Please see the updates at the bottom for the most current status. The original post was based upon a mistaken identity. I have left the original post intact with corrections below it.
If you were to believe Jeff Baker, you'd think that he was just a disgruntled small business owner who is frustrated with the economy squeezing him to the point where he needed to shut the doors. It's a story we've all heard, one I can even tell with my own specifics.
But Jeff Baker wanted to be sure the President heard him, so he put up a billboard on Interstate 190 that says "I need a freakin job. Period."
But every lost job hurts, said Jeff Baker, a Buffalo native who was forced to close his niche textile company near Albany, Adirondack Blanket Works, during the financial collapse more than a year ago.
"Losing a business is right up there in catastrophe land," said Baker, who had planned the billboard long before learning Obama was coming to town. "It's personally catastrophic and having to let go of people who were like family for over 10 years, you go through all that heartbreak."
He and his brother put up the sign and launched a website (www.inafj.org) with the hope of steering the conversation in Washington back toward the average American worker.
It's a really nice website, too. Not a homegrown. boring kind of site at all. It's got merchandise, videos, even "inafj.tv"!
A website like that doesn't come cheap, even if they hire a designer who uses a stock template and stock photos. It's nicely done.
See, here's what they didn't tell you. Scott Baker works for Breitbart.TV. [see update #2]
Scott Baker has reported and anchored television news for nearly 20 years.
He became interested in broadcasting while working on political campaigns during his school years at Wheaton College (Illinois).
He has worked at the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., CBS News in New York, and at local television stations in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Saginaw, Michigan, and for the last 13 years at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.
Viewers have come to know Scott best for both his humor and his skills anchoring and reporting during breaking news events.
According to Jeff Baker, Scott Baker paid for the sign, and likely for the rest of their 'movement', too. Or Breitbart did.
A movement? No. A campaign? Yes. Non-partisan? No. Hidden agenda? Yes.
Got it? Good. Now tell everyone else, including the MSM like CNN.com, CBS.com, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and anyone else you can think of, because presenting this as the effort of one disgruntled businessman and his brother is just a lie, and Andrew Breitbart knows it.
John Amato is debating Breitbart in Beverly Hills next week. I hope he nails him with this duplicitous nonsense. [See update #2]
Update: A commenter points to this article published in the Buffalo News after mine was written which states that Scott Baker lives in Akron and is "vice president of operations at a local manufacturing company."
Would that be a local manufacturing company in Akron, or in Buffalo? Quite a commuting distance between the two. (3:40pm Although it is true that there's an Akron, NY as well near Buffalo.)
It goes on to say this about the video and website:
The CBS segment included two of the Buffalo State College students who appeared on the billboard and on a video posted on the brothers’ Web site, www.inafj.org . Scott Baker said his brother designed the site and produced the professional- looking video, using students Scott found through a friend on the college faculty, Jim Mayrose.
Obviously, if this article is accurate, I am inaccurate. And if I am accurate, the other article is inaccurate. Yes, the name Scott Baker is a common one, and I was able to find a listing for a Scott Baker in the Cleveland/Akron area. There's even a listing for a Scott Baker, HR Director of Cintas Corporation online, though one could wonder why a human resources specialist would be open to promoting this particular campaign. Still, those facts certainly support the conclusion that I was incorrect. Despite the fact that one of the earliest mentions (2 days ahead of the President's visit) was on Breitbart.com and Fox News got the first "exclusive" with the "creator of the movement", these facts would have cast enough doubt to stop me from concluding what I did.
I've given you the additional references so you, the reader can decide. Based on this additional information, I would not have made the definitive conclusion that I did last night. I would have said that given the commonality of the name no firm conclusion can be made.
I'd also recommend Jeff Baker consider web design or video production as his next career, since he did such a splendid job on the site, the integrated Facebook page, the social media PR management and the billboard. He's obviously quite talented.
I have one more question to ask Andrew Breitbart. When will he admit his "error" by publishing video edited to make ACORN look guilty when in fact, they acted in strict compliance with the law?
Update #2: I believe it's fair to say, at this point, that the Scott Baker associated with Breitbart.tv is NOT the same Scott Baker. In this case, it would appear that MSM has it right, that *I* got it wrong, and for that, I apologize to the Baker brothers, Scott Baker and Andrew Breitbart for getting it wrong. Additional information supports what was reported in the Buffalo News article in my first update.
I could ask to have this post pulled down completely but for the fact that bells can't be unrung, and I believe in owning my words AND my mistakes.
Please note: John Amato was not involved in the creation, research or updated information attached to this post. I take full responsibility for it and apologize to all readers for misleading them on this one.