(Author’s Note: Judging from the 244 Facebook “Likes” and 52 Tweets in just four days, the original article might be judged by some a huge success. The previous “Open Letter to Glenn Beck” received just 264 “Likes” and 53 Tweets in twelve days, and was the fourth most popular post on the site the week it came out. There were, however, perhaps a dozen criticisms of its “cogency,” etc. Having re-read it in the interim, I had to agree that this wasn’t my “finest hour,” so I have taken out the editing pen and scalpel and done a bit of body sculpting. The following is the result. I hope all who commented previously will chime in. My thanks to each of them. Meanwhile, my intent has been to expose the untenable and adamant refusal on the part of “what’s left of Breitbart.com” to even look at the multitudinous evidence and proof produced by Sheriff Arpaio and his Cold-Case Posse. To the vast majority of Americans who still care more for truth than for political correctness, this betrayal of trust has indeed been breathtaking!
Perhaps too much imagery – the “lemming-like frenzy” of entranced intellectuals, fleeing the focused light of truth in the aftermath of the Arpaio investigation – isn’t necessary, after all. Perhaps the simple facts will do….)
Indeed, last Saturday, Ben [Shapiro, Editor-at-Large of Breitbart.com], you and I shared the air waves emanating from Bryan, College Station, TX, for a brief moment, unbeknownst to you. We were each guests of the indomitable Mark Gillar, host of the Tea Party Power Hour, broadcasting regularly via the Internet. We were not on together, but unequally yoked, in sequential
interviews… which is why you don’t know me.
You are no doubt familiar, Ben, with the idea that “You’re only as good as your last game!” but having entered college at such an early age (16), you may not have had much time for sports. To continue the analogy, however, in today’s culture, it is probably even truer to say that “you’re only as good as your last play!”
And when it comes to the timeless concepts of honesty and integrity, ironically, they too are current events. One can’t be fearless in the pursuit and declaration of truth one day, then cavalierly abandon the same the next…and reasonably expect to remain both trustworthy and trusted. It doesn’t work that way, Ben…in sports or in life.
As we must all learn at some point, there are moments in our lives which, while seeming small in the unfolding – oft times unnoticed – become pivotal in the events and circumstances that sometimes thunderously follow. We refer to these as defining moments…and this, for you, may have been such a one; but it didn’t start with, nor can it be blamed on, the question you
were asked, nor on the person who asked it.
You had no doubt considered the question some time earlier, Ben, and had apparently decided how you would answer…or, at least, rationalize and dismiss it. It would appear that you made your decision by hoisting one damp index finger skyward, in the direction of, perhaps, Media Matters (I’m just guessing….) and made your peace. At the same time, however, you were raising your middle finger in defiance – not to the elites whom your organization and its one-time fearless founder routinely dispatched on his/its way to the top, but to the decided majority of your faithful and well-read audience…and they were stunned!
I, on the other hand…not so much, Ben. You see, on Valentine’s Day of last year, I had witnessed a similar spectacle while watching what had been known once upon a time as the “No-Spin Zone.” (It’s still absurdly known as such, but the knowing no longer watch…nor tolerate it.) I was aware, of course, that the intimidating William James O’Reilly, Jr. was no conservative…but he sided with the American People often enough back then to actually be right on a regular basis. (Those on the Left, of course, would hardly deem such a folksy barometer of truth to be reliable!)
In the interest of time, I won’t get into the substance of the also-Harvard man’s recitation (okay, diatribe), but suffice it to say that it mirrored, and predicted your own. Like yours, Ben, it was so shocking and bereft of reason to the thinking, that I, for one, was speechless…almost, that is.
I did manage to YELL OUT…in the otherwise quiet of my bedroom, “Oh really!”
In describing the scene to my good friend, Richard Ray, the next day, we both retorted in unison, “Oh really, O’Reilly!”…and my latest book (Oh Really, O’Reilly!) was born – or, at least conceived, in a manner of speaking. While the words uttered by the bold fresh piece of humanity were different from your own, Ben, the sentiment was the same…even identical.
As I went on to document in great detail over the next six months of researching and writing, the same response was typical across the broad “conservative” expanse of the now-unmistakable “fruited plain” – from Mark Levin on the East coast to Michael Medved on the West, and virtually
everywhere in between.
After an excellent start in which you spoke with passion of the relationship of the one-time Harvard-Law-Review president with the one-time radical Harvard-Law professor Derrick Bell, you careened alarmingly off course when our clearly-up-to-speed host rightly and sincerely asked how you and Breitbart.com planned to follow up on the apparently- irrefutable findings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation into the Constitutional eligibility of the President of the United States. This is no doubt a question on the minds of every informed – that is, regular – listener of Mark’s program, and similar programs across America.
In a stunning metamorphosis that would make a chameleon blush, Ben, you, a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center, were suddenly transformed into an incoherent – but decidedly vehement – defender of the Liberal orthodoxy on this simplest of Constitutional questions. All of this in the immediate aftermath of your pious declarations of “vetting” the community-organizer-
turned-president! You then said the following:
“The Left can try and get out of this however they want. The facts are the facts…. We are going after him [President Obama] because he is the President of the United States, and he has not been vetted, and we’re going after the media at the same time because they want to cover for him…. [Did he say they?] This comes back to…Andrew’s main point, which is that we need an army of citizen journalists. [He (Andrew) was right about that!] The media [which one, Ben?] is not going to do its job. The media…is simply going to continue its pattern of protecting President Obama, [and so it’s up to all of us [which group are you in, Benjamin?] to do the job that the media won’t, which means that we are the ones who have to go out and do the research. [Only on officially-sanctioned subjects, apparently.] If you have a tip, send it to us! If you have any information or ideas, send it to us! [Well, sort of....] We will track them down! [Like Jim Bridger, no doubt, but only federally-allowed pelts will be pursued. Fortunately for Jim – but too bad for Ben – the straight jacket of political correctness was not fashionable among the manly trailblazers of his day.]
It is our goal to vet not only President Obama but all of our politicians, because an informed citizenry is a safe citizenry; a non-informed, ignorant citizenry is a citizenry that can be put under the thumb of…just about anybody.”
And that, my friends, is simply stunning…given what you will hear next!
To be continued…. (in An Open Letter to Young Ben Shapiro – Part II)
Tom Ballantyne – Author of Oh Really, O’Reilly!