I Am Breitbartacus!
A blogger you have never heard of is leaving the Huffington Post because they booted Andrew Breibart’s racist bullshit ass off of their front page. This has made Lee Stranahan suicidal and butt-hurty about the Huffington Post and freedom of the press and collegiality and shit:
I’ll keep this short. As I wrote this morning, writing for the Huffington Post has been one of the great joys of my life for the past few years and I’ve been proud to be associated with them.
But as a writer, this latest move by The Huffington Post of banning Andrew Breitbart from their front page (because of comments he made to a different website) is both unprecedented, arbitrary and deeply offensive to the intellectual openness that Arianna Huffington has purported to believe in.
Although I’ve had a number of pieces featured there, I’m certainly not a huge presence at HuffPost so in that sense, I don’t expect this move on my part to make much of a ripple but I can’t in good conscience support this awful, short sighted move by the site that I loved.
Well, yeah, nobody will probably miss Stranahan at HuffPo unless he was also the editor in charge of nip-slip photography on the entertainment pages. If you’re not familiar with Stranahan’s work, he was one of those “classical liberals” who left the left after 9/11 when Breitbart started paying him to hate on the coloreds.
The turning point for me was the Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity last year. I thought that event had significant message that got lost – both liberals and conservatives need to chill. Stewart said in his closing speech…
Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Party-ers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez, is an insult, not only to those people, but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate..
And I thought, “Right on.” Sane, balanced point from Jon Stewart and delivered to his mostly liberal audience. He’s influential and I had high hope for about 4 hours.
Then, the crushing liberal backlash against Stewart began. It seemed that lots of liberals loved the idea of ‘sanity’ as long as they could still call conservatives crazy and stupid. Olbermann, Bill Maher, Mother Jones and on and on – they all attacked Stewart and threw around the phrase ‘false equivalence’ as much as possible.
So I thought about writing a HuffPost piece about this idea that the left was missing the entire point of what Stewart was trying to say. I wanted to interview someone, so I tried to think of the most reviled person in the world by left and Andrew Breitbart sprung.to mind. I only know a little about him. I remembered he was involved the Shirley Sherrod thing and that ACORN thing but my knowledge of these events was pretty shallow. I knew he was called a racist, a homophobe and every other name under the sun.
Here is where it gets good:
So, back in November I noticed that Patterico – who I knew slightly online – wrote occasionally for one of Breitbart’s sites. I asked him for a contact for an interview Patterico set it up and I called Andrew a few days later. Breitbart and I talked for a couple of hours. He told me about Pigford and we started officially working together a month or so later.
But it didn’t take more than a couple of days from when I first started talking to Breitbart and then doing hours of research on my own, I realized the truth about the Shirley Sherrod story and the ACORN story were very different than I’d that I’d been led to believe by the liberal media who I’d trusted. In fact, the misinformation about these two stories is so rampant and has been drilled into people’s head so many times that it resembles brainwashing.
A couple of weeks back, I encouraged Andrew Breitbart to reach out a little to the other side and write something for The Huffington Post. He wrote a piece about the just breaking NPR scandal and he brought up those video tapes again that show that stories about the Tea Party’s racism were fake as the recent ‘poor people can only carry $20’. story. Over 1,600 and once again, he was ignored by people who care about maintaining a falsehood or worse, who never even bothered to click the links he included. All. Four. Of. Them.
There you have it – I didn’t sell out and change my views. By the time I’d reached out to interview Andrew, I was already disappointed by the arrogant and too often false supposition by liberals that they are the sole arbiter of facts. I was tired of seeing lies and bullying pass for argument. I wanted to do something to restore sanity.
And guess what? I still do.
So, to sum up, Stranahan thinks everyone (both sides!) should just chill the fuck out with the overheated rhetoric. But when Andrew Breitbart calls Van Jones a “commie punk” and “a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak” in The Daily Caller, well that is the ship that Stranahan wants to go down with.
What can I say. Dude’s gotta make a living…
Since when is censorship a liberal value?
I wouldn’t be working with Andrew Breitbart if he were a racist. He and I don’t agree on many issues but out work on the Pigford settlement is 100% supportive of the real black farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA.
If you oppose Breitbart’s ideas, great — but Color of Change’s cynical faux-campaign to shut him is against the values of open debate that progressives should stand for.
If only Andrew Breitbart could find some place on the internets where he could engage in rational debate. If only there was a website or blog where he would be welcome. But, no. The internet has censored him.
Maybe he could guest blog at Stranahan’s place. Maybe work out the kinks there, decide if he wants to call them ‘coloreds’ or ‘niggra’s’. Style guide stuff…