The “Vindication” of Andrew Breitbart
by John Wellington Ennis
Jon Stewart called it “the weirdest f*cking story I’ve seen in my life.” It was the live broadcast of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s confessional press conference, and yet here was Andrew Breitbart, taking a victory lap around the mainstream press for not being wrong about a story for once. (At the same time, Breitbart not being wrong on a story almost deserves live breaking coverage.)
Breitbart demanded to be vindicated after being doubted about the legitimacy of his penis photos. To some, this would seem a more apt vindication of a pornographer. To behold Breitbart’s beaming pride, you’d think he’d broken the truth that cigarettes cause cancer, stunning the naysayers. He gloated: “The media says, ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie,” Breitbart said on stage at the Weiner presser. “One, journalist, one, put your reputation on the line here, one provable lie.” (Interesting word choice, “provable,” it offers garish wiggle room.)
Why didn’t any of the press respond? Is that silence supposed to confer tacit legitimization and absolution of his past distortions? Since the journalists present didn’t even show up for a Breitbart news conference in the first place, they were probably not prepared to review his greatest hits and misses. What’s more, the attending media professionals may have thought that interrupting someone else’s press conference is pretty, well, rude, not to mention unprofessional.