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Andrew Breitbart Says ABC News Are Lying, Publishes Emails as “Proof”

Reported by Alex - November 1, 2010 -

He started it – no, wait, he started it! As I reported on Saturday, it seems Andrew Breitbart was stretching the truth just a bit when he claimed to have been tapped by ABC News to provide election night analysis this Tuesday. And now that ABC have refuted him, saying that Breitbart was merely invited to be a guest at an Arizona townhall that will be streamed live on the internet, Breitbart and ABC are in a war of words over who, exactly, is responsible for Breitbart’s belief that he was to play with the big boys.

In last night’s instalment of “Mom, he hit me first!”, the already discredited Breitbart came out screeching, with a classic wingnut screed:

In response to the announcement that I would provide my analysis on ABC News from Arizona on election night, like-clockwork, from the George Soros-funded Media Matters to Keith Olbermann to Huffington Post to Daily Kos to Talking Points Memo to Twitter (#boycottABCNEWS), the institutional left began on Friday to inundate ABC News with a wave of partisan objections and unfounded allegations against me.
Make no mistake: this is a calculated “astroturf“ intimidation campaign by the well-funded and frightened-for-their-political-lives institutional left to quash dissenting voices. It’s what they do.

Oh, come on, Andy! Can’t you do better than that? That’s not even original! Soros! Olbermann! Boogah boogah! Puh-leeeeeze.

This is a little more interesting: Breitbart then reproduces the text of an email which he believes constitutes proof that he was invited to appear on air as an analyst.

So great speaking with you, and I cannot thank you enough for joining us in Arizona on election night. We truly appreciate it.
NY is booking your travel right now, and want to make sure your name on your ID reads “Andrew Breitbart”.
I really look forward to meeting you, and would love to take you out to lunch or dinner before our election coverage.
See below about ABC New’s coverage on election night.
Cheers, and will see you soon.
(signature deleted)
ABC News

ABC News is conducting a live event from Phoenix, Arizona for our election night special on Tuesday, November 2nd 2010. I am looking for political figures and newsmakers to appear in our Town Hall style panel.
ABC News is providing live coverage of the midterm elections hosted by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos in New York, and correspondents across the country.
ABC News has partnered with Facebook and The Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University to live stream the entire event on abcnews.com, ABC News Now and Facebook.
The Town Hall is hosted by ABC correspondent David Muir and Randi Zuckerberg from Facebook, as well an ASU student leader.
The audience will consist of 150 students equipped with laptops and Ipads who will participate in online political conversations.
The issues include health care, the economy, immigration, terrorism, and the environment. We will have panelists who will contribute to these conversations remotely from Washington, DC, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA.
This program will broadcast on the ABC Television Network, abcnews.com, ABC News Now, and ABC News Radio.
The show will be live on the web and ABC News Now as well as on the network from 4:00pm till 11:00pm MST.

We would love for you to be a part of our program, and please let us know what we can do to accommodate your needs.
I am booking the guests for the event and will be in Phoenix starting Thursday, October 28th.
Feel free to email me back or call me at the following number with any questions.
Thanks so much,
(signature deleted)
ABC News

In fairness to Breitbart, the email, if reproduced accurately, does give the impression that the townhall is to be broadcast live on air as well as over the internet. But nowhere can I see any indication that Breitbart was to provide analysis of election night activity or results. What I do see is that he is to be part of a large panel of in situ and off-site contributors that will discuss a number of issues including “health care, the economy, immigration, terrorism, and the environment.”

Greg Sargent, writing in the Washington Post, says that “ABC News adamantly denies Breitbart’s latest attack” in a statement they sent him, which reads, in part:

Any confusion about Breitbart's role is of his own making. A simple reading of the email he posted makes it quite clear that he had only ever been invited to be a guest on our online town hall.

I’m not so sure it was that clear. But Sargent is right: Breitbart is a relentless self-promoter who will use and/or abuse anyone for his own self-aggrandizement, and is using this issue to try to make himself look like a martyr (the rest of Breitbart’s article is one long whine). If ABC’s news producers know enough about him to consider inviting him in the first place, they must know about his track record as a liar and propagandist; after all, the ACORN and Shirley Sherrod episodes were national news, and Breitbart’s role in both are well-known. And we all saw him distance himself from his creepy protégé, James “Pimp” O’Keefe, after O’Keefe was exposed for his sick plot to humiliate a CNN reporter through sexual harassment (or worse) on a dildo-filled floating "pleasure" palace.

ABC shouldn’t be surprised if Breitbart is using them to make a big deal of himself and then biting them in the butt. It’s what he does.

Having said that, ABC isn’t looking too good here, either. IMHO both parties should be sent to stand in the time-out corner for a while, and then either play nice or not play together at all. Speaking of which, is it my imagination or are Fox News not BFF's with Breitbart any more, as Ellen asked back in June and as evidenced by Fox's lukewarm reception of Breitbart's latest conspiracy theory?