I am not outraged that ABC News caved to leftist pressure and canceled Andrew Breitbart’s participation in their election eve coverage. The network that routinely suppressed inconvenient climate-gate stories, was American-phobic when it covered opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, and anti-Arizonian in its depictions of illegal immigration, was unlikely to be stalwart in defending the scourge of dishonest news media.
I’m also not outraged that ABC provably lied about its betrayal of every possible principle of good behavior and non-biased reporting in dealing with Breitbart. They’re part of the so-called mainstream media. Lies, betrayal and bias are how they roll.
And let’s face it: Andrew Breitbart’s very existence is a clear and present danger to outlets like ABC. He understands their dishonesty better than anyone I know–understands, I mean, not just the fact of it, but the way of it, its hows and subtleties. He has sworn to bring the msm edifice down around the ears of its hunkered, outmoded, frightened and irrelevant inhabitants. And he is in the process of successfully building a shiny new edifice–the Big sites, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, Big Government, Big Peace: a paradigm to replace the one he plans to destroy.
All things considered (to coin a phrase), if I were ABC News, I’d want to silence Breitbart too. No, it’s not outrageous at all.
What I do find outrageous is the failure of the alternative media– especially Fox News–to give full coverage to Breitbart’s story. In the thick of the brawl, with the exception of the righteous and hilarious Greg Gutfeld, Breitbart was not given a single Fox forum from which to fight back. (Glenn Beck later gave ABC what they deserved but on his Premiere radio show, not Fox.) The moral Lilliputians at MediaMatters had good reason to crow that they had temporarily tied the Breitbart giant down–and Fox News was simply wrong to give them that opportunity.
Fox, I suspect, is still stewing over Breitbart’s handling of the Shirley Sherrod video. I won’t parse that whole business here, but Bill O’Reilly clearly felt burned when he attacked Sherrod on air before Breitbart fully clarified the context of her remarks. O’Reilly, as you would expect of him, manfully corrected his mistake at once. Less properly, he also excoriated Breitbart, inviting media observer Bernie Goldberg on The Factor to call Andrew a “villain.”
But O’Reilly’s own mistake in attacking Sherrod proves that, in a 24/7 business, humans are going to err. Breitbart corrected himself just as quickly and just as honestly as O’Reilly did. To blacklist him from one of the few major TV outlets where he’s allowed to state his case hurts not just Breitbart but the cause of truth.
Because that’s what is at issue here. Like Fox News itself, Breitbart’s Bigs are an essential front in the furious battle now being waged for the heart and soul of the American news business. In that battle, the two sides are fighting for different things. Judging by NPR’s firing of Juan Williams and the vicious campaign to silence Breitbart, the left is fighting to censor and demonize their opposition so that their single narrative can dominate the air, as of old.
The right, conversely, is battling for news media in which all sides might state their case and let the best argument win. Breitbart is an honorable, worthy and highly effective fighter in that battle. Fox and other fair-minded outlets should not allow the left to isolate him. He deserves all our support.