In a report for Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell referred to Andrew Breitbart as "the shooting star of the conservative blogosphere" and contemptuously remarked: "Breitbart, who called Senator Ted Kennedy a villain and worse when he died, called himself an 'accidental cultural warrior.'"
Former Catholic seminarian and left-wing radio host Bill Press took to his eponymous program today and devoted significant attention to the death of conservative blogger and author Andrew Breitbart. It was not all positive, although he did feature guests who had kind things to say about Breitbart's impact on Internet journalism.
"Raised a Catholic, I was taught the great phrase 'Necal [sic] nisi bonum*' you don’t say anything about the dead unless you’re saying good things about the dead. Well, then I should say nothing about Andrew Breitbart because I can’t think of one good thing to say about him." [MP3 clip here]
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and publisher who died suddenly yesterday was going to really shake up the self-described mainstream media according to a report that he was in talks with CNN to co-host a television show with Anthony Weiner, the disgraced liberal Democratic congressman who famously sent pictures of his underwear-clad genitals to women on the internet.
The idea certainly would not have been out of the realm of possibility for either CNN or Breitbart; the cable network famously invited another disgraced Democratic politician, former New York governor Elliott Spitzer, to co-host a program with moderate conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. Bringing in a real conservative who could hold his own and coherently state conservative beliefs would certainly have been an improvement. The Parker-Spitzer show was a short-lived affair which died soon after it was launched.
New York Times media editor Bruce Headlam was less than gracious after the sudden death of conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, citing in a Times webcast “his willingness to push the limits of what he saw as journalism, what a lot of other people saw as just stunts and demagoguery.”
Media reporter Jeremy Peters wrote the official Times obituary Friday for Breitbart, who died suddenly at age 43 after collapsing while walking outside his home in Los Angeles: “Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Blogger, Dies at 43.” As a news story it was balanced, but compared to the usual Times obituary it was certainly critical, starting in the third paragraph:
There's been a lot of ugly stuff in the blogosphere as well as various social networking websites such as Twitter since Thursday's shocking announcement that conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart died at the age of 43.
Possibly the most offensive came in a headline from New York Amsterdam News titled "Anti-Black Journalist Andrew Breitbart Dies Suddenly":
And it gets much worse from there...
I almost hate to draw attention to this incredibly sad example of the intolerant left over at Rolling Stone, but quite frankly, Andrew Breitbart probably would have eaten this up, and tweeted it back out.
Correction appended below page break | Breitbart.com's editor-in-chief went right after CNN for its treatment of the late Andrew Breitbart, when asked about the "controversial" journalist's "tactics" in the Shirley Sherrod incident. The interview took place Thursday afternoon during the 1 p.m. hour of CNN's Newsroom.
Joel Pollock, a friend of Breitbart's, accused CNN of telling a story "completely contrary" to what Breitbart actually did, and challenged the network to "rethink" the way it treated him. "I'm going to do an Andrew Breitbart and ask you if CNN has rethought its tactics on the issue," he contended to CNN host Zoraida Sambolin.
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
About three years ago, Andrew Breitbart, who sadly passed away suddenly this morning in Los Angeles, joined the Media Research Center at our 2009 Gala, featuring the annual “DisHonors Awards,” where he accepted the “Media Messiah Award” in jest for Chris Matthews.
The MSNBC host “won” the award for his infamous boast about how “I felt this thrill going up my leg” during a speech by then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
As someone who was one of the best fighters against the left-wing media hegemony, Andrew Breitbart was also frequently victimized by lazy reporters who didn't bother to report correct information about him. This was a particular problem for Andrew because he was such a target for liberals making up lies which got repeated so often, they've become widely accepted as truth.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the media haven't stopped repeating lies about Breitbart even after his untimely passing. Contrary to much of the reporting about him today, Breitbart did not falsely represent Shirley Sherrod, former U.S. Department of Agriculture director of Rural Development in Georgia in relaying a video of her discrimination against white applicants for a farm subsidy program in 2010.
Today we have a lost a truly brilliant mind and a tireless warrior for the conservative movement. Andrew was one of the few good guys who knew Hollywood inside and out. He coupled that knowledge with the creativity and passion that has become his trademark, offering it for the cause that he so believed in. The entire Breitbart family will be in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.
This morning the unexpected news came that conservative internet publisher Andrew Breitbart has passed away. His business manager Larry Solov has posted the following announcement on websites affiliated with Breitbart. [This is a developing story, see below for statements from his former boss Matt Drudge, Brent Bozell, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Michelle Malkin.]