Breitbart’s big $100k

Andrew Breitbart is the Internet media entrepreneur and proprietor of Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Big Journalism. Breitbart and his team doggedly pursued the story behind the allegations of Reps. Andre Carson, John Lewis. Emanuel Cleaver and James Clyburn that Tea Party protesters abused black congressmen with racial epithets while demonstrating against Obamacare on Capitol Hill on March 20. The story was reported as fact by news organizations including Fox News and McClatchy News, but Breitbart called baloney and exposed it as a concoction of the congressmen who peddled it.

One can say this with something approaching metaphysical certainty because of the utter lack of evidence supporting it under circumstances where there would have been such evidence had it happened as alleged. The key to the case was Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward to anyone producing video of the epithets being shouted. There were no takers because it didn’t happen.

One can reasonably conclude that the congressmen’s story was a fabrication intended to defame the Tea Party movement and distract attention from the resistance to Obamacare. Not a single video corroborated it although many videos were shot that day, and despite Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward to anyone producing a video that corroborated it. No independent journalist or other eyewitness stepped forward to vouch for the congressmen’s story.

Given the involvement of Rep. Clyburn in promoting the story, the fabrication extended to the ranks of the Democratic congressional leadership. It is a scandal that warranted the attention of the mainstream media, yet the story languished and died. Why might that be?

One wonders if the now famous off-the-record list-serv called “JournoList” established by Washington Post pundit Ezra Klein might have had something to do with the media’s studied lack of interest in Breitbart’s pursuit of the phantom n-word scandal. Probably not — Journolist member and former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel actually pursued the story and discredited it in his own way.

The media’s studied lack of interest in Breitbart’s expose may have arisen, not by conscious political calculation and argument, but (as John O’Sulilvan writes) by that curious blind but almost infallible instinct which seemingly enables liberals to see and promote their long-term aims collectively yet without any prior agreement — an instinct that led Tom Bethell and Joe Sobran to invent the term “The Hive.” Nevertheless, the question of collusion remains, at least in my mind.

Andrew Breitbart has no such question. He thinks that the case for media collusion is overwhelming, and I tend to credit his instincts. Breitbart has stepped forward with another offer of a $100,000 reward to prove up his case. Breitibart explains:

I’ve had $100,000 burning in my pocket for the last three months and I’d really like to spend it on a worthy cause. So how about this: in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex, I’m offering $100,000 for the full “JournoList” archive, source fully protected. Now there’s an offer somebody can’t refuse.

Yes, the mainstream media that came together to play up the false allegations that the “N-Word” was hurled 15 times by Tea Party participants at the Congressional Black Caucus outside the Capitol the day before the “Obamacare” vote, is the same MSM that colluded to make sure the American public accepted the smear, and refused to show the exculpatory videos that disproved the incendiary charges of Tea Party racism.

Ezra Klein’s “JournoList 400” is the epitome of progressive and liberal collusion that conservatives, Tea Partiers, moderates and many independents have long suspected and feared exists at the heart of contemporary American political journalism. Now that collusion has been exposed when one of the weakest links in that cabal, Dave Weigel, was outed. Weigel was, in all likelihood, exposed because – to whoever the rat was who leaked his emails — he wasn’t liberal enough.

You will want to read the whole thing. I want only to add that I think Breitbart that there may be a good idea for another site here: Big $100K.

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