Over the past few days, Andrew Breitbart has hopped in front of various cameras and microphones to spin a paranoid fantasy about a "Get Breitbart" conspiracy allegedly involving -- or masterminded by -- congressman Anthony Weiner. He told Sean Hannity the following:
But I certainly did not like that he [Weiner] double-downed on the "this is about Breitbart" problem. I mean, if he's going to come up here and take some form of culpability here, he was party to a campaign for 72 hours that weekend to allow for the left-wing blogosphere including the DailyKos to accuse me of being the hacker.
If Weiner made any reference to Breitbart during this time period, I've not been able to discover it. I've spoken to two writers for The Daily Kos who, during this period, wrote stories about Breitbart's shady sources. Neither of them had ever communicated with Weiner.
(As for your truly: I've never knowingly communicated with anyone connected with Anthony Weiner.)
The Kos stories about Breitbart's sources were motivated in large measure by Breitbart's own "tweets" expressing doubt about his main informant, whose real name he did not know. For some time, the informants had been involved in a concerted group effort to cyberstalk and harass various individuals who followed Weiner's twitter feed.
It is worth noting that one of the Kos writers was previously the subject of false stories run on Breitbart's site.
Before Weinergate occurred, Andrew Breitbart rarely appeared on my radar. (As readers know, the "new media" figures I most despise are Arianna Huffington and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, pictured here
as Carmen Miranda.) Although Breitbart's name showed up in several previous posts, his hijinx rarely seemed very interesting.
Frankly, I should have paid more attention to Andrew Breitbart. I did not appreciate the depth of his belief in outlandish conspiracy theories; at times, he makes Alex Jones seem rational. Example
America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but simply shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.
Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television. For decades the left understood the importance of education, art, and messaging. Oprah Winfrey gets it. David Geffen gets it. President Barack Obama gets it. Bono gets it. Even Corey Feldman gets it. But the right doesn't. For decades the right felt the Pentagon and the political class and simple common sense could win the day. They were wrong.
Thus, if Oprah Winfrey ever says anything Breitbart finds disagreeable, we should blame godless Bolshevism.
Alex Pareene, in Salon, paints a picture of a dangerous man
He gets defensive about his drinking, the review copies of his new book revealed that he's signed on to the idiotic conspiracy theory about Bill Ayers ghostwriting "Dreams From My Father," his sites are still smearing innocent people with deceptive videos as of a month ago...
Let's take a closer look at the Bill Ayers conspiracy theory
In a chapter titled, "Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Revolutionaries," Breitbart discusses the rise of conservative "citizen journalists" and purports to enumerate their various accomplishments. Apparently unfamiliar with the words "proved" and "reasonable," Brietbart lists among citizen journalist accomplishments that they "proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Barack Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father, was ghostwritten by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers."
This blog has looked into the Ayers allegation before
and found it to be based on nonsense. (Lord knows I wanted
it to be true.) The Ayers-as-ghostwriter conspiracy theory originated with one Jack Cashill:
PhiloComp.net has already offered this rebuttal to Cashill's earlier work. Cashill had attempted to use a piece of software called the Signature Stylometric System, designed to inquire into long-running authorship controversies, such as the ones involving William Shakespeare. The author of that program countered by noting that the same tool, used in the same way, found an even closer "match" between a text by Ayers and a text by Bill Clinton.
Greg Gelembiuk, the student who discovered the career-ending serial plagiarisms of Gerry Posner, determined that the same person wrote Obama's two books; in both works, the punctuation pattern does not match that found in Ayers' texts.
Breitbart's recklessness, narcissism, rages, paranoia, and sheer hubris are evident to all. He is not like Rush Limbaugh, an obnoxious individual who nevertheless knows when to control himself. Breitbart is destined to bring himself down; the overconfidence he now radiates will prove to be his undoing.
Breitbart, Moulitsas, Huffington: Meet the New Media. It's worse than the old media.Before you say it:
I argued -- and still argue -- that Weiner confessed falsely to the events of May 27th because he wanted to put the scandal behind him quickly, and he wanted to forestall Breitbart's threatened release of a very explicit photograph (which came out anyways). Am I guilty of pushing a conspiracy theory (as the National Review
No. Breitbart's threat, which is a matter of record (see the post below), does not constitute a conspiracy of any kind. Let's accord that much-abused word a reasonable exactitude of definition.