Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blame Anyone But Breitbart.

As I said yesterday, David Frum was bang on the money when describing conservative reaction to the Shirley Sherrod story.

But you’ll never guess who emerged as the villains of the story in this second-day conservative react. Not Andrew Breitbart, the distributor of a falsified tape. No, the villains were President Obama and the NAACP for believing Breitbart's falsehood.
Ann Althouse:
Here's the statement by NAACP President Benjamin Jealous trying to shift the blame to "Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart" for editing the Shirley Sherrod video to heighten an apparent confession of racism.
To put the blame squarely where it belongs is an attempt to "shift the blame" in Althouse's mind.

The Corner:
Of course she should get her job back, although the Department of Agriculture is bizarrely standing by her firing so far.
No mention of Breitbart at all in this posting. The whole thing is obviously the fault of the Department of Agriculture.

The Other McCain:
A couple of points: First, Andrew Breitbart didn’t fire Shirley Sherrod; Tom Vilsack did.
No, Breitbart only released totally misleading footage which led to her being fired, so clearly he is utterly blameless as he didn't call for her to be fired whilst he falsely implied that she was deeply racist.

Confederate Yankee:

Breitbart may have over-reached and be unrepentant, but his sin was still relatively minor. He presented as much of the story as he had, and explained it the best he could based upon the information provided. Was it responsible to run that short video segment without context?

As you consider your response, think about how much news is run without the entire story being known at the outset.

I could go on and on but you get the theme. Andrew Breitbart is not the villain of this piece according to these guys, the fault lies - exactly as Frum predicted - with other people.

In some of their minds Breitbart was the victim of fraud, not it's perpetrator. You are expected to accept that his motives were entirely pure, even though this is the second time that he has released video evidence which proved to be highly edited and, upon examination, edited to convey a totally false impression of what one was looking at.

That kind of blindness is a form of self delusion. As Frum said:
When people talk of the "closing of the conservative mind" this is what they mean: not that conservatives are more narrow-minded than other people — everybody can be narrow minded — but that conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact.
Breitbart's career should be over, his credibility should be wrecked, but there are countless conservatives out there willing to spin this scandal away from him, indeed, in many cases to remove his name from the story completely.

The clearest thing to come out of all of this is that no-one should ever again believe a single word that Breitbart states, certainly not as it relates to edited video footage which he claims shows wrongdoing.

The man's track record is a thing of shame. But you wouldn't get that impression from reading conservatives on-line.

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