Big Government Guy Dances Poorly

AndrewBreitbartShreveport I tried to make my way through an understanding of the President’s new plan for a path to victory, but though I like to think that I’m as smart as the average bear, I couldn’t find it in my first reading, though it seems a lot of things are increasingly on the “dead” list including health care, comprehensive immigration reform, labor law reform, cap-and-trade, and probably your favorite issue as well.  Hey, just as we thought maybe at the least we might get some financial reform, he puts the shoulder rub on Tim Geithner, who is the Secretary of the Treasury giveaway and a huge weight around the President’s neck.  Guy wanted someone to thank him for their not being a “depression,” while not realizing that tens of millions of people think there is a depression and find it all just a matter of degree without a real difference.

If all of that didn’t confuse me enough, I found something almost identical in reading the Washington Independent which was trying to parse whether or not James O’Keefe, the inept ACORN scammer and lowlife Senator Landrieu wire tapper, was working for Andrew Breitbart and his biggovernment.com websites, but was “not” working for them.  Huh?  Which is only to say that he was a direct subcontractor (we’ll have to see how “independent”) and that Breitbart doesn’t want the bungling on his shoes, despite the fact that he has relished the indirect smear tactic and O’Keefe repeatedly.  It’s all too rich…when what goes around, comes around, and they still pretend to not get it.

Breitbart will throw O’Keefe under the bus.  Bank on that.  But, the tire tracks are all over him too and no amount of dancing will make that go away.  The kid gloves are on for sure, but no amount of ducking and weaving will keep these punches from falling.

James O’Keefe: Not Working for Big Government, But on the Payroll

By David Weigel 1/27/10 10:31 AM

Justin Elliot catches Andrew Breitbart giving a factual-but-tortured explanation of how Big Government was not responsible for James O’Keefe’s bungled phone plot against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). The interviewer is Hugh Hewitt — for what it’s worth, a veteran of the Nixon administration who once ran the 37th president’s official library.

AB: So when [O’Keefe] puts a story out there, it’s on the Brietbart sites, the Big sites, that he can tell people what transpired. So…

HH: Do you pay him for that?

AB: Yes.

HH: And are you free to tell me how much you pay him?

AB: I’ll… perhaps at another date, but he’s paid a fair salary.

HH: Is he… so he is an employee?

AB: I’m not sure that’s technically the thing, but yes, he’s paid for his life rights. And he’s, you know, he’s still… we reserve the right to say yes or no to any of the stories that he puts up on our site as we do to any other contributor who comes to the site.

HH: Will it be a mischaracterization to say he was working for you when he went about this?

AB: Well, I mean, no. He was not involved in anything that was related to Big Government, or Breitbart.com.

HH: And I think that’s the key thing. Lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment. And this was not within the scope of his employment.

AB: Yes, absolutely. That is absolutely the case.

From the outset, Breitbart and Big Government editor-in-chief Mike Flynn have said that O’Keefe was acting on his own, and that they had no knowledge whatsoever of what he was planning in New Orleans. No one has proven them wrong. But Big Government, like many conservative news sites, has run repeated stories linking unions to ACORN based on minor financial ties — or less.

A Jan. 6 story at Big Government accused ACORN and “big labor” of being in cahoots because “ACORN files labor organization financial reports for SEIU 880 and SEIU 100 with the U.S. Department of Labor.” A Jan. 5 story made the case against National Labor Relations Board nominee Craig Becker because he was endorsed by ACORN founder Wade Rathke. A December 2009 story about Health Care for America Now accused the organization of being a front group for ACORN because ACORN members were listed as state contacts. “In short,” argued reporter Larry O’Connor, “HCAN is ACORN.” It’s hard to imagine that if this story was flipped — if someone on the ACORN payroll was busted spying on a senator — Big Government would give ACORN a free pass.

I give Breitbart and Flynn the benefit of the doubt on this story. But if the standards and scrutiny that Big Government applies to left-wing groups are flipped back on the Website, it’s going to be tough to argue that it’s not at all connected to O’Keefe’s potential crime. Again, I’m not stating an equivalence between this situation and the ACORN scandals. I’m just saying that if O’Keefe was paid by Big Government, this story isn’t going away.

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