I want to commend Salon’s Joan Walsh for having the courage to watch and write about our new movie, “Hating Breitbart.”
As its title suggests, the film exposes a media machine of hatred aimed at Andrew Breitbart and any outspoken voice that dares to challenge the institutional left.
The film names names, including Joan’s. She shows up in the film a few times, most notably when writer Dan Riehl calls her out as a hypocrite on issues of race.
Despite her position in the film as one of the prominent merchants of hatred, she deserves some measure of credit for acknowledging the charge, an acknowledgment that speaks to the severity and veracity of the accusation.
Unfortunately, that’s where my praise of Joan Walsh must end, because her review of the film is both loose with facts (to put it charitably) and burdened with irony.
Thankfully, I’m a fan of irony, so let’s begin there.
The premise of Walsh’s response to our documentary is that, from her perspective, it reveals Andrew Breitbart as the one consumed by hatred, and not people like her or other progressives like Max Blumenthal, John Podesta, Andre Carson, or John Lewis, who are all singled out in the film for their destructive roles as media assassins. (None of these other people have had the courage to respond to the charges against them in the film, so we’ll just focus on the “problematic nature” of Joan’s writing. The flaws in her article serve as a teachable moment that proves the primary thesis of the film.)
It’s not hard to blow a hole in Joan’s claim that she’s not consumed by hatred. Just look at the words she uses in her review. She describes Andrew’s passing this way: “Breitbart dropped dead of heart failure …” She describes the film thusly: “And that’s the through-line of ‘Hating Breitbart’: How one man stood up to liberal bullies who tried to paint racist anti-Obama right-wingers as racists.” And she describes people critical of John Lewis’s disappointing and devastating complicity in propagating the N-word lie against the Tea Party as being “deranged.” Sure, no hatred there.
Dehumanizing language like this is but one of the tactics of the left’s machine of hatred.
For those unfamiliar with the machine, here’s how it works: Identify the target, freeze it, then attack it.
In the case of our film, the main “target” is Andrew Breitbart. He’s not alone in facing the wrath of the institutional left, but let’s focus on Andrew first.
The crew of “Hating Breitbart” spent two-plus years crisscrossing the nation with Andrew. We documented his experience rolling out the devastating ACORN story, featuring videos of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles capturing ACORN workers repeatedly offering to help them defraud the government by laundering cash from a child brothel, to be used to finance a fictional congressional campaign.
We documented Breitbart as he boldly defended the Tea Party against the race-libel told by Andre Carson and John Lewis — they accused 15 anti-Obamacare protesters of shouting the N-word at them 15 times. Andrew dramatically and singlehandedly sent the entire progressive movement running for the hills with his offer of $100,000 for any shred of evidence to support the toxic accusation. Needless to say, despite dozens of video cameras recording the events — including two held by Jesse Jackson Jr. — no evidence was forthcoming, and the $100,000 bounty went unclaimed.
We documented Andrew’s battle against the NAACP’s charges of racism, and how he shut them down by highlighting an NAACP audience’s approval of Shirley Sherrod’s admission of discriminating against a white farmer.
Perhaps best of all, we documented what I call the world’s most perfect story, Weinergate, wherein disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner accidentally tweeted a picture of his private parts, and then accused Breitbart of fabricating a hoax to smear his good name. Of course, Weiner would ultimately change his story and apologize to Breitbart. The rest, as you know, is history.
Yes, Andrew Breitbart posed a mortal threat to the progressive movement. He was a target that needed to be destroyed via character assassination. That’s where folks like Joan Walsh come into play.
Walsh and her ideological comrades called Breitbart “racist,” “crazy,” “rage-filled,” “an alcoholic,” “a coke-head” — any lie they could think of that might limit his effectiveness at countering their bullying.
Once the left has dehumanized a target, there’s no limit to the viciousness of the attack that can be aimed at that target. After all, the target is sub-human. Evil. Not worthy of humane treatment. So there is no critical thinking needed, no benefit of the doubt to which the target is entitled. All means are justified, because the end of furthering a progressive agenda puts one on the side of the angels in the minds of the Walshes of the world. Anyone who disagrees with her agenda is readily dismissed as a crazy, racist, rage-filled liar unworthy of being regarded as a human being.
Unfortunately, the tactics employed by Walsh and other progressives work, as can be seen by reading the comments beneath her “Hating Breitbart” review:
“I can quite candidly state that Breitbart was a dishonest piece of shit, and that the world is a cleaner place for him not being in it. :)”
“Joseph Goebbels, an apt role model for the likes of Andrew Breitbart.”
“The tragedy of Andrew Breitbart’s life is not that he died young at age 43, but that he didn’t die sooner.”
Nope. No hate there.
The same machine of hatred was aimed at the Tea Party. Weaponized progressive newsrooms churned out narrative after narrative suggesting that the Tea Party was racist or violent. Never mind that there was little to no evidence to support the claims. By the time civil rights pioneer John Lewis (forever disgraced in my eyes) and Andre Carson pushed their race libel against the Tea Party, who needed evidence?
That is why Andrew Breitbart felt such affinity for the Tea Party and vice-versa. They were being attacked at the same time by the same people. These attacks, and the machine of hatred that perpetrated them, is what informed Andrew’s righteous indignation. Joan Walsh, of course, disagrees. She’s convinced that Andrew’s indignation toward those who use race as a weapon was nothing more than unchecked rage.
But now that Andrew Breitbart is gone, hating on him isn’t as useful and doesn’t look as socially acceptable, just as in the wake of Ronald Reagan’s death, Reagan’s most vitriolic critics were falling all over themselves to praise his presidency. Call it a code among character assassins. That’s why, in perfect Podesta form, Joan uses the opportunity of reviewing the film to attack a living target, Tucker Carlson. She entitled her article “Tucker Carlson, you’re no Andrew Breitbart!”
Tucker has made himself a dangerous threat to the progressive movement by so devastatingly exposing Media Matters for America founder David Brock’s illegal gun scandal. Ever since then, progressives have been working overtime to freeze and attack him.
The best they can come up with so far is that “he’s no Andrew Breitbart,” and if that’s all they’ve got, Tucker doesn’t have much to worry about. To be sure, Tucker’s not Andrew Breitbart. He’s not trying to be. He’s Tucker, and Tucker is taking scalps all on his own, and in his own way.
The truth is, nobody is Andrew Breitbart. He was unique, which is what made him such a magnetic center of gravity in the conservative and libertarian movement.
People who loved Andrew could identify the best part of themselves in him, but they could also see another part of him that they would aspire to, be it his fierce loyalty, his jovial mischievousness, his playfulness, or his tireless role as a warrior. All of these qualities made Andrew Breitbart a great person — and a threat to everything the progressives hold dear.
That’s why they hated Breitbart. And that’s why, if you’re not sufficiently progressive, they hate you too.
Andrew Marcus is the director of “Hating Breitbart.”