01 March 2012

Andrew Breitbart, “duplicitous bastard”* and the Problem With Liberals

Andrew Breitbart, the reactionary wingnut, dropped dead today, apparently of natural causes. He was relatively young and he leaves a family, including four children. For those children this is very sad.

I never met Breitbart. Thankfully. I know of him only through his serial, very public disregard for the truth and his enraged ranting. While I would not wish him dead, I can honestly say I feel literally no sadness whatsoever at his death. What does sadden me is that some liberals feel the need to talk about how a nice a person Breitbart could be over drinks or coffee. You can find a 'for instance' here at The American Prospect. The author of the piece, Sally Kohn, is described in the sidebar as "a political commentator, grassroots strategist and Fox News Contributor." I do not know her or her work at all. What her self-description brings to mind is self-proclaimed bigot Juan Williams, another person who thought he could play both sides of the fence only to discover that hanging out at FOX distorts your view of reality.

Perhaps Breitbart didn't lie about ACORN or about Shirley Sherrod. In each instance he just knowingly - indeed, gleefully - peddled bullshit in the technical sense of the term. In doing so, he repeatedly established his wholesale indifference to the truth. Arguably, that makes him worse than a liar - because he was 'not even' one. And, of course, snotty prep school kid that he was, Breitbart was especially adept at peddling his bullshit at the expense of those considerably less advantaged than he. I have a difficult time imagining how charming he'd have to be over drinks to compensate for that. The problem with liberals is that they can never quite seem to keep their eye on the politics.
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P.S.: The fact that Breitbart repeatedly and knowingly flaunted the truth makes it disingenuous to compare him - as does the author of this piece in The L.A. Times - to Christopher Hitchens (who could be as much a bully) let alone Jon Stewart. Neither Hitchens nor Stewart can be described as a propagandist. Breitbart was one. Period. Efforts to establish a sort of "Tastes Great! - Less Filling!" moral equivalence on this represents the cult of putative journalistic objectivity at its most mindless.

* This, of course, is how Breitbart characterized Ted Kennedy when he died. It seems fitting to quote him here.

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