There are times when you see a story and you do a double take because it must be an article from The Onion, right? In this case, no. The Heritage Foundation and Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity have teammed up “to pay tribute to the monumental achievements of Andrew Breitbart‘s work, and the recognition of those who continue his legacy by carrying the torch for freedom and truth.”
The words “Breibart” and “truth” should never been in the same sentence.
And for those not keeping score, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity is where former Register scribe Steven Greenhut plys his trade. From the Franklin Center’s website: “Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity was founded in 2009 to address falling standards in the media as well as a steep falloff in reporting on state government and provides professional training; research, editorial, multimedia and technical support; and assistance with marketing and promoting the work of a nationwide network of nonprofit reporters. Supplementing these efforts is our newly launched Citizen Watchdog program that trains ordinary citizens to report from local communities.”
So if I get this straight, the Franklin Center is lending its name to an awards program for journalism excellence in honor of Andrew Breitbart?
Now you can pretty much honor anyone for a “prestigious” Breitbart Award by going to this site and following the instructions. But you can’t make this stuff up:
Following in Andrew Breitbart’s footsteps, journalists are uncovering political corruption, government malfeasance, and incompetence and scandal after political scandal.
In honor of Andrew’s monumental achievements and of those who continue his legacy by carrying the torch for freedom and truth, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and Heritage Foundation are proud to open nominations for the 2013 Breitbart Awards.
Please help us pay tribute to Andrew by nominating an individual whose efforts advance the spirit of his work.
Click here to nominate an outstanding individual who continues Andrew’s legacy! Nominations end March 31st – so don’t delay. These awards are open to the public.
Andrew’s tragic passing will no doubt continue to be mourned for years and years to come. Yet I believe in my heart, he wouldn’t’t want us to mourn, he would want us to pick up the torch, light up major news stories others are not’t covering, and set this world afire.
Breitbart’s legacy isn’t so much watchdog journalism as it was a tar and feathering. Yellow journalism would have been a step up. Gawker.com reminds up of the slippery slope Breitbart provided.
“Numerous journalists, even ones on the other side of the ideological fence, were quick to note that Breitbart was generous and warm in private. But Breitbart also destroyed a woman’s career in public. He destroyed an institution that helps poor minorities in public. He called Occupiers rapists in public. He screamed at strangers and loved to talk about kicking their asses in public. Outside of books written by the Aqua Net-shellacked c-minus Sturmabteilung of FOX News, his stamp on history in 20 years will be a Coughlin-esque paragraph about race-baiting and fraud.”
But in 2009, “whey-faced little shit” James O’Keefe and Florida dumbbelle dropout Hannah Giles went around the country to ACORN offices, playing dress-up, and talking with low-level representatives about their plans for illegal behavior, mostly relating to prostitution and sex trafficking. The videos, released on Breitbart’s new website, Big Government, were heavily edited, and O’Keefe never appeared on camera, raising questions as to the veracity of Breitbart’s claim that ACORN was facilitating crime in poor communities.
O’Keefe further fostered the idea that he was dressed as a fanciful, 1970s-era pimp in the meetings, appearing on cable news in the get-up and playacting as Iceberg Slime. This was a lie, confirmed several times by Giles herself, but elided by Breitbart as he pushed his dittohead rendition of Harlan County USA. His article was definitively debunked on factual grounds several times over.
But when it was all over, ACORN was bankrupted, targeted by Congress, roasted by the talking heads. A good organization was taken under by a massive series of lies given life by a media that, rather than interrogate the obviously baseless accusations made against them, uncritically accepted them.
BradBlog.com was the site that thoroughly fact checked Breitbart and O’Keefe’s stories, but the Right Wing Noise Machine continued to howl for the heavily edited “truth.” Breitbart never released the raw footage to show how the story had been doctored. The story on BardBlog is huge with lots of backup to demonstrate the untruths told by O’Keefe and Breitbart. O’Keefe was of course arrested in US Senator Mary Landreau’s office for some sort of “gotcha” story and was fined $1500 with 100 hours of community service, and if O’Keefe is the standard for the Pulitzer Prize, someone ought to bring Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair out of journalism exile.
Back to Gawker’s “obit” for a minute. Perhaps Mr. Greenhut ought to check these assertations out to still see if honoring Breitbart with a “truth and freedom” journalism award is really worthwhile.”
There are more crimes—his incoherent defense of Tea Partiers caught shouting “nigger” at civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and “faggot” at Rep. Barney Frank, his repeated assaults on working people and labor unions, his final appearance at CPAC 2012, which the thoroughly shitfaced bullfrog concluded with the pre-coronary warm-up of hollering at the “rapists” of Occupy Wall Street.
Hell, for all his machismo, he was a cold sweating skink when trapped in a corner. Blogger Mike Stark bent Breitbart into a stuttering wreck over the ACORN vids, leaving the clam belly to sputter that he couldn’t “legally” discuss his starmaking moment, like some mob snitch bombing on the stand. Even a milquetoast like George Stephanapoulos shamed him on air like a tongue-tied toddler over the Sherrod story. His crew of flunkies is a menagerie of some of the most hideous detritus collected around a political figure since the Gaddafi family fled into the four winds.
So it appears this award is realy for journalists who make stuff up. And if that’s the case, there’s a few I’d like to nominate myself.