Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle has spent weeks tweeting and reporting on the movement to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker of the House. In fact, he has been on a personal quest to oust the leader, as if that should ever be a reporter’s duty. Anyone who has looked at the approval rating of Congress recently knows that Boehner isn’t the most popular man in Washington. Recent months have seen Tea Party Republicans growing so frustrated with him that threats to his leadership arose. Despite the fact that NO ONE else wanted the position, Boyle began a series of bizarre reports saying that not only did Republicans have enough votes to deny Boehner his Speakership, Boehner was going to RESIGN the office of Speaker.
Try to follow Boyle’s logic…The bottom line is this: NO credible reporter said that Boehner was resigning. While many saw that Boehner wasn’t popular among his own people, it was clear that no one was stepping up to actually try to snag the position away from him. But glaring holes in the narrative didn’t stop Boyle from reporting nonsense like “BREAKING: There are enough Republicans who want to unseat Speaker Boehner” and “GOP caucusing from 5-7 pm tonight. Topic: Future of House GOP leadership. Hear Boehner may resign there.” Turns out, neither of those things were true. Sure, it was a closer-than-usual vote for Boehner, but it was a relatively painless process that resulted in Boehner returning to his role as Speaker. No GOP overthrow. No resignation.
Boyle has been ridiculed far and wide for his reporting on this issue. He has defended his reporting by saying that he got his info from outgoing Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA). Landry lost to a Charles Boustany, a Republican and long-time Boehner ally, in a runoff race in December. In other words, Landry has bad blood with Boehner and doesn’t mind publicly embarrassing him. That’s the source of Boyle’s breaking news.
Asked if Breitbart.com is taken seriously in GOP offices on Capitol Hill, a longtime GOP insider remarked, “It hasn’t since Breitbart’s death. Trying to make false news and pushing sketchy rumors do not help build credibility if you are new to the Hill.”
I think by now, we’ve discovered the magic formula for some Breibart reporters.
- Run a bullshit story with a thin source.
- Promote that you have a “BREAKING” news story or an “EXCLUSIVE” report.
- Try not to cry when people publicly call you out on your bad reporting
- Watch in horror as your story turns out to be completely baseless
- Carry on like nothing happened.
Yep, Boyle’s only been at Breitbart for a little over a month and it turns out he’s going to fit in JUST fine.