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By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2010 5:29pm PT  

[As noted, I'm on the road this month, so blogging has been catch as catch can for me while on the roll. Have had terrible net access from the road of late. So apologies for the lateness of this one --- and others I've been trying, but failing, to log over last day or three, but haven't been able to. But better posting this here late, rather than never. For the record.]

The host of Late Night with David Letterman, during his interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last week, used uncharacteristically harsh language to describe the discredited Rightwing hitman, race-baiter and pathological liar Andrew Breitbart. Yes, he called him an asshole...


ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2010 10:26am PT  

New York's WBAI Evening News tracked me down while I was on the road in the sweltering wilds of SE Texas yesterday to discuss the story of the Rightwing cabal which had been revealed as having secretly and systematically worked to kill/bury/down-vote links to stories from The BRAD BLOG and other non-wingnut news sites before they could reach the front pages of major social aggregator networks like DIGG. See our coverage of this from Thursday.

One point I was able to make during the WBAI interview, which I didn't in the quick Thursday article, is that this episode illustrates, yet again, that even these Rightwingers recognize their own ideas are so weak they can't stand up to legitimate scrutiny on their own. The system must be gamed in hopes of giving them an edge in the public arena.

Moreover, if the Right is willing to sabotage social networking sites and willing to publish faked videos (see their ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos, Shirley Sherrod video, etc.) in dishonest hopes of scoring political points, then why wouldn't they be similarly willing to steal elections whenever/however possible? That is, after all, the greatest prize and it's all for a greater purpose, right?

My interview on WBAI Evening News follows below. (My thanks to WBAI political reporter Rebecca Myles for sending me the audio while I was otherwise on the road and largely off the grid all day yesterday.)

MP3 Download or listen online below [appx. 8.5 mins]...

* * *

P.S. In a related note, Dave Johnson at "Seeing the Forest" reminds me that he pointed out last year how the same concerted Rightwing effort seems to go into gaming material at Wikipedia. I can also attest to that first-hand, as I've seen the "Brad Friedman" article over there defanged, tagged and even targeted for deletion by the same Right-leaning Wiki-administrator over and again throughout the years.

P.P.S. Billy Dennis, the "Peoria Pundit," picked up on our Thursday article, and offers some additional thoughts, along with this one at the end which I think is meant as a compliment :-) :

Hat tip: Brad Blog (his site is sorta like Breitbart’s would be if Breitbart was progressive, honest, willing to criticize BOTH parties and well-researched).
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By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2010 3:31pm PT  

As usual, when Rightwingers can't win outright, they cheat. Such is the case on the very popular social aggregator website DIGG, as documented today at Alternet.

We've suspected for quite some time that links to The BRAD BLOG's articles as posted on DIGG have been quickly "buried" by Rightwingers hoping to keep our stories from reaching the front page --- or even the "upcoming" page, where others might see the story rising in DIGG "votes," so that it might then be propelled to the front page, where millions more would then see the link to the article.

The AlterNet piece details a "massive" Rightwing cabal which has been doing exactly that, and we weren't particularly surprised when we found The BRAD BLOG named in the piece as one of several non-wingnut websites that have been targeted for "burial" by a Rightwing group of Internet hacks calling themselves "Digg Patriots"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2010 11:36am PT  

The news this summer has largely focused on an unstoppable, slimy, toxic, oozing gusher polluting our nation. That, and on the BP oil disaster.

As to the unstoppable, slimy, toxic, oozing gusher, the Associated Press has continued in the recent tradition of its failed corporate media brethren by gracing Rightwing propagandist Andrew Breitbart with yet another puff profile piece today. The more Breitbart reveals himself to be a fully-discredited, pathological-liar, race-baiter and opportunist, it seems, the more the corporate media regard him as a player in modern Republican politics. That kind of makes sense when you think about it.

If one regards the "crazy-cons" that have become today's GOP as little more than one half of today's Right/Left, Red/Blue, Republican/Democratic, Conservative/Liberal "politics as usual" --- if, by "usual", one means the years immediately proceeding the American Civil War --- then why not offer another friendly profile to one of the four top leaders of that once-legitimate party? (The others being Beck, Limbaugh and Palin.)

So that's what AP's Michael R. Blood did today.

Since we tell the truth here at The BRAD BLOG, rather than just make shit up, and were, in no small part, somewhat responsible for helping to demonstrate to the nation that Breitbart's only actually "successful" disinfo campaign --- his faked ACORN "Pimp" Hoax tapes --- were completely phony, the AP has neither profiled us, nor even called us for comment as a "critic" of Breitbart's for their story. (They haven't issued corrections for their myriad of articles which misreported the ACORN story either, for that matter).

All of that makes sense, of course, because, as Media Matter's Eric Boehlert points out today, "in [their] 2,100-word profile coming in the wake of Breitbart's Sherrod debacle, the AP only set aside 13 of those words to quote a Breitbart critic."

And even those 13 words --- reported by Blood as "Critics said the heavily edited [ACORN] tapes shaped a deceptive narrative" --- are quickly made moot by AP as little more than an indeterminable, open-ended, he-said/she-said "charge Breitbart denies". Close enough for corporate mainstream media work, apparently.

Boehlert describes it this way...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Where is the apology to ACORN, done in by very same deceptively-edited video fraud, published by very same pimp?...
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2010 12:35pm PT  

We missed this originally on Monday while on the road (where we still are, driving through the blistering hot TX panhandle today, God save us), but it's still worth watching today in case you missed it. Looks like Obama needs to fire Hillary Clinton, according to Colbert, just as Obama fired Shirley Sherrod and just as he signed legislation defunding ACORN --- in both cases, for having done nothing wrong.

I also feel obligated to note again --- since it seems almost nobody else is doing so (Salon's Joe Conason being one of the very few exceptions) --- that it's been more than a week since Barack Obama apologized to former USDA official Shirley Sherrod for having fired her from her job after Rightwing shyster Andrew Breitbart published a deceptively-edited video fraudulently targeting her.

However, it's been about ten months since Obama signed legislation defunding ACORN --- with hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs outrageously sacrificed in the bargain --- after Rightwing shyster Andrew Breitbart published deceptively-edited videos targeting them. Deceptively edited videos, I should add, in which the only criminal activities shown were those by Breitbart's employees who secretly video taped ACORN workers in violation of the law in several states.

And yet, there has still been no apology by Obama to ACORN, no funding restored, and very few of those in the media who (appropriately) chided Obama for having prematurely forced Sherrod to resign without learning the facts of the case have bothered to do same in regard to ACORN, even though it was the same scam, run by the very same pimp.

Is it because the MSM are too lazy? Too stupid? Or too embarrassed because they too fell for the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax and have yet to apologize for having done so?

Either way, The BRAD BLOG does not intend to let Obama off the hook, and I hope you'll join us in that effort.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2010 9:28am PT  

From AP:

Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.

The edited video posted by Andrew Breitbart led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask Sherrod to resign, a decision he reconsidered after seeing the entire video of her March speech to a local NAACP group. In the full speech, Sherrod spoke of racial reconciliation and lessons she learned after initially hesitating to help a white farmer save his home.

She said she doesn't want an apology from Breitbart for posting the video that took her comments out of context, but told a crowd at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention that she would "definitely sue."

If filed, Sherrod's suit against the discredited pathological liar, race-baiter, and propagandist Breitbart would follow on another lawsuit recently filed against two of his employees, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, for having secretly video-taped an ACORN worker in violation of California state law. The worker, as all of the others secretly taped in the O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart hit videos, was found to have committed no crimes, despite disinformation suggesting otherwise forwarded on Breitbart's websites and other rightwing and non-rightwing media outlets.

The suit against O'Keefe and Giles, filed just over two weeks ago by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera for invasion of privacy, leaves open the possibility that a number of other defendants will be added to the complaint. As The BRAD BLOG noted in our coverage of that suit, "we'll be neither surprised nor saddened to see Breitbart named as one" of the defendants added in the not-too-distant future.

Between that lawsuit, and Sherrod's, if she keeps her promise to "definitely sue," it looks like Breitbart, who has spent many years disingenuously decrying the "journalistic malpractice" of others, may soon get a better definition of what that phrase actually means. For those of us who have seen Breitbart's manic and embarrassing defense of his phony ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos --- the deceptively-edited tapes he published prior to the deceptively-edited Sherrod video he published --- we've already got a pretty good idea of what that looks like.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/13/2010 5:02pm PT  

Yesterday The BRAD BLOG covered the invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by former San Diego ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera against Rightwing activists and dirty tricksters James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles after they'd video-taped him secretly, in violation of California law.

Last night, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC covered it, rather amusingly (and accurately), this way...


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Complaint leaves room for their employer/pimp, Andrew Breitbart to be added as defendant in the future...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2010 12:42am PT  

Rightwing dirty-trickster and convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his accomplice Hannah Giles are being sued for invasion of privacy by a San Diego ACORN worker.

Juan Carlos Vera was fired by the 4-decade old anti-poverty, pro-democracy community organization after deceptively edited and secretly recorded video tapes of a meeting Vera had with O'Keefe and Giles were released by the pair and published on Republican propagandist Andrew Breitbart's websites. The tapes were then widely aired on Fox "News", as well as non-Rightwing media outlets.

Vera is suing for at least $75,000 in accordance with California's Invasion of Privacy Act which, according to the short, four-page complaint [PDF] filed at week's end in U.S. District Court, "prohibits the recording of confidential communications without the consent of all participants where there is an objectively reasonable expectation that the conversation is not being overheard or recorded."

In April of this year, CA Attorney General Jerry Brown completed a five-month probe into O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart's secretly-taped ACORN videos and found "no criminality" by any of the ACORN workers seen on what he described as "severely edited" tapes.

He did, however, find that O'Keefe and Giles themselves were likely to have violated California law, and could see private litigation brought against them...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



A MUST-WATCH, MUST-SHARE video report from the best news writing team in the business...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2010 11:27am PT  

Once again, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show demonstrate the best news writing in the business. Hands down. Period. No contest.

Last night, Maddow opened with a shameful side-by-side comparison of the aggressive action taken by Republicans last year to defund ACORN on the basis of secret video tapes which proved to be complete hoaxes, versus their nearly complete silence in regard to the deadly crimes and disasters of BP.

While ACORN received approximately $3.5 million in federal funding over each of the last 15 years, and Republicans were outraged about it, BP receives literally BILLIONS in federal funds each year for what it does, and it has actually killed people in the bargain.

Maddow's report is both stunning and obvious at the same time --- at least to anyone remotely involved in the world of actual fact and reality, which is to say, almost nobody else in the entirety of the corporate media (and, thus, the public.)

This report is what the news media are supposed to be doing --- connecting the dots that matter for the public. This is a MUST-WATCH and a MUST-SHARE (widely)...


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'O'Keefe's ACORN hoax lives on because journalists like Stephanopoulos fail to challenge him'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2010 4:08pm PT  

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), the decades-old media watchdog group whose condemnation of the NYTimes mis-reporting on the ACORN Pimp Hoax picked up on our detailed exposé here, and ultimately helped force the "paper of record" into a begrudging partial correction, has now picked up on our coverage earlier this week of ABC News' Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos' and his near-verbatim use of the Times discredited reporting in his introduction to an interview with Rightwing hoaxsters James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart on Tuesday...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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'Good Morning America' host repeats, nearly verbatim, NYTimes' inaccurate, discredited report in 'exclusive' interview today...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2010 6:20pm PT  

As convicted federal criminal and rightwing dirty-trickster James O'Keefe repeated over and again this morning on ABC's Good Morning America, "this isn't about me." (Full video at end of article.)

To that end, neither is The BRAD BLOG's coverage of the scam artists' phony ACORN videos, or his attempted wiretap plot in a U.S. Senator's office, or his latest startling exposé for which he's released video today (also posted at end of article) purporting to show that he was allowed a full hour for his lunch break during one of two training days as a U.S. Census worker in April, and even allowed to leave an hour or two early when that day's training completed ahead of schedule. (Shocking, I know!)

Our coverage isn't about him. Never has been. We expect partisan scam artists like him, and his employer, rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart, to get away with whatever deceptive, partisan nonsense they can. This has always been about the utter failure of the corporate mainstream media in irresponsibly giving them a platform to publicize their propaganda, without even bothering to check any of the facts for accuracy first.

This morning, George Stephanopoulos did exactly that in the introduction to his "exclusive" interview with O'Keefe and Breitbart (who was on hand to enjoy some of O'Keefe's spotlight as well, for some reason) by repeating an inaccurate report from the New York Times nearly verbatim, despite the "paper of record" having corrected at least part of it over two months ago, and despite their Public Editor (ombudsman) having been broadly ridiculed for an embarrassing attempt to defend it...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2010 4:05pm PT  

Remember the disingenuous snit fits that Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart and his Tea Bag Boyz were on about when the original reports broke of "a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans" by Republican dirty trickster James O'Keefe and his band of co-conspirators?

They were outraged --- outraged --- that the "liberal media" had included the word "wiretap" in their reports about the felony arrests of the operatives, since the FBI's arrest affidavit didn't specifically mention an attempt to wiretap or bug the phones in her office. In a desperate attempt to distract from the actual story and find some way to support their friends' charged with serious federal felonies, the Tea Bag Boyz demanded that a number of media outlets issue immediate retractions for the claim, and, of course, the "liberal media" outlets complied --- as instructed --- as usual.

The notion of calling the federal criminals "TeaBuggers" just drove Andy's boys --- particularly the shamelessly pseudonymous wingnut blogger & L.A. County Dep. District Attorney, Patrick "Patterico" Frey --- to embarrassingly self-righteous (and inaccurate) distraction!

The fact was, of course, that, at the time, we had no idea what O'Keefe and friends were actually trying to do in that office, and O'Keefe --- who already had a well-established, if entirely unreported, record of lying to the media and the public about his phony, highly-doctored and illegally-recorded ACORN videos --- then went on to offer a preposterous public statement to explain his New Orleans scheme.

But now that O'Keefe's superstar GOP attorney was successful in pleading his client's felony charges down to a misdemeanor --- to which he and his conspirators pled guilty yesterday before a federal magistrate --- lo and behold, the FBI has released its own account of the arrest and plea deal.

And whaddaya know? According to the FBI, O'Keefe did plan to secretly wiretap the proceedings by secretly recording the conversations of employees in a U.S. Senator's office...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2010 11:46am PT  

As Republican dirty trickster, and now convicted federal criminal, James O'Keefe is neither Middle-Eastern nor a member of the Democratic Party, he was allowed to plead guilty to just a misdemeanor today for leading a conspiracy of criminals --- one of whom happened to be the son of the acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana --- in an attempt to tamper with the telephone system of a sitting U.S. Senator in her federal office in New Orleans, before being sentenced accordingly this morning by a federal magistrate:

Conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe and three compatriots today pleaded guilty to entering real property belonging to the United States under false pretenses for the January incident in which they entered Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office and claimed to be from the telephone company, the Times-Picayune reports.

O'Keefe was sentenced to three years of probation, a fine of $1,500 and 100 hours of community service. The others --- Stan Dai, Joseph Basel, and Robert Flanagan --- got the same fine, two years of probation, and 75 hours of community service.

Previous coverage by The BRAD BLOG of this hopefully-now-completed story included:

Of course, as a corollary to O'Keefe's arrest in New Orleans in late January, The BRAD BLOG was compelled to run a long series of investigative reports on how the media (perhaps mostly notably, the New York Times) had irresponsibly misreported on the hoax that had made O'Keefe famous in the first place --- his phony ACORN 'pimp' videos.

* * *

UPDATE: Matt Osborne of OsbornInk.com reminds us today of a video that he put together in response to the early weeks of our exposé of the O'Keefe/Breitbart ACORN Pimp Hoax...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Republican dirty trickster to escape personal accountability...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2010 2:54pm PT  

A federal judge gave a stern talking to this morning to the Rightwing dirty trickster James O'Keefe III and his three fellow conspirators --- one of whom is the son of the Acting U.S. Attorney in Louisiana --- for their attempt to access the telephone system of Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in her New Orleans office, by impersonating phone company employees.

While describing the Republican activists' actions as "unconscionable" and "extremely serious," Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. stopped short of ordering a trial, according to AP today:

A federal judge had strong words for four conservative activists who initially were accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, but ruled the misdemeanor charges against them can be resolved before a magistrate instead of a judge.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. said Wednesday he isn't exercising his right to hear the case even though the four defendants are charged with an "extremely serious" crime involving a security breach at a federal building.

"Deception is alleged to have been used by the defendants to achieve their purposes which in and of itself is unconscionable," Duval wrote.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2010 8:13pm PT  

I'm still largely off the grid for the rest of the week, though I'll be re-appearing briefly to guest host the Mike Malloy Show again this Thursday night from 6p-9p PT (9p-Mid ET). This time we'll be BradCasting from San Francisco's Green960, so I hope you'll join us for that. (We'll have a LIVE chat room here during the show, as always.)

Until then --- and until I'm finally back on the grid full time again --- here's a little musical "tribute" to that loser James O'Keefe III. You remember him, right? The guy who pulled off a scam, and then dressed up in a pimp outfit to lie about it in order to help take down an organization (ACORN) which helped hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizens who could most use the very helping hand that O'Keefe has now helped to ensure may no longer be available to anybody. So much for Bush Sr.'s "thousands points of light," eh?

In short, while James O'Keefe won life's lottery by being born an affluent white kid, he remains a loser who apparently never learned the difference between right and wrong, and what it means to stand by your fellow citizens and countrymen.

So, in that spirit, here's a fresh song just out from Benedict Arnold & the Traitors "celebrating" exactly that. Push back that you can dance to!

The fine folks of BA&T have made the tune available for free download here, or you can listen to it online below...

I guess they'll have to do a song about Andy Breitbart next. The mind reels as to what might rhyme with Breitbart. Back soon. Enjoy the relative quiet while I'm "gone" :-)

ReddIt this story!



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