Last year I twice referenced Brietbart substantively at this site. In July, I raked him over the coals for his dishonesty and shamelessness in the Shirley Sherrod scandal. The scandal of course wasn’t about what Sherrod did, but rather what was done to her. One of Breitbart’s sites (he owned many) tried to break a news story by showing footage of Sherrod, an African American and U.S. Department of Agriculture official, speaking at an NAACP banquet. She appeared to make racist comments about not wanting to help white farmers.
It turns out the video he aired had been gratuitously edited. It was the height of misrepresentation. Sherrod’s speech had actually been about her father being murdered by a white man in the Jim Crow South, and the killer predictably avoiding any prosecution. Yet Sherrod overcame the trauma of this unfathomably horrific racism and dedicated herself to helping white farmers as well as black ones. That speech was cut up beyond recognition to paint her as a racist.
Breitbart financially profited from that heinous slander, and tried to dupe the American public by peddling it as evidence of anti-white racism in the new black president’s administration. Sadly, the mainstream press ran with the story, nobody bothered to question the credibility of a devote partisan hack like Breitbart, and the Secretary of Agriculture actually canned Sherrod before everything came to light.
I didn’t take much courage to call Breitbart out for being a complete and utter piece of shit on that occasion, which I did. Anyone with even a minor proclivity for indignity, such as myself, could go hog wild on that one. And he deserved every ounce of it. His actions were beyond unconscionable. They were the very lowest form of partisanship, and displayed a degree of immorality that warrants the severest form of karmic retribution. Like, say, keeling over at age forty-three. Good riddance to bad rubbish and all that.
But the first time I referenced Breitbart at this site was a month earlier than that. And I actually defended him.
That June, the Anthony Weiner scandal was aflame. You remember. The liberal Democrat and very married Congressman from New York City was sexting with barely legal young girls. Very classy. Breitbart had broken that story too. But Weiner wasn’t some mid-level bureaucrat like Sherrod, who would let the story spin out of control before the truth came out. No, Weiner was an experienced politician, a bare-knuckled brawler, and a real piece of shit himself.
So of course Weiner and his staff immediately tried to control the narrative. And to do that they not only lied through their teeth about the marital infidelities, but they mercilessly slandered Breitbart. But unlike the Sherrod fiasco that was then just around the corner, this one was actually true.
Apologia’s from the likes of Rachel Maddow only carried Weiner so far, and he could not hide behind the lies forever. Eventually he had to fess up: he was a lying scumbag after all. It all came out in his weepy press conference, where he even apologized to Breitbart, though only after reporters pressed him. And that day I remained true to my academic values of honesty and independence, and defended the conservative hack who, until that point, was most famous for airing footage of a fake pimp and whore entrapping the liberal community organizers at ACORN.
And now that Andrew Breitbart is dead, what do we have left? Nothing but his cavalcade of anti-intellectual websites, which run the gamut from political hackery to shallow entertainment gossip. A bunch of crap I largely ignore.
Oh, and there’s also that lawsuit. The defamation case that Shirley Sherrod filed against him, which will now be against his estate.
Now that’s a legacy.