Note: I’m happy to enter this post and all email correspondence between myself, associates of Andrew Breitbart, and Dana Loesch as sworn testimony so that Loesch can sue me and we can call witnesses. Given that she sued the widow of Andrew Breitbart (see below) I don’t see why she won’t, and I welcome the opportunity to reveal all relevant confidential documentation. I’m limited legally in what I can reveal. I’ll give you the news then I’ll give you my analysis. There’s an update down below.
St. Louis TEA Party figures Dana Loesch and Chris Loesch took federal and state government money to build their business.
Dana Loesch’s husband, Chris, benefitted from $4.4 million in federal and state government “tax credits” in order to build his multi-media studio in St. Louis (Shock City Studio).
The tax credits were part of an EPA “Brownfield Cleanup” program which was canceled by the Republican Congress for wasteful spending.
In addition, the Loesch’s have been accused of using the studio for a pay-for-play scheme that involved a GOP political candidate running in a primary, against a Tea Party candidate and currying favor on Dana’s show after he wrote a $2500 check to Shock City.
Riverfront Times reporter Chris Garrison writes:
Dana Loesch is a quasi-public figure who last week got in a rather public pissing match with G.O.P. candidate John Wayne Tucker over allegations that she has intentionally kept him off her radio show while at the same time inviting Martin onto the program.
The fact that Martin’s campaign had paid her husband’s studio $2,500 shortly before he appeared on Dana’s talk show seemed interesting to me.
“It’s a complete non-story,” counters Chris Loesch. “Dana did not make one red cent off the work we did for Ed. Adam completely got it wrong, and I’d think you’d want to get it right as a journalist.”
The Loeschs got paid $2500 more money from Martin, who helped found the Tea Party, in 2010. It was well known by everyone that the Loeschs were hoping to make money off of political advertising and there was a pay to play approach to how they did politics. Chris Loesch was a minority partner at the studio and they had to bring in the money.
Two years later Loesch all but endorsed Martin’s 2012 GOP Establishment opponent, Ann Wagner. Loesch began showing up at major GOP events at the Wagner table. Here‘s a great website all about it. Here‘s a photo of her with Governor Christie and Wagner at Wagner’s table. There are some serious questions about whether this is even legal under Payola laws.
— Joe Arizona (@JoeyArizona) January 24, 2015
Dana’s show is syndicated in two places–St. Louis and Indianapolis. She used her position to advance candidates she liked and was paid by.
Loesch also went on an anti-Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock crusade early on, minimizing his support. She accused him of “using” the Tea Party. (She later backed Mourdoch after he won the primary.)
Why Is Dana Criticizing Other People Given Her Past?
These examples, in light of Dana’s lecture of this reporter in regard to “professionalism” is curious, but not unique.
On her radio broadcast, Loesch has also attacked the Editor and Publisher of the Conservative American Thinker, Thomas Lifson for his “obligation to do diligence” and “delegitimizing private charity” while she’s involved in a pay to play scandal.
Listen to her go after someone for daring to disagree with her.
Loesch came to prominence through her work with the Riverfront Tea Party. She went after Obama’s 2009 Stimulus.
Here’s the St. Louis Post Dispatch article on February 28, 2009: “Dana Loesch, a radio host on 97.1 FM, had talked up Friday’s rally and served as emcee. Signs waved around her included, “Pork, the new ‘Red’ meat,” and “King Barack III and the House of Lards.” It was quite the rise for her from a mommy blog in 2006 to a Tea Party leader in 2009 attacking the federal government giving out money.
So why is this Tea Party heroine and her husband taking tax payer money while they get paid to play? Is this really ethical behavior?
Building Shock City Studios in that location wouldn’t have been viable if it weren’t for the taxpayer credits. And yet she goes on and on about how terrible bailouts are after her family got them.
Obama's is Bush on steroids when it comes to spending and bailouts. #debate
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 17, 2012
That’s not all.
She praises Andrew Breitbart but it was Andrew himself who didn’t renew her contract in October 2011 according to court documents filed by Dana Loesch. Months later, Andrew died on March 1, 2012. Andrew told both me and Lee Stranahan separately that he would be fine if Dana moved on.
Why didn’t he renew the contract? Because Dana’s interests were on things other than the Breitbart sites: herself. In the final analysis Dana’s an opportunist who latches on to movements to promote herself.
Exposing hypocrites and frauds is why I created Gotnews.com. Unfortunately my independence carries with it the responsibility to oftentimes expose people who are nominally “on my side.” I don’t like doing it but I’m a journalist, not a commentator. I’m not interested in the penthouse suite of the right-wing ghetto. I’m interested in changing the news. I would prefer to do the hard hitting stories that take on left-wing targets but I’m interested in exposing frauds generally.
Why We Need Serious Reporters Who Will Expose All of the Truth
Here’s what’s really going on here: Dana Loesch called me out for exposing her friend Holly Fisher and I responded. She came back and I did it again. She came back again and I did it yet again. I asked her through our mutual acquaintance, Jim Hoft, to stop. I asked her for an apology; she insisted on continuing so here we are.
Pretty awesome. ‘Powerhouse duo': Holly Fisher finally meets Dana Loesch ‘in the flesh’ [photo] http://t.co/BUBh3yjJ7P
— Deplorable Ulysses (@Just_a_Texan) August 31, 2014
On this website I exposed Holly Fisher, a rising Tea Party conservative star who was cheating on her combat veteran husband at a Family Values event. Loesch took to Twitter to defend Holly Fisher tweeting this.
Andrew never wrote gossip. #war
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 19, 2015
That’s what set me off. I don’t believe Dana, who has never broken a story, has the right to claim Andrew Breitbart’s legacy. Those of us who actually break stories and don’t just commentate for a living do. Loesch is now claiming that I care about an “unfollow” from her. This is a lie.
First a little background. I volunteered and worked for Breitbart. The reason you don’t know too much about my work for Andrew is that I was busy doing it and living in relative obscurity. (It was only after Andrew died and I got married that I decided I should be a bit more out in the public eye and began tweeting and causing trouble.)
I wrote movie reviews for Big Hollywood, I wrote a few articles vetting Obama, and I found the Derrick Bell tapes. I also found the Eric Holder “brain wash” people into not liking guns. I worked on the Obama eats dogs story and published the material on Obama’s time at Columbia, among many others. I also won two journalism awards from the Wall Street Journal for a story I published first on Andrew’s sites. (I also published a version on National Review Online.) I thanked Andrew in my speech at NewsCorp headquarters and in print. “I would never have won this great award without the help of Andrew Breitbart and the people at BigPeace.com believing in me and my work,” I said at the time.
I worked for Andrew Breitbart from 2009 until his death and then shortly thereafter. (I accepted a paying offer in 2011). He actually first introduced me to James O’Keefe who I have advised and who is a good friend.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) December 9, 2014
I was also the last employee at Breitbart to contact Andrew before he died. We talked about going to a party at screenwriter Dale Launer’s house that Friday. I was also in Andrew’s office with Samuel Corcos the day he offered the money for video of the N-word being said to black congressmen. We had Mexican food at a B restaurant and he ate half my chicken burrito because I was talking too much. Sam Corcos, Bryce Gerard, and I met Andrew and Alex Marlow first at a GenX event and America’s Future Foundation event in Los Angeles when I was a freshman in college in Los Angeles. Cato’s Gene Healey and The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf were both there, too. I still have many friends (and a few critics) at the Breitbart site despite leaving. I came back after Andrew died briefly before I left again to do freelance work elsewhere. I entertained an offer to come back to the sites a few years ago but I wanted to go in my own direction. I respect what the Breitbart sites are trying to do but I wanted to be my own man.
When I worked for Breitbart I used to go into the office when I lived in L.A. County on occasion. Andrew Breitbart and his staff routinely complained about how Dana Loesch wouldn’t do work as editor of Big Journalism, how she was using her salary to advance her radio show and homeschool her children, and how she would introduce errors into the writing.
Loesch sued the Breitbart sites in December 2012 for $75,000. Loesch and Breitbart’s estates settled for a non-monetary settlement in July 1, 2013. Loesch went on to work for Glenn Beck whose well known disputes with Andrew Breitbart culminated in something of a cold war between the Beck and Breitbart empires, especially after Beck went after Breitbart on the Shirley Sherrod story.
Dana is a cult figure for a lot of conservatives. Some of these conservatives, Adam Baldwin, Jim Hoft, and the guys behind Hating Breitbart, I admire. They’ve all told me not to expose the truth and I just can’t do that, so here we are. Some of them are mad at me. So it goes.
I do regret going down to Loesch’s low standards. She called me “junior” and I am not proud of my reply.
@ChuckCJohnson Then you're in the wrong line of work, junior.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 24, 2015
I regret doing this not because it’s inaccurate, but because it’s cruel and I don’t like being cruel.
Dana will probably twist this article as she does but the truth will set us all free. I urge her to sue me so that I can release everything without violating my Breitbart contract.
First she demanded that I write this story by her deadline. (Yeah, it was kind of weird.) She also wanted me to publish my story on our mutual acquaintance, Jim Hoft’s website. (Also, kind of weird.)
Before that she insisted on how I was pissed about her unfollowing me. I didn’t even know she was following me and does it really strike you that I give a damn about whether or not I’m followed? Followers come and go but the truth is eternal.
I want to be very clear that I didn’t want to write this piece. Lots of people lie about my work. There’s even a bogus story about me crapping on the floor in college. I let most of this nonsense go by the way side. But Dana is lying about my work, just as she’s lying about her relationship with Andrew Breitbart toward the end of his life.
There’s a line in the sand and I’ve drawn it. I’m not going to be unpersoned by my critics on the right and left.
I’m going to do my journalist work and I’m going to go after frauds wherever they are, in whatever party they are in. This project will include some Tea Party favorites as it must. I don’t expect everyone to like me defending the truth but I have to do it all the same.
Dana Loesch is actually replying over at her blog. It’s the usual spinning that we’ve come to expect from her. A few general points: she’s stolen a photograph from Peter Duke in the post she’s written on me and she is still lying when she says I cared about an unfollow. I care about frauds and Dana’s a fraud.
1. Dana has no relationship whatsoever with many of the members of the St. Louis Tea Party in large measure because of her family’s pay to play arrangements. This lack of relationship includes other Tea Party activists like lawyer John Burns, Missouri GOP chairman Ed Martin, Bill Hennessy (who Dana blocked from getting on air), and conservative columnist Gina Loudon. Go ask them if I’m telling the truth. They’ll tell you that I am. She says “I started the St. Louis Tea Party on my radio show in 2008” but these people say they did, too.
Dana falsely claims that the Tea Party was being used by Ed Martin as a “shadow assist” and denies that he’s a conservative. Martin was the only member of the RNC to publicly call out the vote buying and shenanigans in the Mississippi primary so when Dana says Martin refused to care about conservative issues she’s not telling the truth.
2. Dana’s pretending that her husband’s business didn’t receive tax credits when she was campaigning against government spending as a member of the Tea Party. They did. At the same time she and her husband were getting paid by Martin the other candidate was complaining about how he was being shut out. This was exposed by others as a pay to play scandal. Dana’s insisting that these are just liberal bloggers but she doesn’t even address the substance of the evidence. She’s saying that I libeled her. She should sue me. Government spending is wasteful unless it supports Dana’s family apparently.
3. Dana was a supporter of Holly Fisher publicly and criticized my work at the time after I revealed Fisher was lying about her cheating. See above.
4. (Dana skipped this number oddly.)
5. I was talking about how she was only syndicated in two markets when the Tea Party stuff started up. I know she’s in 60 markets now after she traded Breitbart work for Beck work.
6. Dana minimized Mourdock on her radio show repeatedly and criticized him.
7. I didn’t say that Martin founded the Tea Party in 2010. Read it up at top for yourself: “The Loeschs got paid $2500 more money from Martin, who helped found the Tea Party, in 2010.”
8. Dana repeatedly promoted Wagner on her radio show. She was seated at the table with her. Payola is a crime whereby you promote a candidate who is paying you on the air waves. Dana can try and spin and say that that’s from Media Matters but it speaks for itself.
9. Dana has repeatedly claimed she’s an heir to Andrew Breitbart and she’s trying to claim his legacy. I don’t think anyone has the right to claim that legacy.
10. I said I had hundreds of emails between myself and Andrew when she said I didn’t work there.
11. Dana also concocted an anonymous interview with someone who says I’ve been looking into Dana for a long time, including looking into her marriage. I can’t really reply to who this is so I won’t other than say that it’s mighty convenient that it confirms entirely what she’s saying. Doesn’t that seem odd? She also falsely states that I hate conservative women or something. Well, I’m married to one and I’ve repeatedly praised, employed and supported conservative women.
12. Dana’s also doing this weird thing about saying that I’m motivated by traffic as if she’s not motivated by attention to herself or her book. GotNews.com web traffic comes and goes. I’d note that I had four profiles written about me last month — New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, and Mother Jones — so it was liable to spike. (Oh, and pro-tip: Alexa is notoriously bad about gauging this sort of thing.)