Ultra-Conservative Gadfly Andrew Breitbart, Dead at Age 43
Breitbart was at the center of two video controversies in recent years - one that led to the firing of an Agriculture Department employee over an edited video of what appeared to be a racist remark, and another that embarrassed the community group ACORN when workers were shown counseling actors posing as a prostitute and pimp.
Breitbart is known for disseminating an edited video that showed an Agriculture Department employee making what appeared to be racist remarks.
Sherrod, who is black, was fired from her job as Georgia state rural development director in July 2010 after the video surfaced. She is seen telling a local NAACP group that she was initially reluctant to help a white farmer save his farm more than two decades ago, long before she worked for USDA.
Missing from the clip was the rest of the speech, which was meant as a lesson in racial healing. Sherrod told the crowd she eventually realized her mistake and helped the farmer save his farm. She has since filed a lawsuit against Breitbart.
Breitbart’s websites also featured a 2009 hidden-camera sting video that brought embarrassment to the community group ACORN. The videos show ACORN staffers offering advice on taxes and other issues to actors posing as a prostitute and pimp.
Weiner’s problems began on May 28 when Bretibart’s biggovernment.com posted a lewd photograph of an underwear-clad crotch and said it had been sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a Seattle woman.
Initially, Weiner lied, saying his account had been hacked. But he pointedly did not report the incident to law enforcement - a step that could have led the way to charges of wrongdoing far more serious than mere sexting.
Additionally, his public denials were less than solid - particularly when he told an interviewer that he could not "say with certitude" that he wasn’t the man in the underwear photo.
Weiner’s spokesman said the photo was just "a distraction" and that the congressman "doesn’t know the person named by the hacker."
The congressman denied sending the photo and said he had retained an attorney and hired a private security company to figure out how someone could pull off such a prank.
But Weiner dropped that story line on June 6, offering a lengthy public confession at a Manhattan news conference, acknowledging to online activity involving at least six women.
It was a remarkable turn of events for the brash Weiner, who conceded to a "hugely regrettable" lapse in judgment.
EDGE adds: Andrew Breitbart had a tortured history with the tiny ultra-conservative advocacy group GOProud. He had first championed the group and helped get it into the annual right-wing love fest, the Conservative Political Action Convention.
He, along with pundit Ann Coulter, helped GOProud achieve some recognition in the national media. But then he resigned abruptly from its board of directors after the group’s head outed (inadvertently, he alleged) an aide to Rick Perry. The Texas governor aired a now-notorious anti-gay ad that many believe backfired and helped torch his campaign to become the Republican nominee to the White House.
On the occasion of his resignation from the board, Breitbart sent an email that read, in part, "On numerous occasions I have spoken with [GOProud leaders] Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron of the significant impact the practice of ’outing’ had in my evolution from the political left to the right ... I have a zero tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual’s sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction."
It should also be noted that a rumor of a gay affair on Breitbart’s part surfaced on the Internet last September, despite what appeared to be a happy marriage. The stories were never proven.