Andrew Breitbart has died of natural causes according to his website. His image will now most likely be rehabilitated in the mainstream and his contributions to the blog world will likely be highlighted above and beyond his racist and Islamophobic antics.
Many may think it is “tacky,” “tasteless” or even “wrong” for us to say anything negative about Breitbart on the day of his passing. I don’t agree. While it is sad when anyone passes, and our condolences go out to his family, he was a public figure who did much to divide this nation. Commenting on how people such as Breitbart spent their lives is both appropriate and relevant at the time of their deaths.
He was a pivotal figure in transitioning the Right into the contemporary world of new media, which in itself is not a bad thing, but it is how he used his new media platform that was extremely problematic. He played a part in disseminating hate propaganda, undermining the truth and deflecting justice. Who can forget the fiasco with Shirley Sherrod?
On July 19, 2010, Breitbart posted two short videos showing excerpts of a speech by Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP fundraising dinner in March 2010. The videos ensuing controversy resulted in Sherrod being fired from the United States Department of Agriculture on July 19. After Breitbart was criticized for taking Sherrod’s words out of context, he posted the complete 40-minute video of the speech. The NAACP stated that the video excerpts aired by Breitbart were deliberately deceptive and said that he had “snookered” the group. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack later apologized to Sherrod and offered her a new job. In 2011, Sherrod brought suit against Breitbart for defamation.
Or his targeting of ACORN?
Breitbart was also involved in the 2009 ACORN video controversy. Hannah Giles posed as a prostitute seeking assistance while James O’Keefe portrayed her boyfriend, and clandestinely videotaped meetings with ACORN staff. Subsequent criminal investigations by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the California Attorney General found the videos were heavily edited in an attempt to make ACORN’s responses “appear more sinister”, and contributed to the group’s demise. Breitbart then provided a forum for O’Keefe on his BigGovernment.com website and defended his actions on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program.
(For more on Breitbart’s aiding of racism, Islamophobia, etc. see Max Blumenthal’s piece, Feeling the Hate at CPAC 2010 with Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles and the Crazy Mob .)
His “Big” blogs are quite popular forums for anti-Islam and anti-Muslim screeds. His website “Big Peace” for instance boasts about featuring seminal loon and “Islamization” fear-mongerer Frank Gaffney. His websites also link to Atlas Shrugs and reproduce many of the Islamophobesphere’s articles, videos, etc.
Here is just a sample of how the looniverse is taking his passing:
Pamela Geller thinks of Breitbart as her “fearless leader”:
Andrew was our warrior, our leader. Fearless, unapologetic, brilliant. I admire few, but Andrew was in a league of his own. His herculean contribution to the war is incalculable.
The forces of truth have lost a great and courageous warrior. Unlike most on the Right, he was not a cringing dhimmi eagerly throwing his comrades under the bus in a futile attempt to appease the Left. I hope that his lasting legacy will be legions of freedom fighters confronting Leftists and Islamic supremacists on their hypocrisy, lies and justifications for evil with just as much fearlessness, verve and good humor as he always displayed.
I wish I could say RIP Breitbart, but the above eulogies from the loons make it clear that Breitbart’s abiding legacy is his contribution towards amplifying the most radical voices amongst the Right. I am more inclined to repeating the words of Johnny Cash,
Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light