Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 26, 2010

STILL A REPUBLICAN IN GOOD STANDING?.... One of the key takeaways of last week's Shirley Sherrod controversy was getting a better sense of who Andrew Breitbart is, and what his right-wing operation is all about. As Joshua Green noted last week, "[T]he moral ugliness of what's just happened is glaring, and it's hard for me to see how the media can justify continuing to treat Breitbart as simply a roguish provocateur. He's something much darker."

But as scandalous as Breitbart's misconduct was, it's apparently not quite scandalous enough to bother the Republican National Committee.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has a party fundraising event coming up in August that is scheduled to feature a very special guest: Conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, according to a copy of the invitation exclusively obtained by TPM.

The fundraising event, billed as an "Election Countdown," will take place from August 12-14 in Beverly Hills, California, and will also feature other politicians such as California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, and Nevada Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Sandoval. Steele and Breitbart are scheduled to co-headline a welcome reception on the first evening, August 12.

When TPM got in touch with RNC spokesman Doug Heye he confirmed the existence of the event, but wouldn't comment on Breitbart's scheduled participation.

Now, it's possible that the RNC invited Breitbart to be part of the campaign/fundraising event before he promoted a misleading video that smeared an innocent Department of Agriculture official.

But last week was a permanent credibility-killer for the conservative media activist, and for Michael Steele to pal around with him for some Beverly Hills cash is ridiculous. The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?

If the RNC invited Breitbart to be a special guest before his recent hatchet-job, the party can simply change course, and announce that he will no longer be participating. But to go ahead with the Breitbart/Steele headlining now would be crazy, even for the RNC.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

But to go ahead with the Breitbart/Steele headlining now would be crazy, even for the RNC.

Ummm .. if you haven't noticed .. the GOP traffics in crazy these days .. so it's nothing out of the ordinary for them to pal around with domestic terrorists like Breitbart.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on July 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

It may be 'crazy' but it would also be HONEST ..

Posted by: stormskies on July 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

With whom has Breitbart allegedly lost this credibility?

With WaMo readers he wasn't aiming for and couldn't care less about?

His credibility surely went up with the far right, for making such a mess of what should have been a triumphant week for Obama. They know more than ever that they can count on him, that he will be faithful to the party line, and that his work is top notch for its intended purpose.

credibility in this day and age is fully in the eye of the beholder. I doubt Breitbart is losing any sleep.

Posted by: zeitgeist on July 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

And they'll raise a lot of money off it. If not apparent before, certainly now: Ethics has joined Reality in having a well-known liberal bias.

Posted by: ericfree on July 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

"The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?"

Oh please. This *is* the group that sponsors outings to lesbian bondage clubs, right? From there to Breitbart isn't such a stretch.

Posted by: Ralph Kramden on July 26, 2010 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Steele co-hosting an event with Breitbart would seem to mark the final stage of his transformation into a minstrel show character, the Republican ideal of a 'good nigger', and the polar opposite of the 'uppity nigger' embodied by Obama. Sorry for the harsh language, but if you grew up in the South in the 1960's, it's just all too clear what is happening, in spite of MSM's obsessive need to claim that the Tea Party and the rest of the 'right wing rage' machine is not all about race.

Posted by: dcsusie on July 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'm fairly sure that whoever sponsors Breitbart's activities is happy with him. I'm fairly sure that the same people are the targets of the RNC's fund-raising events. So, shameless, check... racist, check... message discipline, check. You got a problem with that?

Posted by: MattF on July 26, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Lying, race-baiting, and mendacious manipulation of the press is a feature, not a bug.

Posted by: Daddy Love on July 26, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Burros + 21st century = Breitbart

Posted by: penalcolony on July 26, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

You'd be a fool to think that you know how this little dust-up will play out, but props to TPM for lighting the fuse.

However this turns out will say volumes about the state of the Republican Party:

'We still welcome a race-baiting hack as long as it causes trouble for Obama'

'We'll gladly endure the racist charges as long as it causes trouble for Obama'

Add yours here...

Posted by: bmcchgo on July 26, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

You want "a national conversation on race"? Then let's talk about how the GOP Southern Strategy of the 60's never went away - it just became more subtle and melded into a sophisticated operation with a media arm and a corporate-sponsored fake grassroots arm.

So dcsusie @11:06 is right - and so was Jimmy Carter, who got slammed trying to explain this to a nation of idiots.


Posted by: Ohioan on July 26, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

If Michelle Bachmann can proudly create a Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives even after Tom Tancredo's repeatedly racist remarks at teabagger events, and Mark Williams' racist "satire," then the RNC surely feels they can boast about having their newest "rock star" Breitbart grace their platform. It's all in the family.

Posted by: June on July 26, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Oh come on Steve. Breitbart will not be treated as a pariah by the RNC but as a hero. He manufactured this controversy with his fraudulent video and gave the Obama administration a black-eye. Mission accomplished.

Of course, Obama's knee-jerk reaction without getting the facts first and his constant appeasement of the rightwing crazed noise machine didn't help matters. Hell, Meet the Press was all about how badly the Obama admin acted in all of this with not a peep about the fraud perpetrated by Breitbart and FoxNews.

The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?
Asked and answered.

Posted by: ckelly on July 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Human being - shame - dignity - conscience - self-respect - competence - influence + a safe job for as long as he wants it = Michael Steele

Posted by: Basilisc on July 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

"The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?"

With no apology whatsoever to Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David:

STEELE: Maybe you think we're in cahoots.

BENEN: No, no . . . but it is quite shameless.

STEELE: Yes, that's all, shameless!

BENEN: A big amount of shamelessness.

STEELE: Not a big amount of shamelessness. Just shameless!

BENEN: No, that's a big amount of shamelessness.

STEELE: That's what shamelessness is! There are no small amounts of shamelessness and big amounts of shamelessness!

BENEN: No, there are degrees of shamelessness.

STEELE: No, there is only shamelessness! ..Ask anyone! (Enraged, he asks everyone in the elevator) Are there big amounts of shamelessness and small amounts of shamelessness, or just shamelessness? (Silent) ..Well?! Well?!..

(Everyone just kinda shrugs, then murmurs. The elevator doors open)

Posted by: Perspecticus on July 26, 2010 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Right wing conservatism is a social virus, and like all viruses knows how to insinuate itself into its host in order to kill it at the same time that it becomes one with it.

And, so, to attack the RNC for inviting a race-baiter like Breitbart to speak at one of its events will simply produce the predictable: "You are violating Breitbart's right to free speech."

The RNC counter-attack, in other words, is an appeal to an idea ripped right from the host's own liberal political tradition that the conservative virus is trying to kill in the first place. Kill liberalism in a liberal society by becoming a mutated version of liberalism itself. That is the right wing's evil genius plan.

Posted by: Ted Frier on July 26, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

"The RNC is shameless, but is it this shameless?"

Yes.

Simple answers to simple questions, as they say.

Posted by: Tom Allen on July 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think one thing good that may come out of the Shirley Sherrod affair is this: I'll bet the Obama people are so pissed about getting punked like this that they will be much more willing to call out Fox News and other wingers in no uncertain terms. I think we're gonna see the White House take the gloves off.

Posted by: sceptic on July 26, 2010 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Comments not commentary

You'd be a fool to think that you know how this little dust-up will play out, but props to TPM for lighting the fuse.

TPM's most embarrassing moment for sure.
A repercussion of choosing the image and gloss HuffPo model? Maybe.
But when was the last time you read anything substantial on TPM's front page?
One goes there now for comments not commentary...

Posted by: koreyel on July 26, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

The fundraising event, billed as an "Election Countdown," will take place from August 12-14 in Beverly Hills, California

Beverly Hills? Isn't that where many of the elistist Hollywood crowd lives? I guess Jed and Jethro are also invited.

Posted by: flyonthewall on July 26, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

@koreyel TPM's most embarrassing moment for sure.
A repercussion of choosing the image and gloss HuffPo model? Maybe.

Spoken like a true troll.

TPM is obviously having the desired effect on the Right meme.

Posted by: bmcchgo on July 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

koreyel: TPM's most embarrassing moment for sure. A repercussion of choosing the image and gloss HuffPo model? Maybe.

Have avoided tpm for some time now. Do they have their own celebrititty section yet?

Posted by: cr on July 26, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Breitbart is the republican party and everything it stands for. Take a grain of truth, build your lies around it and run with it.

Posted by: Schtick on July 26, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

How quaint. Steve seems to think the RNC cares about appearences.

You know, I'm old enough to remember a time when they did, kind of. It was a long time ago.

BTW, can I get a show of hands of those people who think Breitbart was NOT doing exactly what the RNC want him to be doing??

Anyone?

Exactly.

Posted by: biggerbox on July 26, 2010 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, I frequently think you just fell off the turnip truck. The Rethugs don't play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules of political boxing. So shameless has no meaning. They recognize no rules except those they attempt to impose on the Dimocrats, which are strictly convenient and hypocritical.

As far as the RNC is concerned, Breitbart scored a big one. End of discussion. Bush and Co. were no less mendacious or shameless. How long will progressives, liberals, reality based types, cling to the notion that there is any integrity, honesty, or concern for the well being of the country on the part of the Rethugs. They're about power and money. Also end of discussion. They have no moral compass.

Posted by: rrk1 on July 26, 2010 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly