Breitbart (website)

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The logo of Breitbart.
Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Politics, conservative news and opinion
Registration Optional, but is required to comment
Available in English
Created by Andrew Breitbart
Editor Alexander Marlow[1]
Launched 2007; 7 years ago (2007) as
Alexa rank
Increase 1,159 (Global September 2014)[2]
Current status Online

Breitbart News Network (known simply as Breitbart or is a conservative news and opinion website founded in 2007 by Andrew Breitbart. The site has been involved in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the resignation of Shirley Sherrod and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. Following Breitbart's death in 2012, the site was redesigned.


Andrew Breitbart launched his first website as a news site; it is sometimes linked to by the Drudge Report and other websites. In its initial form, it had 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 tended to run to the right within the U.S. political spectrum (e.g., National Review and The site also had a search engine powered by Lingospot and a finance channel powered by FinancialContent. In 2007, Breitbart launched a video blog,[3]

In 2008 Breitbart launched the website "Big Hollywood," a "group blog" driven by some who work within Los Angeles, with contributions from a variety of writers, including politically conservative entertainment-industry professionals.[citation needed] The site was an outgrowth of Breitbart's Washington Times "Big Hollywood" column, which included issues conservatives faced working in Hollywood.[4] In 2009, the site used audio from a secretly recorded conference call to accuse the National Endowment of the Arts of encouraging artists to create work in support of Barack Obama's domestic policy agenda.[5][6]

Breitbart launched on September 10, 2009.[7] He hired Mike Flynn, a former government affairs specialist at Reason Foundation,[8] as Editor-in-Chief of Big Government.[9] The site premiered with hidden camera video footage taken by Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe at Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now offices in various cities, attracting nationwide attention resulting in the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy.

In January 2010, Breitbart launched Big Journalism. He told Mediaite:[10] "Our goal at Big Journalism is to hold the mainstream media's feet to the fire. There are a lot of stories that they simply don't cover, either because it doesn't fit their world view, or because they're literally innocent of any knowledge that the story even exists, or because they are a dying organization, short-staffed, and thus can't cover stuff like they did before." Big Journalism was edited by Michael A. Walsh, a former journalism professor and Time magazine music critic.[10] The site has a fictional contributor named "Retracto, the Correction Alpaca" who posts items requesting corrections from the traditional media.[11] debuted July 4, 2010. The site covers topics such as international issues and foreign policy, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, Islamic extremism, espionage, border security, and energy issues.

The site launched a major redesign shortly after Breitbart's death in March 2012; Breitbart had been putting the finishing touches on the new look before his death.

Breitbart Sports launched on January 1, 2013.[12]

Breitbart's London edition was launched on 16 February 2014 headed by executive editor James Delingpole, described as a "high traffic hire" by The Spectator's Steerpike column,[13] and managing editor Raheem Kassam.[14] Other staff include André Walker, as political correspondent, with reporters Nick Hallett and Alex Wickham.[14] Breitbart London announced that it would have a staff of 10, with hundreds of contributors, with the intention to cover Israel and the Middle East from the London office.[15] Contributors include Milo Yiannopoulos, Mary Ellen Synon, Jonathan Foreman and Katie Hopkins.[citation needed]


Anthony Weiner[edit]

On May 28, 2011, Breitbart reported on a sexually explicit photo sent on New York Representative Anthony Weiner Twitter feed on his BigJournalism website.[16] Weiner initially denied that he had sent a 21-year-old female college student the link to the photograph, but after questions developed, he admitted to inappropriate online relationships. On June 6, 2011, Breitbart reported other photos Weiner had sent, including one that was sexually explicit. On June 8, 2011, the sexually graphic photo was leaked after Breitbart participated in a radio interview with hosts Opie and Anthony. Breitbart stated that the photo was published without his permission.[17] Weiner subsequently resigned from his congressional seat on June 21, 2011.

Shirley Sherrod[edit]

In July 2010 Breitbart was accused of smearing USDA official Shirley Sherrod with the viral video "Proof NAACP Awards Racism". The video showed Sherrod speaking at a NAACP fundraising dinner in March 2010 admitting to a racial reluctance to help a white farmer get government aid. Breitbart later posted the full 40-minute video of the speech.[18][19][20][21] In it, Sherrod said the reluctance to help a white man was wrong, and she had ended up assisting him. The NAACP then reversed their rebuke of Sherrod,[19][20] and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack apologized and offered Sherrod a new government position.[22] In 2011, Sherrod sued Breitbart for defamation.[23] Breibart said that the point of the piece was not to target Sherrod, but said the NAACP audience's reception of the parts of the speech demonstrated the same racism the NAACP's President had accused The Tea Party of harboring.[24] Breitbart admitted that the video took Sherrod's comments out of context. "Attorneys for O’Connor and Breitbart’s wife claim Sherrod was forced to resign not because of the publication of the video, but because of federal officials’ knee-jerk reaction to the outcry following the video’s release" according to the Daily Caller which published White House emails ("“The [White House] is involved and we are waiting for the go-ahead to accept her resignation. I suspect some direction from WH soon,” Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack wrote in a July 19, 2010, email to Sherrod’s boss Dallas Tonsager ".[25]

ACORN undercover videos[edit]

Breitbart was also involved in the 2009 ACORN video controversy. Hannah Giles[26][27] posed as a prostitute seeking tax and legal advice while James O'Keefe posed as her pimp, and clandestinely videotaped meetings with ACORN staff who "gave advice on house-buying and how to account on tax forms for the woman's income."[28] Subsequent criminal investigations by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office and the California Attorney General found the videos were heavily edited in an attempt to make ACORN's responses "appear more sinister",[29][30][31] and contributed to the group's demise.[32][33]

"Friends of Hamas" hoax[edit]

On February 7, 2013, Ben Shapiro published on article reporting allegations that Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), former Senator and nominee for United States Secretary of Defense, may have been paid to speak at an event sponsored by a group called "Friends of Hamas".[34] said that the story was based on "exclusive" information by a Senate staff. The story was later followed by other conservative opinion sites such as RedState,[35] National Review,[36] Washington Times,[37] PJ Media[38] and commented on by US Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

However, investigation by Slate reporter David Weigel was unable to confirm the existence of the purported group.[39] On February 19, Dan Friedman, a reporter for the New York Daily News, said that the story had originated from a sarcastic comment he made to a Congressional staffer, "Friends of Hamas" being one of several groups which he considered to be so over-the-top as to be implausible and obviously fictitious. He said he made the sarcastic comment in an effort to find out what Hagel did that was purported as anti-Israel: "Hagel was in hot water for alleged hostility to Israel. So, I asked my source, had Hagel given a speech to, say, the 'Junior League of Hezbollah, in France'? And: What about 'Friends of Hamas'?". He also said that the joke inadvertently turned into a scandal.[40][41] insisted that the report was accurate and posted articles defending the site and attacking New York Daily News as 'hack'.[42] Mainstream media such as Washington Post,[43] New York Magazine[44] and The Daily Beast[45] strongly criticized for its appearance of inaccuracy and low journalistic standards.

Paul Krugman "bankruptcy" hoax from[edit]

On March 11, 2013, posted that Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman had declared personal bankruptcy citing a article. had cited Format, an Austrian magazine, which had erroneously used a story from satiric news blog The Daily Currant. The story was removed shortly afterwards.[46]

Nancy Pelosi/ Miley Cyrus ad campaign[edit]

In April 2014, created an ad campaign to launch Breitbart California which included posters which had an image of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi's head photoshopped onto singer Miley Cyrus's body who was seen twerking on California governor Jerry Brown, spoofing the 2013 VMAs. DNC Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz denounced the images as "disgusting" and "foul, offensive and disrespectful to all women." In response, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy requested that his column be removed from the site.[47][48][49][50][51]

Breitbart explained the inspiration for the ad campaign: a 2013 Saturday Night Live skit in which Cyrus appeared as a highly sexualized version of Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann alongside a feminine, homosexual version of Republican Congressman and Speaker of the House John Boehner.[52] Breitbart criticized female Democrats, Wasserman Schultz and Pelosi in particular, for failing to come to the defense of conservative women like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin for offensive comments from liberals. They mentioned specifically Bill Maher's referring to Palin as a "cunt", Kathy Griffin's joking that Senator John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in exchange for sexual favors, Tracy Morgan's referring to Palin as "good masturbation material", among others.[53]

Confusion of two persons named "Loretta Lynch"[edit]

On November 8, 2014, posted an article by Warner Todd Huston that said Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, had represented Bill Clinton during the Whitewater scandal. The site confused two persons with the same name. The site posted a correction.[54]


  1. ^ Breitbart News shakes up masthead
  2. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  3. ^ Owen, Rob. The next wave: Ex-WTAE anchor Scott Baker changes channel to run Web news site, Post-Gazette
  4. ^ "Hollywood Infidel". The New York Observer. March 16, 2007. Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  5. ^ "'The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion". Big Hollywood. August 25, 2009. 
  6. ^ "'Yosi Sergant Resigns". ABC News. September 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ "New Political Blog 'Big Government' Launches Tomorrow". Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Introducing Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, Edited by Mike Flynn", Nick Gillespie,, September 10, 2009
  9. ^ Author page for Mike Flynn Editor-in-Chief of Big Government
  10. ^ a b Exclusive Interview: Andrew Breitbart Announces Launch of New "Big" Sites Colby Hall, Mediaite, December 10, 2009
  11. ^ Author page for "Retracto, the Correction Alpaca" at Big Journalism
  12. ^ "Breitbart Sports Launches New Years Day 2013". Breitbart News Network. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Steerpike (13 February 2014). "Delingpole quits Telegraph ahead of UK launch of". The Spectator. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Greenslade, Roy (17 February 2013). "James Delingpole and Raheem Kassam head Breitbart's new London team". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Lee, Tony (16 February 2014). "BREITBART NEWS LAUNCHES 'BREITBART LONDON' & 'BREITBART TEXAS' VERTICALS". Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Muñoz-Temple, Amanda (June 16, 2011). "The Man Behind Weiner's Resignation". National Journal. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  17. ^ Bond, Paul (June 9, 2011). "Anthony Weiner's Genitalia Photo Puts Sirius XM in Sticky Situation (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  18. ^ Breitbart, Andrew (July 19, 2010). "Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism–2010". Big Government. 
  19. ^ a b "Anatomy of a Smear Campaign". CNN. July 22, 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "NAACP 'snookered' over video of former USDA employee". CNN. July 21, 2010. 
  21. ^ Wheaton, Sarah (July 20, 2010). "N.A.A.C.P. Backtracks on Official Accused of Bias". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Jalonick, Mary Clare; Evans, Ben (July 22, 2010). "Ag secretary offers Sherrod 'unique' position". Associated Press. [dead link]
  23. ^ Zeleny, Jeff; Sarah Wheaton (February 13, 2011). "At Gathering, Ron Paul Is No. 1 for 2012". The New York Times. pp. A21. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ The Daily Caller "Email Shows White House DID Give The ‘Go-Ahead’ To Force Shirley Sherrod To Resign" November 3, 2014
  26. ^ "» Contributors". Big Government. March 24, 2005. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Hannah Giles – Conservative Columnist and Political Commentator". Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  28. ^ Taylor, Andrew (September 14, 2009). "Senate votes to deny funds to ACORN". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  29. ^ Rovzar, Chris (March 2, 2010). "Damaging Brooklyn ACORN Sting Video Ruled 'Heavily Edited,' No Charges to Be Filed". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  31. ^ An Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN, December 7, 2009
  32. ^ "House Votes to Strip Funding for ACORN". Fox News. September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  33. ^ Lorber, Janie (December 11, 2009). "House Ban on Acorn Grants Is Ruled Unconstitutional". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  34. ^ Shapiro, Ben (February 7, 2013), Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Spox Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas', 
  35. ^ Lane, Moe (February 7, 2013), told that Chuck Hagel took money from "Friends of Hamas.", RedState 
  36. ^ Stiles, Andrew (February 8, 2013), Levin defends Hagel, calls GOP disclosure request "unprecedented", National Review 
  37. ^ Gaffney, Frank (February 12, 2013), Gaffney: Obama’s ‘friends of Hamas’?, Washington Times 
  38. ^ Preston, Bryan (February 7, 2013), ‘Friends of Hamas,’ Friend of Chuck Hagel?, PJ Media 
  39. ^ Wiegel, David (February 14, 2013), "Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist, Slate 
  40. ^ Friedman, Dan (February 19, 2013), 'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor, New York Daily News 
  41. ^ Taintor, David (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Reporter: It Seems I Created ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Hagel Rumor, Talking Points Memo 
  42. ^ Shapiro, Ben (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Hack Posits He's Source of 'Friends of Hamas,' Lies by Omission, 
  43. ^ Wemple, Erik (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel and "Friends of Hamas": Five questions, Washington Post 
  44. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (February 20, 2013), How the Made-up ‘Friends of Hamas’ Became a Right-Wing Boogeyman, New York Magazine 
  45. ^ Freedlander, David (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel, Friend of Hamas? How the Right-Wing Press Got It Way Wrong, The Daily Beast 
  46. ^ LoGiurato, Brett (March 11, 2013). "Conservative News Site Duped By Fake Story That Paul Krugman Declared Bankruptcy". 
  47. ^ [1]
  48. ^ [2]
  49. ^ [3]
  50. ^ [4]
  51. ^ [5]
  52. ^ "Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz Condemn ‘Tasteless and Undignified’ Breitbart California Viral Art". Breitbart News. 
  53. ^ "Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz Condemn ‘Tasteless and Undignified’ Breitbart California Viral Art". Breitbart News. 
  54. ^ Dustin Levy and Katie Takacs (November 12, 2014). "2 Amusing Corrections and a Confession on Common Mistakes". American Journalism Review. 

External links[edit]