The Breitbart-Beck Feud, Explained (by Breitbart)

Earlier today, Andrew Breitbart tweeted this:

The Truth Has No Agenda: Just tell the truth, @GlennBeck. I don’t need on-air compliments. Just truth about July 20, 2010.

What’s he referring to? It’s somewhat complicated, but it’s picked up steam lately as Beck has started towards the exits at Fox. The dispute is over how Beck handled the Shirley Sherrod story in 2010.

Go back and check the timeline . Breitbart broke the story on July 19 at his Big Government site, embedding a short video of Sherrod admitting that she’d once balked at helping out a white farmer.

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. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.

On his radio show, Glenn Beck went further than Breitbart had in condemning Sherrod.

But on July 20, the story fell apart because the entire video of Sherrod’s speech was made public – including the sections where she told the larger lesson of her momentary lapse. It was at this time that Sherrod went on CNN and said she was asked to resign to prevent the story from escalating on Glenn Beck’s show, the show lots of people credit with bringing down Van Jones. Sherrod identified who fired her.

That was Cheryl Cook, the deputy undersecretary. She said, “Well, Shirley they want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it. Because you are going to be on Glenn Beck tonight.”

Three days later, Beck appeared on the O’Reilly Factor to talk about the experience. And he bragged about not including the Sherrod tape on his Fox News show.

O’REILLY: But they thought, they being the White House, thought you were going to ram it down their throat, just like Van Jones. 

BECK: No. We had the goods on Van Jones. Do you know how much stuff I have on Van Jones that I’ve never played? I have stuff – I have stuff that will melt your brain on Van Jones. 

O’REILLY: Right. 

BECK: OK? But it never played, because I didn’t have the full context. We were very, very, very, very careful.

Breitbart’s argument – and it’s the correct one – is that Beck was splitting hairs. He discussed the Sherrod tape and condemned her on his radio show, but it fell apart before he could mention it on his TV show. And Breitbart’s become fascinated by this in the wake of Beck’s site, The Blaze, running a partial debunking of James O’Keefe’s NPR sting.

“It was his first shot across the bow to indulge the left so he can reposition himself,” Breitbart told me today. “I looked at it as an attack on me, even though I didn’t have anything to do with the NPR thing.

What did Beck say after The Blaze ran that story? He took to the airwaves to boast that he “was not going to Shirley Sherrod someone.” According to Beck, he’d been offered the NPR sting videos, but turned them down because he wanted the full tapes for context.

“I had looked the other way at him throwing me under the bus,” Breitbart said. “What I didn’t know until the last two and a half weeks is that he lied. James O’Keefe never came to him with any videos. Fox and Beck were presented with the full, unedited videos pro-actively. [Ed: Here, Breitbart is referring to the ACORN tapes.] James O’Keefe made me his agent. I was the one who went to Fox with the full videos. He lied about James O’Keefe coming to him, and him saying he wanted the full, un-edited videos. It’s a lie.”