No, Breitbart didn’t run fabricated “Weinergate” evidence

posted at 11:22 am on June 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In the immediate aftermath of the so-called Weinergate exposure, the Left went on an offensive, accusing Andrew Breitbart of fabricating evidence to frame Anthony Weiner (Big Journalism broke the story).  Thanks to Weiner’s public-relations disaster this week, this charge has largely been forgotten, as it’s pretty clear that the picture in question did appear on Weiner’s Twitter feed, and is at least arguably of Weiner, since Weiner seems at great pains to avoid a categorical denial of it.  Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher — not exactly a fan of Breitbart — spent the week tracking down allegations of malfeasance by Breitbart, and comes to a surprising conclusion:

There are reasonable criticisms to be made of Andrew Breitbart regarding the Weinergate story (I have made many), and I haven’t seen every statement he’s made on Twitter or TV, so I cannot vouch for their fairness, but when it comes to the publication of factual evidence, Breitbart has acted responsibly throughout.

In the instant-gratification landscape of the new media, so-called journalists bumble around posting information, with little regard for traditional journalistic processes, and the results have been disgraceful. One such result has been the unfair accusations against Andrew Breitbart, accusations which I am now able to refute. It has been exceedingly difficult to stand by silently while individuals on every side of the political spectrum have made a mockery of the truth, but the story is now ready to be told. Please excuse the long narrative, but it is all important to understand what really happened here. …

As our conversations were off the record, I have only divulged what Breitbart and I mutually agreed upon, but if he wants to share his end of the conversation, he can. For my part, I would testify in court that Andrew did not induce anyone to produce evidence against Anthony Weiner, fabricated or otherwise, and treated the documentation presented to him with circumspection.

I have long been a strong critic of Andrew Breitbart (in fact, ironically, the thing I’m 3rd most famous for is having him tell me “Put your dick back in your pants!” at CPAC). We settle our differences like men, face-to-face, now, and will continue to do so, but one bit of strong common ground that we share is that we are both devoted fathers. Throughout this story, Andrew has expressed his concern for protecting the identities of the underage girls whose tangential involvement has led to harassment. I have taken great pains to do the same.

But not everyone has behaved as responsibly, as Tommy later reports.  The girls’ Twitter handles and names got published on the Daily Kos by one of the community diarists there, and Tommy contacted Markos Moulitsas to ask him to remove the identifications.  Moulitsas refused:

When the girls’ parents became aware of this, they were very distressed, fearing for their children’s safety and privacy. I assured them that I would contact the blog’s proprietor, Markos Moulitsas (a father himself), and he would surely take it down, or redact their names.

The reality, though, was quite another story. When I contacted Moulitsas, he refused to call me, insisting upon email, which greatly hampered the amount of detail I could give him. The result was that he refused to redact their names, or make any changes, but the actual emails demonstrate a reprehensible lack of compassion or responsibility …

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal. It is my hope that he rethinks this, or that enough of my fellow liberals (he’s not likely to be persuaded by conservatives) encourage him (perhaps via Twitter) to do the right thing, and protect these girls. Their parents are sick with worry over this, and the frustrating part is that I promised them, every step of the way, that I would protect them, that I would kill the story rather than risk harm to these girls.

Be sure to read all of Tommy’s report; he has the entire e-mail exchange between him and Moulitsas, and some of the other behind-the-scenes communications that have puzzled some followers of the story.  Tommy also has an exclusive on statements from the families of the two underaged girls that got caught up in the story this weekend.  The big takeaway, however, is that the reporting from Big Journalism was conducted responsibly, and that Breitbart and Dana Loesch did what reporters do — get data from sources and report on them, rather than manufacture a story, as they were accused of doing.

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Ed: Get a clue! Tommy was one of the nastiest lefty ahholes when this story broke and repeatedly accused of Breitbart being behind it. I can’t believe you and AP keep promoting this creep.

Blake on June 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal.

He must spend a lot of his time disgusted.

MadisonConservative on June 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Andrew did not induce anyone to produce evidence against Anthony Weiner, fabricated or otherwise, and treated the documentation presented to him with circumspection.

These guys are better than me. I couldn’t tell from the photo whether or not Weiner is cimcumspected or not.

BobMbx on June 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal.

You may want to rethink being a liberal.

rbj on June 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal.

It disgusts me that you and your ilk call yourself liberals!

WashJeff on June 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Somewhere, Friar Chuck’s head just exploded.

Wanderlust on June 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Wow. The MSM take a hit to the ribs and Breitbart rises, again, by **shocka** telling the truth about what he knows.

truth wins every time.

ted c on June 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal.

Uh…those two attributes are inseperable.

Being liberal and doing disgusting things.

Hello…?

BobMbx on June 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

dKos posters and mrkos behaving irresponsibly? Say it ain’t so. Our posters that used to hang over there would never act like that./

kingsjester on June 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Kos would surely attempt to damage anyone who could be a potential problem for a big dem pol. Why would this shock anyone?

clnurnberg on June 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal. It is my hope that he rethinks this….

A liberal thinking?

Now THAT’S a stretch!

pilamaye on June 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Kos? Screw ‘im.

Del Dolemonte on June 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I don’t know much of Tommy Christopher, but it’s pretty much a given that Moulikatos is a Class-A Ahole. That has been obvious for as long as he and his trashy website have been on the scene.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

the thing I’m 3rd most famous for is having [Breitbart] tell me “Put your dick back in your pants!” at CPAC

Makes you wonder what are the top two.

jwolf on June 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

a reprehensible lack of compassion or responsibility

Who? Markos? Nah…

steebo77 on June 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

It has been exceedingly difficult to stand by silently while individuals on every side of the political spectrum have made a mockery of the truth

Who on the right made a mockery of “the truth”?

Mock Weiner? Sure. But “the truth”? Sorry, pal, no moral equivalence here… the mockery of the truth has been all on the Left.

mankai on June 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Silly wingnuts.

Everything Democrats and the left do wrong is nothing more than a vicious conspiracy by the Breitbart the Insidious.

Good Lt on June 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

The ends always justify the means with Markos Moulitsas and his fellow Daily Kos scumbags.

WannabeAnglican on June 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly a fellow liberal.

I literally LOLed at that.

Akzed on June 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Be sure to read all of Tommy’s report;

Do we really need a career leftist to validate for us our faith in Breitbart?

Western_Civ on June 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Man, Ed, every time you post that picture of that pretentious bottom-feeder I want to punch my computer.

Caiwyn on June 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

with little regard for traditional journalistic processes,

Woah! Please give me an example in the last 50 years of “traditional journalists” having regard for said “traditional journalistic processes. Like, say, more than one minute of research on a topic.

rihar on June 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The reality, though, was quite another story. When I contacted Moulitsas, he refused to call me, insisting upon email, which greatly hampered the amount of detail I could give him. The result was that he refused to redact their names, or make any changes, but the actual emails demonstrate a reprehensible lack of compassion or responsibility …

The familiar behaviorial pattern of the vicious, adolescent Left. But the genius of Breitbart is that he is able to divide liberals from Leftists. This is a true accomplishment, owing in large part to his basic charm and love of debate. He disarms those who still remember what liberalism is supposed to be about.

rrpjr on June 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Everything Democrats and the left do wrong is nothing more than a vicious conspiracy by the Breitbart the Insidious.

Good Lt on June 3, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Check out Iowahawk’s latest for his take on that very idea.

jwolf on June 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Ed,

Did you have to post a pic of Anthony’s weiner?

Thanks for nothing.

Really Right on June 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Is it really possible for anyone to be shocked that Kos is a screaming a**hole? I can’t say that’s some sort of earth-shattering revelation. We’ve know that for about 8 years, but Christopher is just learning that now? Either he’s a complete dunce, or he was willfully blind.

rcpjr on June 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Markos Moulitsas (a father himself)

*snort*

Kos may be a gene donor, but I doubt he’s an actual “father”.

Crawford on June 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

We’ve know that for about 8 years, but Christopher is just learning that now? Either he’s a complete dunce, or he was willfully blind.

He assumed Kos is one of the angels, because they share political goals (namely, the subjugation of free men). He’ll put Kos back on the side of the angels as soon as he can conveniently stop mentioning this episode.

Namely, once all the lawyers have stopped calling him.

Crawford on June 3, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Kos is just upset that Anthony didn’t send him a Weiner photo.

vcferlita on June 3, 2011 at 11:42 AM

When don’t liberals behave badly?

angryed on June 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Forget all the forensics-just stop and look closely at Markos for a minute. Would you trust that guy to mow your lawn or get your lunch order right?

In a just world, that guy would be picking up trash at the park with a pointy stick.

A Balrog of Morgoth on June 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher… one of the few remaining decent liberals?

Several months ago didn’t Rush compliment Mediaite also, saying they may be liberals, but they generally try to be truthful.

petefrt on June 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Huh. Seems when all the furor dies down, it’s the conservative who’s exonerated and the liberals with egg on their face. Who could have foreseen that particular outcome?

KingGold on June 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

So, can we start the “can’t we all just get along” mantra yet?

Sponge on June 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

In a just world, that guy would be picking up trash at the park with a pointy stick.

A Balrog of Morgoth on June 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

True.

petefrt on June 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Speaking of Kos and Weinergate, THIS is hilarious (unintentionally, of course).

steebo77 on June 3, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The “big story” is that AB is not a sleezebag? Umm, that’s not a “story,” that’s just a well known fact.

And Tommy is such a twerp.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Tommy Christopher needs to be applauded for this but any praise must be offset by his incessant need to find a conservative/rightwinger anywhere saying something ugly and then characterizing that individual as “the conservative blogosphere says” or “conservatives says”.

No Tommy, it’s not “the” conservatives it’s “a” conservative. Stop inflating one person with the entire movement.

One and half cheers, but no more, for Christopher on this one.

SteveMG on June 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Maybe Tommy Christopher can scrub some of his earlier reporting? See: ‘New York Times Scrubs Jill Abramson’s ‘Substituted for Religion’ Quote from Executive Editor Announcement’.

Donald Douglas on June 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The bottom line is simple.

Anthony Weiner is a pervert that takes pictures of his privates and sends them to people he does not know.

Freddy on June 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Maybe Tommy Christopher can scrub some of his earlier reporting? See: ‘New York Times Scrubs Jill Abramson’s ‘Substituted for Religion’ Quote from Executive Editor Announcement’. Donald Douglas on June 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

That was then.

And it wasn’t true then neither.

Akzed on June 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Freddy on June 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Good thing is name isn’t Anthony Anus.

O the potential horror!

Akzed on June 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Anthony Weiner is a pervert that takes pictures of his privates and sends them to people he does not know.

Freddy on June 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Okay, you don’t get the blog thing, do you? The whole idea of blogging and commenting is to use as many words as you can to thrill and challenge everyone else who reads that blog.

Why use two words to say something when 10 or 20 will do the job?

BobMbx on June 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Who? Markos? Nah…

steebo77 on June 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

My first thought as well.

Markos “Screw Them” Moulitas

aunursa on June 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM

That won’t stop the pundits on the lsm….they continue with this meme

cmsinaz on June 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Nothing is fair that puts a spotlight on the many misdeeds of liberals, just ask Markos.

Speakup on June 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM

[Blake on June 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM]

+1000000000

And why should we take Christopher’s assertions (such as with the two under-aged girls) as the truth. Because he says so? because they say so? He points out one lied before. How do we know they aren’t lying about telling the truth the first time?

Anyway, I am disgusted at the frequency in which Ed sucks up to people like Christopher and almost totally ignores people like Ace.

Dusty on June 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM

In a just world, that guy would be picking up trash at the park with a pointy stick.

A Balrog of Morgoth on June 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

You’d actually trust him with a pointy stick??!!

VelvetElvis on June 3, 2011 at 12:12 PM

And why should we take Christopher’s assertions (such as with the two under-aged girls) as the truth. Because he says so? because they say so? He points out one lied before. How do we know they aren’t lying about telling the truth the first time?

Anyway, I am disgusted at the frequency in which Ed sucks up to people like Christopher and almost totally ignores people like Ace.

Dusty on June 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM

+1

When you step back and realize that these people, in the end, are advocates for the policies that will lead to the destruction of America as we’ve known it, there should no place for gooey feelings inside.

We can be cordial and avoid cruelty, but it also sickens me when we try to bust our guts just to prove how saccharine sweet we can be to the Leftists. I hate seeing the “comradery” of members of Congress. I don’t support the GOP so they can prove how lovely they can be to the enemies of the Constitution.

Christopher may be a nice guy personally… but he advocates for the policies and politicians that will destroy the nation. Be nice to him on private if you wish… but don’t go around giving him public kudos as though anybody should listen to him ’cause he’s such a sweetheart.

mankai on June 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

…do the right thing, and protect these girls.

.
I think it’s way too late to accomplish this goal.

ExpressoBold on June 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Before Stranahan blocked Christopher, they were going at it on Twitter for a couple of days. Christoper acted like an idiot and was bashing Breitbart non stop.

Blake on June 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

The problem with expecting Kos to behave responsibly is that he is such a cynic that I doubt he believed for a minute that the people whose identities his site was outing were minors.

In particular, one of them was shopping lies about Weiner’s relationship with the other, and that made them fair game in Kos’ political world.

That said, had they been shopping lies about conservatives, I have no doubt that Kos would have still prominently displayed what they had, but I’m sure he would have also redacted their names.

unclesmrgol on June 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM

wait…. what?

dKos is a dBag?

wow, never would have guessed…

Sinner on June 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Funny stuff at: http://twitter.com/#!/andrewbreitbart

Guess who ‘Jazzy the Amazing Ponytail Man’ is?

Heh.

mudskipper on June 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM

[mankai on June 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM]

Agreed. Besides the political interests involved with both the parents, kids, there is also the personal interest involved, which decidedly leans towards the “The girls didn’t do anything wrong and these “grown men” and “grown women” are bad people.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t advocate bringing them into this subject and, as far as I’ve followed it, this one girl was a very small part of the coverage. Christopher touts his ‘special skillz’ for researching the facts (which, ‘to be clear’ aren’t really facts, other than it is a fact that these people say what they say) of one of the most obscure and isolated part of the story.

Mr. Professional Whiteknight Reporter: I’m a father! See me burnish my record with my ‘special skillz’. I’m protecting the children by writing a 4,000 word story about them that everyone will link to.

That ought to take it out of the discussion stream toot-suite.

Meanwhile what has Mr. ‘Special Skillz’ done wrt Weinergate?

Che! The guy’s a D.

Dusty on June 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM

T Christopher is playing both sides of the fence…

mjbrooks3 on June 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Oh God…I’d totally forgotten about this #$%^ and HA has to post his mug. Thanx, guys.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Wait did Weiner send a lewd photo to under aged girls by mistake? I thought that was a big NO NO.

Patricksp on June 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Why does anyone treat Kos as a grown-up???

landlines on June 3, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Kos do the right thing? He is a left-wing fanatic. His mission, instantly enacted, was to destroy these young women so as to remove any credibility they may have. The idea that he cares about the welfare of them is absurd. His whole website is delusion and hatred.

pat on June 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM

, Markos Moulitsas (a father himself)……..

That right there is a perfect indicator that end times are upon us…..

BigWyo on June 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM

It disgusts me to see any person behave this way, particularly despite the fact that they are a fellow liberal.

FIFY

PackerBronco on June 3, 2011 at 2:26 PM

The reality, though, was quite another story.

It always is when dealing with the gutless POS known as kos.

jdkchem on June 3, 2011 at 2:39 PM

And you got another picture where Markos has his mouth open…how do you do that????

//

BigWyo on June 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Mock Weiner? Sure. But “the truth”? Sorry, pal, no moral equivalence here… the mockery of the truth has been all on the Left.
mankai on June 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

“Mockery of the truth” equals asking for an FBI investigation to “determine the truth”?

DSchoen on June 3, 2011 at 4:29 PM

And you got another picture where Markos has his mouth open…how do you do that????

//

BigWyo on June 3, 2011 at 2:45 PM

It doesn’t close, he’s a mouth-breather.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Heard a wonderful interview with Breitbart yesterday on Dennis Prager. He talked about David Mamet’s book which he said is better than his own book (he gave it “standing ovations” while reading it). He talked about how he dedicated his book to his father and Clarence Thomas, and then went into how the hearings were an epiphany for him. Love him!

Buy Danish on June 3, 2011 at 7:18 PM