Breitbart Brings Tea Party Minstrel Show To Town


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PHILLY IMC: Andrew Breitbart said he wanted to discredit the NAACP’s claims of racism within the Tea Party campaigns. So he smeared a black woman to do it. Tea Partiers coming to Independence Hall on July 31 want to show that the NAACP is wrong about the racism within their campaigns. And they have invited Andrew Breitbart to speak. The Tea Party Federation is the organization that ousted a racist from their ranks last week after a racist mock letter to Abraham Lincoln. They are also the organization that is sponsoring what they have called a “Uni-Tea” convention that is to include a number of black conservatives to diffuse the charges of racism seen during tea party rallies. Complicating things however, may be the inclusion of Andrew Breitbart as a speaker. The vitriolic, race-baiting conservative propagandist has come under fire for using doctored video footage to charge Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod as a racist in response to the much-talked about NAACP resolution calling on Tea Party activists to tea-party-racist-signs-07-white-slavery2.jpgdenounce the racist elements within their ranks. That eventually resulted in her firing until the full video was reviewed and it was learned that Breitbart’s spin on the video excerpt he posted on his website was that of a racist Sherrod admitting to discriminating against white farmers in 1986 was not true. In, truth it was of her speaking about racial reconciliation. MORE

THE NATION: In a way, we should be grateful to Breitbart. His hack job provided us with a perfect visual condensation of the racial paranoia that has animated the Tea Party since its inception. It’s the logic behind the equally fabricated Breitbart smear against ACORN; it’s what drives Glenn Beck to say that healthcare reform amounts to the “beginning of reparations” and what Rush Limbaugh signals when he accuses Obama of inflicting economic pain as a form of “payback.” And it’s the sentiment found in polls of Tea Party activists, 52 percent of whom say that “too much has been made of the problems facing black people.” But this story is older than the Tea Party, older than the current drove of right-wing demagogues. It’s the story that has been told to white middle- and working-class voters by the right since the Reagan administration in order to explain their dwindling paychecks and prospects: racism is over; it is minorities who now have too much power; they are stealing your jobs, your future. And with that insidious whisper (now a shout), the specter of reverse racism chases away the all-too-real and yet all-too-abstract forces of neoliberal teapartysign1sm1.jpgeconomic policy. Who can focus on the workings of contemporary global capitalism when the Zimbabwe-fication of America is nigh! Obama, of course, crystalizes this narrative, giving it agency, power, motive, a face to deface. MORE

BALTIMORE SUN: According to The New York Times, Mr. Breitbart “did issue a correction to his account, saying the incident ‘shows the imperfect nature of journalism,’ but said his mistakes had paled in comparison to those of the mainstream media.” Oh, really? Which ones? Daily newspapers make mistakes. They usually deal with the basic facts of stories — the title someone once held, the name of a suspect in a criminal matter — and corrections appear in print every day. Newspapers have had some reporters and columnists who made stuff up (years ago, a Washington Post reporter won a Pulitzer for a fabricated story) or copied the work of others. Those people were all fired. Had any producer at a local TV station, network or cable newsroom cobbled together a video like the one Mr. Breitbart posted of Ms. Sherrod, that producer would be among the nation’s unemployed today. That Mr. Breitbart associated his hatchet job on Shirley Sherrod with “the imperfect nature of journalism” suggests that he sees himself as a journalist. He’s not. The journalist has to prize above all else the truth, and presenting the truth in the public’s interest. Twisting the truth, editing video to make black look like white and up look like down — that’s the stuff of hocus-pocus and snake oil; it’s not the work of the journalist. MORE

HUFFINGTON POST: Andrew Breitbart has a job to do and he does it well. Breitbart’s job is to lie and distort the truth in order to advance a obamacare1.jpgright-wing agenda, embarrass liberals, and undermine the Obama administration. Breitbart is not a journalist, researcher, or pundit. He is a propagandist. He operates several websites (BigGovernment, BigJournalism, and BigHollywood), where he and other right-wing bloggers spew their political pornography. The articles that appear on these websites are contemporary versions of what historian Richard Hofstadter called, in a famous 1964 essay, the “paranoid style” of American politics practiced by extreme conservatives. What’s distressing is not that Breitbart does his job, but that the mainstream media and mainstream politicians, including the Obama Administration, take him seriously. The recent dust-up over the firing of federal Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, fueled by a doctored video on Breitbart’s website, is only the latest example of this. MORE

TEA PARTY EXPRESS: We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop! Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society? MORE

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