Andrew Breitbart died. A New York Times reporter filed a dutifully written report. It contains several quotes from the conservative firmament. Included are quotes from Eric Cantor’s spokesperson, a quote from Druge’s website, a Michaelle Malkin quote, a Jonah Goldberg quote and finally an account that news of Breitbart’s death left Rick Santorum visibly shaken. A propagandist has sailed over the horizon and left behind a sad band of villains. It is as if the Legion of Doom were crying for the loss of Solomon Grundy.
Breitbart has left behind a legacy of propaganda that would make Lee Atwater weep, but, alas, Lee Atwater has also gone on to the eternal Legion of Doom. Let us not forget Breitbart’s accomplishments.
In 2010 he got Shirley Sherrod fired by publishing an edited videoclip that appeared to show Ms. Sherrod talking about how she discriminated against a white farmer. The following is from Wikipedia:
On July 19, 2010, two different video clips were posted by the conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart to his BigGovernment.com website, along with a nearly 1,000-word blog post in which he accused Sherrod of carrying out her duties “through the prism of race and class distinctions.” He says that she discriminated racially against a white farmer by referring him to a white lawyer, and notes the audience reaction of NAACP members seemed to approve of her actions.
The first video showed Sherrod describing an experience of working with a white man seeking help to save his farm. She struggled with helping him at a time when many black people were losing their land. The excerpt suggests she did just enough, especially by taking him to a white lawyer -“his own kind would take care of him.” She said she realized it was about the poor versus “those who have.”
Subsequent events showed that the posted video was an excerpt of broader comments that conveyed a very different meaning, in which Sherrod learned from her experience.
Shirley Sherrod’s suit for defamation has survived Andrew Breitbart’s motion to dismiss and will, no doubt, continue. Breitbart had an earlier role in helping James O’Keefe as described in a different Wikipedia entry, as quote below:
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.
However, this episode really gets to the heart of the man.
Andrew Breitbart recently took his wife out to the beach (and a hotel) for some quality time. The busy mother and the new media professional wanted to spend some time away from everybody else, and especially from politics.
So they went to a beautiful hotel, where they would simply enjoy life and each other’s company.
Until the beautiful sunny day was ruined by anti-war protesters. “Stop forcing our children to die for your wars!” they chanted.
Breitbart tried to control himself, but failed to do so. He ran to the balcony of his room, stood next to the American flag there, and gave them, smiling of course, the middle finger. He saw photographers making photos, and envisioned seeing himself on the frontpage of the Los Angeles Times’ next day’s edition.
Satisfied by the small victory, I sat down to finish my cocktail. With my wife pretending not to be embarrassed, we went back to enjoying our midday excursion. But instead of waking up Sunday or Monday morning to see my face in the paper, I instead received an e-mail from a journalism student at a local university who recognized me from a recent debate on campus.
The e-mail began like this:
“On 4/25/09 an event hosted by the Invisible Children called ‘The Rescue’ took place in Santa Monica. I shot the event. 4,000 youth marched in solidarity for the children abducted and forced to fight for the LRA in Northern Uganda and more recently in the Congo. I had felt a sense of hope in my generation’s methods of activism at the event.”
Oh, no. It only got worse.
“I believe most people in America are in agreement that human slavery, genocide and child soldiers are a terrible thing. This event was hardly controversial. The protest marched by ‘Shutters on the Beach.’ After reviewing the photographs I was taking for the event and confirming the facts (you were in Santa Monica at the date and time) I realized you were flipping the protesters off. I am curious to why this is the case.”
In order to prevent my eternal damnation, and to end what has been three weeks of difficult REM sleep, please visit: www.invisiblechildren.com.
So, I will leave it to the Legion of Doom to mourn the loss of their master propagandist. A man who destroys careers, aids and abets those who destroyed ACORN, and above all, flips off those trying to stop children from being killed in wars is someone who will have to be mourned by those who understand him best.