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NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Breitbart.com’s explosive, blockbuster video that would expose Barack Obama as a radical commie who wasn’t vetted by the media was almost entirely hype. Breitbart.com’s editor-in-chief Joel Pollak and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro appeared together on Fox News Wednesday night with Sean Hannity to discuss the one-minute teaser clip released earlier today in which a younger Barack Obama, president of Harvard Law Review, spoke to a group at a rally about racial equality among the Harvard Law staff. The demonstration was led by professor Derrick Bell, who took an unpaid leave of absence in protest of a lack of female black professors at the school. “Open your hearts and open your minds to the words of professor Derrick Bell,” Obama said in 1991. And that was it. MORE
THE ATLANTIC: Breitbart.com is charging that there was a massive cover-up of the whole flap, pointing to a video of Charles Ogletree, an Obama mentor and Harvard Law professor, saying, “We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign.” But this is bogus — and not just because the video clearly shows it’s a throwaway laugh line. This incident is well known. It was covered at the time, and it’s been covered since. David Remnick wrote about it in his major Obama biography, The Bridge. In fact, Frontline used some of this very same footage in a 2008 documentary about Obama. It’s valid to ask whether Obama was vetted as fully as he should have been, but this incident is evidence for the proposition that he was. But for the sake of discussion, let’s imagine there was a cover-up. First, one has to believe that Obama’s act of introducing and praising Bell for wanting a more diverse faculty is evidence of radical leanings. Apparently, the Breitbart crew believes that the hug alone is incriminating — hence Ogletree’s alleged suppression of the embrace. But is anyone really that surprised that a young black leader in the Harvard Law School community would be sympathetic to a call for more black faculty members? MORE
NPR: What on earth do BuzzFeed and Breitbart’s Big sites consider the scoop to be? Obama, who has repeatedly written and spoken about race, identity and American history, advocated greater diversity for the Harvard law faculty. This should surprise neither his supporters nor his detractors. Bell, who died last fall, was a leading civil rights lawyer and a chief proponent of a school of thought specifying that race and power play a central role in the American legal system. This was controversial and contested at the time. If someone wants to revisit it, that’s his prerogative. It remains impossible to demonstrate the scoop, despite what Smith and Breitbart.com’s Dana Loesch contended last night on Twitter and on CNN. The earlier footage was shown at the height of the 2008 election season to a national audience by the most prominent documentary series in the country. Loesch soon emphasized the notion that Obama’s embrace of the scholar was hidden by the mainstream media. It is hard from a journalistic standpoint to see what is added by the physical sight of a black law student hugging a black scholar for whom he has already expressed affection. MORE
THE FIX: There has been some public speculation that Breitbart’s drug use didn’t end in college. A source close to the blogger told The Fix on condition of anonymity that he’d done cocaine with Breitbart as recently as last October. On the day after his death, Anthony Cumia, of the radio show “Opie and Anthony,” said of Breitbart, “I went out drinking with him, and boy, can he party.” “He liked to stay awake,” added Anthony. “That’s all I’ll say.” MORE
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