Breitbart Shocked, Shocked to Find That Birtherism is Going on at TeaBagCon

There are reports that the Tea Party Convention organizers are planning a press conference today to denounce Birtherism, after Joseph Farah’s speech last night.

It seems a little late to start worrying about it, the day after the keynote speaker unleashed a full-on paranoid Birther rant to a cheering audience and a standing ovation.

And it’s not as if anyone can claim they didn’t know what Farah was going to talk about — World Net Daily is wingnut kook central, with a permanent section of the front page devoted to the latest crackpot Birther fantasies.

But some people want us to think they didn’t see it coming; for example, Andrew Breitbart.

I [Dave Weigel] spotted Farah and asked him if his speech had been approved by Tea Party Nation.

“They asked me to speak,” said Farah. “They didn’t ask me, ‘What do you want to speak about?’ No, this operates like a free and open society, not like the kind of Marxist society you would apparently like to be a journalist for.”

I told Farah that his speech was getting negative attention already, and that Breitbart, who’d taken the stage after him, had criticized the “birther” parts of the speech. Farah shook his head and walked over to Breitbart in what seemed like an attempt to debunk my question.

“Andrew is my friend,” said Farah. “He has the right to disagree, and he has the right to say anything to a socialist newspaper that he wants. And if he wants to criticize his friend to you, and he’s dumb enough to do that…”

Breitbart raised his eyebrows. “I’m dumb to do what?”

“Criticize your friend to this socialist newspaper.”

“I was talking to her,” said Breitbart, pointing to Schilling. “I was talking to you. And I was saying that I disagreed on the birther stuff.”

[…]

“I should prove, what, a birth certificate that may or may not exist?” Farah had gotten irritated. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t even understand the fundamental tenets of what journalism is about, Andrew. It’s not about proving things. It’s about asking questions and seeking truth.”

Breitbart tensed up after that insult. “Right.”

“I know you’re not a journalist, so that’s fine. But don’t diminish people who’ve been doing this for 35 years.

“So you’re going to go on record saying that I’m not a journalist?”

“Are you? I’ve never heard you claim to be. Are you?”

“I’ll let it be answered by you.”

“Well, I knew Drudge didn’t consider himself a journalist, so I assumed that you were. … I don’t know, I’m not trying to insult you.”

“You did.”

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