By @LOLGOP

Is This How Breitbart Got The ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Scoop?

February 20, 2013 9:15 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 20 Comments A+ / A-
Is This How Breitbart Got The ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Scoop?

Last Friday, in “This Week In Crazy,” our own Henry Decker told you how Ben Shapiro, Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, set off a media firestorm by linking President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator, to a group called “Friends of Hamas.”

The only problem was that the group doesn’t exist.

So where did the story come from? Is Breitbart playing Mad Libs, or maybe throwing darts at names on a board?

The answer to this question may provide some excellent insight into the world of right-wing media, where baseless accusations quickly become headlines.

In Wednesday’s New York Daily News, reporter Dan Friedman explains how his joking questions to a Senate aide might be the basis of the ALL-CAPS headline that appeared on Breitbart on February 7:

On Feb. 6, I called a Republican aide on Capitol Hill with a question: Did Hagel’s Senate critics know of controversial groups that he had addressed?

Hagel was in hot water for alleged hostility to Israel. So, I asked my source, had Hagel given a speech to, say, the “Junior League of Hezbollah, in France”? And: What about “Friends of Hamas”?

The names were so over-the-top, so linked to terrorism in the Middle East, that it was clear I was talking hypothetically and hyperbolically. No one could take seriously the idea that organizations with those names existed — let alone that a former senator would speak to them.

Or so I thought.

The aide promised to get back to me. I followed up with an email, as a reminder: “Did he get $25K speaking fee from Friends of Hamas?” I asked.

Andrew Breitbart, the deceased founder of the site, would likely be proud of this journalism-by-accusation. It made him very famous. But what’s most troubling about this story, if true, is the complicity between the staffs of respected Republicans in spreading unfounded rumors to right-wing sites not known for their veracity. And neither party did the simple LexisNexis search it would have taken to verify that this group actually exists.

Shapiro is the author of a book called Bullies, which attempts to flip the notion that the left stands up for oppressed people into the idea that the defenders of the richest 1 percent are actually the ones being bullied. That’s pretty hilarious, especially because spreading unfounded rumors designed to defame the vulnerable is the first trick middle-school bullies learn.

Now Shapiro will say the backlash he’s receiving for his false story is just more bullying. And he’ll sell more books. Because for the right wing in America, being a “victim” of legitimate criticism isn’t embarrassing, it’s a business model.

UPDATE: Ben Shapiro’s super-reliable and secret source tells him that Dan Friedman was not the source of the “Friends of Hamas” story. The original “Friends of Hamas” story remains on the Breitbart site uncorrected. We’re not linking to either post, for obvious reasons.

Is This How Breitbart Got The ‘Friends Of Hamas’ Scoop? Reviewed by on . Last Friday, in "This Week In Crazy," our own Henry Decker told you how Ben Shapiro, Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, set off a media firestorm by linking Pre Last Friday, in "This Week In Crazy," our own Henry Decker told you how Ben Shapiro, Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, set off a media firestorm by linking Pre Rating:

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Comments

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    And meanwhile back at the ranch, Grandmaw was beating off the indians with a broom. And they were still coming!

    Breitbart’s lead story tomorrow . . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    The sad part about this is that the GOP took the bait and enthusiastically engaged in the demonization of one of their own, presumably to discredit President Obama and make it as hard as possible for him to govern, but also because the appointment of a Republican to one of the highest Cabinet positions confirms our president’s focus on inclusion and bipartisanship. In effect, this appointment strengthened President Obama’s image at the expense of an intransigent and immature Republican party.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Don’t forget an intransigent and immature Israel Lobby.

  • TheSkalawag929

    When will we stop expecting facts to matter to the party formerly known as the Republican Party?

  • amazonfan

    I am sick of Islamophobes and anti/Semites pretending to give a damn about Israel. As well as exploiting her in their childish and narcissistic battles, they are more hostile to Israel than Hagek ever could.

    The Repubs are anti-Israel to an extreme, however what makes them particularly dangerous is that they’re wolves in sheep clothing.

    • CPAinNewYork

      amazonfan:

      I think that your assertion that the Republican Party is “anti-Israel” is ridiculous. Give us some specific examples of Republican actions that are hostile to Israel.

      • amazonfan

        It’s not ridiculous at all. They are anti-peace, which makes them anti-Israel. Unless you don’t think that peace is in Israel’s best interests.

        When it comes to being best for Israel, I would choose the Democrats over the Repubs every single time.

        • CPAinNewYork

          amazonfan:

          I think that you’re smoking funny cigarettes.

          • amazonfan

            Wow, what an intelligent and reasoned response. Care to counter with any arguments? Of course not as you don’t have any.

            The only person who is smoking ‘funny cigarettes’ is you if you think that you could ever hope to contribute to any intellectual discussion.

            Oh, and if you truly think the Repubs are not anti-Israel and/or are better on Israel than the Democrats, then you are truly delusional.

            I’m done.

          • CPAinNewYork

            You’re done? Good. Go away and stay away.

            During the campaign, Romney constantly criticized Obama for “throwing Israel under the bus.” Romney kissed Israel’s ass so often it was ridiculous.

            To now accuse the Republicans of abandoning Israel or of being anti-Semitic is laughable. It seems that any time someone criticizes Israel the shopworn accusation of anti-Semitism emerges

          • amazonfan

            “You’re done? Good. Go away and stay away.”

            Oh go jump off a cliff. I won’t be told by you of all people what I should or shouldn’t do.

            “During the campaign, Romney constantly criticized Obama for “throwing Israel under the bus.” Romney kissed Israel’s ass so often it was ridiculous.”

            Romney is pro-Likud. That does not make him pro-Israel. He isn’t. Like all of his Repub colleagues, he pretends to be pro-Israel when he is in fact pro-Likud (which is not the same as being pro-Israel) and anti-Muslim/Palestinian.

            Romney’s accusations were absurd since Obama cares far more about Israel than Romney ever could (who kissed Bibi’s asse, not Israel’s), and is much better for Israel than all of the Repubs put together.

            If you think that Romney’s extremist view of the Middle East is pro-Israel, then you truly have no idea what you’re talking about.

            “To now accuse the Republicans of abandoning Israel or of being anti-Semitic is laughable.”

            It’s true. What is laughable is that you think that they are pro-Israel, when most of them only care about Israel because of their extremist religious views or because they are anti-Muslim/Palestinian. That is not being pro-Israel at all. Furthermore, they are also opposed to peace, attempted to claim that the Iraq war was (partly) because of Israel and want to bomb Iran. Abandoning Israel? How can you abandon something you never cared about?

            As for being anti-Semitic; when Repubs run campaigns accusing Obama of being the next Hitler, or play on their on their Islamophobia and anti-Arabism in front of Jewish audiences (as if to suggest that Jews dislike Muslims and Arabs) you don’t get more anti-Semitic than that.

            The most laughable thing is that you actually think you have something to contribute to a discussion like this, when in reality you couldn’t contribute to a discussion about the Wiggles!

            “It seems that any time someone criticizes Israel the shopworn accusation of anti-Semitism emerges.”

            Which would matter if it was relevant. Which it isn’t.

          • amazonfan

            “You’re done? Good. Go away and stay away.”

            Oh go jump off a cliff. I won’t be told by you of all people what I should or shouldn’t do.

            “During the campaign, Romney constantly criticized Obama for “throwing Israel under the bus.” Romney kissed Israel’s ass so often it was ridiculous.”

            Romney is pro-Likud. That does not make him pro-Israel. He isn’t. Like all of his Repub colleagues, he pretends to be pro-Israel when he is in fact pro-Likud (which is not the same as being pro-Israel) and anti-Muslim/Palestinian.

            Romney’s accusations were absurd since Obama cares far more about Israel than Romney ever could (who kissed Bibi’s ass, not Israel’s), and is much better for Israel than all of the Repubs put together.

            If you think that Romney’s extremist view of the Middle East is pro-Israel, then you truly have no idea what you’re talking about.

            “To now accuse the Republicans of abandoning Israel or of being anti-Semitic is laughable.”

            It’s true. What is laughable is that you think that they are pro-Israel, when most of them only care about Israel because of their extremist religious views or because they are anti-Muslim/Palestinian. That is not being pro-Israel at all. Furthermore, they are also opposed to peace, attempted to claim that the Iraq war was (partly) because of Israel and want to bomb Iran. Abandoning Israel? How can you abandon something you never cared about?

            As for being anti-Semitic; when Repubs run campaigns accusing Obama of being the next Hitler, or play on their on their Islamophobia and anti-Arabism in front of Jewish audiences (as if to suggest that Jews dislike Muslims and Arabs) you don’t get more anti-Semitic than that.

            The most laughable thing is that you actually think you have something to contribute to a discussion like this, when in reality you couldn’t contribute to a discussion about the Wiggles!

            “It seems that any time someone criticizes Israel the shopworn accusation of anti-Semitism emerges.”

            Which would matter if it was relevant. Which it isn’t.

          • amazonfan

            Double-post.

          • amazonfan

            Lovely guy. That my post was flagged, and not yours, is ridiculous. Anyway, you have no idea what you’re talking about. The only thing that is laughable (other than you actually believe the Repubs are pro-Israel) is that you think you can contribute to this discussion.

    • JSquercia

      Perhaps you change residence . I frankly care a damn site more for the United states than i do for Israel . Spare me the old best friend in the Mideast crap . As a former member of the Navy I remember USS Liberty .

      • amazonfan

        My residence is irrelevant and is none of your business. If you had bothered to read my post, you wil note that I never said anything about loyalties. What I said was that I don’t appreciate anti-Israel extremists dragging Israel into their battles. Leave Israel out of it!

        Next time you want to criticise me, at least criticise me for something I actually said.

      • CPAinNewYork

        Thanks JSquercia for remembering the USS Liberty. The Israel Lobby would like to forget that infamous stab in America’s back by our “best friend in the Mideast .”

  • adriancrutch

    The Friends of Hamass are taking donations.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7M2DKJ3IACEZW2TKS3DP7F2LHU Lorraine

    Proof that these Right-Wing Extremist News Shows, Papers and Blogs do not care about facts, they just want dirt. If they were legitimate news media outlets, than they would check the facts before they printed their story or broadcast their stories. If they want to be taken seriously, than they should start acting like serious journalist, newscasters, etc.

  • Dave

    Today’s Onion story. Tomorrow’s GOP talking point.

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