Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Death of a symbol

When Andrew Breitbart died suddenly at the age of 43, it not only shocked a lot of people, but led to very different views of what his death meant depending on the person's political persuasion. There were those who saw him as a hero and those who saw him as a villain. Not too many were neutral-- unless they paid no attention to politics.

I used to have Breitbart bookmarked as one of the places I'd look for right wing thinking (back when I also read WND); but finally couldn't stand either and deleted them only checking in when a big incident would arise. They were both good sources for far rightie thinking (for those who call it thinking).

Breitbart put out the ACORN YouTubes showing the stupidity with which some staffers addressed those coming into their offices, where discussing using underage prostitutes had the staffer acting as though it was an everyday occurrence to hear such (and suggest child credits be applied for). It gave right wingers an excuse to say-- see I told you so-- and left wingers to argue it was not representative and manipulated-- a trap.  While tapes like that are definitely stings of a sort, the obviously poorly prepared and trained staffer had to say what was said even if it was edited to make it as bad as possible. ACORN learned (I hope) from it as they took their lumps.

Breitbart routinely used tapes that were cut and spliced to make things look how he wanted them to be. He didn't though usually do the splicing. He just put them out without research on the truth of the edited version-- so long as they played to his prejudices. He considered himself a conduit but one only for his agenda.

That was Breitbart, an associate and friend of Drudge, one who helped start Huffington Post. One who evidently was putting together a program where he would debate Anthony Weiner on CNN... Yes, the same Weiner whose press conference he tried to hijack and who he outed as a misuser of his own sexuality online. Can anybody say Weiner hadn't done what he did? We didn't like losing an important voice in our own causes, but Weiner brought that on himself.

I remember seeing Breitbart every now and again on Bill Maher, and he was actually pretty likeable there-- as are a few other righties even like Rep. Issa *boo hiss*.  Something about the Maher format leads them to discuss things in a way that benefits any who are intelligent and don't stick to the phony laugh and smile at every salient point made by Maher-- as in ha... ha... ha! as they ignore the points and repeat Republican talking points. Breitbart wasn't one to repeat. He listened to what was said and came back with his own agenda, an agenda in which he believed and voiced pretty well.

Because he said something big was coming March 1st, something big enough to cause Obama to lose the November election, his death on that day has also led the nutcase fringe to do their usual thing.

In hushed tones of paranoia, they are suggesting it might've been assassination-- although that idea is just thrown out for the non-thinkers to latch onto-- just like the birthers throw out their accusations. Now the idea that any videos of Obama in college associating with left wing extremists will matter to anybody who isn't already a hater or bigot would only be taken seriously by those who are desperate to get Obama out of office. The people that Breitbart would have impressed are the same ones who will be eating up Sheriff Arpaio's recent press conference that shows the sheriff to be a birther (as if we had doubts).

I didn't cheer Breitbart's death for a lot of reasons even though he certainly isn't someone whose philosophy or way of operating I felt was admirable.  Some of the reasons I didn't feel satisfaction is he was a human being, had a wife and four children. Unless toxicology shows something more, he wasn't doing anything so bad for his health that many haven't lived into their 80s doing the same. He was living what he believed was right (wrong or not, I really do think he believed in his positions); and I know a lot like that who aren't of my political persuasion. I don't wish bad on them nor do I feel happy when bad happens to them.

When I read the above article about his last hour, his passion for politics right up to the end, I saw that as a good thing. Too bad he wasn't more honorable but maybe to him he was. Maybe someday he would have seen the light about his right wing positions.

Admire Breitbart?  Nope. Like his tactics?-- Nope. But relish anybody dying at 43, I'd rather the right wing stuck to that kind of nastiness.  I consider it a tragedy, when someone that young and with a family, dies so suddenly. I didn't know until this that Orson Bean was his father-in-law. I used to like Orson Bean when he was on game shows. I didn't know anything about his politics and for that matter, still do not. I do know he loved his son-in-law as he spoke of it after the death.

You know in the end, it's never about the Breitbarts, nor the Limbaughs nor the Palins. It's always about those who cheer what they already want to hear. In a lot of ways these people in the center, the symbols, they are as much created by the mob as they created it. If you read history, that kind of mentality has always been with us. The symbol is just a symbol-- and if the mob changed its ways, the symbol would change!

If you are okay with some tough language, check out the following piece by Matt Taibbi. Especially the update of what he got from right wing haters after he wrote his own Breitbart obituary.  He titled it something that I don't use for language in this blog-- so be warned. But his piece is excellent on the man and the kind of people who helped create his fame.


Paul said...

Breitbart made people nervous. he was right on in some things despite what people may say. In other things he wasn't. Ariana Huffington knew him well and worked with him. Despite their diametrically opposed political philosophies, she admired and respected him.

Taradharma said...

I loved the piece Matt wrote - I had read it earlier. ANd then I really loved how he went balls out after getting disgusting threatening emails.

I had no idea who Breitbart was before his death: until I was reminded of the hit pieces he did on some political figures and ACORN. No man should die so young, but he seemed a pretty messed up person.

robin andrea said...

I really appreciated reading that Taibbi piece. I never liked Breitbart. I like honest and civil discussions when there is a difference of opinions. Otherwise, I bow out. His brand of contentiousness was creepy and never raised the level of discussion to where it could and should be.

Darlene said...

I didn't celebrate Breitbart's death, but I didn't mourn him either. He was a vile man that used lies and distortion to achieve his end. That type of dishonesty that he and Fox news use disgusts me.

Ingineer66 said...

SO I guess you guys don't like Michael Moore or Keith Olberman either?

Rain Trueax said...

I stopped watching Olbermann in favor of Ed Schultz. Schultz is hard hitting too but doesn't seem as angry.

Moore irked me when he did the ambush on Charlton Heston on guns. I didn't agree with Heston but he was this dignified old man who reminded me of my father-in-law and Moore ambushed him in a way I didn't admire. Sometimes I agree with Moore and other times not but what can you say he has deliberately edited to be untrue by the time it's finished as Breitbart had done. That speech of Sherrod was deliberately put together to deny the actual truth of what she said. Obama's people reacted too quickly to it but it cost her her job on a lie created with editing. I don't think you can bring up the same thing for Moore even though I don't always agree with his positions.

Ingineer66 said...

That is exactly what Moore does. Have you seen Fahrenheit 911? He makes it look like the Bush Family was friends with Osama Bin Ladin. He twists things around like that on all his movies.

Rain Trueax said...

No, I have not seen that film. But I know that there are questions about why the bin Laden family was whisked out of the country, why Bush called off getting Osama at Tora Bora. You explain it. I don't try to but I know the questions have to be there. I have seen other films by Moore though and do NOT see what Breitbart did with his.

I hope you read my next blog on Romney. That man has a lot of things to answer for but you don't seem interested in those. Like how we fight a war with Iran as he so readily says he will jump into. We might go to war but Obama doesn't seem to relish it as Romney does.

And what else the righties want is scary for women especially!

Paul said...

To know Romney is not to know Romney. To me he is like a chameleon.