Sunday, July 25, 2010

About Andrew Breitbart

The Huffington Post published a wonderful article by Peter Dreier and Christopher Martin about Andrew Breitbart. After providing a detailed synopsis of the ACORN situation, which he manufactured, they ask some hard questions about the Sherrod case.

Clearly the Obama administration over-reacted, fearful, as a high-level official put it, of having the Sherrod story show up on Glenn Beck's Fox News show. Why they are so intimidated by Beck and his ilk is a mystery. Their followers, and those who identify with the Tea Party, represent no more than 15 percent of all voters. Moreover, very few of Beck's (or Limbaugh's) devotees would even consider voting for a Democrat. After all, they think Obama is a Marxist, a Muslim, and a foreigner. This is not a constituency that Obama and the Democrats are going to win over by appearing to be bipartisan or middle-of-the-road.

And if Obama and his inner circle are worried that Breitbart's and Beck's poison will spread from their base among right-wing zealots and start influencing "independent" and "swing" voters -- and thus help sway close elections toward Republican candidates -- then the best way to prevent that from happening is to fight back, and challenge their lies and distortions, not run away and hide, or capitulate, as they did by firing Van Jones, abandoning ACORN, and firing Shirley Sherrod.

Breitbart's credibility may or may not survive the Sherrod controversy. But what's important is whether responsible journalists -- as well as the Obama administration, the Democrats, and liberals and progressives -- learn some lessons from this episode.

Yes, acquiescence is not the correct response to the tricks and lies of the right. This is the beauty of the internet. Whether the main stream media, the White House or anyone else does the right thing, in the liberal blogging community you can be sure to hear the entire spectrum of opinions on everything from Shirley Sherrod to the War in Afghanistan.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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