Is Breitbart Uninformed About Pigford Or Just Lying?

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

Yesterday, I noted that Andrew Breitbart made a false statement about the Pigford black farmer discrimination settlement. Today, in a post on Breitbart's BigJournalism.com, Breitbart's Pigford investigator Lee Stranahan responds that I caught Breitbart making "a minor gaffe" about Pigford but that Breitbart "obviously knows" the truth of the matter.

It turns out that Breitbart actually made the same false statement about Pigford more than once yesterday, which raises the question of whether Breitbart is actively lying about the case.

For the record, at a news conference at CPAC Breitbart falsely claimed that under the Pigford settlement, Track A -- in which the standard of proof for claimants was relaxed and successful claimants collected a flat $50,000 -- was only "for attempted-to-farmers." In fact, both Track A and Track B -- in which damages were not capped, but a claimant had to meet the traditional standard of proof -- were open both to people who farmed and people who attempted to farm but were prevented because of the federal government's discrimination.

Stranahan says of my piece:

[Media Matters ran] a section of video where AB, speaking off the cuff, makes a minor gaffe discussing the difference between Track A and Track B claims in Pigford. The two tracks are a topic Andrew has discussed many, many times and it's in the Pigford report. Andrew obviously knows the difference between Track A and B claims and in his short introduction, he was focusing on how these tracks effected the real, bona fide farmers like Eddie Slaughter, who is sitting about 5 feet away from him in the video clip Media Matters put up.

But Media Matters only shows a short section of the press conference. Their 'heavily edited' video doesn't show any of the other speakers, including Mr. Slaughter, Rep. Michelle Bachman, Rep. Steve King or me. Nor does Media Matters make ANY reference to the point of the press conference -- the release of hard evidence of how simple it is to commit fraud in Pigford.

But later in the day, Breitbart told Media Matters for America's Joe Strupp: "There are 94,000 people in line to get Pigford checks, the majority of, I believe it's 92 percent, are going through the Track A standard, which is the attempted-to-farmer standard."

Here's video of Breitbart's exchange with Strupp:

So it comes down to this: Does Breitbart not understand Pigford, or does he "obviously" understand it -- as Stranahan claims -- and is simply lying about what Track A and Track B are about?

I should also briefly respond to Stranahan's complaint that my previous post was "deceptive" and the video I posted was "heavily edited." Stranahan doesn't claim that if we included more video, it would show Breitbart correcting himself about what Track A was in the Pigford settlement. He's just upset because we didn't include video amplifying Breitbart's point and providing coverage of his entire event.

That doesn't make anything I did deceptive. (Besides, does Breitbart not have enough websites for him to be able to amplify his point himself?)

For a real example of being deceptive with heavily edited video, Stranahan should look at what Breitbart did to Shirley Sherrod, where the video Breitbart posted painted Sherrod as racist, but the full video showed Sherrod rising above racism.

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