Because Andy Breitbart took my last reposting so well, I decided to repost this one, too, which I wrote on Febrary 23, 2011.. It's also time to recall Scotty Walker, and get his ass out of the Governor's office in Wisconsin, so this will serve two purposes.
Once again, the idiots on the right just don’t get it. They’re just not smart enough.
In case you haven’t heard, Wisconsin Governor Walker was punked recently by Ian Murphy, a reporter from the Buffalo Beast. Mr. Murphy called the governor and pretended to be David Koch, one of two brothers who head one of the richest and most dangerous players in right wing politics. The Kochs hate unions, and they do whatever they can to bust them.
Well, the far right, led by little Andy Breitbart, is apoplectic over this. How DARE anyone “prank call” a governor like this, right? But being Breitbart, he either hasn’t a clue, or he considers his lapdogs to be too stupid to have a clue (I think it’s the latter; he really can’t be as stupid as he acts.), and he likens this “prank,” with his O’Keefe videos and the video he’s currently being sued over, in which he implied that Shirley Sherrod was racist.
Obviously, it’s not the same at all, which I will explain after you listen to this phone call, in two parts:
I would call this funny, but it really isn't. Here you have the governor of a state pretty much acquiescing to a plot to bring in outside agitators to interfere with the right of citizens of his state to peaceably assemble. It’s telling that he’s bragging about his making the Right Wing Fart Machine rounds, but bitching about Obama saying anything about this at all. I laughed out loud when he mentioned that Obama’s budget deficit was a lot larger. Funny thing; he had a surplus when he took office. What can you say about an asshole who plans to announce layoffs of state employees just to bring political pressure on the other party. And really; busting the PATCO union led to the fall of the Soviet Union? This guy’s a loon.
This is good journalism; the exact opposite of what Breitbart does.
Can't we all agree that a moral person only aims up when he’s making fun of or pulling pranks on people. It’s absolutely immoral to make fun of, or entrap the weakest in society. If you can't see the difference between laughing at George W. Bush butchering the language, and laughing at a poor man who never learned to read, you're probably a Breitbart die-hard. When the right wing tried to “punk” Obama using Joe the (not actually) Plumber, that was fair. The fact that Joe was just pretending to be a plumber, and really wasn’t starting a business was beside the point; he asked legitimate questions and Obama answered. We live in a democracy; that’s fair.
Likewise, when a reporter calls a governor and pretends he’s a major contributor, and that governor gives him 20 minutes of his time to talk about busting unions, that, too, is fair. It’s one of a number of ways to keep elected officials and other powerful people accountable. During this 20-minute call — and I remind you; he won’t talk to the teachers unions, but he’ll spend 20 minutes talking to someone he thinks is one of his biggest donors, and never once calls him out when he talks about citizens of his state in derogatory terms – he is showing just how he feels about a significant number of his citizens, and just how politically immovable he is.
It should also be noted that I heard about this video late last night, and most of the mainstream media waited until audio experts had authenticated it before they proceeded with the story. In other words, most of us, myself included, didn’t lend this story credence until after it had been authenticated.
Everything about this is completely different from Breitbart’s two “pranks” in a number of ways.
To be fair, Breitbart may not have originated the videos in either the O’Keefe/ACORN case and the Sherrod case. But he sure as hell made sure they were seen by as many people as possible, and he sure as shit has cashed in, as a result. And both of these cases are cases in which average people, working in their job and trying to do good for people, were smeared by someone with the power to do damage to them. And the damage was done to people who don’t have the means or ability to fight back.
Shirley Sherrod was a worker for the Department of Agriculture. She wasn’t the Secretary of Agriculture. Yet, Breitbart got hold of a video, took zero steps to authenticate it, and peddled it to anyone who would replay it without question. Why so many legitimate media sources ran with the story baffles me, and they should be ashamed of themselves. But then, when the actual video surfaced, most of the rest of the media apologized quickly and corrected the record. Breitbart tried to blame someone else for it, and he’s spent the last nine months trying to smear Sherrod more by creating phony “scandals” in the Pigford matters involving discrimination of black farmers. It’s as if he thinks that smearing her more will somehow make himself seem less tainted, which is insane.
Of course, the Right Wing has never been known for its sanity. They keep trying the same “trickle down” bullshit over and over and expecting a different result.
Then there’s what Breitbart and his cohorts, O’Keefe and Giles, did to ACORN. This is another case where the news media as a whole really screwed the public. They allowed ACORN – and worse, individual ACORN workers – to be smeared based on a series of videos that were not only not authentic, they completely misrepresented the situations they were supposedly in. I wrote about these when the videos first came out; it was obvious the audio was overdubbed. And can we get real with the “pimp and ho” outfits? I grew up in Baltimore, and I spent a lot of time in the inner city. Anyone who thinks those two white kids would be able to walk into an inner city Baltimore ACORN office dressed like that and get tax advice is pretty goddamn stupid.
But more than that, since the videos came out, they have been proven to be total bullshit. Even Breitbart admits it. He compares the videos to “Borat” or “Ali G.” Of course, these were fictional characters. Ahem.
And if you don’t believe Breitbart (and for chrissakes, why would anyone at this point?), then believe the New York Post, who quoted a Brooklyn DA who, after the 5 1/2 month investigation called the video a ‘"heavily edited" splice job that only made it appear as though the organization's workers were advising a pimp and prostitute on how to get a mortgage.” The DA also referred to them as “vidiots.”
As a result of these videos, a lot of people who were already poor lost their jobs, and a group that was dedicated to using democracy to bring power to the poor was put out of business. And it was all based on videos that were proven to be bullshit.
These people, led by Breitbart, prey on the weakest and poorest among us. They’re bullies. What the Buffalo Beast did to Walker was tantamount to the kid on the chess team besting the school bully. What Breitbart does, with his attacks on ACORN, Shirley Sherrod and his attempts to attack people like Dr. John Boyd, is tantamount to the school bully picking the smallest kid on the playground to beat up.
That’s the difference.