'Can Breitbart Possibly Survive?'

More

It's plain to me that the real culprit in the Shirley Sherrod racial smear is Andrew Breitbart, who orchestrated the whole thing. Tom Vilsack, the media, etc. have hardly covered themselves in glory. But the purposeful deceit propagated by Breitbart is a mitigating factor for everyone but Breitbart. I have to agree with David Frum, though. It's rather amazing that Breitbart isn't being singled out for greater condemnation:

On the phone on the evening of July 20, a friend asked me: "Can Breitbart possibly survive?" I could only laugh incredulously. I answered: "Of course he'll survive, and undamaged. The incident won't matter at all." 
 
There will be no apology or statement of regret for distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone. There will be not even a flutter of interest among conservatives in discussing Breitbart's role.

I hope that isn't true, although I fear it might be. Frum goes on to condemn conservatives like Rich Lowry and Glenn Beck for connecting the episode to the NAACP and the Obama administration, even as they (quite honorably, I thought) stated in no uncertain terms that Sherrod had been smeared. Beck's analogizing Sherrod's speech to a confessional offered at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting struck me as particularly astute, because it captures perfectly the element of emotional vulnerability inherent in any such endeavor--and thereby illustrates why what Breitbart has done is so appalling.

What I'm especially interested to see, though, is not so much how conservative commentators respond, but how advertisers on Breitbart's site, BigGovernment.com respond to this sort of race baiting--advertisers like Progressive Insurance, which is prominently featured on the site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In