Andrew would not approve.
When Andrew Breitbart died unexpectedly March 1, 2012, conservatives around the world mourned the loss of a fearless general in the political war against the progressive liberal agenda. They also wondered what would become of his fledgling news organization that so many had become dependent on. With talent like Dana Loesch, Larry O’Connor, and many others, it seemed that Andrew’s legacy would hopefully be in good hands. Sadly, that has not proven to be true.
After Andrew’s death, the board took over, headed by Larry Solov and Steve Bannon. I remember it was not long after that when FoxNews stories started appearing at the bottom of the revamped website. For a website created by a guy “committed to the destruction of the old media guard,” it seemed oddly out of place.
The first real hint that all was not well came in December 2012, when radio host and then-BigJournalism editor Dana Loesch sued Breitbart Inc to be allowed out of a contract she said didn’t even exist anymore. According to the suit, her contract had lasped, and the higher-ups had failed to renew it. But Bannon and Solov were refusing to let her go to work with others, telling everyone that she was still under a contract they claimed had auto-renewed by default. Meanwhile, they were refusing to publish her work, leaving her in a state of limbo. The suit was finally settled by the board agreeing to allow Dana to leave the organization. She has since found a home and a successful tv program over at Glenn Beck’s BlazeTv.
Dana was not the only one who had trouble leaving the organization. Both Lee Stranahan and Larry O’Connor had trouble getting out, with both of them seeing articles squashed for a time period before they were finally allowed to leave. Lee wound up in a public twitter fight with Breitbart.com’s Brandon Darby over his departure. Larry has found a home at DC’s WMAL, & is now editing and writing for IJ Review.
Personally, the final straw came in August 2013. My cousin, an elementary school principal & strong Christian conservative, was being slandered/libeled all over the main stream press. A parent at the school took a new policy way out of context, and ran to the local press instead of the school board. “School Principal Forces Kids to Bow Before Him!” all the headlines screamed. Soon, the story was viral. My cousin was ordered by the school board to keep his mouth shut, and no one was paying attention to the other parents or people like me who were trying to defend him and explain the situation. Drudge picked up the story, and Breitbart.com’s John Nolte published it as a re-hashed hit piece on my cousin. When I called him out repeatedly, on their site, on twitter, and even on my own site, I was met with silence. When I contacted everyone affiliated with the site, I was again met with silence. I was stunned and disappointed. How could those responsible for Andrew’s legacy do such a half-assed job and completely swallow the same media narrative that Andrew had fought to dismantle?
The story at Buzzfeed earlier this month did not surprise me. According to Buzzfeed, several of the editors and reporters at Breitbart.com had been given the impression that Donald Trump had bought and paid for the higher-ups. Anti-Trump stories were being killed and primarily favorable Trump stories were being allowed through. After Erickson uninvited the Donald , all stories on the RedState Gathering were to be screened by Bannon and Solov before publishing. This is not the first time Breitbart.com writers have been given directives on what to or not to cover. Bannon denied it all, but the site continues to cover Trump in glowing terms, despite his implosion. John Nolte (yes, the same John Nolte) was on twitter sub-tweeting and sparring with Ben Howe over the situation.
At the end of the day, it seems that Breitbart.com is no longer worthy to bear the name of one of the fiercest media critics in my lifetime.
Andrew would not approve.