Breitbart.com’s editor-in-chief went right after CNN for its treatment of the late Andrew Breitbart, when asked about the “controversial” journalist’s “tactics” in the Shirley Sherrod incident. The interview took place Thursday afternoon during the 1 p.m. EST hour of CNN’s Newsroom.
Joel Pollock, a friend of Breitbart’s, accused CNN of telling a story “completely contrary” to what Breitbart actually did, and challenged the network to “rethink” the way it treated him. “I’m going to do an Andrew Breitbart and ask you if CNN has rethought its tactics on the issue,” he contended to CNN host Zoraida Sambolin.
Pollock referred to the network asking Sherrod if she wanted Breitbart’s website shut down – which NewsBusters reported – and added that Anderson Cooper completely bungled the actual story.
[Video below. Click here for audio.]
Back in July of 2010, Breitbart had initially posted an edited video of Sherrod, then at the Department of Agriculture, giving racist commentary. Sherrod was hastily fired before it was discovered that the video of her was doctored and in fact she was speaking out against racism.
After Sherrod was vindicated, CNN gave her a full podium to tee off on the conservative blogger without asking first if he had made a bad mistake and had not attempted a deliberate smear.
CNN allowed Sherrod to smear Breitbart as a “vicious” racist without a challenge, and also asked her if she wanted his website shut down. Analyst David Gergen compared Sherrod to Nelson Mandela, while Anderson Cooper called Breitbart a “bully.” Cooper later apologized for letting Sherrod smear Breitbart as a racist.
“So Andrew would throw that challenge back at you and say when CNN rethinks the way it covered that story, maybe Andrew would have some rethinking to do,” Pollock declared. The CNN host sheepishly replied that Breitbart was “unfortunately” not present to debate, and quickly moved to another subject.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 1 on Newsroom at 1:20 p.m. EST, is as follows:
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN: He was quite a controversial figure, also. A lot of people are talking about the Shirley Sherrod incident, and how he handled that. What do you think – do you think that he ever rethought his tactics on that issue?
JOEL POLLOCK, editor-in-chief, Breitbart.com: I’m going to do an Andrew Breitbart and ask you if CNN has rethought its tactics on the issue. CNN brought Shirley Sherrod on in the wake of what happened, and invited her to say whether she wanted to shut his website down, and what she wanted to do to get back at him. And Andrew used to joke that if he had a life story, he would call it “The Anderson Cooper Story,” because he felt like Anderson Cooper had set up a narrative about the Shirley Sherrod incident that was completely contrary to what Andrew had done.
So Andrew would throw that challenge back at you and say when CNN rethinks the way it covered that story, maybe Andrew would have some rethinking to do.
SAMBOLIN: Well unfortunately, Andrew’s not here right now to talk about this. How did he see himself?