Posted on | October 11, 2012 | 6 Comments
Disaster is now coming at Democrats from multiple unexpected directions. Yesterday, Bob Belvedere observed that “James O’Keefe and his Mission: Impossible crew have done it again,” and what they did is what I call impact reporting: News that results in action, in this case the firing of DNC official Stephanie Caballero:
The Democratic National Committee has terminated the employment of Houston, Texas, Organizing For America Regional Field Director Stephanie Caballero after she was caught on camera calling voter fraud “cool” and “so funny” while advising a presumably-liberal voter how to vote twice.
In a comment to the liberal Talking Points Memo, DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell accused James O’Keefe and Project Veritas of selectively editing their videos – but admitted that what Caballero did on his tape was wrong and she’s now been fired.
“There is obviously a history here of making selective use of taped material, and we will certainly not vouch for the completeness of what was released,” Roussell said. “However, what we saw was enough for us to take the action that we did.”
Once again, as with the ACORN sting, O’Keefe is accused of “selectively editing” video, without anyone expecting Democrats to produce evidence to support the accusation: What did O’Keefe allegedly edit out? Never mind — the DNC simply makes the accusation to provide an ironclad excuse for any reporter at a mainstream news organization who wants to ignore the story: “Oh, this isn’t really news because, selective editing!”
Hey, Scoop: If this is all a ginned-up nothingburger — if the unsubstantiated charge of “selective editing” automatically disqualifies it as newsworthy — why did Caballero get fired?
Unanswered (and usually, unasked) questions like that were what used to annoy the hell out of Andrew Breitbart, and rightly so. Leave aside entirely the question of a professional journalist’s obligations. Just normal human curiosity would make ordinary people ask questions: What’s going on with Democrats and voter registration? Is it true that many hundreds of people have been documented as voting illegally in two states during the same election year? What, if anything, are Democrats doing to prevent this? Or is it all just a bunch of ginned-up phony outrage? Like I say, this is the kind of stuff that ordinary people find interesting, and which you might think an editor at the Washington Post or the New York Times or CBS News would therefore find worthy of further reporting: “Hey, this is kind of weird and it might make for an interesting story, let’s assign somebody to poke around and see what they can dig up.”
But . . . no.
It’s frustrating, because you have the sneaking suspicion that if the mainstream media ever devoted serious effort to such stories, the result would be a lot more interesting than the dreck they usually produce. And it used to make Andrew Breitbart very angry:
Toward the end of the new movie Hating Breitbart, there is a scene that captures the essence of what the late New Media entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart did — and how he did it. The camera follows Breitbart as he makes his way up Capitol Hill, past the crowd at a 2010 Tea Party rally where the founder of Breitbart.com was about to give a speech. “Hey, Andrew, remember me?” says a man amid the throng on the opposite side of the crowd-control barricade. “I’m the one who sent you that video … the nine-second clip.”
Breitbart knew exactly which clip the man was talking about, and remembered the online moniker of the amateur cameraman who sent it: “Marooned in Marin, right?”
The significance of that moment isn’t explained in the movie, as director Andrew Marcus is content to let viewers connect the dots for themselves when Breitbart takes the stage to give one of his many impassioned speeches. While he was at times credited with singlehandedly destroying the mainstream media’s suffocating liberal stranglehold on news, Breitbart always understood that his work depended on people like Marooned in Marin who sent him e-mail tips, including videos and photos, that exposed the untold truths that too many professional journalists were willing to ignore. And so when he stood on the stage in front of the Capitol that September afternoon in 2010, Breitbart pointed to the audience and told them, “You are the army!”
Marcus’s camera then captures Breitbart’s reaction, after he leaves the stage to cheers and applause, telling a friend that he didn’t have any idea what he was going to say until he started talking. That’s how it was with Breitbart — a master of improvisation, an impulsive personality who learned to turn his attention deficit disorder into an asset. The astute viewer of Hating Breitbart recognizes that the chance encounter with Marooned in Marin (whose name Breitbart had stored in his amazing memory) triggered the thought that led to the inspirational words he spoke on stage that day at the Tea Party rally. And every new day brings fresh reminders of how the inspiration has outlived the man who died in March at age 43. . . .
Please read the rest at The American Spectator. You’re sure as hell never going to read anything like it in the New York Times.