We learned yesterday that Andrew Breitbart will be appearing on Bill Maher's show tonight. This will be the second time Breitbart has appeared there since he was exposed as a race-baiting con artist during the Shirley Sherrod incident. It's bad enough that Breitbart gets any airtime on Maher's show. Worse, Maher completely softballed Breitart when he had him on in September. He called Breitbart a "publisher and journalist" and completely failed to point out that Breitbart repeatedly launches racially-charged smear campaigns based in deception and lies. Whether he knew it or not, Maher was helping rehabilitate Breitbart's image, and unless he's very clear tonight about Breitbart's record, he'll do it again.
Today, ColorOfChange members are making phone calls to demand that Bill Maher stop sanitizing Breitbart. Please join us — the phone number and a suggested script are below. Here's the email we're sending to our members who've taken action before to make sure Bretibart isn't legitimized in mainstream venues:
Dear ColorOfChange.org member,
We just learned that tonight, Andrew Breitbart — the man behind the take-down of Shirley Sherrod — will appear on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." Turns out this will be the second time that Maher has had Breitbart on since Breitbart was exposed as a fraud in the Sherrod incident. In the first show, despite Breitbart having recently been shown to be a con-artist, Maher referred to him kindly as a "publisher and journalist" and engaged him as a credible commentator.1
Bill Maher needs to hear from us — if Breitbart is going to appear on his show at all, Maher needs to tell his audience that Breitbart is neither a journalist nor a commentator — that in fact he's a liar, a race-baiter, and a con-artist. Maher needs to know that it's irresponsible for him to give Breitbart a stage without making Breitbart's history and penchant for deception clear.
Can you make a quick phone call to Maher's show? The script below makes it easy (or you can come up with your own).
(323) 575-7700 - Real Time with Bill Maher
Our suggested script:
Hi, I'm calling because I'm outraged that your show is hosting Andrew Breitbart. He has been exposed over and over again as a race-baiter and a liar, and now he's trying to repair his reputation. Breitbart has been considered a fraud by most of the media since he smeared Shirley Sherrod and the NAACP using deceptively edited video. But in September, Bill Maher had him on the show and referred to him as a journalist and publisher. Bill Maher shouldn't help sanitize Breitbart's image. If he still plans to have Breitbart on tonight, he needs to make it very clear that Breitbart is someone who uses lies to stoke racial fear and conflict, for personal and political gain. Anything less would be irresponsible and shameful.
Once you've called, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ColorOfChange members like you were instrumental in making sure that ABC News and Huffington Post didn't legitimize Breitbart by giving him a platform where he could appear as a credible commentator. For his race-baiting and lies to be effective, he needs access to the media, and he needs to appear as a legitimate commentator and news-maker.
It's critical that we continue to make sure he's not given prominent platforms without being clearly labeled as a race-baiter and a liar. Please take a moment to call "Real Time with Bill Maher" and ask Maher to confront Breitbart and make it clear who he really is.
Thanks and Peace,
-- James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
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1. "Bill Maher, Andrew Breitbart, And Seth MacFarlane Bond Over Trashing Democrats," Mediaite, 9-25-2010