Are you nuts? What were you thinking? You must know who this wingnut agent provocateur is. We're all for a diversity of opinion, but Arianna, THERE ARE MINIMAL EDITORIAL STANDARDS for any contributor to a news publication. These include, first, that the contributor shall not knowingly and repeatedly TELL LIES. Second, the contributor shall not direct, participate in, fund, or encourage CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. Third, the contributor shall not be an ideological rat-bastard wingnut SKUNK. Okay, that's my personal "rule of thumb," but Arianna, if your aim is to increase readership and not repulse your current readers by posting that ugly ferret-face Breitbart mug with the eeevil slit eyes to pollute your front page, then (see headline) you should NEVER have invited the SKUNK provocateur in the first place! You've rustled up those flies and mosquitos over at our favorite wingnut rag, The Daily Caller, and gotten them all ABUZZ. Our buddy "Digger" Jim has found a new cause célebre. He has a point.
I mean, c'mon. Banning Breitbart from the Huff Post (after you invited him in) for saying some nasty things about the progressive group Color of Change is a totally invalid excuse that amounts to muzzling him. Free speech is free speech, and ad hominems aren't the exclusive province of any one person or side. In Breitbart's case, they're his coin of the wingnut realm, for Chrissakes!
You cannot plead ignorance and say you don't know what this guy is about. As Greg Sargent of the WaPo Plum Line notes, "for many liberals, Breitbart has been revealed by the Shirley Sherrod affair and other dust-ups to be a particularly toxic and dishonest figure that has no journalistic standards whatsoever. It’s hard to see what he adds in value, beyond ginning up a lot of comments and traffic and noise." He's right on target. Color of Change points out in its vehement protest of Breitbart joining the Huff Post, that he is a "notorious liar and race baiter” who “poses as a journalist and then uses his position to gin up race-based fears, protect racists, and demonize Black political leaders and institutions," adding:
We agree that civil, honest dialogue is important — which is exactly why the Huffington Post should not elevate someone like Breitbart, who consistently lies and undermines honest debate.I smell AOL behind this latest Breitbart kerfuffle and his second banning from a "legitimate" MSM media outlet, the first being ABC News dropping him as an election night commentator after an avalanche of similar protests. The guy's a right wing provocateur par excellence, a polarizing figure that spells ratings, or hits to the suits in the MSM councils. If they could have done this under the radar, they would have. Hopefully, this latest Breitbart flareup will result in his permanent banishment from legitimate media outlets. No one wants to silence him. It's just that his wingnut ravings belong with his kind in their echo chamber hives. I'm told Tucker Swanson Carlson is hiring.
This isn’t about Breitbart being a conservative, or whether the Huffington Post allows him to post on their site; it’s about the decision of its editors to give him top billing, while he repeats falsehoods that have been debunked. This is about whether or not the Huffington Post considers itself a credible news outlet that chooses to adhere to any basic editorial standards when it decides what to elevate. The Huffington Post claims to have a policy about posts being subject to removal for being untruthful -- but they haven’t applied that to Breitbart.
Andrew Breitbart has repeatedly twisted the truth and used deceptively edited videos to take down black leaders and institutions on false premises — as was the case with Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP, and ACORN. And when caught, he doesn’t apologize — he attacks those who seek to hold him accountable. For black Americans, this man is dangerous — not on his own, but when treated as legitimate by organizations like the Huffington Post that some have come to trust.