA, which she ultimately declined. In 2011, Sherrod initiated a libel lawsuit against Breitbart and co-defendant Larry O’Connor for defamation. Their attorney filed for dismissal two months later on First Amendment grounds. In February 2012, defendants’ motion for dismissal under the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law was denied and subsequently appealed to the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit.
Before media coverage of videos
Shirley Sherrod aware of videos on 7/14
When Shirley Sherrod addressed the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund on August 21, 2010, she claimed to have been aware of the videos on July 14, 2010; five days before they were posted on Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com website. Sherrod says that she immediately notified the USDA about the videos, saying that they did not convey the entire or accurate story. She heard nothing from the USDA until Monday, July 19, 2010, when she was put on administrative leave and then asked to resign. Released White House emails, shows the Obama administration was aware of the situation, but there was no evidence that the dismissal of Sherrod was under orders of the White House.
On July 19, 2010, two different video clips [A] were posted by the conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart to his BigGovernment.com website, along with a nearly 1,000-word blog post in which he called out the main stream media and the NAACP for falsely labeling the Tea Party as racist. He states in the blog post, “eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help”, and that the main point of the blog post and video release was that “Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another group’s racial tolerance.”
The first video showed Sherrod describing an experience of working with a white man seeking help to save his farm. She struggled with helping him at a time when many black people were losing their land. The excerpt suggests she did just enough, especially by taking him to a white lawyer—”his own kind would take care of him.” She said she realized it was about the poor versus “those who have”.
Subsequent events attempted to show that the posted video was an excerpt of broader comments that conveyed a very different meaning, in which Sherrod learned from her experience, even though this message was communicated in the original blog post by Breitbart. Breitbart said he did not edit the video excerpt which he released and did not have a copy of the entire speech. The full 43-minute video[B] was produced by a Douglas, Georgia, company that filmed the banquet for the local Georgia chapter of the NAACP. The owner of the video company, Johnny Wilkerson, said on July 20 that he was sending the full video to the national NAACP and would post it in full once he got permission to do so. Breitbart’s source for the excerpt remained confidential as of July 2010.
Much of the controversy related to the incident involved which parties took which actions and when. Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog organization, compiled an extensive timeline of the affair. Greg Pollowitz of National Review Online, a conservative publication, said that the Media Matters timeline was “as good as any I’ve seen.”
Initial media reports
The first news outlet to report on the Breitbart video was FoxNews.com, which posted an article about the story on its website. The New York City affiliate for CBS posted a report on its website later that afternoon. The Atlanta Journal Constitution website soon picked up the story. In addition, the story was picked up and reported widely in the blogosphere.
Resignation of Sherrod
Sherrod later said that on the afternoon of July 19, she received numerous demands from government officials to submit her resignation, demands which she characterized as harassment. In response to a call from USDA deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook, Sherrod submitted her resignation via email. Sherrod claims that Cook told her White House officials wanted her to quit immediately because the controversy was “going to be on Glenn Beck tonight”, a claim disputed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Official comments about Sherrod
That same evening, the President of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous, posted a tweet saying that his organization was “appalled” by Sherrod’s comments. The following day, the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement explaining his agency’s actions and suggested that Sherrod’s statements as shown damaged her effectiveness at a time when USDA was working to improve its previous civil rights abuses.
Initial broadcast of Breitbart video
The Breitbart video was first broadcast that evening on The O’Reilly Factor, a talk show on the Fox News Channel; host Bill O’Reilly said Sherrod should resign. At the time of the taping of the show, news of Sherrod’s resignation had not yet been reported, nor had the NAACP yet released the full video. But, the program was not broadcast until after Sherrod resigned and O’Reilly’s staff had confirmed that fact with the USDA.
Dana Loesch, an organizer for the Tea Party in Saint Louis, Missouri, mentioned the video in an appearance on Larry King Live; it was also shown on Anderson Cooper 360 (both on CNN). It was discussed on Hannity and On The Record with Greta Van Susteren (both on Fox) as well, but notably not on Glenn Beck.
In the full video, Sherrod related her experience in 1986 with the first white farmer to come to her for help. (On July 20 CNN received a telephone call from the farmer’s wife and learned his name was Roger Spooner.) Sherrod said that his land was being sold, and “had in fact already been rented out from under him.” At first, she felt that he had a superior attitude toward her, causing her to recall harsh aspects of her life in the South, including the murder of her father, but she went on to say that she had not let that get in the way and did not discriminate against him. They became very good friends as a result of her help. She admitted thinking at the time that white people had “all the advantages” but learned that poverty affected both races.
According to Sherrod, she did her job correctly by taking the farmer to a white lawyer who she thought could help him, and she looked for another lawyer when needed. Sherrod rejected claims that she was racist and said she “went all out” to help the man keep his farm. She said that the incident helped her learn to move beyond race, and she told the story to audiences to make that point.
Spooner family’s account
Roger Spooner, the farmer, said on CNN that Sherrod is not a racist, that she did everything she could for his family; more than 20 years later, he and Sherrod remain friends. The Spooners credit Sherrod with helping them save their farm: “If it hadn’t been for her, we would’ve never known who to see or what to do”, Roger Spooner said. “She led us right to our success.” His wife, Eloise Spooner, said that “after things kind of settled down, she brought Sherrod some tomatoes out of her garden, and they had a good visit.” Eloise Spooner recalled Sherrod as “nice-mannered, thoughtful, friendly; a good person.” The couple were surprised by the controversy. “I don’t know what brought up the racist mess”, Roger Spooner said. “They just want to stir up some trouble, it sounds to me in my opinion.” Eloise Spooner said that on seeing the story of Sherrod’s resignation, “I said, ‘That ain’t right. They have not treated her right.’”
The extended unedited video of her speech released by the NAACP showed that in her full speech, Sherrod emphasized what was only touched on in the excerpt: she learned from the incident that poverty, not race, was the key factor in rural development. She said she ultimately worked hard to save the farmer’s land.
Other references to race in Sherrod’s speech related to a story of her more recent help of a black family to prevent forced sale of their farmland. It was a case in which distant cousins, among numerous heirs, were forcing a sale of land that the family had owned since the grandfather bought it. She noted finding some honest lawyer who happened to be white, and also that the cousins in the North had lined up a white buyer.
Reactions to the incident
After the NAACP released the entire videotape, its officials retracted their previous statement and said:
During the uproar over Sherrod’s resignation, Vilsack released a statement on July 20 saying that the USDA would “conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts”. Sherrod said that she might not want the job any more.
On July 21, 2010, Fox News rejected claims that it inflamed the situation. While the story was not mentioned on the Fox News Channel until after Sherrod’s resignation, the edited video and an accompanying article had been published on the Fox News website, as well as those of several other news organizations, prior to her resignation.
Later, the White House sought official review of the case. Sherrod watched live at the CNN Center when Robert Gibbs, White House press spokesman, extended her an apology. She said she welcomed the review and accepted the apology.
On July 21, Vilsack of USDA apologized personally and publicly to Sherrod for forcing her resignation based on an “out-of-context video”. He said that he had offered Sherrod a new position in the department, and that she was taking time to consider it. That night, Bill O’Reilly apologized to Sherrod for his remarks calling for her removal from office. He had been the first on cable TV to air the video excerpt posted by Breitbart.[C]
Reactions from Breitbart
Initially, Breitbart claimed Sherrod “harbored” racist sentiments. On July 20, 2010, in an interview with CNN‘s John King, Breitbart said that releasing the video was for the following reason:
Breitbart questioned CNN’s accepting Eloise Spooner’s self-reported identity in a phone interview. In a July 30 interview with Newsweek, Breitbart said he would be glad to meet with Sherrod privately. He agreed that the excerpted video took her statements out of context and said that if he could do things all over again, he would not have posted the excerpted video, but he did not apologize to Sherrod.
Reactions and subsequent statements by Sherrod
President Barack Obama spoke to Sherrod personally in a phone call that lasted for seven minutes. Although he did not apologize personally to her, Sherrod said she was “very, very pleased with the conversation.” On July 22, Sherrod said she planned to sue Breitbart, who published the excerpted video that led to her resignation. She also said that she would like to see Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com website “shut down”.
In an interview with the CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, Sherrod referred to Breitbart as “vicious” and a “racist”, and said that he would “like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery“. National Review commentators suggested she owed Breitbart an apology, and Salon’s Joan Walsh said Sherrod’s assertion came from her own viewpoint.
After learning of Breitbart’s death on March 1, 2012, Sherrod released the following statement:
Biography of Shirley Sherrod
Albany State Univ.: sociology, 1970
Civil rights activist
Forced resignation from the USDA, July 19, 2010
Grace and Hosie Miller
Shirley Sherrod (born Miller) was born in 1948 in Baker County, Georgia, to Grace and Hosie Miller. In 1965, when she was 17 years old, her father, Hosie Miller, a deacon at the local Baptist Church, was shot to death by a white farmer, reportedly over a dispute about livestock. No charges were returned against the shooter by an all-white grand jury. This was a turning point in her life and she decided to stay in the South to bring about change. Several months after Miller’s homicide, a cross was burned at night in front of the Miller family’s residence; Grace Miller and her four daughters, including Shirley, and infant son, born after her husband’s killing, were inside.
That same year, Sherrod was among the first black students to enroll in the previously all-white high school in Baker County. Eleven years later, her mother Grace Miller became the first black woman elected to a county office, one she continued to hold, as of 2010.
Sherrod attended Fort Valley State College and later studied sociology at Albany State University in Georgia while working for civil rights with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. There she met her future husband, minister Charles Sherrod. She went on to Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she earned her master’s degree in community development. She returned to Georgia to work with the Department of Agriculture in Georgia “to help minority farmers keep their land.”
New Communities land trust
In 1969, Sherrod and her husband were among the U.S. civil rights and land collective activists co-founding New Communities, a collective farm in Southwest Georgia modeled on kibbutzim in Israel. According to research by Susan Witt and Robert Swann, New Communities‘ founding in 1969 was connected to the Albany Movement. It served as a laboratory and model in a movement toward the development of Community Land Trusts throughout the U.S.: “The perseverance and foresight of that team in Georgia, motivated by the right of African-American farmers to farm land securely and affordably, initiated the CLT movement in this country.”
Located in Lee County, Georgia, the 5,700-acre (23 km2) project was one of the largest tracts of black-owned land in the U.S. The project encountered difficulties in the opposition of area white farmers, who accused participants of being communists, and also from segregationist Democratic Governor Lester Maddox, who prevented development funds for the project from entering the state. A drought in the 1970s and the inability to get government loans led to the project’s demise in 1985.
Class action lawsuit
After Sherrod and her husband lost their farm when they were unable to secure USDA loans, they became class action plaintiffs in the civil suit Pigford v. Glickman (1999). In 1999, the Department agreed to a settlement, for which compensation will be paid for farmers affected during the period between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1999, in “the largest civil rights settlement in history, with nearly $1 billion being paid to more than 16,000 victims.”
A federal law passed in 2008 — with then-Senator Barack Obama’s sponsorship, as well as Senator Grassley of Iowa — to allow up to 70,000 more claimants to qualify. This expansion included New Communities, the communal farm in which Sherrod and her husband had partnered. In 2009, the chief arbitrator Michael Lewis ruled that the USDA had discriminated against New Communities by denying a loan to the operation and extending more favorable terms to white farmers. New Communities received a $12.8 million settlement, which included $8.2 million in compensation for loss of farmland, $4.2 million for loss of income and $330,000 to Sherrod and her husband for mental anguish.
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People