One People's Project
Conservative propagandist Andrew Breitbart and others associated with the websites he produces, have come to the aid of fellow propagandist James O'Keefe by charging that the story of O'Keefe attending a white supremacist forum is false and defamatory, and attacking anyone who reports on the story. This defense comes even though an article appears on one of his websites where O'Keefe himself admits that he was indeed there.
According to an article posted on Breitbart's BigJournalism.com titled James O'Keefe vs. Max Blumenthal: How the Left Distorts, Invents and Lies, the author Larry O'Connor notes that they spoke with O'Keefe who told them that while he did not man the table at the forum or was involved in its organization, he still attended. "He attended the event with many of his Leadership Institute co-workers since it was right across the street from their building in Arlington, Va., and it was organized by other LI associates," O'Connor wrote.
The article, which also attempts to whitewash white supremacist and forum panelist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance as merely someone "with a track record of making racist statements," makes other points, including how O'Keefe noted that "the organizer who is being called a "White Supremacist" is half Jewish and half Korean", "One of the panelist(s) was an African-American named Kevin Martin" and "The event was forced to move to a Georgetown University building in Arlington, not at a cross-burning."
The organizer in question was Robert Taft Club founder Marcus Epstein, who despite his lineage has a detailed history of working with white supremacists, and was the Executive Director of paleoconservative organizations run by Bay Buchanan and former Congressman Tom Tancredo. In 2007, Epstein was arrested for attacking an African American woman and calling her a racial slur while drunkenly walking in a Georgetown neighborhood. He later made an Alford plea and made restitutions and an apology to the victim to satisfy court obligations.
Kevin Martin of Project 21 was in truth a last-minute addition to the panel, and was added only after the forum generated controversy among anti-racist groups and activists. It is not known if he had participated in any other events organized by the Robert Taft Club.
For his part Breitbart chose to use his Twitter account to defend O'Keefe, who is still facing federal charges that he and three others attempted to interfere with the phone lines of Senator Mary Landrieu. "Watergate Jr® fails," he wrote in one tweet. "Now LEFT making FALSE, DEFAMATORY press charges alleging James OKeefe a racist." For much of the evening of Feb. 3, Breitbart made several Twitter postings attacking Max Blumenthal of Salon.com, David Weigel of the Washington Independent and others who have written about O'Keefe's participation in this event, and attempted to paint a parallel between O'Keefe participating in the forum and whites who have made inappropriate racial comments ironically in support of President Obama.
Breitbart repeatedly received tweets back at him however, from those who were critical of his defenses. "@daveweigel does NOT deny that he saw o'keefe at racist confab, yet you say he does. u=liar," wrote one poster named "robogreen", while "polderboy" suggests that "@andrewbreitbart is acting more and more like @JamesOKeefeIII's pimp."
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