The Mirror

Breitbart News’ international ‘bureau’ expansion continues

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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In February, Breitbart News announced the lofty international expansion of the empire by announcing London and Texas bureaus. London and Texas go well together. So how about adding a California bureau?

This morning it announced just that, a California bureau. A bureau would seem to indicate a physical space somewhere in the nation’s Golden State. A place where employees convene and meet around the water cooler to chat about the latest on the Kardashians, the finale of How I Met Your Mother, or some tea party event in Beverly Hills (no, not really on this last one). In Texas, there is no such space. But in California, Breitbart‘s intrepid spokesman Kurt Bardella explains, there is an actual space. Asked if there would be an office in LA, he replied, “Yes to LA, yes to space there — it’s an office.”

Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak will head up the California bureau as editor. The South Africa-born journalist and former congressional hopeful was previously editor-in-chief and in-house counsel for the site. Jon Fleishman, who in 2012 was awarded the “Andrew Breitbart Blogger of the Year” award by the Right Online convention, will be the bureau’s Politics Editor.

Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who last week had absolutely nothing to say about the recent fiasco in Texas in which the news site allegedly charged a tea party group upwards of 7K to have one journalist and a camera crew come and cover their event, had lots of precious things to say about the new California bureau. It appears Bannon will speak in press releases on mundane topics.

“For years, California has been written-off by conservatives as too far past the point of return, but the truth is every single day there are stories worth telling about the successes of the conservative movement in California and the failures of the left-wing establishment,” Bannon said in a release. “Breitbart California is about telling not just those stories, but showcasing the impact and influence the Golden State has in our culture, technology and economy. From the growing libertarian movement at the heart of Silicon Valley to a Republican win at City Hall in San Diego, there is a fundamental shift taking shape and Breitbart News will be here to chronicle it.”

Okay, so will they “chronicle” it or will they charge political groups for their stellar coverage? Who knows?

Larry Solov, President and CEO of Breitbart News, had the most heartfelt comments in the release, conjuring up memories of the late Andrew Breitbart, who died two years ago. “Andrew Breitbart and I grew up in Los Angeles, and even as kids, were proud Angelinos and Californians,” he said. “The well-being of this state, not to mention the Dodgers, was always near and dear to our hearts. As adults, we would often lament to each other, ‘How do you screw up the greatest place on earth?’  We’ll be examining that question and many others at Breitbart California, while never losing optimism that this state can still be a beacon and exemplar of freedom and prosperity.  It’s with that optimism that we launch this new vertical from Los Angeles, where we founded Breitbart News.”

They list a bunch of people they refer to as California’s “most prominent political and cultural voices” who will provide content for this week’s launch of Breitbart California. Naturally they include Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and FNC host Greg Gutfeld (who lives in New York City, was born in San Mateo, Calif. and graduated from Berkeley). Others: House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), a few GOP gubernatorial candidates and more. The 85-year-old actor, Orson Bean, once a regular panelist on the game show To Tell The Truth, a love interest on Desperate Housewives, and the first cousin twice removed to President Calvin Coolidge, is on the contributor list for the debut. Most notably, his daughter is Susie Breitbart, the widow of Andrew Breitbart.

The “team” includes: Jim Pinkerton and Abigail Fox on technology; Chris Street on economics/finance; Kate O’Hara on “Catholicism in California”; and Adelle Nazarian as an Editorial Assistant.

The release says Breitbart California will collaborate with the Claremont Institute and Pacific Research Institute for its coverage.