"Journalism shouldn't be about left and right.
It should be about the truth. What Mr. Breitbart does, and what
others on the left and the right do may well be what journalism
has become but it's certainly not what it should be.
Breitbart...told Sean Hannity,'I could care less about
Shirley Sharrod to be honest with you.'
That is the one thing he has said that is indisputable.
He does not care about Shirley Sharrod. He doesn't care about
making false allegations against her or ruining her career.
Andrew Breitbart has his ideology. He believes he is right, and
in his mind that justifies any action he takes. That's how
ideologues think, on the left and on the right...
Make false claims about a person. Why not if it gets you
more web traffic. That is where we are today.
...They cherry pick their facts to prove their argument,
not that facts that reveal the truth."
~~Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, 7/22/2010
This kind of "journalism," as Andrew Breitbart calls his cold hearted, deceitful hatchet work, was also used by Glenn Beck on President Obama; and the media slept. Obama is always being attacked by Glenn Beck in unscrupulous ways, so no one - but Beck's focussed critics - noticed.
Between that NAACP resolution and Breitbart's publishing of that hatchet job of Sharrod's speech, the Tea Party did purge the racist Tea Party Express from its ranks. Since racism is clearly an issue in the Tea Party, which Beck acknowledges and downplays, what is the need for "retribution" on Breitbart's part? Before Breitbart timed his release for the news cycle on Monday, the NAACP and the Tea Party seem to have come to agreement (on CNN) that there is no room for racists in the Tea Party movement or the NAACP. Breitbart's video seemed to inflame more than it healed, and of course that's what race-baiting is about.
Breitbart and Beck both do this; they both incite racial tensions. Beck does it ironically while claiming the mantle to civil rights because the actual civil rights leaders have, in his view, "hijacked civil rights" for social rights instead of individual rights which Beck believes Martin Luther King stood for. Beck gets a lot wrong, and this perspective on King is just one example.
This hatchet job filled the news cycle for 48 hours, and then Beck accused the White House of firing Sharrod to distract the public from the signing of the Financial Reform Bill! Beck declared this bill to be the end of our Republic. For Glenn Beck, our Republic is dead because the financial system is now regulated to prevent millions of Americans from being thrown out of their work, homes and/or cars every ten years or so. Who is Glenn Beck speaking for, the people or Wall Street?
Beck's discursive style is fear-mongering, hyperbolic and deceitful. Like all ideologues on the far left and the far right, Beck has the kind of certainty that comes from picking and choosing what facts he recognizes to comprise the "truth" and ignoring the facts that do not fit in with his reactionary, anti-government narrative. It requires discipline and objectivity to avoid this temptation, both qualities Beck lacks.
Andrew Breitbart and Glenn Beck are allies for a reason: they are two peas from the same pod of deception. The media need to give greater scrutiny to Beck's methods in the way that the Sharrod crisis put focus on Breitbart's. The biggest difference between Breitbart and Beck is that Beck is far more talented as a speaker, propagandist and salesman. He is extremely convincing. Glenn Beck is America's premier salesman.
Before more people start tuning into Beck'sdeceitful propaganda,
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