Breitbart fabricates smear that SEIU's Stern is "sending SEIU goons" to "beat up innocent Americans"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

In November 8 comments posted on his Twitter account, Andrew Breitbart accused Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern of "sending SEIU goons" to "beat up innocent Americans." However, the article to which Breitbart linked offered no evidence to support the claim that Stern was involved in violence at a local SEIU office in Sacramento, and it reported comments from local SEIU leaders that disputed the purported victim's account of the incident.

Breitbart to Stern: "Stop sending SEIU goons 2 beat up innocent Americans." On his Twitter account, Breitbart accused Stern of sending "goons" to inflict violence on California state employee and SEIU critic Ken Hamidi. Breitbart also challenged Stern: "Lets settle it like men, u&me. Im dead serious." [Breitbart's Twitter account, 11/08/09]

Linked article provided no evidence to support Breitbart's claim. Breitbart linked to a November 6 article on the website of KCRA, a local Sacramento television station, reporting that Hamidi "claims that union leaders ordered him to be assaulted" at an SEIU Local 1000 meeting. However, the article also quoted a local SEIU official claiming that it was Hamidi, not local SEIU members, who initiated the violence.

From the KCRA article:

A state employee claims he was assaulted Thursday by four or five union members at a Service Employees International Union Local 1000 meeting.

The man also claims that union leaders ordered him to be assaulted.

"They were ordering them to get me thrown out, saying, 'Throw him out of here, throw him out of here. Beat the hell out of him.'" Ken Hamidi said.

However, union leaders told a different version of what happened.

"He came to a union meeting with another woman who had film equipment. He was asked to leave," Yvonne Walker, President of SEIU Local 1000, said. "When he refused, he became abusive to members of our staff. He actually physically assaulted a couple of our staff people." [KCRA.com, 11/6/09]

Stern not part of the story. Despite Breitbart's suggestion, the KCRA article did not mention Stern in any way. Hamidi's accusation that "union leaders" ordered him to be beaten was aimed at the leaders of the local SEIU chapter, who, as noted above, strongly dispute the charge.

Hamidi removed from previous SEIU meetings. According to KCRA: "Hamidi is an outspoken critic of the union. He hosts a cable access show that regularly criticizes leaders of SEIU. Hamidi admits that police have escorted him out of previous union meetings."

Posted In
Economy, Labor Unions
Person
Andrew Breitbart
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