"He Said/She Said" Reporting Legitimizes Breitbart's Deceptive Smear Campaign
Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL
Through he said/she said journalism, the media gives Andrew Breitbart's debunked videos legitimacy they don't deserve. Exhibit A: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "a pair of heavily edited videos" shows two professors "appearing to condone the use of violence in labor negotiations." At the end of the article, they note:
Officials at UMKC say they have been reviewing the video but thus far have expressed support for their professor.
They have criticized the Internet videos, saying their editing put the instructors' comments out of context.
Well, were they? The Post-Dispatch does not have to take the school officials' word for it -- they can see for themselves. With a little bit of research, they can show their readers that, yes, Big Government was taking Professor Don Giljum out of context when they edited out the portions of his comments that show him rejecting violence (in bold):
I tend to agree with you, because I think if you look at labor's history over the years, you'll find that, you know, we've had a very violent history with violent protests and reaction to suppression. OK? But as time has changed, the tactics have changed, or the need for those have changed. OK?
Now, you know, that's not to say that in certain instances, strategically played out and for certain purposes, that industrial sabotage doesn't have its place. I think it certainly does. But as far as -- You know, and I can't really honestly say that I've never wished, or have never been in a position where I have haven't wished real harm on somebody or inflicted any pain and suffering on some people--
STUDENT: We're all human.
GILJUM: --who didn't ask for it, but, you know, it certainly has its place. It certainly makes you feel a hell of a lot better sometimes, but beyond that I'm not sure as a tactic today, the type of violence or reaction to the violence we had back then would be called for here, and I think it would do more harm than good.
And yes, Big Government was also taking Professor Judy Ancel out of context when they cropped Ancel's comments to make it seem like she was stating her own views on violence as a tactic, when she was actually only quoting a person interviewed in a documentary.
The Post-Dispatch could have also noted that the school officials' claims are consistent with Big Government's history of deceptively editing video.
Attention journalists: Andrew Breitbart is playing you like a fiddle. He knows that the news media is often loath to state anything as a fact, and that this false equivalence makes his smears look like legitimate claims.