They carry on in Andrew Breitbart’s name . .
On February 7, Breitbart News’s Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro published an explosive-looking story under the headline “Secret Hagel Donor? White House Ducks Question on ‘Friends of Hamas.’” Quoting “Senate sources,” Shapiro claimed that crucial documents on Hagel’s “foreign funding” might be kept from the Senate Armed Services Committe because “one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”
Look who read Shapiro’s piece. National Review’s Andrew McCarthy: ” . . one of the groups behind the speeches may have been an outfit called Friends of Hamas.”
National Review’s Andrew Stiles: “. . with a number of ‘unsavory’ groups, including one purportedly called ‘Friends of Hamas.’”
Mike Huckabee: “If it proves true the rumors of Chuck Hagel’s having received funds from Friends of Hamas, if that’s true then on its face that would disqualify him.”
Sen. Rand Paul: “You know, I saw that information today, also, and that is more and more concerning. With each day, there are new things coming out.”
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.
Reasonable people would think.
I couldn’t have imagined what would happen next. On Feb. 7, the conservative web site Breitbart.com screamed this headline:
“SECRET HAGEL DONOR?: WHITE HOUSE SPOX DUCKS QUESTION ON ‘FRIENDS OF HAMAS’”
That would be Ben Shapiro’s work, who figures that ‘reason’ kills journalism.
On Monday, I reached my source. The person denied sharing my query with Breitbart but admitted the chance of having mentioned it to others. Since the source knew we spoke under a standard that my questions weren’t for sharing, that’s a problem.
So the Republican aide’s a skeezy liar too. Now it’s Shapiro’s job to square everything.
Reached Tuesday, Shapiro acknowledged “Friends of Hamas” might not exist. But he said his story used “very, very specific language” to avoid flatly claiming it did.
“The story as reported is correct. Whether the information I was given by the source is correct I am not sure,” he said.
Andrew Breitbart would have loved this. A Republican aide who promised confidentiality, but lied, passed on a hot item he was too dumb to know was a joke, and it ended up in Ben Shapiro’s in box. From that alone, Ben fabricated a White House conspiracy that didn’t exist to sequester documents that didn’t exist, that detailed a relationship of Hagel’s that didn’t exist with a Hamas group that didn’t exist. And now that the media debacle has been exposed, Ben Shapiro claims he’s honest and truthful because of a ‘maybe’ he denigrated his allegations with.
If everybody bought into Ben’s falsehoods, it’s just their fault. They breezed past the few words that gave the story legitimacy. And journalism isn’t meant for anybody else, it’s just for Ben.