On Countdown tonight we had - and we will continue to have - as much fun at possible with Breitbart's on-camera meltdown in front of a group of Occupy Protestors at CPAC last weekend. The first night we mashed it up with video of Charlton Heston from "Planet Of The Apes" and Breitbart-lookalike Andrew Keir in a compelling sci-fi film called "Quatermass And The Pit." Tonight we mixed Andy with Sam Kinison's epic classroom rant from "Back To School."
But however hilarious Breitbart's self-destruction might be, the subject of rape itself is no laughing matter. The allegation that a political or cultural group condones or encourages rape and sexual assault, against anyone, is virtually as serious a charge as can be levelled. Yet nearly just as bad, is to fabricate, twist, and alter facts, to make it seem like such a charge against such a group has credence.
Mr. Breitbart and his websites have now promulgated a list of what his people boast are 17 rapes at Occupy protests between October 16th and November 19th. 17 stories and links, headlined "Rapes and Various Sexual Crimes" and all of them attributed to Occupy.
It turns out Breitbart and his people have padded this, by listing some stories twice. And in nearly every case, Breitbart's crew has twisted nearly every one of the allegations in the stories. The idea seems to have been to make as long a list as possible, and assume that your supporters will never bother to link through to the stories, let alone follow-up to find their true outcomes.
Those who do bother will find Mr. Breitbart and his colleagues, are lying:.
Story number one: Madison, Wisconsin. Turns out this is the story of Occupy Madison losing its permit for a few days, in part because of a charge of public masturbation. No charges, no names, no evidence, and even the head of the local business association that brought the complaint, one Mary Carbine, was emphatic that the behavior was, quote, "not necessarily by the protestors themselves." Breitbart's people evidently never read the update at the bottom of the post.
Number two: Cleveland, refers to an alleged assault of a member of Occupy Cleveland. No arrests, and the police offer no indication the alleged assailant was a member of Occupy.
Number three: Seattle, turns out to be the arrest of a man for indecent exposure in schoolyards and other parks, not at Occupy Seattle. Detectives say they were told the suspect had been "seen" at Occupy, and again they make no claim he was associated with Occupy.
Number four: Cleveland. This is the same story as Number two. Listed twice. This time a Fox News video is linked.
Number five, Dallas. Despite the Breitbart headline: "Police Investigating Possible Sexual Assault Of Teen At Occupy Dallas," the alleged assault victimtold police the sex in question was consensual. She would not press charges nor cooperate with authorities. The claim that there was an assault originates with one local tv station's anonymous source in the Dallas police department.
Number six: Portland, Oregon. The registered address that a sex offender gave authorities, turned out to be the same address as the Occupy Portland camp. The police have no evidence he was ever there, nor do any witnesses place him there.
Number seven: Lawrence, Kansas. A local Police Captain Jim Martin is quoted, in the Breitbart-linked story, as saying "someone who had been at the Occupy Lawrence camp reported on Monday morning a possible sexual assault. (Martin) said he did not believe the victim or any possible suspects were members of the group."
Number eight: Glasgow. Breitbart assigns responsibility for an assault on an Occupy protestor in Scotland to the American Occupy movement. He also does not note that the morning after the incident, Occupy organizers voluntarily disbanded the camp after police refused to provide security (at about 1:48 of the video, the Scots reporter notes the protestors have mostly left already and "put the Occupation on hold" while police investigate the crime).
Number nine: Manchester, New Hampshire. A woman operating out of her own home is arrested there after she tries to turn an Occupy protestor into a prostitute.
Number ten: New York City. An Occupy protestor is assaulted in hertent.
Number eleven: New York. It's the same story as Number ten. He has again listed one twice. Incidentally, despite the November reports claiming the Occupy food tent worker would shortly be charged with something besides sexual abuse, there are no stories on the net indicating this has yet occurred.
Number twelve: Chula Vista CA. On November 6th, a woman posts on the Occupy Los Angeles facebook page, asking Occupy to help locate her daughter, 16-year old Ashley Springer. The last the woman knew, Ashley Springer was at Occupy-LA. Breitbart does not note that, according to good news from "The Vanishing Kids Coalition," by December 9th, Ashley Springer was home, safe, sound, and unharmed.
Number thirteen: Philadelphia. Though the Breitbart list blares "Occupier Arrested for Rape," the actual newspaper headline says the opposite: "Man arrested in Occupy Philly sexual assault." The alleged victim was a member of Occupy,not the assailant,even though Breitbart implies it was the other way around.
Number fourteen: Austin, Texas. A man in a sleeping bag near the Occupy encampment in a public square is arrested for allegedly masturbating in front of a 16-year old. Again, despite the Breitbart headline "Occupier Accused of Masturbating in Front of 16 Year-old Girl," in theactual article police do not conclude that either victim or perpetrator was involved with Occupy.
Number fifteen: Chicago. A 21-year old man named Robert Reitz whom Occupy Chicago confirmedhad attended some of its events, is arrested at his home, on child porn charges. Breitbart does not bother to note that in the second half of the very story he linked to, Occupy Chicago responded to the arrest by immediately banning him from its encampment.
Number sixteen: St. Louis. Again, the victim in an assault isidentified as a member of Occupy, not the alleged perpetrator. As an aside, in the "list," Breitbart's people link not to an actual news account, but only to the notorious fraud Dana Loesch's version in which the truth has been carefully expunged.
Number seventeen: New York. Again, the victim in a fondling case is a member of Occupy; policeidentify the assailant as a local homeless person.
So. Seventeen stories Breitbart claims are cases of Rape at Occupy. Just reading the stories, googling the names of those identified, following up - this only took me about 70 minutes. The final result:
-- Two stories on the list were duplicates.
-- One story turns out to have been about consensual sex.
-- One case, in Scotland, led the Occupy group to disband for the sake of safety.
-- One case of an arrest for child porn, with Occupy immediately banning the alleged perpetrator.
-- One case of a girl disappearing -- ignoring the fact that she was home and unharmed a month later.
-- Four cases in which police said neither the victim nor the assailant were apparently even associated with Occupy.
That leaves seven others stories, all of which show police identifying Occupy participants as the victims, six of which show police identifying the alleged assailants as not being Occupy participants.
That is the evidence that Andrew Breitbart has submitted to rationalize his irrational attempt to smear the Occupy movement and Occupy members, as rapists, and to brand anybody who points out his dishonesty, his twisting of the facts, and who bothers to actually read the stories that disprove his own contention, as a rape denier or rape apologist. What Mr. Breitbart and his fellow propagandists have done, in fact, is to take at least eight women, eight members of Occupy, who were raped or otherwise assaulted, and blamed them.
But he is not just perpetrating the classic fabrication con of the dishonest man for whom facts are malleable and can be ignored when they are inconvenient. More importantly, Breitbart is exploiting rape victims, blaming rape victims. And no woman, no man - conservative, liberal, or indifferent - can abide this despicable attempt to take individual human suffering, and by lying at the top of his voice, try to score cheap political points.