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In a video interview posted Monday at Crooks and Liars, Stark Reports, as well as The Brad Blog, Breitbart, filmed by blogger Mike Stark at the recent CPAC convention, claims he did not know the facts about O'Keefe's pimp outfit.(See video below.) Essentially, Breitbart claims he was duped like everyone else who saw the ACORN clips created by O'Keefe.
(Breitbart deceptively refers to the dressed-as-pimp section as the "title sequence" of the videos, but it's really much more than that.) It appears that many viewers just assumed O'Keefe wore the get-up while he surreptitiously filmed the ACORN workers who ignited a scandal when they gave O'Keefe and his pretend prostitute girlfriend, Hannah Giles, tax advice on how to run a brothel.The dressed-as-a-pimp storyline was one Breitbart, O'Keefe, and others eagerly pushed last fall. (In truth, O'Keefe was often dressed rather conservatively -- slacks and dress shirt -- when he talked to ACORN staffers, and he often presented himself as a law school student and an aspiring politician trying to rescue his prostitute girlfriend her abusive pimp.) The outlandish costume was used as a prop to both mislead viewers, and to make ACORN staffers look like idiots for not being able to spot the obvious ruse. And for weeks now, ever since the trick was highlighted by blogger Brad Friedman, Breitbart has been wrestling with the glaring contradiction and struggling to explain his own role in the hoax.He's been straining to explain why, for instance, in a September 21 column in , Breitbart specifically claimed O'Keefe had been "dressed as a pimp" while receiving tax advice from ACORN workers. He's been laboring to explain why he never sought a single correction last year when an avalanche of news outlets erroneously reported O'Keefe dressed as a pimp inside ACORN offices.And he's been struggling to explain why, in light of the pimp hoax, he refuses to release all of the unedited ACORN tapes so we can see what other discrepancies might pop up.At least now, thanks to Stark, we finally have Breitbart's unequivocal admission: It was all O'Keefe's fault.From the Stark interview [emphasis added; full transcript here]: Hello to anyone that thinks that I was misleading.
I did not know that there was a discrepancy between the title sequence -- I didn't think it was significant. I read the transcripts to make sure that there was continuity, and my only mistake -- and I've admitted it to Brad, I've admitted it, now that I now know about it -- is that there is a title sequence and it doesn't reflect what he was wearing when he was in there. In the interview, Breitbart also stressed that because O'Keefe is an "independent film producer," Breitbart couldn't "tell him what to put on these things." And to make his point clear, when Stark pressed further about the hoax, Breitbart responded, "Your problem is with James." Breitbart may have tried to shift the blame, but the admission was a devastating one.After all, he's the guy who won't stop bragging about how he's going to reinvent online journalism, and how he and his conservative activists are going to shame the liberal media with relentless fact-checking.Yet it turns out that for the biggest story of his career, Breitbart .It turns out that Andrew Breitbart didn't actually know what was on the ACORN tapes when he helped launch them on his website last year, and used the videos to fuel his oddly personal crusade against the low-income advocacy organization. Take a few seconds to let the implications of that confession sink in, and what it means to Breitbart's already dented credibility.Recall that for months Breitbart personally vouched for the ACORN videos, braying loudly that they could not be ignored and that they represented the unvarnished truth.Breitbart claimed he had told "the truth" every step of the way about the controversial ACORN clips and bragged that "[t]hroughout the ACORN story I applied my conscience to the material." But now it turns out that Breitbart was fooled by the ACORN pimp hoax and mistakenly assumed, after watching deceptively edited clips from his protégé James O'Keefe, that O'Keefe strolled into ACORN offices wearing the outlandish pimp outfit.