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.
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.