Nefarious operators on the Internet (as well as some innocent, misinformed individuals) have been freaking out over a Tweet from the late Andrew Breitbart connecting John Podesta to a “underage sex slave” operation.
How prog-guru John Podesta isn't household name as world class underage sex slave op cover-upperer defending unspeakable dregs escapes me.
— AndrewBreitbart (@AndrewBreitbart) February 4, 2011
The reason this Tweet is suddenly getting responded to and re-tweeted thousands of times is because a recent conspiracy theory making the rounds about Podesta and the Clintons accuses the Democrat power-players of running an underage sex operation out of a pizza joint in DC. It’s the kind of story you’d find on the cover of Weekly World News (think “Bat Boy” and “Aliens visit Ross Perot before election” kind of stories) and other supermarket tabloids before the advent of the Internet.
There are tons of websites who make a lot of money doing pretty odious things.
One of those odious things is to purposely pass along fake stories to suck people in and make them think that even though a story seems completely unbelievable on its face, it’s true because it appears to have a legitimate news organization behind it. I know because once I was faked out for about 45 minutes by a story that I discovered on the Boston Globe’s website. (It had apparently originated on a satirical site)
Another odious thing many websites do is to make money speculating about Andrew Breitbart. Some of them pass false conspiracy theories about Andrew being murdered by government operatives. Others spend thousands and thousands of words speculating about what Andrew would have thought, said or done about something happening in the current news cycle.
The last thing I want to do is be that guy who tells you what Andrew thought or meant back when he was alive because everyone who interacted with him at the time has their own personal experience and not one of them is the whole truth.
However, because of the confusion over this Tweet, I think some context and an explanation is called for. And, for some reason, Breitbart News has not stepped up and delivered it themselves. (I searched, if they have, I will update this column post haste.)
Here is the text of Andrew’s Tweet, again:
How prog-guru John Podesta isn’t household name as world class underage sex slave op cover-upperer defending unspeakable dregs escapes me.
It’s a classic Andrew Tweet. His abbreviations, his invention of words (“cover-upperer”) tells me that this was probably Andrew’s work. I never really knew him to allow anyone to Tweet on his behalf but I suppose it’s possible at some point he did so without my knowledge. So, for our discussion let’s stipulate that it was Andrew who sent this out.
What is he talking about?
Anyone who knew Andrew well and worked closely in his sphere and knew what he would talk and Tweet about with regard to “underage sex slave(s)” and John Podesta, knows exactly what he is referring to: ACORN
If you don’t remember James O’Keefe, Hanna Giles and the ACORN story that broke on Andrew’s Big Government website in 2009, here’s a quick description via Wikipedia,which has a lot of bogus takes on the story, but this brief description is correct:
In July and August 2009, Giles and O’Keefe visited ACORN offices in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, San Bernardino, San Diego, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Miami. Giles dressed as a prostitute, while O’Keefe wore white khakis with a blue dress shirt and/or tie and claimed to be her boyfriend. Giles and O’Keefe recorded the encounters using hidden cameras and pretended to be seeking advice on how to run an illegal business that included the use of underage girls in the sex trade.
So the ACORN story that Andrew was intimately involved with, helped define his brand, and catapulted him into the media spotlight was a story about an underage sex slave operation. OK?
So how does Podesta factor in as a “cover-upperer” of the ACORN sex slave story?
Here’s the explanation from liberal Think Progress in 2009, a site overseen by John Podesta at that time as he was the head of Center for American Progress (CAP):
In response to recently released videos of ACORN staff engaging in inappropriate and potentially unlawful activity, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that “the conduct you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable.” ACORN President Bertha Lewis released a statement explaining that the advocacy group for low- and moderate-income Americans will now conduct a “thorough review” of the organizations’ operation.
CAP President John Podesta, who also sits on ACORN’s Advisory Council, said, “Accountability starts with knowing all the facts. ACORN, which is doing important work in advocating for lower-income Americans all across this country, is taking an important step today by acknowledging its need for reform and demonstrating its desire to take corrective action.”
Yeah, talk about the fox watching the hen house. To prove ACORN did nothing wrong in the O’Keefe/Giles videos presented on Andrew’s website they asked Podesta, a partisan hack who sat on their own Advisory Council to investigate them.
Here was Andrew’s take at the time in his Washington Times column:
The next day, Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, the Democratic Party’s top fix-it guy with control over much of the left’s well-funded vast attack machinery (think George Soros, the Tides Foundation, et al.), was among a small advisory group placed in charge of investigating the matter.
With the mainstream media continuing to ignore the evidence on the tapes, Mr. Podesta is now clearly in charge of feeding them information about his well-structured investigation into the investigators. The ACORN internal probe is a “war room” aimed at destroying the messengers and is not meant to clean up major corruption.
Since Mr. Podesta was appointed to investigate ACORN, the only thing investigated has been the investigators, Mr. O’Keefe, Ms. Giles and the publisher of the journalism behind it, yours truly.
Of course, his conclusions were that ACORN did nothing wrong and all the fault in the story lay at the feet of Breitbart.
A conclusion picked up by Media Matters for America, a left-wing activist site that made it their goal in life to destroy Andrew Breitbart. MMfA turned the ACORN story into a cudgel with which to beat Andrew over the head, and did so hundreds of times, in an attempt to discredit anything he did. When the Anthony Weiner story first broke it was MMfA who pointed to ACORN as a reason why he should not be trusted and they pointed to the Podesta report as “evidence” for that theory.
MMfA, not coincidentally, began their operations in office space borrowed from… wait for it…. John Podesta.
So, who is John Podesta? He runs the Center for American Progress think tank, which in 2004 helped launch Media Matters for America, the well-funded watchdog outfit run by ex-conservative journalist David Brock, which feeds the media reams of anti-conservative documents that attempt to diminish the credibility of alternative media outlets.
Here are Andrew’s words, again, from 2009:
Both the CAP and Media Matters sites are focusing their attention on Ms. Giles, Mr. O’Keefe and me.
Does anyone really think Mr. Podesta is investigating ACORN, when his well-greased external machinery is so blatantly investigating us?
So get into Andrew’s head for a moment circa Feb, 2011. His entire sphere of reference at that time with regard to Podesta was in the context of his role creating left wing activist groups like CAP, ACORN and MMfA. Podesta had just joined the Obama Administration. Andrew was tweaking the media for giving Podesta a pass and celebrating the man who Andrew saw as his bete noir.
And one of the most outrageous things Podesta did to Andrew, that the media never scrutinized, was his white-washing of the ACORN scandal.
In other words, from Andrew’s perspective, Podesta was a “world class underage sex slave op cover-upperer defending unspeakable dregs .”
That’s what the Tweet means, and anyone who tells you otherwise is up to something.