HUMILIATION: Breitbart News Tries To Blame Democrats For Dark Knight Shooting

When it comes to integrity and journalistic ethics, Breitbart News ranks somewhere between the National Enquirer and the Tehran Times. It makes Fox News look like PBS. And they can be expected to sink to ever greater depths of depravity when a story emerges that permits them to dial up the sensationalism and political rhetoric to eye-bleeding levels. The tragic Dark Knight shooting in Aurora, Colorado, was such a story.

On the morning after the shootings all the news networks were engaged in an endlessly repetitious barrage of a limited set of facts and a boundless pool of speculation. It didn’t matter what channel you turned to, you would hear the same recitation of the number of fatalities and injuries, interviews with frightened witnesses, and reminiscences of Columbine. Consequently, there was a determined effort on the part of the reporters to uncover something – anything – that was new or interesting.

In the course of their investigation, ABC News discovered that there was a man associated with the Aurora Tea Party who had the same name as the shooting suspect. They prematurely reported that fact without first verifying whether they were the same person.

George Stephanopoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Brian Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
Stephanopoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

ABC quickly corrected the report, but not before enduring some withering, and deserved, criticism. And it should be noted that, from the start, they acknowledged that all they had was speculation and that they were continuing to investigate. That’s not a proper justification, but it’s also not the same as making an outright accusation, which is what much of the right-wing media is saying.

Breitbart News leapt on this misstep with an article falsely charging “HUMILIATION: ABC News Tries To Blame Tea Party.” There was no attempt on the part of ABC News to blame anyone. They were following a lead and went to air before affirming it, but that’s not an assertion of blame. Breitbart’s column, by the notoriously addle-brained Joel Pollak, goes into hysterics over what he believes is an outrageous insult to his favorite extremist fringe group.

However, what makes Pollak’s pompous theatrics all the more ludicrous is that he immediately perpetrated the very same crime to which he took so much offense.

Breitbart News

Pollak’s article very directly accused the shooter of being a registered Democrat. He rambled through a list of supposed evidence that he never bothered to authenticate and arrived at a conclusion that he deemed certifiable. The only problem is that he was completely wrong – a state of being with which he must be comfortable by now. As it turns out, Pollak also had the wrong guy and the the suspect was not registered to vote at all.

So after castigating ABC for reporting incorrect information, Breitbrat Pollak did the same thing but took over five hours to make a correction. And even that was a weaselly effort that sought to explain away his incompetence by claiming that there was new information. Also, unlike ABC, Pollak included no apology for his gross error and slander of Democrats. But then that’s the sort of unprincipled, pseudo-reporting that is the hallmark of the Breitbart legacy.


17 thoughts on “HUMILIATION: Breitbart News Tries To Blame Democrats For Dark Knight Shooting

  1. Before long they will blame the democrats and all progressives and liberals for this tragedy. It’s just a matter of how much time it will take and my guess is not much. Louie Gohmert has already done as much, in response to the shooting, ‘Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) told the Istook Live show Friday that he believed that the country’s move away from its “Judeo-Christian beliefs” was responsible for God withdrawing his “protective hand” from the country.’ You see in this mental midget’s mind the gunman and the lax gun laws in this country bear no responsibility for this tragedy. Its those damn ‘libruls’ chasing God out of the public schools and not allowing them to paste the ten commandments in every public building in the land and we all know who that is. I’m sure we are going to hear this repeated over and over by his like minded colleagues, such as Bachman, in the coming days. They said the same thing after 9-11, Katrina and every other tragedy or natural disaster that has happened in this country. Its a great way for them to raise money along with their immoral evangelical brethren.

    • To be honest, I don’t see lax gun laws as the thing to blame. A lot of thes nutcases that go on rampages buy their weapons illegally. And the thing about a determined, violent, nutcase is that if he wants to kill someone, or a random group of people, he’s probably going to find a way. It doesn’t matter how he goes about doing it. If he can’t find guns then he might build bombs. If he can’t build bombs, he might use poison or something biological. If he can’t do that, he might get in a car and rampage through a park or something. Never forget that events like this can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. And anybody can do what this asshole did, it doesn’t matter what he used to make it easier to accomplish and it’s a waste of time thinking any laws or any policy could be strengthened or created to keep a random nutjob from committing a random act of brutal mass violence. Just my take on it; I don’t fear the guns or the bombs or any other variation of weapon, I fear the asshole wielding it.

      • Well, maybe you can explain why the UK has about 50 gun-related murders a year; Canada about 200; and the U.S. over 9,000?

        Yes, there are sick people out there that mean to do harm, but we should not make it easier for them. Putting obstacles in their path may deter many of them. And the notion that laws will not prevent criminals from engaging in criminality makes no sense. Why not repeal laws against robbing banks or speeding (or everything else), because people determined to do those things will do them anyway?

        Rational gun laws, like all laws, have a both a deterrent and punitive purpose. Nobody needs an AR-15 with a 100-round clip to hunt deer. Nobody needs armor-piercing bullets unless they plan to shoot cops.

        • I agree with you Mark on that point. Desdinova makes a valid argument, too. People who are that unstable will wreak vengeance on as many innocents as possible. What to do?

          Laws can be made to create obstacles for criminals; however, violent crime continues. Laws are flimsy things. They can be broken at any time, and who is the wiser? Laws are mostly used to correct undesirable behaviors and encourage obedience. My college ethics professor put it best when he said, “The first thing lawyers learn in Law School is the law only tells you what is expected from you.” When you have enough laws in place, everyone becomes a criminal.

          These “nutcases”, as Desdinova puts it, are merely symptoms of a much greater systemic problem. The answer is not just tighter gun control laws but a restructuring of our entire hyper-individualistic, patriarchal society. If we had a society which placed greater emphasis on empathy and community, instead of individual status and apathy,we would discover a more peaceful, natural existence.

          • ‘entire hyper-individualistic..’

            Exactly right. I probably should’ve made the point that those countries are socialist and the income gap is smaller. Also, it’s not like violent crime involving things other than guns isn’t a problem over there too.

            To be realistic, there’s more factors at play for that then what could possibly be appropriate for a comments section.

        • Because we have 300 million plus people living in this country, just by numbers it’ll be higher. We have more major cities too.

          I was being specific to random, determined, murderous assholes and not being general to all criminals and all crime. If they’re determined to do it, they’re probably going to at least try. What does it matter what they use to kill innocent victims? They’re still killing innocent victims. I don’t know why you brought up repealing laws at all. We don’t think about murder and theft and rape, that stuff won’t ever be an option. You seem to be making the point that laws stop evil. They don’t, reality is proof. Most of us aren’t evil. Laws involving murder aren’t deterrents, only evil people scratch their heads in any given sutuation and say, ‘Nah, I shouldn’t murder him because it’s illegal.’

          Laws don’t stop evil or insanity, you’re right that they can be obstacles but the whole ‘determined’ thing is to illustrate that they will circumvent those obstacles and just use something else. Most of the time, gun control laws just deter the aforementioned evil and otherwise insane from buying weapons legally, and act as a nuisance to people who have no interest in using those weapons for crime. So why punish the whole population of an entire city or country because of acts of mad men? Also, does this apply to other things? Or just guns? There are so many things someone could use to make it easier to kill people. The problem isn’t guns or any variant of weapon, the problem is murder itself. If you think smaller mags would’ve deterred this guy, then you’re certainly missing something. I’m not totally against gun control, I just don’t think beefing it up will stop the next agent of mayhem.

          • The US has five times the population than the UK, but 180 times the number of gun related murders (assuming that Mark’s numbers are correct).
            It clearly isn’t just because the US has a larger population.

        • But I like my AR-15 with the biggest clip I can buy – the 100 round barrels look kind of silly, so I stick with lots of 30 round mags – they do just fine. What I need is none of your business – I’m sure I can come up with lots of things you DON’T NEED – since there is a big difference between need and want. In fact I go out of my way to buy things that piss people like you off. I’ve been kicking around buying an AK-47 just because I can.

            • I’m not sure why that’s a dumb idea – don’t you buy things because you like them and you can. Anyone can have any reason to buy whatever they please and there is nothing you can do about it. AKs are easy to get and cheaper than AR type weapons at least the ones I’ve seen – they are cheaper to shoot too. In fact, it pleases me that someone here doesn’t approve – I enjoy freedom – maybe you should try it sometime, you may like it.

  2. I just think of the media as mother bird and the audience as the baby chicks. The world’s information just passes into mother bird’s gullet. Pre-masticated, it is regurgitated down the audience’s throats.

  3. Everyone re-read this thread and double-check Mark’s tone of writing. You will once again detect unbelievable hypocrisy on his part.

    You admit that ABC deserved the criticism it got, but then you soft-pedal the incident for the rest of the thread, while spending the rest of the time spitting out Pollak-is-scum-of-the-earth screed material.

    “There was no attempt by ABC to blame anyone…”

    Then why bring up this factoid at all? Huh? Ross should never have thrown this factoid out there until ABC had done some more checking.

    I have no problem taking both of these parties to the woodshed. The Breitbart website looked petty and hypocritical with this stunt. Here’s what I don’t get: I would have expected somebody from MSNBC to have pulled this stunt. But ABC?? Brian Ross?? I actually think he has done some excellent journalistic work in the past. That’s what blows me away about this episode, and that’s what fuels my disgust about this false Tea Party report.

    Heck with it. This shouldn’t even be the focus. We should instead focus on the all the victims of this crime. Our thoughts and prayers need to go out to all of them.

    • Ross didn’t criticize anyone else for misreporting. Pollack DID criticize ABC AND Ross for the misreporting, but then turned around and did the every same thing himself.

      That’s the main difference between the 2.

    • “…unbelievable hypocrisy?”

      Are you really that dense? As Delu was able to perceive, the hypocrisy is on the part of Breitbrat Pollak. He castigates ABC for something and then does the very same thing himself. It’s so obvious I can hardly believe you need to have it explained.

      • If you had bothered to have read my comment fully, you would have noticed that I ripped into Pollak as well.

  4. Beefing up control laws, restricting who can own them, when they can be bought & sold, and in what capacity will not solve these types of incidents.
    We will all rally around the stage as politicians jump on any bandwagon that gets your financial attention but in the end we will forget as we always do.

    I think that if we as a society really want to see change then we must first demand that our elected officials as well as our own selves stop the hate towards each other. This website makes a point of showing the very ugly truth of what our society have eroded into, you against me, me against the world, all for one, and don’t dare get in my way. If you don’t believe me then you are anti-American, Godless, and a ninny.
    I believe this is the point Sappho was making and it’s a good point.

    There will be no changes, just these moments to look back upon so we can cast blame upon anyone but ourselves when it occurs again.

  5. I blame the Democrats for being pussies and refusing to stand up to the criminals’ lobby a/k/a the NRA.

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