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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Breitbart’

Breitbart Takes Times’ Sloppy Seconds

randpaulWell, well, well, looks like Rand Paul will take his weekly column to a new home that values his unique brand of journalistic integrity. Just hours after he was dropped by the Washington Times, Sen. Paul (R-KY) has been picked up by Breitbart News. In an article that seemed blithely unaware of any “plagiarism scandal” that might have marred the good Senator’s name, Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow welcomed Paul to the site and called him “an avowed reformer.”

In the piece, a Paul spokesman said the Senator was “pleased to partner with Breitbart News and looks forward to the new, wider audience for his columns.” Marlow likewise suggested that the move would help expand Paul’s voice, claiming that “has surpassed websites such as Politico, the Daily Beast, and The Washington Times, according to web traffic analytics firm Alexa.”

Hm, well at least we can all agree that this is a move Andrew Breitbart himself would be pleased with. As to whether it helps Rand Paul move past this scandal, we’ll just have to see.

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Love Him, Despise Him, There’s an Earnest Quality to Ben Shapiro’s Walk Toward the Fire

shapiroBreitbart News Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro isn’t necessarily an angry person, but he plays one on TV, on Twitter and on a new site he’s spearheading called TruthRevolt, a new media outlet he hopes will revolutionize American media as we know it. Quick translation? The 29-year-old Editor-in-Chief wants to destroy the left, as in destroy the advertising dollars that go to what he perceives are left-wing media outlets such as ABC, NBC, CBS and others. In essence, he wants to be the right-wing version Media Matters. An Andrew Breitbart disciple in every cell of his being, he reels off quotes from his deceased mentor with ease. Thanks to some appearances on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” he’s also gotten death threats and keeps a shotgun in his home. By phone, Shapiro is actually quite sweet — he even invited me to Shabbat dinner at his home when and if I’m ever in LA. It’s an offer he says he makes to any new acquaintance.

Now in the fight of his life, he took time on his hilly drive to a Fox News appearance this week to speak with me at length by phone. Amid the anger, we discovered a softer side to Shapiro that isn’t on the warpath.

Why did you decide to do this? Did the conservative gods give you the nod?

B.S.: “As far as the conservative gods, I’m not sure what conservatives gods are, but Andrew Breitbart, one of my mentors and Andrew Horowitz, who I’ve known since I was 17, were big on using whatever tactics are at our disposal to make the left live up to its own standards. When it comes to utilization of market power, to make a difference in the political debate, the right has for a long time been quite shy.”

Why is that?

B.S.: “I think that it is largely because the right sort of believes there was a quasi détente on the question of whether advertisers should be held responsible by consumers for their advertising choices. The right was wrong about that. There was no détente. Interest groups on the left have been doing what we’re talking about for years. Conservatives consumers don’t have anyone serving a similar function on the right.”

 Who are the worst offenders and where is Shapiro’s softer side? Read more

Why Breitbart’s Lee Stranahan Really Quit

i-quitBefore the crack of dawn Thursday, Lee Stranahan, a writer for had already pushed the news that he was leaving the site. As the sun rose, he was getting ready to board a flight for the Middle East to cover the plight of  Syrian Christian refugees.

So why did Stranahan, a disciple of the late Andrew Breitbart in the truest sense, quit?

In the story published on his personal website with the headline, “Bye Bye Breitbart: I Quit and Thanks,” he explained that he resigned from Wednesday night.

“Why did I quit?” he wrote in his piece. “Circumstances led to a situation where I felt  I couldn’t do my best work there.  Honestly, it’s for reasons I believe Andrew would have approved of. Andrew and I shared a passion for covering big stories that the media overlooked and exposing the left; work that I plan to continue.”

We asked for more details. Read more

The Cult of Andrew Breitbart Rages On

Whenever Andrew Breitbart surfaces on it’s always a little eerie as he’s no longer with us. But for those who write for the site that carries on his legacy, he’s still very much alive, almost with an Elvis quality.

Yesterday writer Lee Stranahan displayed “never-been-seen footage” about Breitbart’s close friend, Brandon Darby, an activist and informant for the FBI. It’s a nine-minute clip for the new documentary film Informant.

“I was the second person to find out what had happened,” Stranahan told FishbowlDC in a phone interview, immediately bringing up Breitbart’s death. “Brandon called Andrew and the police answered the phone. That’s never a good sign. I had eight hours all night of not knowing what was going on. As the night goes on, you know this isn’t good. I sneaked in the last line something about Andrew’s kids.” The line: “Here’s hoping that for the sake of all our heirs, including the four children Andrew loved so much and left behind, that politicians and conservative activists will listen and learn.”

The cult of personality is real. “It existed after his death [rather] than before,” he said. “After his death suddenly everyone loved Andrew. I met him when he didn’t have a lot of friends.”

Stranahan said he wrote his piece in the middle of the night, when he does most of his writing, “It’s difficult when you write something like that because it’s very cliché,” he said of the line about his children. “Brandon wanted to write that piece. I kind of put it off until the last minute. As I was writing it I’m like, this is kind of a big deal.I didn’t want to put any reference to me in there at all. This is really bigger. It is really weird when it comes up. I just had this sense of there’s not going to be many more of these.”

Read more

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)

Jetsetter: The Week’s Taegan Goddard is back from vacation in Morocco with a new post, as promised, at The Cloakroom, and he admits  should’ve sent us all a postcard while he was away! “Reports of my early retirement are premature. I made the editorial decision that blogging at The Week about the political affairs of Morocco on vacation might not meet readers’ expectations,” he wrote. A worried tipster wrote in yesterday wondering what was going on with The Cloakroom, as it seemed someone had shut the door and turned out the lights over the last few months—but, Goddard says all is well. Welcome back. He’s also got that relatively new Wonkwire blog at CQ Roll Call so he’s quite the busy bee.

The suit will go on: It doesn’t seem to have gotten a whole lot of attention, but last week a federal appeals court ruled that former Agriculture Department worker Shirley Sherrod can continue with her defamation lawsuit against the late Andrew Breitbart and aide Larry O’Connor. An appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to not dismiss the case, even though O’Connor says that the video of Sherrod that Breitbart published—which made it look like she was saying racist things when she wasn’t—was protected speech. The appeal was denied on a technicality and not the merit of the claim. As a result, it’s probably a disappointing ruling for some news organizations who’d argued in friend of the court briefs that DC’s anti-SLAPP statute (short for strategic lawsuits against public participation) should apply. The statute, though, didn’t become law until a month after Sherrod’s suit was filed.

Take a lesson, news execs: Andrew Sullivan has been on the move a lot lately. He went from The Atlantic to The Daily Beast and then, finally, to complete independence when he took his insanely popular blog The Dish and let it stand on its own, relying on readers and a metered-content and subscription payment processor to pay the bills. There are no ads. Well, this week, after six months of an independent Dish, Sullivan says he’s got almost 27,000 paying subscribers and that the site is on track to hit revenue targets for the year—targets that are almost as high as its yearly budget at The Daily Beast. And, if everyone who runs up against the paywall after clicking-through on five free articles would subscribe, that would immediately double the number of paying readers. The real test, though, is going to be when those first 27,000 are up for renewal after a year. Will they click the pay button again? What’s most interesting about this though is that Sullivan is being completely transparent about the finances, and that seems to work in his favor. He’s posted all kinds of charts, graphs and conversion rates for the first six months, stuff most news orgs guard better than they do national security secrets. We hate to say time will tell to see if this experiment will work out for Sullivan, but in this case it really will.

Morning Chatter


IT’s THE LITTLE THINGS: “My favorite French pastry — the lowly pain au raisin” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox, on vacation in Paris.  Hey Olivier, next time maybe put this on a pretty French plate?

“Local volunteer on media bus in Cape Town welcomes White House ‘press corpse.’ There’s a commentary there somewhere.” — CBS News White House Correspondent Peter Maer.

Pre-prison sighting: Jesse Jackson Jr.

“SPOTTED – Jesse Jackson Jr spending his final weekend as a free man at Joy of Motion Dance Studios watching his daughter. #DMV #RIGHTNOW” — Mark Wilkins, a.k.a. “Marky Mark” and D.C. paparazzi.


“I really miss Andrew. I want to work for him again.” — WMAL and‘s Larry O’Connor, who was referring to the late Andrew Breitbart.

The Observer

“It’s disappointing to see so much vandalism on Chicago’s monument to Abraham Lincoln, including a cock and balls on Abe’s coattails.” — Michael E. Grass, founding editor of DCist, formerly of WCP, Roll Call and others. Thanks for this, Grass! What would the world possible do without knowing this?

Speaking of Twitter shockers…

“There appears to be some men in my Twitter stream who seem to be confusing the word cunt for the word ma’am.” — MSNBC Uppers groupie and comedian Lizz Winstead.

Maybe something he should’ve kept to himself?

“A girl asked me last night how much it’d take for me to cheat on my gf….no.” — Media Research Center multimedia reporter Joe Schoffstall.

Convo Between a Journo and not a Baldwin Brother

Mother Jones Co-Editor Clara Jefferey: “Ok @AdamBaldwin is ridiculously cast to type, yet still good, in Firefly.”

Actor Adam Baldwin: “Hittin’ the sauce again, Clara?”

Clara Jefferey: “Look who can’t take a (truly felt) compliment!”

Finally, something funny 

“Shout out to the chick doing the worm in the middle of U Street. The best part was when police officers yelled at her to get out of the road. Ah, this city is wonderful.” — AnnaMaria Di Pietro, producer at ABC7News/NewsChannel8.


Something painfully unimportant about turkey sausage and some other weird stuff…

Read more

Afternoon Reading List 05.30.13

The state of conservative media  Oliver Willis, a professional Fox News hater for Media Matters, laid out the current state of conservative media in a story for The Daily Banter. Well his take on it, anyway. The piece was very much in Willis’ typical style, bashing the right-wing media and conservative movement. Willis said that Rush Limbaugh is still conservative media’s “most dominant voice,” though his audience is fading due to his lack of online activity and aging radio audience. According to Willis, he is not only influential to his audience, but Limbaugh is also influential among right-wing pols. Where Limbaugh falls short in online activity, Willis said Matt Drudge and Glenn Beck are both excelling on the web, though some of Drudge’s credibility has been lost due to his fondness for “conspiracy theories from 9/11 truthers.” The piece also evaluates the new generation of right-wing media, including and Michelle Malkin. Willis calls this new breed of conservative media “a gaggle of clowns” and says it “could be the best thing to happen to the left.” Though Willis dismisses as a non-serious news outlet, he does credit Andrew Breitbart’s original mission for the website. Under his leadership, he said, the site was “evil, but a good idea” and that Breitbart “knew what the hell he was doing.” Since Breitbart’s passing, however, Willis said the site has taken a turn for the worse. Not trying hiding his obvious personal bias, Willis concedes that he is “a liberal who wants conservatism to fail.” So while he may not the best person to evaluate the current state of the conservative media, he does give a rather detailed analysis of the right-wing media from the perspective of the left.

See our second and third story choices… Read more

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things we Think you Ought to Know…)

Will on the Hill – Monday night was the annual “Will on the Hill” event for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. It’s an annual event that gathers politicians, journalists and other D.C. insiders to put on a performance that pairs elements of Williams Shakespeare with modern-day references.

According to their website, “proceeds from the event support STC’s many education, artistic and community outreach programs including in-school workshops and online learning resources that inspire new and diverse audiences and deepen the connection to classical theatre in learners of all ages.” One of the members of the cast was The Hill’s Managing Editor, Bob Cusack. Cusack tweeted this startling photo of himself moments before taking the stage. Turns out, acting is in Cusack’s blood. He tells FBDC, “It was my first time performing in Will on the Hill and brought back memories of when my parents had an off, off, off Broadway theater company in New York City. Last night I did Shakespeare, but back then it was Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk and Agatha Christie plays.” Aside from Jack, Cusack was an extra “Clear and Present Danger” and “Game Change.”

The Tea Party says farewell to a longtime supporter. Read more

Malkin Wins Breitbart Award

The Heritage Foundation and the Franklin Center awarded the 2nd annual Breitbart Award to blogger Michelle Malkin at a ceremony in Orland Thursday night. It probably helped that Malkin was also the keynote speaker at the event. It’s an award given to a journalist who best represents the ideals of the late Andrew Breitbart.

While I’m SURE it’s prestigious award and not to take anything away from Ms. Malkin’s accolade, it does seems there are a hell of a lot of awards out there these days. And it gives me an idea.  Read more

Boyle’s Taco And Other Scenes From Breitbart News‘s CPAC Fiesta

Yes, another CPAC post…

The Breitbart Embassy along with NewsMax on Friday hosted a fiesta with a real life mariachi band after the second day of CPAC. The party also featured a full buffet of tacos and two separate bars with beer, sangria and margaritas.

Matt Boyle of Breitbart News, and a perpetual point of FBDC fascination, was seen eating two tacos with nothing but meat on them. This, despite tables laid out with elaborate salsas, sour cream, rice and beans.

At around midnight, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist took over one of the bars and started serving shots.

Notables: Breitbart News‘s Larry Solov, Kerry Picket and Michael Patrick Leahy; CQ Roll Call‘s Jonathan Strong; National Review‘s John Fund and Betsy Woodruff; BuzzFeed‘s John Stanton; Brian Darling, counsel to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); and GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia (yes, they let him in, despite his group not being allowed at CPAC).

Quotable: “The most diversity here is the mariachi band.”– a partygoer, noting the mostly male, mostly white crowd.

More photos… Read more