|Type of site||Politics, conservative news and opinion|
|Created by||Andrew Breitbart|
|Launched||2007 (as Breitbart.tv)|
|Alexa rank||1,807 (February 2013[update])|
Breitbart.com is a conservative news and opinion website founded by Andrew Breitbart. The site's components include BigHollywood.com, BigGovernment.com, BigJournalism.com, and BigPeace.com. The site launched Breitbart Sports on January 1, 2013. The site has been the subject of much controversy.
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 Townhall.com). The site also had a search engine powered by Lingospot and a finance channel powered by FinancialContent. In 2007, Breitbart launched a video blog, Breitbart.tv.
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. The site was an outgrowth of the Breitbart's Washington Times "Big Hollywood" column included issues conservatives faced working in Hollywood. 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.
Breitbart launched BigGovernment.com on September 10, 2009. He hired Mike Flynn, a former government affairs specialist at Reason Foundation, as Editor-in-Chief of Big Government. 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: "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. It is now currently edited by Dana Loesch. The site has a fictional contributor named "Retracto, the Correction Alpaca" who posts items requesting corrections from the traditional media.
BigPeace.com 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.
On May 28, 2011, Breitbart reported on a sexually explicit photo accidentally sent on New York Representative Anthony Weiner Twitter feed on his BigJournalism website. 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 graphic. On June 8, 2011, the sexually graphic photo was leaked after Breitbart participated in a radio interview with hosts Opie and Anthony, though Breitbart stated that the photo was published without his permission. Weiner subsequently resigned from his congressional seat on June 21, 2011.
In July 2010 Breitbart was accused of smearing USDA official Shirley Sherrod with the viral video "Proof NAACP Awards Racism". Breitbart's 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. After being criticized for presenting Sherrod out of context, Breitbart posted the full 40-minute video of the speech. In the full video Sherrod said the reluctance to help a white man was wrong, and she had ended up assisting him. Following the release of the full video, the NAACP also reversed their rebuke of Sherrod, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack apologized and offered Sherrod a new government position. In 2011, Sherrod sued Breitbart for defamation. 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.
ACORN undercover videos
Breitbart was also involved in the 2009 ACORN video controversy. Hannah Giles 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." 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", and contributed to the group's demise.
Breitbart was also embroiled in a controversy within the conservative movement related to the participation of gay group GOProud in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual conference held in Washington, D.C., by the American Conservative Union. In 2011 he was the primary host of a party that served to "welcome" the "homocons" to the convention (though it was the second year they had been participants). This flew in the face of a boycott staged by a few social conservative groups that were offended by the inclusion of GOProud within the conservative fold. Breitbart was on the Advisory Board of GOProud until he stepped down in the wake of the group's inadvertent outing of a senior Rick Perry aide.
"Friends of Hamas"
On February 7, 2013, Ben Shapiro published on Breitbart.com 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". Breitbart.com claimed 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, National Review, Washington Times, PJ Media 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. On February 19, reporter of New York Daily News, Dan Friedman 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 claims 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 claimed that the joke inadvertently turned into a scandal. 
Breitbart.com insisted that the report was accurate and posted articles defending the site and attacking New York Daily News as 'hack'. Mainstream media such as Washington Post, New York Magazine and The Daily Beast strongly criticized Breitbart.com for its appearance of inaccuracy and low journalistic standards.
The controversy became an internet meme and spawned parody Twitter account @FriendsOfHamas, fake site FriendsOfHamas.com (by Gawker reporter Max Read) and a joke Tumblr account (named Friends of Hummus).
Paul Krugman "bankruptcy" hoax
On March 11, 2013, Breitbart.com posted as factual what was originally a satirical story created by "The Daily Currant" reporting that Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman had declared personal bankruptcy. Breibart took the item down when it was realized that the story had been initiated as a joke.
- Breitbart News shakes up masthead
- "Breitbart.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- "Breitbart.com". Breitbart.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
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- "Big Government". Big Government. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- "Andrew Breitbart". Big Journalism. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- "Big Peace". Big Peace. September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- "Breitbart Sports". Breitbart Sports. November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
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- Author page for Mike Flynn Editor-in-Chief of Big Government
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- Author page for "Retracto, the Correction Alpaca" at Big Journalism
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- "REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON THE ACTIVITIES OF ACORN". April 1, 2010.
- An Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN, December 7, 2009
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- Lorber, Janie (December 11, 2009). "House Ban on Acorn Grants Is Ruled Unconstitutional". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- Tartar, Andre. "Andrew Breitbart Steps Down From GOProud Board After it Outs Perry Advisor". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- Christopher R. Barron. "Conservative Media Mogul Andrew Breitbart to Join GOProud's Advisory Council". goproud.org. January 19, 2011
- Shapiro, Ben (February 7, 2013), Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Spox Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas', Breitbart.com
- Lane, Moe (February 7, 2013), Breitbart.com told that Chuck Hagel took money from "Friends of Hamas.", RedState
- Stiles, Andrew (February 8, 2013), Levin defends Hagel, calls GOP disclosure request "unprecedented", National Review
- Gaffney, Frank (February 12, 2013), Gaffney: Obama’s ‘friends of Hamas’?, Washington Times
- Preston, Bryan (February 7, 2013), ‘Friends of Hamas,’ Friend of Chuck Hagel?, PJ Media
- Wiegel, David (February 14, 2013), "Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist, Slate
- Friedman, Dan (February 19, 2013), 'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor, New York Daily News
- Taintor, David (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Reporter: It Seems I Created ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Hagel Rumor, Talking Points Memo
- Shapiro, Ben (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Hack Posits He's Source of 'Friends of Hamas,' Lies by Omission, Breitbart.com
- Wemple, Erik (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel and "Friends of Hamas": Five questions, Washington Post
- Coscarelli, Joe (February 20, 2013), How the Made-up ‘Friends of Hamas’ Became a Right-Wing Boogeyman, New York Magazine
- Freedlander, David (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel, Friend of Hamas? How the Right-Wing Press Got It Way Wrong, The Daily Beast
- Paul Krugman Declares Personal Bankruptcy, The Daily Currant, March 6, 2013
- LoGiurato, Brett (March 11, 2013), Conservative News Site Breitbart.com Duped By Fake Story That Paul Krugman Declared Bankruptcy, BusinessInsider.com