Debunking the Andrew Breitbart / Sheriff Joe Arpaio Urban Legend
July 25, 2013
Sun City West, Arizona
One of the urban legends birthed during the ongoing Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Posse (MCSO CCP) “investigation” of President Obama’s long form birth certificate was the often repeated story Sheriff Arpaio was possibly the last person to be interviewed by Andrew Breitbart prior to Breitbart’s untimely death. Breitbart died in the early morning hours of March 1, 2012, several hours after his alleged interview with Apraio.
The story, as reported by many news outlets, is Mr. Andrew Breitbart on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 called Sheriff Arpaio to discuss the March 1, 2012 MCSO CCP press conference. Curiously, a search on Breitbart.com reveals no news story regarding an Arpaio / Breitbart phone interview from the date in question.
What follows are excerpts from typical news reports from other sources dated March 1, 2012:
“Conservative writer Andrew Breitbart died early this morning at the age of 43, and according to Jerome Corsi, Breitbart’s last interview could have been with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio………Corsi dropped that line out of nowhere during today’s press conference about President Obama’s eligibility, after opening with a few words about Breitbart’s death.
Corsi said he arranged the interview between the two, and Arpaio agreed to drop some details about today’s press conference in advance because of a “deep respect” they had for Breitbart.” Matthew Hendley, New Phoenix Times, March 1, 2012
“And Andrew Breitbart, the conservative activist and blogger who died Thursday. At the news conference, it was suggested that Breitbart’s last interview may have been with Arpaio.” Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2012
Almost two months later, this report (excerpt) was published by WND:
The night before Breitbart died, WND senior staff reporter Jerome Corsi arranged for Breitbart to interview Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who the very next day held a news conference to announce there was probable cause to believe President Obama’s birth certificate released on April 27, 2011, was a forgery, as well as Obama’s Selective Service Card. Joe Kovacs WND April 29, 2012
One year later, this report (excerpt):
“Mr. Breitbart had only hours earlier spoken with Sheriff Joe concerning the explosive news he was about to release regarding the criminal usurper presently illegally occupying the Oval Office,….” Chris Farrell PPSimmons April 14, 2013
Dr. Jerome Corsi’s recorded statement (excerpt) from the March 1, 2012 MCSO CCP press conference:
“It’s very interesting that last night at 5 o’clock I received a call from Andrew Breitbart’s office. They were seeking to interview Sheriff Arpaio. And I arranged an interview with Sheriff Arpaio with Andrew Breitbart. Which turns out it may have been his last interview. And of course I was honored to be able to do that, of the treasured memory, Sheriff Arpaio ah, gave an early interview and discussion of what we’re now talking about today to Andrew Breitbart because of the deep respect we have for him.”
The following excerpts are taken from a recorded interview with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on March 2, 2012 one day after Andrew Breitbart’s death. The interview was done by radio host Alan Stock and given widespread exposure by conservative websites.
“Well, I’m going to give you a scoop. First of all, I talked to him [Andrew Breitbart] four or five hours before he died, okay. He called me. And we talked about, ah, he knew that I was having a press conference the day after, this was the 29th, and he said he had information and all that…..Here‘s a person that ah, I had a lot of respect for….He calls me and right after that he dies…..Well, he knew I was having a press conference on March 1,…..He had ah, Jer, Jer, Jerry ah, ah Corsi ah, told me he [Breitbart] was going to call me, had the information on tapes or whatever. So the man calls me and ah, I don’t, I’ll be frank with you, I didn’t remember him. I got so many calls….Then I hear that he dies…..four or five hours later…..He called me and I talked to him….So, he knew me…..But I knew that he was going to call me, ah Corsi told me that…..Quite frankly, when I talked to him [Breitbart] I didn‘t connect him with meeting him prior.”
One year earlier (2011), Sheriff Arpaio attended the Conservative Leadership Conference. The keynote speaker was Andrew Breitbart who reportedly spoke for an hour and a half. Sheriff Arpaio was also a guest speaker at the conference. It is inconceivable that Sheriff Arpaio, a 51 year law enforcement professional, wouldn’t remember Andrew Breitbart’s voice. It is also very likely that Sheriff Arpaio met Andrew Breitbart at the conference. However, Sheriff Arpaio stated that he “didn’t remember him” and that Arpaio, during his phone conversation “didn’t connect him with meeting him prior.” Could it be Sheriff Arpaio didn’t recognize the man’s voice on the phone because it wasn’t Andrew Breitbart, but an unknown man who called in the late afternoon on February 29, 2012? I’m told that is exactly what happened.
During my stint with the Surprise Tea Party, I did research for Mike Zullo and the MCSO CCP. Back in early March of 2012, I received a phone call from a frantic man who wanted to put a stop to the stories that were being circulated by Dr. Jerome Corsi about the alleged Breitbart / Arpaio, February 29, 2012 phone conversation. He said Andrew Breitbart didn’t make the phone call to Arpaio. The frantic caller admitted he had made the call to Arpaio. A person who was mentioned by the caller was a journalist by the name of Anita MonCrief. Ms. MonCrief is well known by liberals and conservatives for her role as an ACORN whistle-blower. Ms. MonCrief has also had articles published on Breitbart.com, in addition to other news websites. I was told by the man Ms. MonCrief was also on the phone call to Sheriff Arpaio.
On March 1, 2012 at 8:04 AM, Ms. Anita MonCrief posted an “exclusive” interview with Sheriff Arpaio on the website HotAir.com. According to the frantic caller, this interview took place during the late afternoon on February 29, 2012. He also indicated Ms. MonCrief “was going to get Andrew’s approval” for the article, “but Andrew had already “passed away.” The caller indicated that several people were involved leading up to the call. This is the link to Ms. MonCrief’s “exclusive” interview.
It became very apparent to me Andrew Breitbart never spoke to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, on February 29, 2012. Was the call to Arpaio a ruse? Or, was it simply a misunderstanding that occurred when the “Breitbart” name may have been used by a caller to open doors to Sheriff Arpaio? Was Sheriff Arpaio later informed by the MCSO CCP that Andrew Breitbart didn‘t make the call? It would be enlightening to hear Ms. MonCrief’s account of how the “interview” with Sheriff Arpaio came to fruition and the identities of all the people who put the plan together. Who actually did the interview? How many people were on the call? How was Dr. Corsi’s cell number obtained? Sheriff Arpaio clearly indicated he was interviewed by a man, not by a woman.
Finding this all very peculiar, I contacted Mike Zullo of the MCSO CCP with the information I was provided by the caller. To say the least, Zullo at first seemed upset and was very skeptical about the story, until he also spoke with the frantic caller. Zullo knew the caller, as he had previously met the man and his associate on their return trip from Hawaii. The frantic caller was from Texas.
The story began to change on March 2, 2012. I discovered a YouTube video of Dr. Jerome Corsi from the Alex Jones Show. In the video (starting at about 7:19) Dr. Corsi spoke about his own doubts about Andrew Breitbart contacting Sheriff Arpaio on February 29, 2012. He stated:
“The Breitbart situation is also mysterious to me. We think now it was one of his staff, it was ah, I’ll get the name here in a minute, ah one of the, Anita ah, MonCrief who made the call with one of the Tea Party people. We thought it was Breitbart, Breitbart himself on the line. I handed the phone to the Sheriff. The gentleman on the line is talking about Breitbart. It may have been Anita MonCrief trying to get us in touch with Breitbart. And we maybe never actually connected.”
What is to be made of all this? Sheriff Arpaio apparently was interviewed by a male, Tea Party member from Texas. Ms. Anita MonCrief was possibly also on the line. Her “exclusive” interview was published the next day, but not on Breitbart.com according to a recent internet search. Her Arpaio article curiously does not mention Mr. Breitbart’s death. Andrew Breitbart was not on the line and didn’t call Arpaio, nor did Arpaio seem to recognize the male, Tea Party caller’s voice. Dr. Corsi called Ms. MonCrief a member of Breitbart’s “staff.” (No reply on this from Breitbart.com as of this writing.) Ms. MonCrief has contributed articles to Brietbart in the past, but does that qualify her as a Breitbart office “staff” member? How and when did Dr. Corsi know about Ms. Anita MonCrief’s involvement? Why didn’t Dr. Corsi mention that Anita MonCrief is reported to be a founder of the Crispus Attucks Tea Party in Houston Texas? Dr. Corsi said he spoke to a “gentleman” on the phone call, and then said it “may have been Anita MonCrief trying to get us in touch with Breitbart.” Was Dr. Corsi on the phone with a man, a woman or both?
Many questions remain about this event and the public deserves clear, unequivocal answers from the parties involved about what occurred on February 29, 2012 which resulted in the birth of the Andrew Breitbart / Sheriff Joe Arpaio urban legend.
Mr. Andrew Breitbart had a reputation for seeking the truth. His legacy deserves a more fitting, final tribute than this very questionable, lingering, urban legend. By all accounts, Andrew Breitbart never spoke with Sheriff Joe Arpaio at 5:00 P.M., Wednesday, February 29, 2012.
Rest in peace, Mr. Breitbart.