Poor Andrew Breitbart…

…he died in vain.

So remember how Andy B claimed he had footage that would ruin Obama? Well, it got released, and as soon at BuzzFeed published it, Breitbart’s team said it was edited and slanted (ironic in itself). In response, PBS pulled up the whole thing, with commentary, and proved that it still doesn’t remotely claim what Breitbart said it did.

But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008,  FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then. You can see that part of the film below.

FRONTLINE producers obtained the footage from the same source as BuzzFeed did this week: the archives of WGBH, Boston’s PBS station. The footage was shot in 1990 by a team of local news producers for the WGBH Ten O’Clock News. FRONTLINE is produced at WGBH and our producers were alerted to the footage in the station archives in 2008.

So the footage isn’t new, it’s not exclusive, and it doesn’t really offer us anything we didn’t already know. Andrew Breitbart now holds an amazing distinction for the worst posthumous failure in hack journalism history.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, either. Any time someone claims to have something but they’re holding onto it to be released at a “special time”, they’re stalling. What they have isn’t particularly monumental, but the buzz of claiming to have something, buoyed by just a little bit of leaked teaser material, suddenly makes the story.

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