Earlier today Adrew Breitbart offered $100K for the JournoList archive.
I interviewed him to open today’s program. Here’s the transcript:
HH: I begin today with the merry prankster of the right with a very serious agenda, but he has fun doing it. Andrew Breitbart of www.biggovernment.com, www.bigjournalism.com, www.bighollywood.com, and just big everything. Hello, Andrew.
HH: BigJournolist (laughing).
AB: I’m having, I do have fun out there. I don’t know why I feel constrained to treat everything serious, but I do think that beneath the offer that seems mildly jocular, I think that we have a discussion that needs to be had about how the sausage is made in the mainstream media. I know that Brent Bozell and countless other people have been complaining about a liberal media for years, but at some point, I think we need to take it on full bore, and to expose it how the sausage is made. And this Dave Weigel exposure that people have been having so much fun pointing out that Dave Weigel has been exposed as a partisan hack, I have a contrary theory. It’s that he was exposed by the liberals on Ezra Klein’s Journolist list, because he wasn’t liberal enough, because from time to time, he would play fair. And in particular, when he was exposed, he said in his defense, I’ve defended Andrew Breitbart before. That’s why he was exposed. He was there as a narrative driver at the Washington Post to claim that BigJournalism won when we exposed that the N word was not hurled by Tea Party people against the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also there to go against Max Blumenthal when Max Blumenthal smeared James O’Keefe as allegedly starting a racist confab at Georgetown Law Center. And so Dave Weigel was outed, in my estimation, because he wasn’t doing what the list was supposed to do, and that’s to create mass conformity and collusion between journalists, think tank types, and the government.
HH: Now what’s very interesting, Andrew, I began my day with Megyn Kelly over at Fox News defending Dave, saying he got screwed in this whole thing, and he threw in a lot of darts at me. But you know, he’s a pretty good reporter. He’s aggressive, he’s passionate, and in my business, you’re used to this. You’re used to this as well. But he did get screwed. And then when I got to the studio, I saw that you had offered $100,000 dollars to anyone who comes up with the Journolist archive. What exactly is it that you’re looking for?[# More #]
AB: Well, I want to show that for the last four years, that Ezra Klein, this hotshot young reporter at the Washington Post, has been rewarded upward, and has become sort of a cause celeb, because he created this Journolist list. And what is this Journolist list? It is an exclusive club that Ezra Klein has invited his friends who are progressives in the media and at think tanks. And I believe ultimately, I look back in history, and I look back at how Hugh Hewitt handled the Dan Rather story, and how he handled the Swiftboat story. And I watched how you methodically played the lawyer, and pointed out to the mainstream media every single day that this scandal is growing, and that the blogosphere is doing the detective work, and that the left at the time did not have the means to defend against the collaboration, the outward collaboration between the emerging blogosphere and talk radio. And I think you led the charge that caused many people on the left to say I think that the right has finally figured out how we are able to create narratives in the American political experience. And they’ve created a series of mechanisms, including Journolist, including another group called TownHouse, and Media Matters, as a means to destroy conservative memes, and conservative ideas, and scandals that could potentially be dangerous, as they were in a previous presidential election cycle.
HH: So let’s talk, though, about specifically what the offer is being extended to, Andrew Breitbart. If someone drops off a manila folder at Breibart central, what do you expect to be in it if you’re going to give them a $100,000?
AB: Well, first of all, I’d like to see who’s on the list. Ezra Klein has admitted that there are upwards of 400 participants on the list. I’d like to know who the participants are. I’d also like to see what they’re talking about, and how exactly they do shape the narrative. If you’ve ever listened to Rush Limbaugh’s show, and he will put together those montages where you see them saying certain words over and over, or where they’ll express the same ideas over and over.
HH: Yes, very much so. Yup.
AB: Gravitas, gravitas. I want to show people that the left is not just a coincidental movement, but there’s a lot of concerted effort to get certain ideas out there. And when journalists are collaborating with other admitted progressives behind a firewall, and you’ve ever been the object of their scorn or their scrutiny, like I have where they come after you one day, I’m very curious to see what exactly they’re doing behind there, what they’re writing about, and how they’re targeting individuals and groups, and how they’re able to kill and create memes.
HH: You know, it’s very interesting, Andrew. It is going to be, if you get your hands on this, the biggest story in the history of American journalism, if it in fact turns out that they are making the news. Dan Rather once famously said news is where you look. Well, if Journonlist is news is where the journalists decided to send you, that’s going to cost not just Dave Weigel, but a lot of jobs as the American people will be outraged. I don’t think I would be surprised. I guess I’m reacting to this, Andrew, rather amusedly, because it’s everything I thought it was. It’s a fraternity of lefties who try and drive, as you say, memes and narratives.
AB: That’s exactly what it is. And once dealt the blow of the exposure of a rat within the ranks, you know, exposing Dave Weigel, Ezra Klein shut down, shut it down. So it is now over, which is somewhat of a tacit endorsement that there’s something wrong with this. Obviously, somebody broke ranks over there. But there is another list that I’ve been informed about called TownHouse. And I’m going to have to craft another scam or scheme to figure out how to get that list as well. Apparently, that one has much greater coordination between the political powers that be and the actual journalists. What I will say this, to Ezra Klein’s defense, he has a steadfast rule not to include government officials on the Journolist list.
HH: Now talk to us about TownHouse, and how you came to know about it, and who is operating it. What do you know about it?
AB: Well, it’s hit the news before, but people, when I offered $100,000 for Journolist, people started coming to me saying you want to find out more about TownHouse. That’s where it’s a lot more blatant than Journolist, which I think over time, for four years, once you get four hundred people on there, these people are pretty aware that what they’re writing has the possibility of being leaked. I would like to find the earlier incarnation of Journolist in the first few years, where I think that people are probably being a little bit more unsafe in their communications. But TownHouse is apparently where the Obama administration and government officials, people on the Hill, are coordinating with the journalists in order to create the memes and the messaging.
HH: At this point, Andrew Breitbart, do you have anyone on the inside of Journolist who is helping you?
AB: I mean, people are coming to me, it seems, in a way of like trying to distance themselves from it, journalists who I am familiar with, who make cracks to me about how I’ll pay you my, I’ll give you my dry contributions for $5,000. So they’re trying to laugh it off or whatever, but I think that they are worried less about the individual things that are on there, but that it will show just like Dave Weigel, when these people are in the comforts of a private area with each other, they speak in these type of open progressive, leftist conspiracies that we accuse them of, and they say we’re crazy for thinking that there’s a leftist tilt in the media.
HH: Do you think story has legs? Or will they button up and button down?
AB: I think, well look, I think this story has legs, because I think that everybody in the media is obsessed with the media. These, the thing that’s going to save the story is the narcissism of the journalist class. So they’re all writing it right now. They could care less about the N word scandal, but if this involves them, they can’t help themselves. So I’m glad I’ve changed the subject from Dave Weigel, one individual who happens to be a biased guy but plays it fair from time to time. I’d rather it be a conversation about the list itself, what it means for journalism, and get these guys to at least do what we do. We admit we’re biased.
HH: I agree with that. Last question, thirty seconds. Do you expect the Washington Post to finally hire, I’ve got two of them coming up after the break, Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson, a real conservative for their blogging pages, Andrew Breitbart?
AB: I think it would be a nice step for them, though I think that they’re being forced to do…I think the media in a very long period of time is starting to adapt to the fact that we’re up to their tricks, and we have the ability to expose them. And if they’re going to have a left winger monitoring the left wing media, then we should have the exact same setup.
HH: Andrew Breitbart of BigGovernment, BigJournalism, BigHollywood and Breitbart.com, thank you, Andrew.