Andrew Breitbart has become (in)famous for taking video of progressives and liberals, editing the hell out of it to so totally distort it that it even portrays the opposite of was actually said by an individual.
He was the brainchild behind the faked interviews and videos that led to a Republican controlled Congress (with too many cowardly participating Democrats) ending funding for ACORN, a program that did the unforgivable: It helped minorities and the poor register to vote.
A few months ago, Breitbart struck again. He heavily edited video of an appearance by a Black woman, Shirley Sherrod, who at the time was an employee of of the United States Department of Agriculture, in Georgia. The tapes were edited to make it appear she had made racist statements against Whites. There was an uproar, her boss demanded she resign (with pressure from Obama, reportedly). But within 24 hours, it became clear that the video was faked. But the damage was done. She left the her position in the department.
Recently, her lawyers filed a major lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart. And then the fireworks really began. As a well researched diary on Why Breitbart is TOAST (New Court Docs from Shirley Sherrod) reports, his lawyers have come up with the most outrageous array of arguments, practically none of which have any validity or standing or precedent, trying desperately to wriggle out of this lawsuit, or at least change the venue to some court they think might favor them.
Takebackthemedia.com took a little time to dissect the latest Sherrod filing in her case against Breitbart for defamation. Specifically her lawyers response to Breitbart’s pro bono lawyer’s curious filing for a change of venue that threw everything but the kitchen sink in there, including precedent law from between 21 to 60 years ago, one of which has long since been invalidated by CONGRESS. (You’d think his lawyers might notice that.)
TWITTER now stars in these court papers (Keith Olbermann broadcasts were used as a reference in Breitbart’s previous Change of Venue filing, in a bizarre “neener neener” fashion. You had to be there.)
Just so you know, Breitbart’s lawyers hosed themselves by FIRST moving the venue from DC TO DC court, THEN demanding it be moved to California, because Breitbart can’t possibly make it to DC or run his site from an IPhone. Gosh, he hardly EVER goes there, well, except for CPAC, and an alcohol saturated Book Release, and speaking at the Heritage Foundation, and.. well, Sherrod’s lawyers have assembled a nice little fact pattern that may explain why Breitbart seemingly blacks out and wakes up, elsewhere, DC, Las Vegas, sometimes even in California.
The analysis quotes extensively from posts to Twitter made by Breibart.
But what is most disgusting is the total disrespect of the court and the law that is evident in the filing’s by Breitbart’s lawyers. Here is just the introduction in the filing by Sherrod’s lawyers in response to Breitbart’s lawyers. It captures the flavor pretty well.
“When Plaintiff first filed her lawsuit in February 2011, Defendants Andrew Breitbart and Larry O’Connor each issued public statements taunting Mrs. Sherrod to “Bring it On,”1 suggesting that Defendants were interested in defending the merits of their defamatory statements. Now, however, several months later, they have thrown up a series of removal, transfer, and dismissal motions, each designed to impose a procedural artifice delaying or preventing an on-the-merits defense of their statements, and each designed to play games with the jurisdiction and venue of the federal courts. Most troubling, however, is the fact that Defendants’ various submissions to this Court demonstrate a consistent pattern of misstating the applicable legal standards and authorities—and also the facts alleged in the Complaint.”
First, Defendants have filed a Special Motion to Dismiss under the District of Columbia Anti-SLAPP Act of 2010, an act that—by their own admission—did not become effective until March 31, 2011, nearly a month and a half after the Complaint in this case was filed. To compound this obvious problem, Defendants fail entirely to explain how the Act could possibly have any retroactive effect; instead, they merely conclude it is retroactive in a footnote with a cursory citation to a case that was limited and distinguished by the D.C. Court of Appeals just last year. Moreover, Defendants offer no explanation for why their motion is not procedurally defaulted by the plain language of the statute they are attempting to employ—given that they filed more than two weeks after the statutory deadline had passed. With all of these (and other) fatal flaws, Defendants’ “special” motion fails as a matter of law and should be summarily rejected.
1 See http://biggovernment.com/publius/2011/02/12/andrew-breitbart-on-pigford-lawsuit-bring-it-on/; http://twitter.com/#!/Stage_Right/status/37248165400952832 (“Oh… in case anyone missed it, because it was kind of late on Saturday night when I said it… let me repeat: ‘Bring it on!’”).
I won’t quote anymore here. Just go read it all. Just do it on a light stomach if you care for the law and justice and sanity in this nation.
This is the perfect example of the total, complete, and conscious disregard for the rule of law that the right wing is in thrall to.
They simply do not feel they are subject to the law. They simply pretend it does not exist, and that it does not apply to them.
This is the ultimate illustration of the fantasy-land, self-generated alternate reality that the Republicans and the right wing have spun out for themselves for the past 12 plus years.
They will do and say anything, and lie through their teeth, with no compunction, no conscience, and no remorse.
This total annihilation of any semblance of adherence to the rule of law is the cornerstone legacy of Bush/Cheny and the neo-con right wing that has almost destroyed this nation.
Any American who continues to vote for these radical destroyers deserves what they will get.
And it will not be pretty. It will clearly be the Orwellian boot on the neck.
The account of the fillings by Breitbart’s lawyers posted here is simply appalling, disgusting, and quite frankly, if they are allowed by the court(s) to get away with any of this, frightening. Because it truly would mean that the ability of the American people to count on the law to protect them from the corruption and evil of this people has vanished, gone up in a puff of smoke, thanks to the Bush/Cheney/Republican/Koch cabal to totally usurp power in this nation, and rule it to their own ends in their own rather sick and evil image.