Friday, March 02, 2012

Andrew Breitbart Dead: Who Will Slither Forward On His Sleazy Path?

Andrew Breitbart was a successful entrepreneur before he dropped dead Thursday on a Brentwood, Calif. street — possibly due to a heart attack. His means of ascent was the practice of sleaze. And since his allies derived such benefit from that, it’s likely that someone else will fill the void left by his passing.

His money came from selling advertisements to the people who visited his web sites — launched in 2009 – that went by names such as Big Journalism, Big Hollywood and Big Government.

His three sleaziest accomplishments were as follows:
  • Weiner. In May 2011, Breitbart posted “salacious” photos sent to women online by former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Weiner apologized to Breitbart for his initial claim that Weiner’s Twitter account had been hacked according to the Los Angeles Times. In this case, I’d argue that Weiner was even sleazier than Breitbart.
  • ACORN. Video-sting operator, James O’Keefe — posing as a pimp along with a female co-conspirator in the role of prostitute — made an undercover video of Acorn workers “apparently offering advice on how to evade taxes and conceal child prostitution,” reports the New York Times. Breitbart’s “accomplishment” was to publish that video on his web site and it went “viral,” according to the Times.
  • Sherrod. In 2010, Breitbart helped get Agriculture Department official, Shirley Sherrod, fired. He edited a video clip to make it appear that Sherrod had discriminated against a white farmer but the full video showed that “she had eventually helped the farmer and that she had learned from the experience — that all people must overcome their prejudices,” reports the Times. In my view, this was the worst of these three claims to fame.
Breitbart’s sudden death has unleashed a chorus of praise from the remaining Republican presidential candidates. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich “all paid tribute on Twitter.” And — remember her? – Sarah Palin’s Facebook page exclaimed that Breitbart was “a warrior who stood on the side of what was right.”

Au contraire, Sarah – Breitbart’s greatest accomplishments are a litany of what’s most wrong with American politics! His supporters regret Breitbart’s passing because his unique brand of social media political sleaze aligned with two Republican values:
  • Destroying perceived enemies. Republican presidential candidates have a long history of the effective use of videos to destroy opponents — starting with George H. W. Bush’s 1988 Willie Horton ad that help stop Michael Dukakis. And there is no doubt that Breitbart’s supporters would have loved him to be around to deploy that same sleazy magic to take the wind out of Commander-in-Chief Barack H. Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Making money. Republicans also admire someone who can make money. In that area. Breitbart — whose anchor site,, had 1.7 million unique visitors in January 2012, according comScore (SCOR), was pretty large — although less than half the size of his mentor, Matt Drudge’s site that attracted over 4 million visits that month. But according to 24/7 Wall Street, Breitbart’s site was worth $4 million in October 2011, a mere 4% of the $93 million value of Drudgerport.
Given these deeply-ingrained Republican values, someone will surely come along to take Breitbart’s place.

But nobody will be able to take over his talent at Twittering. For example, when the late Senator Ted Kennedy passed, Breitbart Tweeted: ”Rest in Chappaquiddick” and called Kennedy “a special pile of human excrement,” according to AP.

So when you cast your ballot for Willard Mitt Romney in November, remember Mitt’s Tweet: “Ann and I are deeply saddened by the passing of @AndrewBreitbart: brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father.”