When Andrew Breibart died, the conservative punditry world befouled it self with weepy odes to his bravery and dedication to right’s mission, whatever it is. In fact, he was a sloppy and unethical ideologically biased pseudo journalist, who made Fox News really look fair and balanced and MSNBC seem like the epitome of professionalism. Journalism with an agenda isn’t journalism, and Breitbart’s website never let nuances like facts get in the way of a good smear or a dubious accusation.
Earlier this week I read for the first time—since I avoid Breitbart like I avoid centipedes—that there were rumors that The Donald was sending favors the way of the website, and in return, it had grabbed the niche of pro-Trump media mouthpiece, thus setting itself up to run the Ministry of Truth when he gains power and begins rounding up the Unsuitables. THere’s no proof of this, but it could explain articles like this one today, titled Trump 100% Vindicated: CBS Reports ‘Swarm’ On Rooftops Celebrating 9/11.
To cut to the chase, nothing in the article vindicates or supports Trump in any way, and certainly not “100%.” That’s pure linkbait, though the disgraceful story holds on to the like like grim death, tossing excuses, equivocations, deceits and logical fallacies at it as if this junk can turn lead into gold.
You see, the only way Trump could be 100% vindicated would be if there was a video recording of “thousands upon thousands” of Muslims celebrating the carnage of 9-11 in New Jersey, and proof that the video was shown on a television broadcast where Donald Trump could see it. There was not. What does Breitbart’s hack reporter John Nolte shout as vindication (the whole silly post is written as if Nolte identified the second shooter on the Grassy Knoll), while accusing the mainstream media of a conspiracy to discredit poor Donald? Well…
- Eight men were found celebrating at a Jersey apartment and were arrested (illegally, I’d say)
- There was a local CBS broadcast including a report that investigators told a journalist that another apartment was “swarming with suspects,” identified as such because they were cheering.
- MTV—that esteemed news organization— ran one report about some uncounted Muslims celebrating.
- Isolated radio reports.
- The New York Post, not even in a news story but in an op-ed, said, “Here in New York, it was easy to get angry listening to Egyptians, Palestinians and the Arabs of nearby Paterson, N.J., celebrate as they received word of the murderous attack in New York and Washington.”
That’s it! That’s what Breitbart’s reporter calls complete vindication of Trump’s statement, which Trump refuses to admit wildly misrepresented facts in scope and significance, that he saw, on television, thousands upon thousands of Muslims celebrating on September 11, 2001, yet none of those pieces of “evidence,” individually or collectively, vindicate any part of Trump’s fantasy:
1. The video that is Nolte’s smoking gun shows no celebrating.
2. The author of the op-ed admits that he didn’t witness anything, and wrote what he wrote based on some radio reports and what two acquaintances told him. He says today that he has no reason to believe there were “thousands” celebrating.
3. Nolte’s argument about the significance of “swarming” is risible. A reporter either using “swarming” as a colorful verb or serving as a hearsay source of what a single, unidentified “investigator” told him neither suggests “thousands upon thousands” nor supports it. Swarm means a”large number in motion.” Twenty can be a swarm, if the word was used correctly, and if the reporter using the word didn’t actually see the “swarm,” we have no way of knowing if it was.
4. Nolte makes an utter fool of himself arguing for the persuasiveness of this single use of an ambiguous word:
“People are arguing falsely that the fact that only 8 suspects were apprehended contradicts the “swarm” claim. Read it again. An “investigator” told CBS about the “swarm.” The fact that a certain number were brought into custody does not change the fact that there was a “swarm.” The obvious impression is that of the “swarm,” only eight were brought into custody. Eight people do not swarm on all those rooftops. They “gather.”
Actually, you boob, people don’t swarm at all. Insects swarm. The word is a slur, not a reliable measurement. To prove that Trump was accurate and not making stuff up, you have to find someone who says there were “thousands upon thousands” celebrating, who saw them, and who is reliable. That someone also has to have a name, so his story can be checked.
Then the Breitbart writer really gets desperate:
You are Donald Trump. You are taking in all the news during that awful week. You are told by the media that “swarms” of Muslims in a known terrorist’s neighborhood were seen on rooftops celebrating 9/11. Just two days earlier you have read [the op-ed in the NY Post] You hear radio news reports about Muslims celebrations. MTV runs a news report about Muslim celebrations.
From all of those news reports, it is perfectly reasonable and nothing close to lying to put together a picture of “thousands”.
No, from all those news reports it is reasonable to conclude that some Muslims celebrated, and saying that you saw thousands upon thousands of Muslims celebrating on TV is, at first, to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, a complete false memory. Once Trump knew how wrong his recollection was and refused to retract it, then it became a lie.
“FACT,” says Nolte. “Donald Trump is now 100% vindicated.”
The fact is that Nolte’s reporting and reasoning is embarrassing, and Breitbart is even more of a disgrace than it used to be.