The late Andrew Breitbart was certainly no fan of the mainstream media, but his distrust went far beyond ideological disagreements. He was convinced of a carefully orchestrated plot between MSNBC, Media Matters, and the White House to brand Tea Party activists and conservatives in general as racists. About a month before his death, Breitbart gave an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
Sharpton premiered as host of PoliticsNation With Al Sharpton on MSNBC in August. He was hired, according to Breitbart, because accusations of racism against the Tea Party and other conservatives have more heft coming from him than they do from hosts Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell.
Breitbart said that having Sharpton, as well as other prominent, left-wing African Americans like Cornel West and the Rev. Jesse Jackson appear only sporadically on cable news shows wasn’t sufficient to smear opponents of Obama. Sharpton’s task is to identify the allegedly coded language of the right – which Breitbart called “dog whistles” — that Sharpton can translate into something racially insensitive.
Breitbart also discussed the MSM’s targeting of Rush Limbaugh, well before Flukegate blew up and helped to land Limbaugh in hot water with advertisers, pols, and media mavens:
Breitbart said MSNBC and Media Matters “want to go after me, they want to destroy me and my media possibilities as much as they want to destroy Rush Limbaugh, and that’s because Rush has his own venue and I have my own venue.”
Breitbart called Media Matters a “political organization masked as a watchdog group” whose “dispatches are immediately turned into the questions that are used on air by MSNBC, which serves the same purpose of defending the Obama administration.”
Media Matters was quick to dismiss Breitbart’s claims:
“Whenever we know certain conservatives are booked, we send a memo saying, ‘Hey, you should ask them this question.’ But there’s no conference call saying, ‘This is how you should attack your guest.’ That would be inappropriate,” says Rabin –Havt.
As to coordinating with the Obama administration, Rabin-Havt says: “There are times when our interests are aligned with the White House, but we never get marching orders from them… Yes, we call the White House if we have a question, just like any reporter would.”
Knowing Andrew Breitbart, though, he had plenty of evidence to back up his claims. It’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of this.