Conservative new media figure Andrew Breitbart revealed last night on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show that he pays a salary to James O’Keefe, the filmmaker who was charged yesterday in an alleged attempt to tamper witt the phones of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
But Breitbart, who runs the Big Government site where O’Keefe’s now-famous ACORN sting videos were posted, is maintaining that he had no “connection to” the incident at Landrieu’s New Orleans office.
Here’s the key exchange from Breitbart’s interview with Hewitt (emphasis ours):
AB: … So when he puts a story out there, it’s on the Brietbart sites, the Big sites, that he can tell people what transpired. So…
HH: Do you pay him for that?
HH: And are you free to tell me how much you pay him?
AB: I’ll…perhaps at another date, but he’s paid a fair salary.
HH: Is he…so he is an employee?
AB: I’m not sure that’s technically the thing, but yes, he’s paid for his life rights.And he’s, you know, he’s still…we reserve the right to say yes or no to any of the stories that he puts up on our site as we do to any other contributor who comes to the site.
HH: Will it be a mischaracterization to say he was working for you when he went about this?
AB: Well, I mean, no. He was not involved in anything that was related to Big Government, or Breitbart.com.
HH: And I think that’s the key thing. Lots of people work for lots of corporations, and do dumb and sometimes illegal things that are not within the scope of their employment. And this was not within the scope of his employment.
AB: Yes, absolutely. That is absolutely the case.
Contacted after the Landrieu news broke yesterday, Breitbart initially told TPM “I need to find information on this. I’m out of the loop on this.”
In a later statement to the media, he said, “We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office.”
(This post has been edited from its original version.)