Breitbart reported Monday morning that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s meeting with conservatives to address their concerns over the site’s treatment of conservative outlets was excluding pro-Donald Trump voices. “Glenn Beck, Anti-Trump Conservatives to Meet with Facebook’s Zuckerberg,” blared the piece, which complained that it “flies in the face of Zuckerberg’s claim of creating a diverse group.”
That Breitbart piece then received top billing on The Drudge Report’s banner, which gave it massive exposure and set off accusations among Trump fans on social media that Facebook was snubbing Trump conservatives. There’s only one problem: literally none of that is true.
It is true that of the group of conservative invited to the Facebook meeting includes anti-Trump conservatives like Glenn Beck, S.E. Cupp, and Dana Perino. But that’s because if you took a random sample of conservatives in any context, a huge chunk of them would be opposed to Trump. Many of the first conservatives to announce they were attending the meeting were anti-Trump, but not all or even most of them are.
If you read the Breitbart piece in question, they tacitly admit as much:
It is also important to point out that nearly every “leading conservative” listed above who has accepted and confirmed their attendance on Wednesday is part of the anti-Trump or “Never Trump” movement. The move to invite from this school of “conservatives” flies in the face of Zuckerberg’s claim of creating a diverse group for the discussion.
“Nearly” everyone is anti-Trump? That seems like an admission that Facebook isn’t only meeting with Never Trumpers? Yep, this is the next paragraph.
One exception is [former Romney strategist Zac Moffatt], who has stated his willingness to work with Trump. “Of course we would work for the RNC under Trump,” Moffatt said.
So usually, as a journalist, this is the part when you stop: after adding something to your piece that blows up the entire premise. But at Brietbart, cognitive dissonance is more of a feature than a bug and they braved on.
If that wasn’t enough to definitely refute the accusation, The Hill reported the same morning that Trump advisor Barry Bennett was invited to the Facebook meeting. So not only are pro-Trump conservatives welcome, the Trump campaign itself will have a presence at the meeting. Unfortunately, Breitbart’s piece doesn’t say what time it was published, making it impossible to determine whether their journalistic incompetence was due to an inability to Google or a failure to email a major tech company before smearing them.
I haven’t even gotten to the most embarrassing part yet. Do you know how we know for a fact that pro-Trump outlets aren’t being excluded from the Facebook meeting? Breitbart was invited.
On Thursday, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg announced he is planning a “pat conservatives on the head” session with “leading conservatives” to discuss Facebook’s conservative media suppression scandal.
Representatives at Facebook have already reached out to Breitbart News.
We have zero interest in a Facebook photo-op.
So to summarize, Breitbart was invited to meet with Facebook, which they openly declined in a mocking, juvenile article. Three days later, they pen a piece hyperventilating about how pro-Trump voices are being excluded from the same meeting they already turned down. I’m reminded of renegade Jew Leo Rosten‘s definition of chutzpah: the man who kills his parents and then begs for mercy because he’s an orphan.
Amusingly, Breitbart’s piece mocks Glenn Beck for being invited in the first place, writing that it’s “quite telling that [Zuckerberg] has reached out to Beck, who is struggling to remain relevant in the conservative media sphere.” What does that say about his reaching out to Breitbart then, I wonder?
[Image via screengrab]
>>Follow Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) on Twitter
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.