Breitbart (website)

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Breitbart
BB-logo-highres.jpg
The logo of Breitbart.
Web address www.breitbart.com
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 Breitbart.tv
Alexa rank Increase 1,188 (Global July 2014)[2]
Current status Online

Breitbart News Network (known simply as Breitbart or Breitbart.com) 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.

History[edit]

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.[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 BigGovernment.com 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]

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.[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]

Controversies[edit]

Anthony Weiner[edit]

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.[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 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.[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". 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.[18][19][20][21] 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,[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 also admitted that the video took Sherrod's comments out of context.

ACORN undercover videos[edit]

Breitbart was also involved in the 2009 ACORN video controversy. Hannah Giles[25][26] 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."[27] 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",[28][29][30] and contributed to the group's demise.[31][32]

"Friends of Hamas" hoax[edit]

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".[33] 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,[34] National Review,[35] Washington Times,[36] PJ Media[37] 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.[38] 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 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.[39][40]

Breitbart.com insisted that the report was accurate and posted articles defending the site and attacking New York Daily News as 'hack'.[41] Mainstream media such as Washington Post,[42] New York Magazine[43] and The Daily Beast[44] strongly criticized Breitbart.com for its appearance of inaccuracy and low journalistic standards.

Paul Krugman "bankruptcy" hoax[edit]

On March 11, 2013, Breitbart.com posted that Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman had declared personal bankruptcy; the article cited a Boston.com article. Boston.com had cited Format, an Austrian magazine. It was originally a satirical story created by "The Daily Currant". The story was removed shortly afterwards.[45]

Photoshopped image of Nancy Pelosi[edit]

In April 2014, Breitbart.com created an ad campaign which included posters which had an image of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi's head photoshopped onto Miley Cyrus's body who was seen twerking on California governor Jerry Brown, spoofing the 2013 VMAs. DNC Chairwoman 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.[46][47][48][49][50]

Breitbart responded with a piece explaining the inspiration for the ad campaign: a 2013 Saturday Night Live skit in which singer Miley 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.[51] In the article Breitbart criticized female Democrats, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy 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 Sarah 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. [52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breitbart News shakes up masthead
  2. ^ "Breitbart.com 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". http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Introducing Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, Edited by Mike Flynn", Nick Gillespie, reason.com, 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 Breitbart.com". 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". Breitbart.com. 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. ^ http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/breitbart_i_was_targeting_the_naacp_honest.php
  25. ^ "» Contributors". Big Government. March 24, 2005. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hannah Giles – Conservative Columnist and Political Commentator". Townhall.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ Taylor, Andrew (September 14, 2009). "Senate votes to deny funds to ACORN". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ "REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON THE ACTIVITIES OF ACORN". April 1, 2010. 
  30. ^ An Independent Governance Assessment of ACORN, December 7, 2009
  31. ^ "House Votes to Strip Funding for ACORN". Fox News. September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  32. ^ Lorber, Janie (December 11, 2009). "House Ban on Acorn Grants Is Ruled Unconstitutional". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  33. ^ Shapiro, Ben (February 7, 2013), Secret Hagel Donor?: White House Spox Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas', Breitbart.com 
  34. ^ Lane, Moe (February 7, 2013), Breitbart.com told that Chuck Hagel took money from "Friends of Hamas.", RedState 
  35. ^ Stiles, Andrew (February 8, 2013), Levin defends Hagel, calls GOP disclosure request "unprecedented", National Review 
  36. ^ Gaffney, Frank (February 12, 2013), Gaffney: Obama’s ‘friends of Hamas’?, Washington Times 
  37. ^ Preston, Bryan (February 7, 2013), ‘Friends of Hamas,’ Friend of Chuck Hagel?, PJ Media 
  38. ^ Wiegel, David (February 14, 2013), "Friends of Hamas": The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist, Slate 
  39. ^ Friedman, Dan (February 19, 2013), 'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor, New York Daily News 
  40. ^ Taintor, David (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Reporter: It Seems I Created ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Hagel Rumor, Talking Points Memo 
  41. ^ Shapiro, Ben (February 20, 2013), NY Daily News Hack Posits He's Source of 'Friends of Hamas,' Lies by Omission, Breitbart.com 
  42. ^ Wemple, Erik (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel and "Friends of Hamas": Five questions, Washington Post 
  43. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (February 20, 2013), How the Made-up ‘Friends of Hamas’ Became a Right-Wing Boogeyman, New York Magazine 
  44. ^ Freedlander, David (February 20, 2013), Chuck Hagel, Friend of Hamas? How the Right-Wing Press Got It Way Wrong, The Daily Beast 
  45. ^ LoGiurato, Brett (March 11, 2013). "Conservative News Site Breitbart.com Duped By Fake Story That Paul Krugman Declared Bankruptcy". BusinessInsider.com. 
  46. ^ [1]
  47. ^ [2]
  48. ^ [3]
  49. ^ [4]
  50. ^ [5]
  51. ^ "Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz Condemn ‘Tasteless and Undignified’ Breitbart California Viral Art". Breitbart News. 
  52. ^ "Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz Condemn ‘Tasteless and Undignified’ Breitbart California Viral Art". Breitbart News. 

External links[edit]