Andrew Breitbart Quits GOProud Over Outing of Perry Adviser
BY Lucas Grindley
December 11 2011 2:30 PM ET
Conservative website mogul Andrew Breitbart has quit the advisory board for GOProud, saying he has a "zero tolerance" policy for outing people.
Trouble started when GOProud's Jimmy LaSalvia and Chris Barron reacted to an antigay Rick Perry television ad by angrily taking to Twitter, attacking pollster Tony Fabrizio.
"I've just about had it with faggots who line their pockets with checks from antigay homophobes while throwing the rest of us under the bus," LaSalvia wrote.
GOProud issued a statement defending itself from the ensuing backlash, but that apparently only contributed to Breitbart's disappointment.
"I have a zero tolerance attitude toward the intentional infliction of vocational and family harm by divulging the details of an individual’s sexual orientation as a weapon of political destruction," Breitbart wrote on one of his websites, BigGovernment.com. Breitbart said he'd long ago told LaSalvia and Barron about his opinion on outing, which Breitbart said contributed to his "evolution from the political left to the right."
The Daily Caller reports that Barron sent a message to members of its advisory panel attempting to tamp down the controversy, claiming neither he nor LaSalvia thought they were outing Fabrizio.
Fabrizio had served as pollster to the Florida Red and Blue committee, which tried to stop passage of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in that state. And the Miami Herald reports he has a condo in South Beach.
"Both Jimmy and I have known Tony for years and have known that he was gay for years," Barron wrote. "Multiple media outlets contacted us after the Perry 'Strong' ad debuted asking our opinion of Fabrizio’s role in the campaign given the antigay nature of the ad. Every news outlet that called asked our opinion of a gay man being a part of this campaign’s leadership.
"As we were responding to these inquiries it never occurred to us that he wasn’t out. We would never intentionally out anyone, but quite honestly, we didn’t think we were outing anyone. If Tony Fabrizio was closeted it was news to both of us. We aren’t in the business of prying into other people’s personal lives, however if Tony Fabrizio wanted it to be a secret that he was gay he probably should have done a better job of letting other people know it was supposed to be a secret."
Fabrizio reportedly objected to the ad running at all, calling it "nuts." But he hasn't commented on LaSalvia's claim that if Fabrizio objected, then he should have resigned from his leadership post with the Perry campaign.