In an article posted on the Breitbart.com website Monday morning, reporter Adelle Nazarian charged that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg's Wednesday meeting with “leading conservatives” to address their concerns regarding the site's treatment of conservative outlets would only be attended by people who are “part of the anti-Trump and 'Never Trump' movement.”
However, Alex Griswold of the Mediaite.com site charged that Nazarian's article is “complete BS” and further noted that “literally none of that is true.”
Last week, NewsBusters reported that “anonymous sources at Facebook's news team have confirmed” that "in addition to suppressing conservative news sources, the company suppresses stories about itself while artificially promoting stories about the Black Lives Matter movement.”
In spite of this, Zuckerberg denies any wrongdoing, stating: “We have found no evidence that this report is true.”
Nazarian began her article by noting that those invited to the meeting included: Glenn Beck, head of “the embattled TheBlaze website;” and former George W. Bush Administration official and co-host of the Fox News Channel’s The Five, Dana Perino, at Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters.
She claimed that the gathering would exclude “pro-Donald Trump voices” and that “flies in the face of Zuckerberg’s claim of creating a diverse group.”
That Breitbart piece then received top billing on The Drudge Report’s banner, which gave it massive exposure and set off accusations among Trump fans on social media that Facebook was snubbing Trump conservatives.
There’s only one problem: Literally none of that is true.
“It is true that of the group of conservative invited to the Facebook meeting includes anti-Trump conservatives” like Beck, Perino and S.E. Cupp, but “that’s because if you took a random sample of conservatives in any context, a huge chunk of them would be opposed to Trump.”
“Many of the first conservatives to announce they were attending the meeting were anti-Trump, but not all or even most of them are,” Griswold explained.
“If you read the Breitbart piece in question,” he stated, “they tacitly admit as much: 'It is also important to point out that every 'leading conservative' … who has accepted and confirmed their attendance on Wednesday is part of the anti-Trump or 'Never Trump' movement.”
“'Nearly' everyone is anti-Trump?” Griswold asked. “That seems like an admission that Facebook isn’t only meeting with Never Trumpers!”
“Yep, this is the next paragraph: 'One exception is [former Mitt Romney strategist Zac Moffatt], who has stated his willingness to work with Trump: 'Of course we would work for the RNC under Trump,' Moffatt said.”
“So usually, as a journalist, this is the part when you stop: after adding something to your piece that blows up the entire premise,” Griswold noted before stating harshly: “But at Breitbart, cognitive dissonance is more of a feature than a bug, and they braved on.”
“If that wasn’t enough to definitely refute the accusation, The Hill reported the same morning that Trump advisor Barry Bennett was invited to the Facebook meeting,” he continued. “So not only are pro-Trump conservatives welcome, the Trump campaign itself will have a presence at the meeting.”
Unfortunately, Breitbart's piece doesn’t say what time it was published, making it impossible to determine whether their journalistic incompetence was due to an inability to Google or a failure to email a major tech company before smearing them.
“I haven’t even gotten to the most embarrassing part yet,” he then declared. “Do you know how we know for a fact that pro-Trump outlets aren’t being excluded from the Facebook meeting? Breitbart was invited” to the event!
In an article written by Stephen K. Bannon and Alexander Marlow, they claimed:
On Thursday, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg announced he is planning a “pat conservatives on the head” session with “leading conservatives” to discuss Facebook’s conservative media suppression scandal.
Representatives at Facebook have already reached out to Breitbart News. We have zero interest in a Facebook photo-op.
“So to summarize: Breitbart was invited to meet with Facebook, which they openly declined in a mocking, juvenile article,” Griswold stated. “Three days later, they pen a piece hyperventilating about how pro-Trump voices are being excluded from the same meeting they already turned down.”
“I’m reminded of … Leo Rosten‘s definition of chutzpah: the man who kills his parents and then begs for mercy because he’s an orphan,” he declared.
“Amusingly, Breitbart’s piece mocks Glenn Beck for being invited in the first place, writing that it’s 'quite telling that [Zuckerberg] has reached out to Beck, who is struggling to remain relevant in the conservative media sphere,'” Grislwold added. “What does that say about his reaching out to Breitbart then, I wonder?”
It's always unfortunate when people in two conservative organizations attack each other. Here's hoping they'll turn their attention back to their real opponents -- liberal Democrats -- and soon.