In a recent special comment, Keith Olbermann called Andrew Breitbart "scum" three times.
You might think that Andrew Breitbart, involved in fraudulent, unethical faux journalism efforts attacking ACORN and Shirley Sherrod, is simply a small-time, ethically impaired lowlife-- pond scum. You would be wrong. Andrew Breitbart is, scum-metaphor-wise, BP grade, ocean destroying, gull oil well destorying major scum.
Breitbart is no lone wolf. He is not an unethical oddball faux journalist doing weird projects.
Breitbart is at the center of the right wing's media echo chamber system. He is a core, integral player who plays a major role in defining the conversations on the right.
That makes it a much bigger deal, a more important story, when Breitbart engages in such aggressively, blatantly unethical, dishonest reporting.
Wikipedia reports, "Andrew Breitbart helps run the Drudge Report website." That puts Breitbart dead center in the middle of the right wing's messaging system, since the Drudge REport is used as the go to place for right wing pundits on Fox and the talk radio echo chamber, to find talking points each day.
That means that millions of right wingers read the stories Breitbart presents as news. Millions!!. The links appear on Drudgereport and often take them to Breitbart's breitbart.com.
Or, if the links do not go to Breitbart's page, then the links create a daily news picture that frames a negative picture of Democrats and the left, of climate change and the Obama administration.
The attack job on Shirley Sherrod offers a glimpse inside the mind and mentality of Breitbart and the right wing echo chamber he plays a major role in orchestrating.
There is beauty in the speech, and bravery too. It was brave because her subject wasn't the nation's failures and your failures but her failures. The beauty is that it deals with the great subject of our lives: how to be better, how to make the world better. It's not a perfect speech--she's tendentious in her support for health care and takes cheap shots at Republicans. And it's not the poor versus the rich, it's the powerful helping the powerless. But it's good.
You know what happened this week. Someone cut the 45-minute speech down to less than two minutes, to the part in which she talked about not wanting to help white people. Andrew Breitbart ran it on one of his websites and made Ms. Sherrod look like a race-game-playing government bully.
It was trumpeted all over conservative media. The Obama administration panicked and forced her to resign. She wasn't even given a chance to explain.
And then the Spooners stepped in, and this time they saved her. Is Ms. Sherrod a racist, they were asked. "No way in the world," said Roger Spooner. "She stuck with us." Eloise: "She helped us, so we're helping her."
Then people started bothering to watch and read the whole speech.
Not all right wingers have lost their moral compass. And let's not forget that someone in the Obama White House knee-jerked a dump Shirley response. The NAACP knee-jerked a dump Shirley response. The episode showed a lot of weaknesses and liabilities and flaws. But under it all, was the man who perpetrated the fraud or lie, whatever you choose to consider what Breitbart did. And it allowed the world to get an idea of the soul of America's right wing leadership. Be assured, Breitbart is a part of that leadership, as surely as Sarah Palin is too.
If you didn't like what happened to Shirley Sherrod, then you really need to take a second look at the drudgereport.com. You really have to consider that Breitbart has a very powerful role in setting the conversation every day for Fox news, for GOP senators, for Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the whole spectrum of right wing radio hosts, even the ones who are not anywhere near as toxic as Breitbart.
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