Breitbart’s Unhinged Hypocrisy: Vetting Obama OK, Vetting Romney Disgraceful

The Breitbart site is well known for dishonesty and rabid servility to the uber-rightist agenda. But this morning they may have outdone themselves in an Olympian feat of hypocrisy.

The Washington Post published an article today by Jason Horowitz, detailing accounts of bullying and possible gay-bashing by Mitt Romney while attending the elite Cranbrook prep school. According to five independently acquired reports by his former schoolmates, Romney led verbal and physical assaults on other students who were presumed to be gay.

Responding to that article, Breitbrat Ben Shapiro posted a frenetic critique that took the Post to task for what he called “an egregious hit piece.” Shapiro saw both fallacy and conspiracy on the part of the Post.

[T]he timing of the story is obviously designed to protect President Barack Obama, who just yesterday said that he would embrace same-sex marriage. The narrative from the media therefore became: Obama is fine with gays, Romney hates them. Since they had zero evidence that Romney has any antipathy toward homosexuals, they had to dig up an incident nearly 50 years ago, invest it with anti-gay rage, and print it as fact.

This is character assassination of the worst kind. It doesn’t go to Romney’s deeply-held beliefs and positions. It doesn’t show how he was defined as a young man. It’s just an old prank brought up and infused with nastiness, sans evidence, in order to turn Romney into a jerk in the public eye.

Breitbrat Ben’s assertion that this story was timed to benefit the President reveals his inability to comprehend reality. For Shapiro’s timing conspiracy theory to be true, the White House must have told Horowitz to start working on the story months ago so that it would be ready the day after an announcement that no one could have anticipated.

Shapiro’s defense of Romney as having no ‘antipathy toward homosexuals” surely rings hollow to all the homosexuals who would be forbidden to marry or even enjoy the same civil liberties as straight citizens. And his characterization of physical assault and possible gay-bashing as merely “an old prank” is evidence of Shapiro’s own insensitivity to such victimization.

But the most brazenly unhinged assertion in Shapiro’s column is his lambasting of the Post for “dig[ging] up an incident nearly 50 years ago” and declaring that “It doesn’t show how [Romney] was defined as a young man.” Seriously?

Shapiro, and others on the Breitbart team, have spent months digging up ancient material about Obama in a relentless campaign of character assassination. All of it was meant to show how Obama was defined as a young man. However, most of it fell impotently into the dustbin of pseudo-journalism due its irrelevancy, but their intent was clear. They called their slander “vetting” and posted such inane classics as Obama embracing his law professor at Harvard – the well-respected Derrick Bell, who was the first African-American to receive tenure at Harvard Law School.

Even more astonishing, while Shapiro blasted the Post for publishing information about Romney’s high school history, Shapiro himself posted information about Obama’s high school past.


Somehow the irony and hypocrisy of posting two stories – one complaining about reports of Romney’s past and the other doing to Obama what he was complaining about – on the very same day, seems to have escaped the wet noodle mind of Breitbrat Ben. His article on Obama rehashed information that has been known for years and was disclosed by Obama in his own writings and speeches.

But that didn’t stop Shapiro from misrepresenting the truth. He contradicted himself by asserting that “Obama, by all accounts, was a habitual drug user in high school,” even though a couple of paragraphs down he cited a report in the New York Times wherein Obama’s classmates said that drugs played only a “bit part” in Obama’s youth. So it obviously wasn’t “by all accounts.” Then Shapiro went on to scattershoot tired and false allegations that Obama was a black nationalist and a communist.

When a phony journalist like Shapiro can write an article about the absurdity of dredging up a decades old story, and then himself dredges up a decades old story – the same day – there has been a serious cognitive disconnect. It is a sign that these people are either severely disturbed or deliberately deceitful. Either way it is additional evidence that they simply cannot be taken seriously and that they may require acute care at an in-patient facility.

[Update] Romney has responded to the WaPo story by saying that…

“I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago”

Romney also said that the didn’t recall having held down a classmate and cutting off his hair. Yeah right. His five school chums all remember, but the guy with the scissors has forgotten. He further said that it had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the victim. But how could he know that if he doesn’t recall the incident? That’s like saying “No, I didn’t kill my wife. And besides, she deserved it.”


15 thoughts on “Breitbart’s Unhinged Hypocrisy: Vetting Obama OK, Vetting Romney Disgraceful

  1. If “by all accounts” – ie from classmates – Obama used drugs in his youth, what’s with the “sans evidence” claim about Romney’s hijinks – from classmates?

    • According to five independently acquired reports by his former schoolmates, Romney led verbal and physical assaults on other students who were presumed to be gay.

      not big into that reading stuff are you?

  2. When you say ‘these people are either severely disturbed or deliberately deceitful’, I can’t pick one or the other because I think they are both. When Shapiro says ‘It’s just an old prank brought up and infused with nastiness, sans evidence, in order to turn Romney into a jerk in the public eye.’ My God!, as you pointed out, this is their stock in trade. They always present stuff with no basis in fact sans evidence. They really make me sick to my stomach. The good news is, it must have hit a nerve because they are being awfully defensive about it.

  3. I believe that what someone did as a high schooler is completely irrelevant to their candidacy. I understand the article, Mark, is about the Breitbart site’s hypocrisy, but in all honesty, I’d rather not read one word about either candidate’s high school hijinks. Kids can be stupid, period.

    • 1) That wasn’t a “prank” — that was assault.
      2) I’m almost less concerned with the assault than with Romney’s current response to the revelation of it, consisting of
      a) I guess I did it but I don’t remember (if you don’t remember *that*, what *else* did you do?!?!)
      b) “If someone was hurt or offended, I apologize” — as in it’s your fault for being hurt or offended, basically a non-apology.
      As Charles Blow notes in his op-ed piece today, in this current climate, when bullying is front and center, Romney had a chance to take a leadership role (what’s the presidency for, if not that?), and punted.

  4. Wait, he cited the liberal New York Times reporting on Obama’s high school drug use? Isn’t the inability of the liberal mainstream media to report fairly the entire point of Big Media?

    By the way, Sammy, I agree with you.

    • I make a distinction between stupidity and cruelty: don’t you?

      • Yes Lori, I can make the distinction. But I would hate to be held to the standard I set in high school. I can’t remember everything I did back then, and truth be told, I’m pretty sure I did some cruel things, things I would be ashamed of. In fact, I have a recent high school graduate (four years) son, and he has apologized for some of the stupid stuff he did in high school. I agree with Mark, that there is a conservative media hypocrisy, but I refuse to jump down the rabbit hole of looking back 40 years to someone’s youth to “prove” they are a bad person today.

        • See my comment above about what Romney failed to do, given the current revelations. Had he acknowledged that he remembered and had always felt badly about what he’d done — that he was cruel and unfeeling but that it also *was* a very different time — I’d be okay with it. But to deny that he remembered and then to term it a mere “prank?” No thanks; that *is* fair game.

  5. I don’t know about that Sammy, while I might personally agree with you what’s good for the goose must therefore be good for the gander. If you have all these right wing sites claiming the need to vet Obama from high-school forward, then why shouldn’t the opposition perform similarly to acheive a rough parity? And while Brietbart’s content is either wholly or mostly apocryphal, by all accounts the Romney story is at least corroborated independently by five witnesses (48-odd years worth of memory not withstanding).

  6. If you were on the receiving end of this assault as Lori correctly described it, you would still remember it very well even after almost fifty years. If you were on the delivery end of this assault as Romney was, the only way you wouldn’t still have clear memories of it is if you did this sort of thing regularly, oh yeah, I kind of remember that guy, but he was just one of my many victims, I don’t remember him that well though.

  7. G.S.A. YAYAYAy thats great the obama is ok with same sex marriage now

  8. Romney is the biggest dork I have ever seen
    And if people want to see even more bigger dorks, just take a look at Romney and his wife’ s five sons!!!
    Wow. Just like daddy Romney. They also are prime draft dodgers. The vets of our country should be all over the draft dodging story.
    I started this story many months ago and will proudly deep it the mSM as much as I can. Just another neo con that the Rs are priming Romney for. The hypocrisy of it all.

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