In the latest edition of his weekly Washington Times column, Andrew Breitbart outlines his brilliant strategy that forced the legacy media to (A) cover ACORN and (B) not attempt to kill the messenger, as is their wont, when a story involving a protect target emerges. Of course, along the way, he had to break the gatekeepers’ collective embargo:
The best example of this came from ABC’s anchor, Charlie Gibson. “I don’t even know about it. So you’ve got me at a loss,” he told WLS radio when asked about it. “But my goodness, if it’s got everything, including sleaziness in it, we should talk about it in the morning.” But he also said that what was seen on these videos was best left for the “cables.”
Is this not malevolent arrogance?
That evening, Katie Couric and “The CBS Evening News” cried uncle and did a story. Six days into an underground media sensation that caused the White House to force the Commerce Department to delink ACORN from the census on day two, CBS knew it could sit on the sidelines no longer. Especially since ACORN spokespeople were issuing what to me was clearly lie after lie, and CBS could only assume that more videos were coming.
CNN made the most sustained effort to blame the messenger and make the videos the issue. Producers aggressively called Miss Giles, Mr. O’Keefe and me, imploring us to explain our journalistic tactics. I told them repeatedly that if they offered the videos a fair airing and let their audience decide, we’d agree to a Time Warner grilling. I also said we could have the debate on journalistic ethics after this story played out at a journalism school of their choice.
Instead, the media repeated ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis’ growing body of lies, never holding her accountable for her shameless hackery. Jonathan Klein, CNN’s president, is emerging as symbol of the mainstream media’s last depressing days.
No wonder Jon Stewart delivered a stinging and hilarious rebuke of the real newspeople on his “Daily Show” parodies every night: “Where were the real reporters on this story? … Where the hell were you?”
High praise to you, Mr. Stewart. It’s nice to see there’s someone out there in liberal media-land who would recognize there’s something terribly wrong on these videos. And yes, there are more to come.
At the very least, filmmaker James O’Keefe and actress Hannah Giles deserve a Pulitzer Prize for their expose of deep corruption and unspeakable immorality at the ACORN housing division. But more important, I won’t rest until they receive a grant to continue their partisan artistry from the National Endowment for the Arts.
That’s this week’s mission.
Over to you, Mike Flynn and John Nolte!
Incidentally, to follow-up on something I wrote a few years ago, when an earlier old media titan was in the midst of his self-immolation, note the tactics used by ACORN and its enablers in DC and old media:
- Circling the wagons.
- Modified limited hangouts.
- Attempting to destroy the reputations of the story’s messengers.
- Claiming the crimes committed are isolated incidents, and not reflective of management as a whole.
- Covering up for underlings.
Whom the gods destroy, they first turn into Richard Nixon.
(To hear Glenn Reynolds’ interview with Andrew at the September 12th Tea Party, tune in to the latest edition of PJM Political.)
Update: “I’m missing some important context: what did Woodward’s father do for a living? Hard to pin down his motivation otherwise. And Bernstein’s mom, what was her deal?”