Last Wednesday, Breitbart News invited fans to a meetup at K O’Donnell’s, a Scottsdale, Arizona sports bar and grill. More than 150 reportedly showed up, but management says they were told to expect a business mixer, and were surprised when a political rally broke out on their patio. In a statement posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page yesterday, management explains what happened next — and why the Breitbart fans are so angry about it — from their point of view.
The group is angry at what they perceive as a grave injustice when we asked them to discontinue use of our restaurant wide PA system. Our primary concern was the content of their discussion regarding illegal immigration and the incidents of violence and sexual assault that can occur to women when they attempt to enter our country illegally.
Given the nature of the subject matter our management team deemed their discussion to be inappropriate for amplification in a public setting with children present. We had no issue with them continuing their speech; we just couldn’t have it broadcast throughout the entire restaurant. Under the circumstances we felt it was the right thing to do for all of our patrons.
Restaurant managers say that patrons objected to an incendiary political rally, and that members of the crowd confronted staff when the microphone was cut, triggering calls to police. The gathering broke up peacefully and without further incident, yet Breitbart News enthusiasts were quite perturbed by the presence of a police helicopter overhead. The last point is particularly repulsive to me, since I’ve covered plenty of progressive events with heavy police presence, including a peace protest that was buzzed by a helicopter all day long and into the night. Breitbart News readers enthusiastically support police whenever they punch hippies, arrest immigrants, drag black children by their hair, or shoot unarmed people of color, but suddenly turn 180 degrees and whine like infants the moment a law enforcement officer even looks at them funny. The amount of indignant privilege and hypocrisy on display here is stunning.
More to the point, I think the management of K O’Donnell’s has no idea who or what they’re dealing with now, as professional provocateur and plagiarizing editor Brandon Darby was standing at the microphone just before it was cut off. Remember, this is the same man who recently urged Breitbart readers to ruin a complete stranger’s life over a tweet he didn’t like — 140 characters that, ironically enough, Darby condemned for being anti-police — so it’s not a big stretch for him to turn his wrath on a restaurant for calling the police. In the days since last week’s incident, K O’Donnell’s has experienced online harassment according to a template that has become all too familiar to us at BU, and which has Darby’s greasy fingerprints all over it. Top Google results for reviews of the restaurant now include many one-star responses posted in just the last few days, with lots of them posted by out-of-state users who had almost certainly never even heard of the establishment until they read about these matters on Breitbart News.
Video of Darby’s remarks is below. Providing an excellent example of the paranoid style, Darby makes America’s ‘impossible border’ with Mexico sound like a dystopian hellscape to justify Donald Trump-style fascism. He’s carefully elided the white nationalist language, but the dog whistles are blaring loud enough for anyone with ears to listen. As he finishes, Darby refers to the “two bomb making activists” arrested by the FBI at the 2008 Republican National Convention without mentioning that he spent weeks exhorting both young men to act out and follow what they thought was his own example. Snitching on them made Darby an instant star on the right, brought him into Andrew Breitbart’s orbit, and ensured that he would never lack for a sinecure in life. This is how the former social justice activist now uses his fame: demonizing immigrants, doxing Twitter users, and crushing everyone who gets in his way.