Accuracy in Media

The word ‘war’ is overused.  There is a “war on drugs,” a “war on trans-fats” and “a war on Lindsay Lohan” (the latter I completely agree with). Seems every minor cultural conflict is hailed as a new war. So when new media mogul Andrew Breitbart tells us he is at war with the “establishment media” there is some time to pause. Does this title actually apply or is it ever so cheaply used? A quick YouTube or Google search of the name ‘Breitbart’ should answer that question.  The war against Breitbart is on.

Breitbart has extracted special venom from his loud and, at times, comically offensive critics.  The name calling (David Letterman’s choice words had to be bleeped on network TV) is just the beginning.  The vitriol carries down to the core of Breitbart’s morality and journalistic standards.  Words like “hack” and “racist” are disfiguring enough, yet to call someone’s business model a “parade of feces” is a true salvo on editorial prose.

To be sure, Breitbart provides plenty of fuel for this fire.  He tells AIM, “I’m at war with the (Liberal Orthodoxy) and my only goal is to destroy them.” Some in the media have fiercely attacked the legacies of Breitbart’s flagship stories, from the undercover abuses at Planned Parenthood and ACORN, to the video of Shirley Sherrod.  The attacks on these events are predictable: “Breitbart is a Racist,” “Breitbart is a phony,” “Breitbart is a political hack-job” and “Breitbart unfairly edits his videos.”

However controversial, Breitbart’s stories have made groundbreaking news and shaped policy far beyond what many might have imagined. There seems to be more than just a hint of jealousy and sore sniping by his adversaries. Perhaps the sharp criticism shows more about the journalistic integrity of the accusers than it does the accused.

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