June 4, 2013

The New Yorker's George Packer takes aim at Andrew Breitbart.

Some of this is interesting, but watch out for distortion:
It was fun! Telling the truth was fun, having the American people behind him was fun, fucking with the heads of nervous journalists and helping the mainstream media commit suicide was fun. Breitbart went on Real Time With Bill Maher and stood up for himself and Rush to the politically correct hometown mob of an audience, and it was an incredibly committed moment in his life. He found himself the leader of a loose band of patriotic malcontents, and right in front of him was the same opportunity that the Founding Fathers had had—to fight a revolution against the complex.

And if he happened to get an Agriculture Department official named Shirley Sherrod fired by releasing a deceptively edited video that seemed to show her making anti-white comments when in fact she was doing just the opposite—fuck it, did the other side play fair? Anyway, Old Media’s rules about truth and objectivity were dead. What mattered was getting maximum bang from a story, changing the narrative. That was why Breitbart was winning, with ample help from his media enemies, and why he must have been at least semi-sober during his college classes on moral relativism.
Just the opposite? Packer answers the question he attributes to Breitbart: did the other side play fair? Obviously not. Packer's side is playing and is playing unfairly.

ADDED: George Packer has been unfair to me (discussed here and here).

AND: Professor Jacobson details what's so wrong about Packer's "deceptively edited video."

Via Instapundit, who says: "Sorry comrade, but what you’re offering is mere bourgeois truth, concerned with tedious facts. The higher truth is 'revolutionary truth,' which is any narrative that advances the revolution."

65 comments:

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

Because jumping the gun and releasing a video on your lightly trafficked website before verifying it was the complete video is so much worse than selectively editing a video and playing it on national tv, say like NBC.

Oh and if memory serves correctly Sherrod wasn't fired for her edited statements from the video, but for the fact that she was involved in Pigford and someone wanted her out before Pigford blew up. I don't want to click that link, but I'm curious if Packer ever gets to that part...

Astro said...

Breitbart released the whole tape, it was the 'lame stream' media that then edited the tape to imply racism.
By showing -over and over again - their edited tape, it was the media that got her fired.

Mark O said...

He does know his audience.

campy said...

The narrative has a hint of truthiness to it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Shirley Sherrod? Wasn't that the AG dept person at the center of the Pigford racial reparations giveaway scandal? Always seemed a bit off that she could work for the agency that she and her husband sued and won a larger award than most of the recipients.

John Lynch said...

Why did commentators only notice taking quotes and video out of context when Breitbart did it?

I looked at it as Breitbart using all the same dirty tricks that broadcast media uses every day, and getting them to condemn it. The hypocrisy was obvious.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Fuck Packer, the lying son of a bitch. Breitbart released the WHOLE tape as he had it, and the point was always how, before she revealed to her audience that she felt bad about her racism, they were fine with it (her racism).

So fuck him and all his fellow lying liars.

Henry said...

I choose to read the first two paragraphs as irony. Very high concept.

Then when Packer waxes ironic, read it straight.

Marshal said...

Oh and if memory serves correctly Sherrod wasn't fired for her edited statements from the video, but for the fact that she was involved in Pigford and someone wanted her out before Pigford blew up.

No, she was fired because she publicly admitted repeatedly racially discriminating while an agent of the government, a civil rights violation. The fact that she later regretted and allegedly changed her practice doesn't absolve her of guilt.

The left's myth that Sherrod didn't do anything wrong or that the video shows "she was doing the opposite" is a testament to their willingness to believe whatever is required to maintain the narrative. It's a marker translating as "I'm such a good leftist I'm willing to look like an idiot for the cause".

Pogo said...

Packer fudged.

rhhardin said...

Everything is oppression to the left, if you want lefty readers.

Magnify the oppression, zero out everything else.

Profit! Big lefty ratings.

You can do it with anything.

Freedom = disrespect = indignity = injury = oppression

Love = inclination = bias = injustice = oppression

Generosity = greatness = dignity = gravity = austerity = harshness = oppression

Linear algebra explains everything.

Hagar said...

Doc Holliday's Hat is largely right.

Darrell said...

The NAACP supplied the video in drips and drabs, but do go on with your fascinating tale. . .

Clyde said...

It certainly must be a slow news month when the most important thing that Mr. Packer can write about is a man fifteen months in the grave. It's a good thing that there's nothing going on in Washington, and that our government is as honest and clean and trustworthy as a Boy Scout (One to a sleeping bag, please). Otherwise, a writer of Mr. Packer's obvious caliber might feel the need to chronicle any scandals involving our government leaders instead of writing about someone who is no longer around to defend himself against dishonest slurs.

PackerBronco said...

Here is Breitbart's original description of the tape:

"In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer."

Packer lies.

AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

He butters you up and then goes in for the lie.

Is George Packer a sociopath?

Darrell said...

People watching the video didn't react to Sherrod as much as they did the general audience--laughing and enjoying the turnabout that they considered fair play--screwing the white guy. That's what gave the tape legs. But wasn't this whole thing a set-up to trap Breitbart ruining his credibility? He, of course, didn't by updating the story fairly as the new video was received. Lefties, of course, stayed the course, pretending that he had beclowned himself. They lost that battle but Lefties always know that they can change that outcome with a good future retelling.

AprilApple said...

The Sherrod comment was NOT edited - the comment was plucked out and used to make a point. What Sherrod did, help hand out tax payer dollars in a fraudulent manner, wasn't taken out of context.

Georg Packer is the spinning, editing liar.

AprilApple said...

Poor liar lefties. Such victims.

The American tax payer slave hasn't been fully fleeced. Time to lie about a dead guy.

Michael said...

Fair is a place in the country with popcorn and candy apples.

AprilApple said...

The progressive meme:
Lie anyway.

DanTheMan said...

RHH,
You left out the most obvious one...
Hard work = achievement = disparity = oppression

Jay said...

by releasing a deceptively edited video

Bullshit.

They can't let this lie go.

Darrell said...

For those watching the Game of Thrones--that is another Lefty retelling of history. The bottom line of the eventual six-thousand pages of book is that the only victors are the nastiest rats in the nest--those killing their adult rivals and biting off the heads of the male babies and raping the females until they produce more of their bloodline. Anyone showing nobility and humanity are just there to stock the field for the hunting party. By using familiar names, you are supposed to conclude that this was the was our history and culture actually was--history was just a pack of lies. The solution? Marxism, of course, where everyone is set to task implementing the noble Lefty goals--by definition pure and noble. With that underpinning, it surely can not fail.

wyo sis said...

Breitbart did the unforgivable act of playing their own game better than they did.
Yes, he had fun doing it. Conservatives generally have more fun than liberals. They hate that.

virgil xenophon said...

Most people, when given the chance, self-select themselves into the professions/line-of-work they end up in based on their innate psychological make-up. Thus the sort of personality who willingly becomes an accountant does not seek to become a fighter pilot, and visa versa. My observation is that sociopaths and pathological liars drift into leftist politics for the same psychological reasons. The very theoretical ideological construct of leftist politics demands such qualities in order to install its credo in government, i.e., such personality traits are exceedingly useful in hyping the natives.

SH said...

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

"Because jumping the gun and releasing a video on your lightly trafficked website before verifying it was the complete video"

Thats not even what happened. The video had the section where Sherod redeemed herself and said she acted according to her better nature and helped the white farmer but everyone missed the point of the video (many of Andrew's supporters, at the time,included)... the point was the audience was totally into her story before she got to the point where she said she helped the guy. They seemed to be cool with scr*wing him based on race.

Art said...

Watch the entire video. She is a racist. If a white person said what she did, and got caught at it, they would have been fired much sooner than Sherrod.

Art said...

Watch the entire video. She is a racist. If a white person said what she did, and got caught at it, they would have been fired much sooner than Sherrod.

SH said...

Doc Holliday's Hat said...

"Because jumping the gun and releasing a video on your lightly trafficked website before verifying it was the complete video"

Thats not even what happened. The video had the section where Sherod redeemed herself and said she acted according to her better nature and helped the white farmer but everyone missed the point of the video (many of Andrew's supporters, at the time,included)... the point was the audience was totally into her story before she got to the point where she said she helped the guy. They seemed to be cool with scr*wing him based on race.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

You may be on to something there, virgil

Manktelow said...

I remember the "edited video" and while I think Breitbart to be a great man who truly fought for what he thought was right, I thought Sherrod was actually going through a mea culpa about the challenges she faced with her own perceptions of race. I didn't find it objectionable.

ricpic said...

The Founding Fathers fought a revolution against the complex? I don't even know what that is supposed to mean. Anyone have a clue?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Can we assume that the Pigford spigot is being threatened and that is what all the fuss is about now?

Pettifogger said...

I saw Breitbart's cut of the Sherrod tape, and it was not unfair to Sherrod. It did show her walking back the racism to the extent she did so. The allegation of unfair editing is an example of the Big Lie used to distract from the truth.

David said...

"No, she was fired because she publicly admitted repeatedly racially discriminating while an agent of the government, a civil rights violation. The fact that she later regretted and allegedly changed her practice doesn't absolve her of guilt."

She was fired because Obama and Vilsack acted like gutless weasels. They sacrificed her.

John said...

Shirley Sherrod was fired?

I never knew that. I thought she resigned?

In fact, I remember her describing how she had to pull over to the side of the road and send a resignation by text message.

She may have been asked to resign. She had the choice whether to do it or not. She chose to resign, she was not fired.

Had she chosen not to resign, the firing process would have taken a couple weeks. By that time the truth would have come out and the firing would have been unnecessary.

Always make them fire you, never resign.

John Henry

Darrell said...

Stop saying "cut." What appeared was what was supplied. Any "cutting" was done by the NAACP. This is the old tried-and-true "edited" screech of the Lyin' Left. You see garage use it often. On the other hand, they edit long responses to seconds that make the person sound bad. Oh, how clever these Lefties be!

Bruce Hayden said...

Probably felt she could afford to resign because of all the Pigford money she and her husband were receiving.

cubanbob said...

AB had some powerful mojo. Dead 15 months and he is still yanking their chain.

Virgil is spot on in his observation. Given the opportunity people self-select in careers they are psychologically suited for. Packer is a self-important asshole who writes for an audience of self-important assholes.

Darrell said...

Obama asked her to resign because it was reflecting on him. And it would help her went she went to sue Breitbart for damages. For that you need actual damages.

Darrell said...

The Left will keep on rinsing and repeating until no commenter is around to fight back with actual facts. Or we all get sick of doing it. Revisionist history 101.

CWJ said...

Virgil Xenophon @ 8:32,

I've often wanted to make a similar comment but could never think of an equally concise way to do so. Congratulations!

Compare and contrast entreprepreneurs and journalists for a simlar exercise in divergent self selection. Both want to be part of changing the world for the better and being rewarded for the effort.

MayBee said...

Shirley Sherrod was asked to resign on the very day the tape came out. Vilsak didn't want to hear her side of the story.

Not requiring such rapid resignations: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP warrant, the reading of James Rosen's emails, Fast and Furious, Pigford, Sibelious's shakedown.

Brennan said...

Breitbart released the whole tape, it was the 'lame stream' media that then edited the tape to imply racism.

I'm a big fan of Andrew Breitbart, but this isn't accurate. The first release was the edited cut. Breitbart later obtained the full cut of video and released that.

The damage was already done though.

It was no different than what Dateline, or 60 Minutes, or any news outlet has done and then later released.

Amartel said...

Passive aggressive lying. Burying the lie under a pile of grudging respect. Sneaky little squirrel. Also "fighting a revolution against the complex?" WTF? Oh, I think I get it. The left is "complex," too "intellectual" for Breitbart and his horde of tea bagging savages who want to take us all back to the Stone Age before people understood, you know, how to mainstream racism.

Marshal said...

David said...
She was fired because Obama and Vilsack acted like gutless weasels. They sacrificed her


She was fired because her superiors knew that there is no acceptable excuse for racial discrimination while allotting governmental resources, and she couldn't deny she had done it because she admitted it publicly and on tape.

Darrell said...

The first release was the edited cut.

Edited by whom? It was the NAACP as Breitbart's email showed--the exact file sent to him.

CWJ said...

Brennan,

Who did the editing in Breibart's case?

Amartel said...

Breitbart Lives! Rent free in Packer's brain.

Cramped conditions but still ....

edutcher said...

Didn't Ann say Pigford was the first of the Choom Gang scandals?

Packer just proved her right.

chrisnavin.com said...

The real Left, the European Left, or progressives over here have an ideology that claims itself to be based upon principles that are scientific, but go deeper than science, tradition, authority, philosophy, religion. It's a worldview quite like a religion; and it very much exploits the injustice, discontents, and inequalities of life.

It's true base tends to be unsophisticated, the proletariat industry has created, and its followers perpetually aggrieved and seeking converts based on the oppressor/victim model.

So while some writers at the New Yorker are more likely to be liberal, literary, perhaps just modern and postmodern, I believe the editor, Rik Hertzberg may be a genuine Leftist and/or soft Marxist.

A lot of such writerly types are feeling the need to find their inner progressive/Leftist under the current administration.

To me, Breitbart represents the new media (Drudge) populist resurgence to Leftist/progressive tactics and cultural success. He often uses their tactics against them.

It's no surprise he came out of the culture of L.A., and it's why California often is a few years ahead culturally.

Brennan said...

Who did the editing in Breibart's case?

If Breitbart news publishes a video and they received an edited cut, then they own that cut. As editor and publisher they control the content they release.

Trying to blame "the edited cut we received" is silly.

Rabel said...

NPR:

But over the last generation, that deal has come undone. As Packer explains it, "many Americans feel that they're all alone, that no one is going to help them and that, in a way, there's a kind of unfairness at play in our society where elites seem to do better and better and ordinary people who might have once even thought of themselves as middle class, struggle more and more. That's what's unwound in my adult lifetime."

A certain Althouse commenter puts it much more succinctly -
"Enjoy the decline, bitches."

The Godfather said...

Those on this thread who are knowledgeable about this ought to go edit the Wikipedia entries on Sherrod and the tape. If you're right, Wikipedia is wrong.

CWJ said...

Brennan,

Nice fallback position.

Marshal said...

The Godfather said...
Those on this thread who are knowledgeable about this ought to go edit the Wikipedia entries on Sherrod and the tape. If you're right, Wikipedia is wrong.


It's probably better to say Wiki is misleading because it uncritically accepts the leftist interpretation. Here are the key elements:

The excerpt suggests she did just enough, especially by taking him to a white lawyer -"his own kind would take care of him."[13] She said she realized it was about the poor versus "those who have."[13]

Subsequent events showed that the posted video was an excerpt of broader comments that conveyed a very different meaning, in which Sherrod learned from her experience.


Sherrod admitted she turned the white farmer away from her program because of his race. The claim she did "just enough" by referring him to the legal system has no legal support. Who made this judgement? She denied him access to a government program because of his race. Referring him to a different process has no bearing on whether he was inappropriately denied access. If the process requires one race to complete ten extra steps it's discriminatory even if some complete the steps.

The second paragraph is irrelevant. It's nice she repented, but so what? We're to believe personal growth is a defense for government employees violating your civil rights?

The Wiki article just isn't a serious attempt to understand the facts and issues. It's the left's spin.

Sam L. said...

Ya don't have to watch out for it when ya know it's going to be displayed in bright dazzling light close up and personal.

Chip Ahoy said...

George Packer fails to see the point of both short and long video is to show, and then REALLY show, in typical drip DRIP fashion, that NAACP is so thoroughly racist that the whole group applauds in the wrong place. George Packer fails to grasp that basic fact so George Packer is retarded. Sorry to say this, George, but you are too retarded to write about political things.

Darrell said...

If Breitbart news publishes a video and they received an edited cut, then they own that cut. As editor and publisher they control the content they release.

Sure.
Assholes never give up.

Once Breitbart proved that the source--the NAACP--provided the original video, it was on the NAACP. And again, the public outrage was not about Sherrod's story which was fairly represented in the orihinal article, it was about the crowd's reaction that people could see for themselves in any and all videos that the NAACP provided to all the media--in various forms. Breitbart would only be responsible for an edit which he did and that presently the subject matter unfairly. All media edit footage for time. Otherwise the "News" would be 20-hours long.

William said...

We have gathered together not to bury Andrew Breitbart but the lede. It seems to me that of all the scandals associated with Sherrod and Pigford an inappropriately edited tape by Breitbart is the least........It is far, far easier to win a Pulitzer by criticizing Breitbart than by exposing Pigford......The media's criticism of Breitbart tends to validate Breitbart's criticism of the media.

n.n said...

You should never waste a saturated news cycle.

In the midst of progressive and pervasive corruption, perhaps Packer thought the time was ripe to rewrite history. Clearly he does not respect the multitasking capacity of his audience.

n.n said...

Darrell:

Exactly. The video exposed the impromptu and positive response of the NAACP audience to learning of institutional discrimination targeting white people. Sherrod was the unfortunate victim of the Obama administration acting stupidly in order to preserve its own standing.

Bud Norton said...

What does Greg Packer think about this?