Breitbart on ACORN: Big Media Would Have Worked to Kill Story, Attack O'Keefe and Giles

September 21st, 2009 12:09 PM

Much of the reaction in the blogosphere to Andrew Breitbart's column yesterday at the Washington Times has to do with the proprietor's promise that "It ain't over yet."

Fair enough. But Breitbart asserted what I believe is a bigger point. It isn't just that the establishment media would have ignored the story if James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles had attempted to put it out there on their own. Breitbart believes that Big Media would have actively worked to bury it and to discredit its authors. There's little doubt that Andrew is absolutely correct.

Here are the passages from his Times column where Breitbart makes this point (bolds are mine):

In the past, Mr. O'Keefe created brilliant social satire that rocked his college campus and even made its way on to the talk-radio and cable-news shows, but the magnitude of his latest adventure had the potential to rock the political establishment.

I was awed by Mr. O'Keefe's guts and amazed by the footage, but explained that the mainstream media would try to kill this important and illuminating expose about a corrupt and criminal political racket, and that the well-funded political left would go into "war room" mode, with 25-year-old Mr. O'Keefe and 20-year-old cohort Miss Giles in the cross hairs. I felt I had a moral obligation to protect these young muckrakers from the left and from the media, and to devise a strategy that would force the media's hand.

.... By dripping the videos out, we exposed to anyone paying attention that ACORN was lying through its teeth and that the media would look imbecilic continuing to trot out their hapless spokespeople.

.... If they invested in the story, I told Mr. O'Keefe, they would do ACORN's defense work. I told him the focus needed to be on the message, not the messenger. Otherwise, the mainstream media would attempt to direct attention away from the damaging video evidence.


Though Breitbart gives props to Comedy Central's Jon Stewart for ridiculing the establishment media's failure to get the story in the first place, the systemic media failure is much worse than that. It isn't that they are lazy, though they often are; it's that they're openly hostile to breaking news that discredit's leftist causes or candidates.

It used to be that they could bury bad news on their own. As the American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord recounted last week, there's a history going back almost 50 years of establishment media cover-ups of news that would hurt Democratic presidents.

The New Media Age eventually changed that. Since legitimate competition in determining what the news really is arrived on the scene, the establishment media's response has been to double-down on its support of Democrats and leftists and on its hostility towards Republicans and conservatives, while treating anyone outside their club who dares to break a story with ridicule and shoot-the-messenger tactics.

Breitbart's strategy in rolling out the ACORN story has been as brilliant as O'Keefe's and Giles's original work. Thanks to the trio, the alleged leading journalists at the Big 3 networks, the Associated Press, and major newspapers have been exposed as leftist hacks and Democratic Party apparatchiks.

Cross-posted at