They later either ratcheted back his involvement or clarified it, announcing he would only appear "on-line."
Now Media Matters for America is using the KTVA tape "scandal" as the basis for a bigger push against ABC:
Late last week, ABC News came under fire for allowing discredited conservative Andrew Breitbart to participate in their election night coverage. (ABC later announced he would only appear online.)
Now Breitbart's websites are accusing an Alaska CBS affiliate of gross journalistic misconduct by alleging the station's assignment editor and reporters were "conspiring to set up some type of smear of Joe Miller," the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Alaska. The allegations stem from a partial voice mail recording posted on the site.
KTVA, the station in question, is denying the charges, saying, "the allegations are untrue." General Manager Jerry Bever said, "The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do."
Breitbart, as you'll recall, has become infamous for promoting deceptively edited videos mercilessly smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist and falsely accusing ACORN of aiding in child prostitution nationwide. And even when not releasing deceptively edited tapes, Breitbart has a long history of flat out lying.
He also served as a mentor and promoter of James O'Keefe, the criminal who allegedly planned to sexually harass CNN reporter after trapping her on a boat filled with sex toys.
Before hosting Breitbart on Tuesday, ABC News must investigate the veracity of his claims and demand his site publish the entire voicemail message. Moreover, ABC is obligated to determine whether Breitbart's site is lying about the topic and context of the conversation.
ABC News put its credibility on the line when they offered a noted liar like Breitbart a platform to spread his misinformation. Now it's their responsibility to verify his accusations and hold him accountable for what he says.
Update - 4:30 p.m: Commenters at the Alaska Dispatch article on this are coming up with serious inconsistencies between Bretibart's transcript of the KTVA message tape and what the commenters perceive to be what was actually being said.
Why am I not surprised?
Also, Shirley Sherrod's attorney, Roe Sanders, is calling ABC's hire of Breitbart for election night coverage racist:
Shirley Sherrod's longtime attorney criticized ABC News for allowing Andrew Breitbart to appear as a commentator on its Election Night web coverage, comparing the planned appearance to rewarding a Klan member for burning a cross.
Rose Sanders, who has known Sherrod for decades, said Breitbart's appearance on ABC's Tuesday night online coverage following his distortion last summer of a video clip of Sherrod is tantamount to rewarding a racist.
In an interview with Media Matters on Sunday, Sanders said: "Having him on that show is like rewarding a Klansman -- giving a Klansman an award for burning a cross on Shirley Sherrod's house."
Sanders referred to Breitbart's controversial July 19 posting of an excerpt of a speech that Sherrod gave in front of an NAACP group. Breitbart claimed that the clip showed her engaging in racial discrimination as a federal official.
The tape resulted in Sherrod being fired July 19, but she was later offered a new USDA job -- which she declined -- after it became clear that the video Breitbart posted had been deceptively edited.