Andrew Breitbart: A legacy of anger, recrimination, and propaganda

A year or so before Andrew Breitbart died, he and I had a short-lived and not terribly notable Twitter squabble. As was usual for him, it involved him insulting his adversary and claiming victory. I took it as an honor that he considered me enough of a threat to his ideological well-being to engage me, even if it was typical Breitbart- bombastic, angry, self-superior, and completely devoid of reason or rationality. For him, it was about emotion. That almost always meant anger and a cheap personal insult or three.

I normally endeavor not to speak ill of the dead, seeing as how they’re no longer around to defend themselves. In Breitbart’s case, it’s easy to make an exception. His devotion to his brand of “journalism”- more character assassination and propaganda than “news”- is one of the things responsible for our current collective discord. That his legacy is circling the drain is nothing if not satisfying. Karma, as I’ve heard it said, can be a real bitch.

Breitbart, along with Right-wing “luminaries” like Matt Drudge and Alex Jones, helped pioneer a journalistic trend in which objective truth was no longer the Prime Directive. The truth became what those Newt Gingrich called “low information voters” (and whom I’ve dubbed America’s Lowest Common Denominator © could be convinced of. Their success was based on the belief that truth, like anything else, can be manufactured and molded to fit whatever the narrative of the moment requires. Truth is fungible, and those so inclined can manipulate to bolster their case. That none of this is objectively true matters not at all…not when you control the narrative.

Everyone, even the most loathsome among us, has people in their life they love and who love them. Andrew Breitbart was no exception. Despite his abhorrent public persona, there are still those who look to him as a model for what they want to become. That anyone could for any reason see Breitbart as a role model, something to aspire to become, defies rational understanding and explanation.

Somewhere, Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite are spinning in their graves….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *