A Letter from Breitbart’s Ombudsman on Donald Trump
Dear Loyal Breitbart Reader,
In the days since Breitbart’s chairman Stephen Bannon first announced he would be taking a leave of absence to helm Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, some have wondered how even the most august and rigorous news organization could expect to provide dispassionate coverage in such circumstances.
Fortunately, as the ombudsman of Breitbart News, I’m writing to answer a more straightforward question: how we expect to.
The short answer is that we will stay true to the same principles and values that have made Breitbart news the number one most trusted online news outlet in America, as determined by a survey conducted by Breitbart news.
First, let me acknowledge that questions of journalistic ethics can be murky—not everything is as obvious as the fact that Hillary Clinton suffers from debilitating seizures.
At the same time, I trust that our journalists are equipped to handle whatever situation may arise. It doesn’t take a Columbia Journalism School degree to know what’s right—which is good, because nobody here is in possession of such a degree.
The fact of the matter is, we’ve always been able to see and follow our organizational North Star—because pollution isn’t real and global warming is a hoax.
We remain committed to leading with our values. Our founder Andrew Breitbart used to say, “if I know two things, it’s that we have an obligation to the truth, and that Shirley Sherrod is the real racist.” That statement holds true today. She totally is.
To honor Andrew’s legacy—and to answer any outstanding questions—let me address a few concerns we’ve heard from our readers as posted in our comments section (edited to increase clarity and decrease the number of racial epithets):
1. Will Breitbart still be able to cover the 2016 race objectively?
Without a doubt.
The same hard-hitting investigative reporting practices that have driven our coverage thus far will remain at the core of everything we do. We led the charge to uncover the truth behind Hillary Clinton’s emails before Mr. Bannon left for the Trump campaign, and we will continue to do so long after he’s gone.
You can expect from us, the same high-quality features like, “Does Hillary Clinton lean on pillows so much because of MS, or is it Parkinson’s?”, “What’s up with her cough?”, “Isn’t Rodham an Arabic name?” and “Do her hands look swollen today?”
But rest assured, our critical gaze will extend towards the Trump campaign as well. He’s still going to have to answer questions like “Will you sign my hat?”, “What’s Megyn Kelly’s problem?” and “If you could pick ten Breitbart reporters to eat dinner with, how does Thursday look?”
2. How will Bannon’s departure affect Breitbart’s editorial process?
Mr. Bannon’s temporary departure doesn’t mean that we’ll abandon the foolproof editorial process he implemented early in his tenure, a process which has drawn praise from such notable individuals as Erik Trump, Ivanka Trump, and even Donald Trump Jr.
Our staff will continue to pitch stories while standing behind a cardboard cutout of Ann Coulter, delivering their ideas in voices wrought with exasperation and disgust at both the world around them and, secretly, themselves.
Approval decisions will be made by our interim chairperson, the English teacher who saved her class from Ahmed Mohamed’s homemade clock.
Once story ideas are approved, the writers will hit the streets, taking a quote from the first person they see holding a gun.
Fact checking will continue to be provided by our team of solipsistic philosophers, who subscribe to the belief that it is impossible to verify anything but your own consciousness.
3. What about sponsored content?
Literally none of our readers are worried about a new wave of sponsored content—and what it means for the hard-hitting, objective journalism you’ve come to expect. Let me put those fears to rest.
That said, we intend to make clear the distinction between editorial content and sponsored content. For example, a story about the importance of ordering bulk freeze dried food for your bunker is editorial content. The order form at the end of that story is sponsored content.
4. Who did Benghazi?
Hillary did Benghazi.
5. Should we worry about the Trump campaign vetoing or directly editing stories?
[There’s absolutely no reason to worry, I have the best words. –Ed. DJT]
It’s our hope that this letter helps address any concerns you may have about our coverage in light of recent news. As always, thanks for choosing Breitbart while you still have a choice in the matter.
David Duke Breitbart Ombudsman
Adam Talbot, Brian Angler, Kevin Seefried, and Jeff Nussbaum are from West Wing Writers, a speechwriting and strategy firm led by former Clinton and Obama Administration speechwriters.
One turns to the other and says, "You know, I don't know what else to do. Whenever I go home after we've been out drinking, I turn the headlights off before I get to the driveway. I shut off the engine and coast into the garage. I take my shoes off before I go into the house, I sneak up the stairs, I get undressed in the bathroom. I ease into bed and my wife STILL wakes up and yells at me for staying out so late!"
His buddy looks at him and says, "Well, you're obviously taking the wrong approach. I screech into the driveway, slam the door, storm up the steps, throw my shoes into the closet, jump into bed, rub my hands on my wife's ass and say, 'How about a blowjob?' ....And she's always sound asleep."
But then it dawned on the crowd that Mr Cruz had not named Mr Trump because he did not mean him. He had just punked the convention. As many Trump supporters began to boo, members of the Trump campaign rushed around the delegates, allegedly trying to whip up more dissent. To deflect attention from the wrecking-job afoot onstage, Mr Trump entered the arena and stood waving generally, with a waxen half-smile, like a senile dictator.
This week has become a grotesque object lesson in gun culture, one that points to a conclusion that we could have and should have drawn long ago—that the surfeit of weapons at our disposal and the corresponding fears that they induce create new hazards. There is no telling how any of these specific horrors will be resolved. But here is what we do know: we live in an age of open-source terrorism. Our inability to respond to mass shootings has meant that, eventually, even law enforcement would fall victim to one. The context of the conversation about police accountability has been irrevocably changed. Black lives matter, but reports that those words were uttered by a gunman in Dallas mean that any movement under that banner may well have met its end. And realism, in the face of tragedy, tells us that there is more ugliness in the offing.
“[Donald Trump is] an ignoramus whose knowledge of public issues is more superficial than an occasional newspaper reader’s. He casts his intellectual laziness as a choice, a deliberate avoidance of expert views that might contaminate his ill-informed opinions. He excused his failure to consult professionals before commenting on the Brexit vote by dismissing foreign policy advisers in general, including his own… He’s a charlatan, preposterously posing as a business genius while cheating investors, subcontractors, and his own customers. He’s rich because his father left him a great deal of money… He possesses the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old. He can’t let go of any slight, real or imagined.”
Brazilian police are trying to locate a former detainee of the US military prison at Guantánamo Bay after reports of his disappearance from Uruguay caused alarm in the country only a month before it is due to hold the 2016 Olympics.
The Uruguayan media reported that the former US prisoner, Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Diyab, had been missing from his adopted home for three weeks and had possibly gone to Brazil. FT
I’m not a big fan of Gitmo, but not sure you should ever release someone named “Jihad”
I admit to him that I remain afraid of the downside risks given that the world feels very vulnerable. His comeback is reassuring. He reminds me that the world never feels safe, that when you feel safe it’s a mirage, that in mid-2001 folks felt safest in decades and it was right before the worst terrorist attack in American history. He reminds me of our youth where we had regular fall-out shelter drills in case of nuclear attacks. He reminds me of Sputnik and Bay of Pigs and the shock Americans felt after Pearl Harbor. That folks in the U.S. felt isolated from the world’s problems and safe in 1940 until the end of 1941. That in 1987 markets crashed, that in the early 1990s the S&L crisis threatened all financial institutions and drove us into recession, that Mexico almost dragged us down in 1994, that Long-Term Capital Management almost demolished the entire financial system in 1998 and that in 1999 folks predicted the end of the world with Y2K. The year 2001 brought the end
of the tech bubble and in the fall of 2008 we were close to heading into financial catastrophe.
Dozens of State Department officials this week protested against U.S. policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State. WSJ
That sounds about as likely as claiming overthrowing Saddam will destroy Al Qaeda. Oh, it did the opposite? My bad, next country...
Unfortunately this is also the foreign policy you get with Clinton. Stupid people.