Tag Archives: Breitbart

Smearing by Mensch, 1

Louise Mensch on TwitterLast Friday night, Louise Mensch – former Tory MP, former novelist, currently a columnist for Rupert Murdoch (she took the trouble to praise Murdoch highly when she was an MP and the Murdochs were being investigated by Parliament for phone-hacking) – came unstuck in her hashtag-related attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn when she confused Twitter’s autocomplete function with Google’s autocomplete function.

Google’s autocomplete function, while targeted towards you based on your location and search history, gives you an idea of what other people are searching on.

Louise Mensch discovers her own search historyTwitter’s autocomplete function simply remembers your own previous searches. Louise Mensch had been searching Twitter for references to Liz Kendall (@LizForLeader) combined with “zionist”, “nazi”, “jewish”, “jews”.

When Mensch noticed this coming up in her Twitter autocomplete, she concluded the only reason someone would be doing this kind of search was because they were an anti-Semitic supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. She therefore screenshotted this and posted it on Twitter – to have it pointed out to her that she was condemning her own search history as a “sewer”.
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Filed under Equality, Racism, Religion

Should UKIPlgbt march at London Pride?

The first Pride march in London was 1st July 1972, just three years after the Stonewall riots: the 2015 Pride will be celebrated on 27th June 2015.

Pride is not a demo and it’s not a party. Pride is a public celebration of being LGBT: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans.

Farage on ThatcherThe UKIPlgbt group had been intending to march in London Pride. (Contrary to their own claims, they were not “invited”: they applied, as many hundreds of groups do, and were originally passed through on the nod. In response to public protest against their inclusion, Pride London reconsidered and told the group they could not march.

“LGBT* in UKIP” have gamely tried to claim they have been invited to attend “many other” Pride events throughout the country, but this has been specifically denied by Kent Pride and queried by the UK Pride Network.

(No individual is banned from marching at Pride if they behave themselves: the only question is of groups with banners.)

Pride’s origins in the Stonewall riots are important here. Irene Monroe wrote three years ago:

When I look back at the first night of the Stonewall Inn riots, I could have never imagined its future importance. The first night played out no differently from previous riots involving black Americans and white policemen. And so, too, did its being underreported. But I was there.

On the first night of the Stonewall riots, African Americans and Latinos likely were the largest percentage of the protestors, because we heavily frequented the bar. For homeless black and Latino LGBTQ youth and young adults who slept in nearby Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn was their stable domicile. The Stonewall Inn being raided was nothing new. In the 1960s gay bars in the Village were routinely raided, but in this case, race may have been an additional factor, given the fact that so many of the patrons were black and Latino, and this was the ’60s.

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Filed under LGBT Equality, Politics

The Breitbart problem

Andrew Breitbart used James O’Keefe’s fabricated “pimp videos” to kill off ACORN, the progressive organisation that worked to register low-income voters. That may be Breitbart’s most enduring legacy. I thought this blogpost would be called “the Thatcher” problem, but she is still alive; or the Rupert Murdoch problem, but he’s still alive too.

The problem:

What do you do when someone thoroughly detestable dies?

Unlike Thatcher, who will die well into her retirement (and well after her mind has retired), and unlike Rupert Murdoch, whose evil has generally been carried out through employees and subsidaries, Andrew Breitbart’s evil was active and personal.

On 19th July 2010, Andrew Breitbart posted two short videos showing excerpts of a speech by Shirley Sherrod, Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture, at an NAACP fundraising dinner in March 2010.

In the 1960s Shirley Sherrod established a land trust with her husband, for poor black farmers in Georgia: New Communities, Inc.

In his first post about the video, Breitbart wrote: “In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white.” He also strongly implied that Sherrod was describing recent actions as a USDA official unser President Obama, though since he had seen the full tape he knew that she was talking about an event in the 1960s. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News picked up on this, and accused Shirley Sherrod and NAACP of “reverse racism”, and Sherrod was fired.

When NAACP put the full video up on their website, you can read the full transcript here. The bold section is the part that Andrew Breitbart exercpted for his video. NAACP had accused the Tea Party movement of racism. (This is shown to be true.) Breitbart took a videorecording of a black speaker to a majority-black audience, where the speaker was making an impassioned defense of the principle that it is not black or white but rich and poor that unite and divide Americans, and the audience was applauding her. And Breitbart edited it to make it look as if she were saying the exact opposite.
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Filed under In The Media, Racism