Instead of discrediting Andrew Brietbart for being a lying liar that hurts people, CNN's Kyra Phillips thinks the Shirley Sherrod story means we need to attack anonymous bloggers for their indiscretions. WTF? If a liberal blogger had released a phony video that targeted a Republican in the same way as Breitbart did, the outrage that would have followed from the media would have been cataclysmic. But when it's done by a conservative hitman ... crickets.
Phillips calls anonymous bloggers cowards, but what does that make Andrew Breitbart? I wonder if MSMers are really that naive? Breitbart smeared ACORN and essentially destroyed the one organization in this country dedicated to enrolling minority voters with doctored videos -- and yet he was positively celebrated for his efforts, and never faced any accountability when the entire smear was proven a fraud. Then he led the video smear of Sherrod. Who has been anonymous in any of these stories? We know all too exactly who smeared Sherrod. Why is CNN focusing on a nonexistent issue?
Anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the “mixed blessing of the Internet,” and agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others on the internet. “There are so many great things that the internet does and has to offer, but at the same time, Kyra, as you know, there is this dark side,” Roberts said. “Imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t taken a look at what happened with Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found out that what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said.” But Phillips replied that the mainstream media “can’t always do that.” “There’s going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable,” Phillips said. “How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they’re actually given credibility, which is crazy. They’re a bunch of cowards, they’re just people seeking attention.”
The whole reason you might think anonymous bloggers would be a problem is that they could make stuff up and nobody would know who they were in order to sanction them. In this case, though, there’s nothing anonymous about Andrew Breitbart so this problem shouldn’t exist. Except instead of sanctioning Andrew Breitbart, a specific individual with a specific name, and the other specific institutions (who employ specific individuals with names) CNN’s team is lashing out vaguely at “the internet” and “anonymous bloggers.” The issue here, however, is primarily Andrew Breitbart. To a secondary extent, it’s Fox News and conservative talk radio. And to a broader extent it’s a conservative movement that continues to celebrate Breitbart and Fox News despite their legacy of inaccuracy and race-baiting. Anonymous bloggers have nothing to do with anything.
The rage used to be focused on people leaving anonymous comments on websites, but CNN uses a false equivalency to turn it into bloggers. Why doesn't CNN denounce Breitbart and lead the way to discredit any such political operatives who act in a dishonest way?
Paul Krugman catches Mort Zuckerman engaging in the Mini-Breitbart.
I think this is telling. This is the only actual example of Obama’s alleged demonization of business that Zuckerman offers — and it’s essentially a mini-Breitbart, a quote taken out of context to make it seem as if Obama was saying something he wasn’t. That’s typical of the whole argument.
Oh, and one more thing: are there no copy editors at the FT? When I quote someone in my column, I supply the source material, and my copy editor checks, not just to be sure that the quote is accurate, but that it’s not taken out of context. But I guess such rules don’t apply if you’re a conservative.