Breitbart Editors Won't Stop Digging

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

What a humiliating week it has been for Andrew Breitbart and his team of editors as they continue to struggle with the fact that Big Government editor-in-chief Mike Flynn posted an entirely erroneous report that an Occupy activist had been murdered inside a protest camp in Savannah. The claim was patently false. But rather than acknowledge that fact and apologize for the mistake, Breitbart's editors have chosen instead to keep digging a very deep and very embarrassing hole, while piling lies on top of lies.

The latest effort today comes from Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief of, who contributes a weak attempt to deflect attention from the Savannah debacle. In his angry pushback, Pollak lobs all kinds of unrelated attacks against Media Matters, because we helped highlight the Flynn fiasco. But what does he have to say about the botched Savannah report? Pollak pushes the flimsy lie that Flynn had moved quickly this week to correct his post. Pollak also claims the Savannah story was confusing, and there was so much breaking news, nobody could really tell what was going on.

Except everyone else in Savannah was able to follow the story. Only Flynn, who made up the claim about a murder inside the Occupy camp, seemed to have trouble keeping up.

The problem Breitbart's team cannot get around, and still refuses to concede, is that Flynn made an astonishing sloppy error in his original post on Monday. Basing his item on an Occupy Savannah Facebook posting that announced the sad news that local activist Jonathan Brazell had been shot and killed over the weekend, Flynn immediately reported the killing took place inside the Occupy camp.

It did not. And nowhere in the Facebook posting was it suggested that it did. (According to press accounts, police say Brazell was the victim of an attempted robbery that occurred ten miles from the Occupy camp.) Flynn though, made the erroneous connection and then used that manufactured connection to smear the Occupy movement, which Breitbart's sites have been doing obsessively for two months.

Colleagues of Brazell though, began to flood Big Government to denounce Flynn's fabricated claim about a murder inside the camp, as well Flynn's tasteless attempt to politicize it.

So what did Flynn and Big Government do? Nothing. Flynn posted his report on Monday. On Tuesday morning, Media Matters called out the falsehoods in the item. It wasn't until Wednesday that Flynn attached a non-correction, non-retraction "update" to the top his misguided story [emphasis added]:

"Savannah police have now clarified this morning to Big Government via telephone that the shooting of Occupy Savannah activist Jonathan Brazell is being investigated as an ordinary robbery, due partly to the fact that it occurred at a significant distance from the protest site itself.

Savannah police "have now confirmed?" But they confirmed that on Monday!! So why did it take Flynn until Wednesday to acknowledge facts that were already widely known? Do you see just how incredibly dishonest this all is?

The sad part is nobody should be surprised this week by the unethical and borderline amoral behavior displayed by Breitbart's editors. They seem to thrive not only on concocting stories and spreading misinformation, but doing it in the most hateful and distasteful ways possible. And when they're caught, they refuse to behave like grownups.

Like I said, it's been a humiliating week for all of them involved.

Andrew Breitbart
Big Government
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