O'Keefe with members of the campus white supremacist group Youth for Western Civilization. Timothy Dionisopoulos stands to his immediate left
O’Keefe with members of the college campus white supremacist group Youth for Western Civilization. Timothy Dionisopoulos stands to his immediate left wearing the group’s t-shirt

Daryle Lamont Jenkins of the One People’s Project has published new photos of Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe making friends with white supremacists at two different right wing conferences. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center website, Jenkins posted the new photos to a blog entry from 2009 after finally watching the hagiographic 2012 “documentary” Hating Breitbart. In that film, the late media mogul and his protege strenuously denied any link to white supremacist organizations. As Jenkins later recounted in reacting to Breitbart’s death,

In 2010, when O’Keefe was discovered by One People’s Project to have participated in a white supremacist forum in 2006, Breitbart went on a eight-hour twitter rant attacking anyone who would further the story. No one, despite his claims otherwise, retracted the story, and One People’s Project founder Daryle Lamont Jenkins engaged in a brief shouting match with Breitbart at the Conservative Political Action Conference that year.  O’Keefe has still never commented on his participation in the event, save allegedly only through Breitbart, who was still defending him on other matters in the last tweets he posted last night.

O’Keefe was photographed manning a table at the 2006 “Race and Conservatism” forum, which was held on the Georgetown University campus by the “nativist” Robert Taft Club. As David Neiwart recounts, that event was put together by

anti-immigration activist Marcus Epstein, who later pleaded guilty to assaulting an African-American woman in 2007. It featured a discussion between two noted far-right figures, “academic racist” Jared Taylor and pundit John Derbyshire of the National Review (since fired for writing racist articles). The forum had been forced to change its venue after the original sponsor – a conservative campus outfit called the Leadership Institute, which employed both Epstein and O’Keefe – pulled out when the Southern Poverty Law Center voiced concern. O’Keefe attended the event and, according to One People’s Project editor Daryle Jenkins, was instrumental in helping Epstein run the gathering. A report by Max Blumenthal for Salon on the gathering quoted a photographer who said that O’Keefe was “helping Marcus Epstein in the execution of the event.” Blumenthal’s piece inspired a notorious rant by Breitbart, who confronted the journalist in a hallway when he attended a different conservative gathering in 2010, accusing the journalist of smearing O’Keefe with his reportage on the gathering. “Why did you lie?” he demanded to know, jabbing a finger in Blumenthal’s chest.

In his update, Jenkins also posted a photograph of Breitbart at an Americans For Prosperity conference with Matthew Heimbach, a “conservative” who has since made the transition to full-fledged neo-Nazi.

Breitbart pallin' around with self-professed Nazi Matthew Heimbach
Breitbart with self-professed Nazi Matthew Heimbach at an Americans For Prosperity event wearing a YWC shirt

Andrew Breitbart perfectly sublimated the blatant racism of the tea party movement within his media narratives: ACORN, the Pigford story, his defamation of Shirley Sherrod, and his final posthumous story about President Obama and Professor Derrick Bell all shared obvious themes of racial animosity that resonated with angry, hateful white people, allowing Breitbart to appeal to that fringe without having to answer for its extremism. As we remember from David Weigel’s reporting at the 2010 Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Breitbart worried that “birthers” were harming the tea party’s image — but rather than condemn birtherism, he merely argued that activists should drop the subject. It was too obviously racist.

After he introduced the evening’s closing entertainment — a film titled “Generation Zero” — Breitbart walked outside to the convention hall. There, I heard Breitbart criticizing (WorldNetDaily Editorin-Chief Joseph) Farah, and briefly talked to him about it before I noticed that WorldNetDaily’s Chelsea Schilling was already talking to him, holding up a voice recorder. I backed up to allow her to continue her interview, which consisted of questions on why Breitbart didn’t think Obama’s citizenship was a legitimate issue.

“It’s self-indulgent, it’s narcissistic, it’s a losing issue,” Breitbart told Schilling. “It’s a losing situation. If you don’t have the frigging evidence — raising the question? You can do that to Republicans all day long. You have to disprove that you’re a racist! Forcing them to disprove something is a nightmare.”

“Wouldn’t you say,” asked Schilling, “in this case, that Farah is asking Obama to prove something rather than his disprove it?”

Breitbart rejected the premise. “When has a president ever been asked to prove his citizenship?”

Conferees received Farah’s remarks on Obama’s citizenship much better than Breitbart did. Tea Party Nation, Judson Phillips’s organization which held the convention, endorsed birth certificate conspiracy theories and was later designated a hate group by the SPLC. This points to an obvious problem for Breitbart, who zealously denied that the self-evident racism at tea party events marked the movement itself as racist. In fact, Breitbart evidently broke his most disastrous race-tinged story in direct response to an embarrassing tea party racism scandal.

Breitbart promulgated the Shirley Sherrod video one day after Tea Party Express and Mark Williams, its leader, were booted from the National Tea Party Federation over a racist blog post. As we have written before, Breitbart presented the video clip out of context even after his source made unsuccessful efforts to transmit the full video of Sherrod’s remarks to him. In fact, John Doe had corresponded with Breitbart about the video two months earlier, but only got a response on July 14, 2010 — the same day that the story of Williams’s blog post hit the newsfeeds. Of course, Breitbart denied that his story had any connection to the Williams debacle.

But as we see now, Breitbart habitually denied his obvious ties to racists, the inherent racism of his stories, and his own celebrity status among racists. His strenuous denials of James O’Keefe’s past hobnobbing with racists were just one part of a larger, more disturbing pattern of behavior: Andrew Breitbart simply refused to recognize racism, or call it what it was, unless he was projecting it on his enemies.

  • James O’Keefe: making friends, meeting people, hanging with racists.

    Surprise does not ensue.

  • Zero

    Two questions:
    1- Has James O’Keefe managed to get his arm around both girls in this picture?
    2- What’s that in his pocket?

  • Breitbart’s widow wants her money.

    Many of their targets have been black women.

    • NJO

      This.

      With O’Keefe, you can look at his talking about the “thug-like” “instincts” of ACORN staffers who happened to be black women, or to his more recent assertion that “lying about income and smoker status came natural [sic] to the [ACA registration] navigators we encountered” (over video of two who happen to be black women), or to his palpable disgust for the college administrator who sat and took notes way back in his Banning Lucky Charms video, who happened to be a black woman.

      And then there’s Nadia Naffe.

      And also those illustrative pictures in his old college magazine The Centurion.

      • Breitbart’s widow wants her money

        Shirley Sherrod, Maxine Waters, and Weinergate’s Cordova to name a few others.