A spokesperson for MSNBC told Politico today that the channel's brass has reprimanded David Shuster for derisive tweets he directed at James O'Keefe Tuesday. Within hours, he had retracted portions of his tweeted comments on air during an interview with Andrew Breitbart.
This humble blogger documented the Twitter exchange yesterday, and pointed out that Shuster was much quicker to assume O'Keefe's guilt than he was the guilt of Major Nidal Hasan, the shooter at Fort Hood.
“The comments were inappropriate. We have talked to David about them," said the MSNBC spokesperson, referring to a series of tweets that included this one: "a) you are not a journalist b) the truth is you intended to tap her phones c) it's a felony d) you will go to prison."
Shuster retracted his accusation that O'Keefe had attempted to tap the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's office on his show this afternoon after Breitbart blasted Shuster for his false accusations.
SHUSTER: Andrew, first of all, Bill O'Reilly the other night said that the actions of James O'Keefe and his friends were totally insane. Were they?
BREITBART: Well, they were totally insane as broken on MSNBC on which you guys slandered him by saying that he was charged with wiretapping and that's factually incorrect, s I'm waiting for msnbc to retract that information. you've already been reprimanded today for your tweets in which you convicted james O'Keefe. You granted the pantybomber and Major Hasan
SHUSTER: No, Andrew 'cause we're going off topic, you're not answering my question. the key issue is fine, i should not have used the word that it was wiretapping. i should have used the word that the federal prosecutors used in their criminal complaint, for the purpose of willfully and maliciously interfering with the telephone system operated and controlled by the United States
BREITBART: Are you going to retract it?
SHUSTER: Sure, I retract, I should not have used the word wiretapping.
Breitbart wrote today at Big Journalism before his appearance, "How much do you want to bet David Shuster’s incomprehensible behavior and MSNBC’s rush to convict James O’Keefe will be a subject at the next Comcast shareholders’ meeting?"
Well, at least Shuster has retracted his false accusations, even if it did take a reprimand from his boss and some pushing from Breitbart. Others in the media have yet to do so.