Breitbart News Targets Wrong Michael Goldfarb For Criticizing Donald Trump
UPDATE: Breitbart News has corrected its piece. The headline now states, “CORRECTED -- Michael Goldfarb: Trump is the Politics of 'Fear, Paranoia, Nativism.'” An attached note reads: “CORRECTION: Our morning lead was a link to a story on the BBC Magazine by Michael Goldfarb. This is not the Founder of the Washington Free Beacon, but a different individual. Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow accept responsibility for this mistake and apologize to Michael and the staff of the Free Beacon.”
ORIGINAL: Breitbart News ran a piece claiming that the founder of the conservative Free Beacon attacked Donald Trump as embodying “the politics of 'fear, paranoia, nativism.'” But Breitbart News, which has been criticized for being “the most pro-Trump news outlet on the right,” wrote about the wrong person.
A January 24 Breitbart News piece carried the headline, "'Free Beacon' Founder: Trump Is The Politics of 'Fear, Paranoia, Nativism'" and linked to a January 24 BBC News Magazine piece by Michael Goldfarb. During the morning of January 25, Breitbart News made the article its top story:
But the founder of the Free Beacon is a different Michael Goldfarb. The Free Beacon's Goldfarb is a Republican who worked as an aide to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign and for the conservative Weekly Standard.
The writer of the BBC article is public radio veteran Michael Goldfarb. Breitbart News could have easily ascertained the true identity of the writer by simply reading the article's author identification. The BBC article wrote that Goldfarb is “the author of Emancipation: How Liberating Europe's Jews from the Ghetto led to Revolution and Renaissance” and linked to his professional website. An August 2008 NPR feature noted that there are two different Michael Goldfarbs and that they are often confused for one another.
Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti tweeted that “this story is false. We are waiting for retraction. Thanks.” Free Beacon staff writer Lachlan Markay tweeted, “Anyone who's ever met @thegoldfarb is chuckling at the notion that his byline would ever appear at the BBC.”
Breitbart News is a notoriously unreliable news site. In 2014, it attacked President Obama's nomination for attorney general by going after the wrong Loretta Lynch. In 2013, it alleged then-Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas -- which never actually existed.