The black political art of "working the refs" with constant and vociferous complaints of "liberal bias" in the media has a long and distinguished history. Few of its practitioners, however, have succeeded so frequently—and nakedly—as the ex-Drudge drudge and Arianna acolyte Andrew Breitbart. The estimable E.J. Dionne terms Breitbart to be the MSM’s virtual "assignment editor" and, indeed, it’s hard not to be impressed. Breitbart has already been exposed as a provocateur who cares not a whit for honesty or accuracy in his self-declared war on all things liberal. Yet reporters, editors and producers remain so frightened by his accusations that they continue to trumpet them as they search their souls to purge themselves of the bias that prevented them from seeing the world from a Tea Party point of view.
Remember, the very same techniques deployed to defame Shirley Sherrod and discredit the NAACP were employed to destroy ACORN, albeit aided by the idiocy of a couple of low-level ACORN employees. Breitbart’s underlings, the admitted criminal James O’Keefe and his associate Hannah Giles, lied to ACORN about their respective identities for the purpose of surreptitiously taping their words and actions and then releasing a doctored version of the tape to the credulous media. They misrepresented their own dress and demeanor in this visit—they were not dressed up as a comic-book pimp and ho—and O’Keefe also claimed that an undercover video campaign was a "nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation" implicating numerous ACORN employees. In the heavily edited videos Breitbart released of their encounters at eight ACORN offices, he (and they) failed to note that in at least six of these, they did not get their desired result. (Some ACORN employees contacted the authorities.) Of course, we did not learn any of this until after the MSM conspired with Breitbart and company to help destroy ACORN based on this false and defamatory narrative.
Recall, again, that vis-à-vis ACORN, media machers could not flagellate themselves fast enough for their previous failure to follow Breitbart into the gutter. Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism explained, "Complaints by conservatives are slower to be picked up by non-ideological media because there are not enough conservatives and too many liberals in most newsrooms." Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli worried, "We are not well-enough informed about conservative issues. It’s particularly a problem in a town so dominated by Democrats and the Democratic point of view." Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander added that "traditional news outlets like The Post simply don’t pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints." New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson admitted "insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio." Meanwhile, on ABC News, George Stephanopoulos thought the ACORN fable worthy of being raised in a rare one-on-one interview opportunity with President Obama, who replied that he wasn’t following the story very closely and, by the way, had more important problems to address. (US grants to ACORN, already suspended at the time, accounted for less than one-thousandth of 1 percent of annual US government spending.)