Inside the Collapsing Media Empire of Deceased GOP Sleaze-Peddler Andrew Breitbart

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 30, 2022 14:12
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:18 AM


Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


In the year after Breitbart's death, his heirs have produced a string of grotesque episodes that have embarrassed even their own impossible-to-shame allies on the right.

In the immediate aftermath of Breitbart's death last year, at age 43, the Beltway media reflexively whitewashed and glorified his work and legacy, canonizing a reactionary circus barker as some kind of American Icon, a gonzo iconoclast, a conservative punk rocker, or a "Zany, Magnetic Media Hacker," as Wired's Noah Shachtman.

Breitbart, of course, had nothing in common with the comedians whose anti-establishment spirit he claimed to embody. Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce came up from poverty and overcame anti-Semitism and entrenched, violently enforced racism to wield their wit against powerful forces. Bruce was hounded throughout his career by the FBI, local cops and eventually blacklisted from nearly every comedy club in the United States. Whereas Breitbart collaborated with the FBI and New York police to spy on Occupy Wall Street protesters. Perhaps the only thing Bruce had in common with Breitbart, who spent his career in a mostly uncritical national limelight, was his untimely death at age 40 while in the throes of paranoia and emotional collapse.

Breitbart, the adopted son of a wealthy West Los Angeles restauranteur, used his privilege to immiserate the most marginalized, impoverished, widely demonized groups of Americans. He was a faithful errand boy for rich, Scrooge McDuck tycoons like Peter Thiel, Foster Friess, and the Koch Brothers, wielding smear journalism against anyone or any interest that threatened their power — usually African-Americans or groups like ACORN, serving impoverished, neglected inner city communities.

There was nothing innovative or new about Breitbart's smear operation. Indeed, he walked a trail blazed by the now-forgotten snitches and smear artists of the McCarthy era – quasi-eccentric figures like Matt Cvetic and Henry Matusow. Cvetic drank himself to death a few years after McCarthy's fall; while Matusow recanted, was jailed for perjury, and spent the last decades of his life begging for money and working as a clown for children's parties. Breitbart, for his part, collapsed on a sidewalk outside his home in Brentwood at the tender age of 43.

While pundits gushed over Breitbart's provocations, ignoring race-baiting blunders like the Shirley Sherrod affair and whitewashing his increasingly unhinged behavior – "Stop raping people!" he bellowed at Occupy Wall Street protesters shortly before dropping dead — as a form of "political performance art," no one bothered asking what would come next. Who would take the reigns of Breitbart's websites and how would they preserve whatever undeserved credibility Breitbart managed to maintain in the eyes of the media, which proved to be easy prey to his bullying tactics?

Breitbart's Doomsday Machine

By now, it has become clear that in the months before his death, Breitbart had constructed a journalistic Doomsday Machine and programmed it for an apocalyptic episode of self-destruction. Perhaps it was convenient that Breitbart's heart exploded when it did; as a martyr, he did not have to witness the implosion of his media empire or bear the responsibility he deserved for its rapid demise.

In the year after Breitbart's death, his heirs and associates produced a string of grotesque episodes that have embarrassed even their own impossible-to-shame allies on the right, including:

•Spreading the lie that Chuck Hagel took money from a non-existent group called "Friends of Hamas." What began as a New York Daily News reporter's burlesque joke-hypothetical question to a Senate staffer was recycled by editor-at-large Ben Shapiro [see below] and reported as fact from "Senate sources." From Breitbart, the reporter's joke traveled onto the Senate floor and nearly sank Hagel's confirmation as Obama's new Defense Secretary. Even after the story was completely debunked and disavowed even by fellow right-wingers, remains the only media outlet in the world that continues to stick by its debunked story;

•In mid-March, Breitbart published a straight news story claiming that Paul Krugman had filed for bankruptcy. The story was sourced from an online news parody site, The Daily Currant;

•Also in March, Breitbart's most famous protege, video smear-artist and convicted criminal James O'Keefe, was forced to pay a six-figure settlement to one of the victims of his heavily-edited ACORN videos, which was deceptively re-edited to give the impression that ACORN employees were willing to participate in sex trafficking. ACORN was once a powerful community activist organization working in mostly poor minority communities. O'Keefe's video, which was heavily promoted by Breitbart, helped destroy ACORN and ruin the careers of many of its employees. Other lawsuits against Breitbart associates continue, including one filed by Shirley Sherrod, an African-American employee of the Department of Agriculture who was fired after Breitbart pushed a heavily-edited video manipulated to make Sherrod appear as if she was anti-white. O'Keefe's work has been underwritten by everyone from billionaire libertarian Peter Thiel to the billionaire Koch brothers and the billionaire Foster Friess;

•At the most recent CPAC conference in 2013,'s sponsored panel bashing Muslims was considered too hateful and extremist by CPAC's organizers and banned from the official CPAC agenda — despite the fact that Breitbart News Network is a major sponsor of CPAC.

Pull the camera back a bit further, looking back on the year since Breitbart died, and the same pattern of appalling failure, journalistic fraud, and malevolence repeats itself on a broader scale.

What Breitbart really left behind is not so much a media business as an asylum for fringe-right degenerates, a motley collection of depraved losers, beer hall rage-a-holics and downright freaks offering themselves up as mercenaries for the rich and powerful, taking dirty jobs no one with a shred of self-respect would consider. As hired-assassins who couldn't hit the side of a barn if their lives depended on it, the unlikely heirs Breitbart once hired as sycophantic underlings come off as a comedy troupe of slapstick fascists — and it would be funny, if not for the powerful corporate forces sponsoring their attempts at sectarian smears and top-down class warfare.

"A Major Letdown"

The string of's epic failures began with Andrew Breitbart's final act — what he promised would be his biggest bombshell of all, bigger than the Anthony Weiner boner-tweet, bigger than the destruction of ACORN or Shirley Sherrod. In a speech to the 2012 CPAC conference, Breitbart titillated his conservative groupies with what he said was video evidence that Barack Obama was a Manchurian candidate programmed and set upon America by Marxist Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. "Barack Obama was launched from Bill and Bernadine's salon. I was there," Breitbart snarled.

Looking haggard and swollen as he stood before the CPAC audience, slurring his words, Breitbart described the nefarious plot that his bombshell video would soon expose, bringing down the Obama presidency:

"the rest of us slept as they plotted, and they plotted, and they plotted and they oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in the Annenberg Challenge and they had real money, from real capitalists. Then they became communists. We got to work on that. That is a parenthesis. Barack Obama is a radical, we should not be afraid to say that!"

The speech was just inane and incoherent enough to be taken seriously by Glenn Beck. It should have been a warning sign; it should have been greeted with derision by everyone in the media purporting to do their job — but they were too enamored of Andrew Breitbart, too easily seduced by his marketing power, his "brand," his celebrity, his vulgar attempt at gonzo-McCarthyism... too intellectually insecure to dismiss Breitbart's fake populism for what it was: race-baiting corporate propaganda, handsomely rewarded.

Less than a week after Breitbart's heart popped like a water balloon, the heirs to his legacy were revealed on Fox News' Sean Hannity Show. Seated together in a remote studio were Breitbart's new editor-in-chief Joel B. Pollak, and his mini-me, a weasel-faced anti-masturbation crusader named Ben Shapiro. Before an utterly underwhelmed and clearly disappointed Hannity, the duo unveiled the dramatic Obama video.

What Breitbart's young heirs delivered — what Andrew Breitbart's corpse delivered, posthumously — turned out to be a monumental dud. The video showed President Obama as a Harvard law student, affecting the same relaxed, monotone-dull, soporific way of speaking that soothed voters in the 2008 election. The video needed explaining — the African-American Harvard Law professor, Derrick Bell, was a race- and class-war radical, Breitbart's heirs tried to argue. And Obama hugged him — and embraced him.

To the average viewer, it was hard to get worked up over an arcane doctrine called "critical race theory," which needed explaining. Jeremiah Wright's rants needed no explaining. But Derrick Bell's did.

The anti-Obama right was visibly angry. Hannity tried his best to contain his anger at Pollak and Shapiro, but fellow Fox commentator Juan Williams, the network's token liberal, called it a clunker right on the program:

"I must say, I thought this was going to be so much more," said Williams. "I thought this was going to be a smoking gun... But it really didn't come to much."

Even Glenn Beck was sorely disappointed — and his bar is notoriously low — telling his radio listeners:

"The Obama college tape — wasn't that a major letdown? I mean I feel bad for Andrew that that was the thing that came out right after [he died] because it was a little disappointing. I think that's because, you know, if you die you say to your wife, ‘Oh honey, I have something really important to tell you, don't let me forget.' And then you go and die. And then she finds the note. And it's like, ‘Please remind me, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.' That's really kind of disappointing, you know. Because you're like, ‘I thought he had something really important to tell me.' ... This thing came out and it was like, ‘The. Last. Story. Andrew. Breitbart. Did: Very. Important. Video.' And you're like...[shakes head ‘sadly, no'] ‘Not so much.'"
from there, it's been all downhill for Lots and lots more at

Mildly amusing reading. I hadn't even heard about most of this, which shows how much attention it garnered...

Poor Andrew, he must be so disappointed.


Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:41 AM



Originally posted by Niki2:
not so much a media business as an asylum for fringe-right degenerates

HA! A widely applicable term these days.

**looks pointedly in the direction of certain RWED posters, including the new sock**


Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:43 PM


America loves a winner!

To the Left, being honest and telling the truth = 'sleaze-peddling'.

Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen

Resident USA Freedom Fundie

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall


Thursday, November 10, 2022 7:36 AM


National Police Chiefs’ Council conference in London

‘Stop Debating Gender on Twitter’ and Solve Real Crimes, Braverman Tells Police Chiefs


Thursday, November 10, 2022 9:21 AM


Sounds like a real Semi-Fascist to me.

There is no debate on gender because there is no such thing as gender.

I'm a pony. My pronouns are It/Them/Pony/Ponykin.

Respect my pronouns or you will lose your job and have the police raid your house.

Here's what I look like:

I'm a Unicorn because I still have a wiener.


I'm a Democrat now. Let's erase history, burn everything down and start over. China's going to end up owning everything anyways.


Wednesday, November 30, 2022 2:12 PM







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