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Andrew Breitbart: ABC News ‘humiliated me,’ damaged my brand

By Abdel-Rahman Hussein, The Guardian
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 13:16 EDT
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The conservative blogger who edited clips of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod says his invitation and subsequent uninvitation from an ABC News’ election panel has damaged his brand.

ABC News had invited Andrew Breitbart to be a guest during their Election Day coverage, which the network had planned to broadcast over the Internet.

Breitbart was “invited as one of several guests, from a variety of different political persuasions, to engage with a live, studio audience,” according to ABC News.

On his website, Breitbart claimed he would be “bringing live analysis from Arizona” and two days after announcing Breitbart’s inclusion in their election day coverage, ABC News uninvited him.

In a letter, Andrew Morse of ABC News told Breitbart that “we feel it best for you not to participate.”

“We have spent the past several days trying to make clear to you your limited role as a participant in our digital town hall to be streamed on ABCNews.com and Facebook,” Morse continued. “The post on your blog last Friday created a widespread impression that you would be analyzing the election on ABC News.”

Speaking to Mediaite Tuesday night, Breitbart blamed pressure from George Soros, the Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo and others for his removal from ABC News’ election panel.

“Do you understand that you invited me to be a participant in this, and because of pressure from the predictable (George) Soros, Huffington, Talking Points Memo, John Podesta activist left, to shut up other voices that they disagree with, a la Juan Williams, of course you would have to react,” Breitbart responded to Morse.

“But to react by throwing your invitee under the bus, and humiliating him in the process? Do you think that that sends the right message to your audience, and to the people out there who think that I am a credible news source, that I offer a valuable opinion as the primary defender of the Tea Party movement against merciless attacks by this very same mainstream media?”

“You have damaged me, you have damaged my brand, and I’m asking you to walk this lie back. I never exaggerated, I never lied, I never played my role up,” Breitbart added. “The decision to create a ‘digital Elba’ was an attempt to placate the left, which they took as a victory. This is a clear ‘screw you!’ to me, and my readers.”

It is unclear whether Breitbart plans to take any legal action against the network. He says he will be “looking into all possible ways to remedy this injustice.”

In addition to stirring up the Shirley Sherrod scandal, Breitbart’s website was also behind the “ACORN pimp sting.”

“I’m pleased that ABC finally came to its senses and realized that nothing good can come from associating in any way with Andrew Breitbart,” said Media Matters CEO David Brock.

“I still don’t understand why they ever thought it would be a good idea to host a racist right-wing hoaxster like him, but cooler heads have prevailed.”

 
 
 
 
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