The Andrew Breitbart lionizing on Fox News probably reached its peak on the Hannity show last night. Sean Hannity and Monica Crowley didn’t just speak adoringly of Breitbart, FoxNews.com joined in the exaltation, too. FoxNews.com’s logo says, “fair and balanced,” so presumably it is not part of the network’s “opinion” programming. Yet their internet video of the segment is called, Andrew Breitbart: A fearless, conservative leader. The video has the subtitle, “new media pioneer leaves behind a legacy of courageous reporting.” But given Breitbart’s record of lies, dissembling, unhinged rants and on-air threats, you have to wonder, what on earth did Fox News find “courageous” about this guy?
There’s only one explanation: He hated liberals and Democrats and he was willing to do or say almost anything to destroy them.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at the clips aired on the Hannity show for its “look back” designed to honor the show’s dear friend. A montage was shown with Breitbart saying:
Conservatives used to take it and we’re not taking it any more.
Look, mainstream media, the gig is up. We’ve figured you out. You’re not on our team. You’re not on the American team. You’re on the progressive team.
I’m going to stand up to those bullies (in the "liberal" mainstream media).
I don’t know why I decided to make my career trying to destroy the institutional left. I thought that would be a fun thing to do and it looked good on a resume.
Hannity appeared next on the montage, saying admiringly to Breitbart, “You really want to save the world!”
The montage ended with Breitbart saying, “This is my war cry for 2012. You need to join me in this war against the institutional left. This is not your mother’s Democratic Party. “
“He was so brave and he was so exuberant,” Crowley gushed. She went on to say she thought of him as “a huge rockstar” when she met him. She later said, “Andrew saw himself as a truthteller. And that’s what he saw his job – that’s who he was… (he told Americans) the truth that the left-wing media would not tell them.” This from the woman who just a few months ago announced that Americans are “sick of attack politics.”
Apparently, Crowley has a different view of attack politics now. Or maybe it’s only a matter of who’s doing the attacking. She said about Breitbart, “He made conservatism hip and cool. That’s no small thing.”
The panel also discussed the pending release of tapes of President Obama at Harvard that Breitbart had which may, as Hannity said enthusiastically, “change the election.” You can read more about Breitbart’s Obama tapes in my previous post.
But because they liked “Ol’ Andy,” it will probably never be appropriate for people who didn’t like him to say so.
Don’t get me wrong- there have been a LOT of people who crossed the line with this. I got into it with a few of them… but Fox News seems to think that being honest about what Breitbart was falls in with the people who made the obscene jokes and insulted the mourners.
I think he really did cross the lines of decency with several of his works, including the pushing of the edited ACORN videos and the slander and libel against Shirley Sherrod. The lawsuit over the latter matter will certainly drain his estate when they are forced to settle it.
This was a guy who seemed to enjoy walking out into a crowd of protestors and yelling at them. He seemed to enjoy being mean to people. And that, unfortunately, is his real legacy.
But he regularly crossed the line of decency with his actions and he caused pain and misery to others. His websites regularly repeated gossip and nastiness about people he disliked. The Shirley Sherrod matter alone should have made him a persona non grata even at Fox News. As it is, the inevitable settlement will cost his estate a lot of money to cover the deceptively edited material he happily publicized about her.
It is a shame that he could never find a way to express himself better than to attack and hurt others. And it is a bigger shame that people like Sean Hannity think that this kind of disreputable behavior is something to admire. I hope he has found some peace, but I wish that he would not have deprived it from so many others.