Andrew Breitbart Dies: Most Controversial Moments (Video)
From his battles with Occupy Wall Street to his accusations against Shirley Sherrod, The Daily Beast looks back.
Breitbart Loses His Temper at Occupy Wall Street
Andrew Breitbart was not a fan of the Occupy movement. Shortly after the protests began in New York, he posted leaked emails from a mailing list of OWS organizers in an effort to discredit the movement as a “conspiracy to ‘destabilize’ global markets.” Breitbart also made an appearance at Washington D.C. to let the occupiers know what he thought of their little protest. “Behave yourself, behave yourself,” Breitbart is heard repeating over and over in a video recorded by someone there. He then shouted, “You’re freaks and animals!” at the protesters, who countered his attacks by yelling, in unison, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right-wing bigots go away!” The conservative activist had to be pulled away from the protest by police as he yelled, “Stop raping people! You filthy freaks … you filthy, filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!” At the end of the video, one protester laughed, “I’ve never raped anybody. I don’t know who he’s talking to.”
The Weiner Presser Takeover
The political sexting scandal known as Weinergate all started at Breitbart’s website BigGovernment.com. Breitbart was the first to post the inappropriate photos that were later discovered to have come from Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account. The disgraced politician was scheduled to give a press conference in New York in June to address the photos and many more messages found on his social media pages, but Breitbart got there first. The conservative blogger commandeered the podium—insisting he was coincidentally in New York for a book event and happened to be staying nearby the location of the press conference—and took questions from the media about the photos he had yet to release. Breitbart also requested that Weiner apologize “for him being complicit in a blame-the-messenger strategy,” but the representative was presumably warned of Breitbart’s presence because he never showed up.
Breitbart Gives Opie and Anthony the Dirty Details
After leaking the initial Weiner photos, Breitbart spent a lot of time touting the far more scandalous images he was still withholding from the public. Since he wasn’t ready to let go of his juiciest bit of dirt on Weiner, Breitbart went on The Opie & Anthony Show, a satellite radio program, and gave a detailed description of the images. He told the show’s hosts that if he were a photo editor at the Associated Press, he’d title the image “Twoballsoneshaft.jpg” and that while he thinks Weiner is “the most heterosexual guy out there,” it looks like the picture wasn’t intended to “arouse” the woman receiving it. Instead, Breitbart said, it was a narcissistic message that said, “I’m 46 years old and I’ve got a body that any guy in Greenwich Village, 25 years old, would want.”
Bill Maher Slams Breitbart
Bill Maher had Breitbart on his HBO show in May of 2011 and confronted the conservative activist about his belief that President Obama’s second book was written by a ghost writer. Breitbart refused to deny the implication that his belief was based on racism, and insisted that “it’s just an opinion.” He was interrupted by GRITtv host Laura Flanders, who said, “It’s an opinion. But you’re not a journalist or a commentator, you’re a con man. And that’s your job."
Won’t Apologize for Shirley Sherrod Video
Perhaps one of Breitbart’s most infamous controversies was the release of an edited and out-of-context video that aimed to portray now-former Agricultural Department employee Shirley Sherrod as a racist who had antipathy toward white people. The video led to Sherrod’s forced resignation and she later sued Breitbart for damaging her reputation. The story she was telling was, in fact, not racist, but about her struggles to overcome racism after her father was murdered in 1965 by white men who were never indicted. Shortly after the video was broadcast, Breitbart appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to defend his stance, refusing an apology to Sherrod.
Getting Heated in Defense of ACORN Video
The Sherrod affair was not the first time Breitbart used edited clips to go after someone. In 2009 Breitbart posted a video of then-unknown filmmaker James O’Keefe and his friend Hannah Giles posing as a pimp and a prostitute at the Baltimore offices of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, better known as ACORN. The two were seeking advice on prostitution and money laundering from the community organizers, and caught ACORN employees on tape giving it. In the video above, Breitbart was approached by reporters asking whether ACORN was involved with actual prostitution. This was beside the point, Breitbart argued, because ACORN was “caught red-handed.” He lost his temper as he noted that no one had a problem with other news organizations going undercover.
Breitbart the Movie
A new documentary, entitled Hating Breitbart was slated to be released this year. The film, which was previewed at this year’s CPAC, was clearly made to give Breitbart’s side of his own story. Against a black background and tense music, Breitbart declared, in an eerie whisper, “war” on the liberal media, which, he said, had tried to portray the Tea Party movement as racist.