FLASHBACK: Breitbart, the Media, and “Punking” the NAACP (video)
(We are re-running this story from last year in honor of our friend Andrew Breitbart, who devoted his life to exposing the truths that the liberal media keeps hidden behind its walls of lies and hypocrisy — ed)
SEE THE FULL STORY BELOW THE VIDEO (click HERE if the embedded video doesn’t play)
Like a great many viewers, I watched MSNBC hack Martin Bashir’s recent interview with Andrew Breitbart with a mixture of derision and disbelief. Bashir seemed hell-bent on portraying Breitbart as a “racist,” and, lacking any…uh, what’s the word for that stuff that proves other stuff…oh, right – “evidence,” he engaged in a guilt-by-association attack that would have been hilarious had Bashir not been so deadly serious. Breitbart has expressed his admiration for Rush Limbaugh, who recently did an impression of the president of China. This, somehow, makes Breitbart “racist.” A GOP nonentity in Orange County who Breitbart has no connection to or relationship with recently emailed some friends a stupid, photoshopped image of President Obama, and somehow Breitbart is responsible for the conduct of a human being whose existence on this earth was very likely completely unknown to him.
Watching Bashir struggle so mightily, and with such little success, to find a way to tar Breitbart as a racist, I was reminded of the fact that the “mainstream” media (MSM) has yet to cover a particular, ongoing story in which evidence of racism (real, tangible evidence, of the kind that you get when someone is actually, you know, a RACIST) has been uncovered at the venerable NAACP.
The MSM certainly considers the NAACP to be an important organization. I’d wager that the members of the MSM hold the NAACP in much higher regard than they do Breitbart (yes, I know that’s an easy bet, but I’ve never been much of a gambler).
If it’s so terribly, terribly important to “expose” the fact that Breitbart likes a radio host who once did a funny Chinese accent, why is it not equally important to confront the NAACP regarding the racist, anti-Semitic statements and actions of one of its high-ranking officials?
I first covered the words and deeds of Reverend Curtis Gatewood, the 2nd vice president of the NAACP’s North Carolina Conference of Branches (he was also an official organizer of last year’s AFL-CIO/NAACP “One Nation Working Together” rally), back in August 2010. I meticulously cataloged all of his statements attacking Jews, Israel, immigrants, black people with whom he disagrees, and America in general. It’s too long a list to recap here, so I recommend visiting the original story (pack a lunch; it’s not a quick read). Much of my exposé involved Reverend Gatewood’s work as co-founder and co-organizer of the “Black is Back Coalition,” a group founded on the principles of violent revolution, anti-Semitism, and support for the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and all of America and Israel’s foes.
I revealed fairly shocking video from the coalition’s November 2009 rally in Washington DC, and, predictably (another safe wager), the footage (and the Gatewood story in general) was ignored by the MSM (even though the footage showed participants at the rally repeatedly calling Obama the “n word” and a “coon”). The NAACP also steadfastly refused to comment on the story (not for lack of trying on my part).
When the coalition held another rally in November 2010, and more unpleasant footage surfaced (this time, the footage showed the Black is Back Coalition leader making thinly-veiled threats against Obama), I was, at first, tempted to simply write another article about it, send it around the conservative blogoshpere, and watch once again as the MSM and the NAACP turn their collective, customary blind eye.
Speaking of the conservative blogosphere, there is one type of story that is such a staple of conservative blogsites, it might as well have its own category on standard WordPress templates. It’s the “if a conservative said that, the left would be in an uproar” story. We all know the drill: A liberal (politician, journalist, author, activist, actor) says something (racist, bigoted, unintentionally stupid), the MSM doesn’t cover it, and we sit back trading blog posts about how hypocritical the MSM is. “Harumph…if a CONSERVATIVE had said that, the press would be all over it.”
It’s a legitimate angle for a blog post, but damn, it gets tiring repeating the same point, again and again.
So when I saw the footage of the November 2010 Black is Back rally, I thought I’d have a little fun with it. I decided to see exactly how the NAACP would react if they read the words that were spoken at the rally without knowing that it was a far-left event that their own guy co-organized. How would the NAACP react if they were sent a transcript of the remarks under the guise that the event was a Tea Party rally?
With the help of a friend (a filmmaker with no footprint on the Internet identifying him as a conservative), I contacted the national NAACP, telling them I had very disturbing footage from a Tea Party event in DC. I was immediately contacted by NAACP Senior Manager Dr. Niaz Kasravi (who was formerly a bigwig at Amnesty International). She was very keen to know what was said at the rally. I sent her a description and transcript of the most inflammatory remarks:
On the video, the speaker calls Obama a “murdering tyrant.” He then tells the crowd (literally screaming at the top of his lungs), “Even if you’re not strong enough to stop him, you have to call him a dirty so-and-so, and you have to say it so that people can hear you, so that when the people get ready to move, you’ve already told them it’s alright to move. That’s why we’re out here now. The fuse is the most powerful part of a stick of dynamite. Well, we are the fuse, right here. We are the fuse, and we are on fire! We are on fire! You have to make the hard choices. You have to take people where they didn’t even know they were supposed to go, and you have to have the GUTS to tell them that Barack Hussein Obama is the ENEMY. If you don’t say that, people might be confused. They might think you like him. And if they like you, they won’t want todo anything to him, because they think that you like him. So you have to say, ‘you have our permission…to do what has to be done.”
And then the speaker seems to realize he shouldn’t be saying this in public. He says, “Okay, I don’t want to talk about this too much because I’ll go to jail.”
I told her that I was a bit frightened to get involved. But I let her know that I would turn over the footage if she and her colleagues felt that it was important enough.
And they certainly did think it was important. Over the course of almost two months (first email, December 7; last email, January 26), Dr. Kasravi implored me to turn over the footage. After the tragic events in Tucson in January, she became even more adamant about how vitally important it is to expose the kind of rhetoric exemplified by the speech at the “Tea Party” event.
A few examples of her emails:
December 10: “I wanted to see if anyone else has contacted you regarding attaining a copy of the recorded remarks. If not, I wonder if you can somehow get them onto your computer and sent to us. We are making sure to keep records of these types of incidents that come to our attention and try and help things from escalating.”
December 14: “First, let me say I’m also very disheartened by the sentiments expressed by the gentleman. I find them completely out of line. I have asked some of my colleagues at the NAACP. Like I said, we are keeping track and a record of the disturbing things that we see in order to keep an eye out on the general atmosphere.”
January 18: “I have been able to circle back with my colleagues and here is what we discussed. First, reading the transcript you provided also concerns us, as far as we can tell the footage would be disturbing and scary, especially given the recent incident in AZ….We will do all that we can to ensure that your name and identity is not linked to anything regarding this….as you know these things have to be monitored so that we can be aware (of potential threats like the Arizona incident).”
Throughout our correspondence, she was quite friendly, but very determined to get the footage. I almost (almost) felt bad for her, knowing the big “reveal” that was in store.
When I finally decided to send her the footage, I used a video uploading site that enabled me to track not only how many times the video was viewed, but whether anyone downloaded it.
I sent her the link to the footage, along with an explanatory note regarding the true nature of the event (complete with evidence proving Reverend Gatewood’s involvement).
The video was viewed twice. It was never downloaded. The video contained the same “scary” words that were in the transcript I sent to the NAACP. But, oddly, those words were no longer scary or important.
I did hear back from Dr. Kasravi one last time. She told me that any problems involving NAACP officials are typically handled by the division that oversees branches and units. I asked her, repeatedly, for any name, any contact number, of anyone associated with that division. I never heard back. Nor did I hear back from any of the two-dozen NAACP officials I attempted to contact for a response.
So, once again, I am forced to bring you another ubiquitous “if a conservative said that, the left would be in an uproar” story.
But this one, at least, is not hypothetical.