On September 10, Andrew Breitbart launched his new site, BigGovernment, with hidden-video camera footage of two young conservative activists who’d gotten Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) employees to advise them on hiding prostitution profits from the IRS. Within hours, Breitbart was doing interviews with reporters who wanted to know how, exactly, the story had come about, and why Big Government was releasing the videos and the identity of the muckrackers — 25-year-old James O’Keefe III and 20-year-old Hannah Giles — so slowly.
“It was strategized,” Breitbart told The Washington Independent this week, so “that they would be deprived of the type of information that a defense attorney would try to gather in order to create a defense.”
Who were “these people?” They were not just the leaders or members of ACORN itself. “They” were the Democratic Party, the White House, the progressive Center for American Progress and its president John Podesta. The “Democrat-media complex” is Breitbart’s name for the whole apparatus. “We deprived them of information,” Breitbart explained, “so that they couldn’t come up with a vile, kill-the-messenger attack with the media doing the groundwork for them.”
The success of Breitbart’s strategy was immediate, stunning, and is still ricocheting around the political world. Five days after the story broke, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to prevent ACORN from receiving any federal funding. Two days later, the House of Representatives did the same. Meanwhile, Breitbart was talking to more reporters, amused at how the “kill-the-messenger attack” was playing out. When one report from The Washington Post called him for a story about O’Keefe and Giles, Breitbart compared their tape to the photos of Abu Ghraib prison released in April 2004.
“She goes, ‘Wait a second! I worked on the Abu Ghraib stories,’” said Breitbart. “I go, ‘Yeah, that was one aberrant National Guard unit. And now I have five ACORN places that are all complicit in the exact same thing. And there are more!’”
Continue reading at the Washington Independent, the Colorado Independent’s sister site in D.C.