Published with permission from Media Matters.
Breitbart News has relentlessly defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and problematic statements, ranging from commending Trump for “changing the debate on illegal immigration” with his statement that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” to defending Corey Lewandowski over Breitbart News’ own reporter, Michelle Fields. With their enthusiastic defenses of Trump, Breitbart News has repeatedly shown there’s very little the candidate could do or say that Breitbart News wouldn’t defend.
Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart News Executive Stephen Bannon As Its Campaign Chief Executive
The Wall Street Journal: Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon To Manage Campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hired Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon to lead his campaign. The Journal reported that Bannon’s hire is “likely to stir its own controversy” because Bannon leads a “freewheeling populist news site” that caters to Trump supporters. According to the August 17 article, Bannon will take a leave of absence from his Breitbart News position:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is bringing two new managers to the top of his campaign in a bid to recover ground he has lost in recent weeks.
Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, an outspoken Trump supporter and a former Goldman Sachs banker, will assume the new position of campaign chief executive. At the same time, Mr. Trump also is promoting Kellyanne Conway, a veteran GOP pollster and strategist, to become campaign manager. Ms. Conway has been a campaign adviser for several weeks.
The appointment of Mr. Bannon is likely to stir its own controversy. Breitbart News, which he runs, is a freewheeling populist news site that has served as a kind of platform for Trump supporters. He has, among other things, helped produce a movie about the personal wealth of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Trump has known Mr. Bannon, a former Naval officer, for years. Mr. Bannon will take a leave of absence from Breitbart. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/16]
Breitbart News Has Relentlessly Defended Trump From Criticism
When Trump Said Mexicans Are “Rapists”: Breitbart News Declared “Trump Is Right On The Facts.”Breitbart News published numerous articles defending Trump’s comments that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” The site commended Trump for forcing the media to stop “ignoring the problem of illegal immigrant criminality” and doing a “spectacular job of changing the debate on illegal immigration to exactly where it should be.” Breitbart News compared the backlash Trump was facing to the backlash Todd Akin saw during the “legitimate rape” controversy, declaring the “big difference between Akin and Trump” is that “Trump is right on the facts.” [Breitbart News, 7/1/15, 7/7/15, 7/10/15]
When Trump’s Campaign Manager Allegedly Assaulted A Breitbart News Reporter, The Outlet Sided With Trump. In March, Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields alleged that Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, forcibly grabbed her and pulled her towards the ground. Fields subsequently filed charges against Lewandowski, but despite Fields sharing pictures of her bruises as evidence, Trump and Lewandowski denied the incident occurred and claimed it was “made up.” Rather than defend its reporter, Breitbart News and its leadership immediately moved to downplay the assault and discredit Fields, publishing articles that contested her account of the incident and repeatedly attempting to minimize the event as a “misunderstanding”. Fields resigned from Breitbart News, saying, “I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.” [Media Matters,8/17/16, 3/11/1, 3/11/16, 3/14/16]
When Trump Launched Racist Attacks Against Judge Gonzalo Curiel: Breitbart News Declared “Trump Is Correct To Hit ‘La Raza’ Judge For Latino Identity Politics.” Breitbart News defended Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel, the judge overseeing the Trump University case, criticizing Curiel’s affiliation with the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and attempting to smear the group as a radical organization. The article concluded by claiming that Republican leaders who condemned Trump over his comments about the judge “have exhibited one of the worst examples of Stockholm syndrome” and would eventually realize they “are the ones who made the ‘inexcusable mistake.’” From a June 6 Breitbart News article:
Translated, “la raza” means “the race.” Imagine the outcry if white attorneys from Mississippi, such as this author, started a legal association called “The Race” with the stated mission to promote the interest of white, Southern communities. Hollywood stars and entertainers, such as Bryan Adams, would boycott the state in perpetuity.
Trump’s suggestion that a Hispanic judge may treat him unfairly because of Trump’s border security proposals, such as the wall, challenges the claim that liberal judges engaged in identity politics are never biased against non-liberals. And while Democrats were enraged by Trump’s challenge, Trump struck fear into the hearts of establishment Republicans not accustomed to challenging the politically correct code to which they have previously surrendered.
But this debate is not just about Trump or Trump University; it is about a politically correct double standard that permits liberals to use the faith of pro-life judges to boot them from a case, but calls questioning the ethnicity based activism of a liberal judge racism. And this is a concept the voters understand.
Liberals made Trump’s comments about race because they know a reasonable person might conclude Curiel’s activism creates the appearance of impropriety. The sad thing is Republicans, much like a battered spouse, are so accustomed to the politically correct abuse they accept it as the new normal.
By validating Hillary’s race card, Republican leaders have exhibited one of the worst examples of Stockholm syndrome. And when the dust settles, Newt will see that he and his fellow Republicans are the ones who made the “inexcusable” mistake. [Breitbart News, 6/6/16]
When Trump Tweeted Out The Star Of David: Breitbart News Said Coverage Of This “Fake Controversy” Shows “Media Contempt.” After Trump tweeted an image that contained a Star of David next to Hillary Clinton with the words “most corrupt candidate ever,” Breitbart News defended the action, calling it “a fake controversy” and claiming that the image was “much like a sale advert.” The article went on to claim that the media’s coverage of the tweet showed “media contempt for Donald Trump’s supporters.” From the July 3 article:
The tweet posted by the presumptive Republican nominee contained a poster in which Hillary took center place with the words “history made”. Then in a six-point star – much like a sale advert – the words “most corrupt candidate ever” were written. Simple enough.
The six-point star is commonly associated with Judaism. It is also used by Christians, Muslims, the Freemasons, and even the occult. But this is irrelevant to Trump’s critics, as is the fact that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is of the Jewish faith and his daughter Ivanka is now an observant Jew.
So the criticism of Trump was not directed at him personally, nor was it really suggesting that the top Republican was anti-Semitic. The criticism was directed at the boorish, angry white Americans who, according to the media narrative, have flocked to Trump because of his “veiled” messages of bigotry.
The real target of the media and GOP establishment is the Trump supporter. Why? Because this is the free-thinking person who had the gall to rebuke the RNC elite and ignore the media narrative. The fact that Trump obtained the most Republican votes in primary history despite the constant charges he peddles racism and bigotry must mean, in the eyes of Trump’s foes, his supporters are racists and bigots. [Breitbart News, 7/3/16]
When Trump Attacked A Gold Star Family, Breitbart News Piled On And Smeared Khizr Khan. Breitbart News joined Trump in criticizing Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of a U.S. Army captain who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, alleging that “the Muslim Gold Star father that the mainstream media and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been using to criticize Donald J. Trump” has “deep ties to the government of Saudi Arabia” and “international Islamist investors.” The Breitbart News article alleged that the Khans were “financially and legally tied deeply to the industry of Muslim migration–and to the government of Saudi Arabia and to the Clintons themselves. After Breitbart News and other right-wing media sources engaged in a smear campaign against the Gold Star family, the Khans reported that they received “hateful messages” particularly about allegations of “shady immigration cases.”[Breitbart News, 8/1/16; Media Matters, 8/7/16]
Photo: Steve Bannon, head of the news website Breitbart News, was named to the new position of campaign chief executive officer. Bannon, a conservative flamethrower was referred to by ousted Corey Lewandowski as “a street fighter” like himself. The campaign statement announcing the changes touted a Bloomberg Politics article that branded Bannon “the most dangerous political operative in America.” REUTERS/Carlo Allegri