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Wherein we remember Andrew Breitbart for his important work

by: Eric B.

Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 14:33:32 PM EST


It's fitting in a big way that the most notable remembrance in any state outlet of Andrew Breitbart comes from Manny Lopez, a writer for the Detroit News who penned his obituary piece for the Mackinac Center. In better times, double dipping by journalists was still no big deal, as long as the double-dipping involved two respectable outlets of journalism. Working for a respectable journalism outlet, and the News is that, while working for a partisan-driven think tank would have been considered a serious breach of journalistic ethics. How can one expect to be taken serious as an objective speaker of truths if one starts out with the point of view of a think tank, after all? Today, with those lines so badly blurred by cable news, we no longer care about the ethical implications of a newspaper journalist contributing to an outlet that states from the get go that it has defined parameters to constrain truth.

Today, yesterday, the day before people were remembering Breitbart as a good family man and a generous friend. There's a good reason for this, which is that there wasn't a good deal about his work in the public sphere worth remembering well. It's worth remembering that Shirley Sherrod, the African-American woman fired by a cowardly USDA after Breitbart aired edited footage of a speech she gave, wasn't just quoted out of context, but that the entire presentation of her as a person ran contrary to who she really was. Once confronted with this, rather than admit the error and express contrition -- as we expect an ethical professional and decent human being to do -- he instead doubled down and began a campaign to further smear everyone else. He wasn't wrong, couldn't have been wrong, no matter who else had to be destroyed to prove it. 

He didn't arrive at this point out of thin air. Before Shirley Sherrod, there was his contribution in making public of the edited footage from James O'Keefe that destroyed ACORN as an organization. And, neither did he appear to have learned contrition as a result. Right up to last week, he was inventing things about political opponents. In death as in life ... we're reminded that even as his fans today revile the idea that anyone apply scrutiny to his public work upon his public death (instead demanding that everyone honor a Breitbart no one but a few knew) because he had a family, that upon the death of family man Teddy Kennedy Breitbart called him a human piece of shit

Perhaps the most notable thing he ever said was that it was his goal to destroy the "institutional left." This was the contribution he said he wished to make to American democracy, destroy the institutions of an entire ideological wing. We can ignore for a second that at a time of hyper-partisanship and with the good voices of centrism demanding that everyone calm down and compromise and with the unstated agreement that one thing particularly poisonous is the ongoing practice of the politics of personal destruction. Instead, we have to ask ourselves ... had he succeeded, how many families would beloved family man Andrew Breitbart have destroyed in the process?

Eric B. :: Wherein we remember Andrew Breitbart for his important work
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Ask yourself this (4.00 / 1)
If Michael Moore died of a heart attack instead of Breitbart, what vicious comments would Breitbart have written about Moore? I think you know the answer to that.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Death (0.00 / 0)
I've found myself being increasingly annoyed by this nation's (and world's) superstition -- and, really, that's all it is -- that people should not speak ill of the dead.  I've thought about quite a bit over the past few days, tried as hard as I could to find a reason for why people shouldn't be able to express their honest opinions about someone the same as if they were in life...and I can't beyond that it's simply a taboo rooted in religious superstition.

To be clear, I'm less familiar with Breitbart than others.  I'd heard the name before the Sherrod smear, but he didn't really exist in my world.  So, while I don't like him and find his work destructive, I have no particular hate for him.  I'm just annoyed that somehow we believe death changes something, and that we should be led to lie about honest feelings.  

Really kind of off topic, but I've seen on other websites moderators discouraging any negative critique of the man in his death.  One doesn't have to be vile or cruel, but people shouldn't be lead to offer false commentary.  So, I really appreciate this post, Eric.


That's an expression for a culture of assholes... (4.00 / 1)
If you really want people to speak nicely of you after you've died, you should be nice to people when you're alive; otherwise, you have no business expecting nice words.  Or, as someone else put it, if you live your entire life being an asshole to people, you shouldn't expect to be turned into a saint upon death.

I, too, have seen places where people are essentially ordered into a civil silence. If you can't say something nice about the departed, say nothing. It strikes me as something that only a culture of jerks would say, where everyone is afraid of what might be said of them after they pass because of what they did while alive.

We don't play those games here. Here, assholes are assholes and decent people no matter their ideological affiliation are treated with decency.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
They can't defend themselves (0.00 / 0)
I try not to speak ill of the dead simply because it would make me look like a jackass to attack someone who can't defend themselves.  That's what Breitbart did when he called Kennedy mean names after he died.  It didn't hurt Kennedy's reputation at all, but it did hurt Breitbart's.  

So - I'm not saying anything bad about Breitbart.  

Besides.  He doesn't deserve my venom.  


[ Parent ]
Bum-bye moe fro (0.00 / 0)
People need to understand ......Combining  Alcohol and Cocaine raise heart rate dramatically, add a Known heart condition plus a walk in the park make for a deadly combination .  know what I mean VERN .... errr .. breitbart


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