Whether you agree with this guy’s politics or not, it is worth knowing who Andrew Breitbart is. In the recent issue of WIRED, Noah Shachtman profiles someone who really does direct the major media discourse in the United States. I am sure lots of people heard about this story (and saw this video), but how many paid attention to this one?
Andrew Breitbart has been waiting 45 minutes for a filet mignon. He drums his fingers on the table in this plush Italian restaurant off Times Square, a place where the media types he regularly trashes used to flaunt their expense accounts — back when they still had them. Breitbart looks around for a waiter and launches into a stem-winder about collusion between Hollywood and the press — the “subtle and not-so-subtle use of propaganda to make a center-right nation move to the left.
“It’s not just the nightly news,” he says. “You’re also getting television shows that reflect the same worldview, where Republicans are always the bad guys. Al Qaeda’s never the bad guy. The Republican is always the bad guy.”
From anyone else, this would be just talk — or talking points. (No terrorist bad guys on TV? Really?) But Breitbart is one of the people who rams those points into the popular consciousness. Until last September, the beefy 41-year-old with graying blond hair was a largely covert power in the right-wing media, the hidden hand behind the popular Drudge Report who also, weirdly, cofounded the liberal Huffington Post. But then he struck out on his own. Today his collection of Web sites draws more than 10 million readers a month. He has a book deal worth more than half a million dollars, and he’s a regular presence on Fox News — where he’s headed later tonight, in fact. The covert thing is out the window.
The filet finally shows and Breitbart digs in, ignoring the risk to his mustard-colored sports coat. “The idea is that I have to screw with media, and I have to screw with the Left, in order to give legitimate stories the ability to reach their natural watermark,” he says.
Image: Wikipedia via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
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