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Ed Driscoll

Meet the New McCarthyism

March 25th, 2011 - 10:58 am

“The Huffington Post bans Andrew Breitbart from front page over comments about Van Jones,” Steven Nelson writes at the Daily Caller:

The Huffington Post announced Thursday that articles written by conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart will no longer be featured on the site’s front page. The decision was made in reaction to comments made by Breitbart to The Daily Caller.

In an interview with TheDC, Breitbart reacted to a campaign by activist group Color of Change that demanded that he not be featured on The Huffington Post’s front page. The organization called Breitbart “a liar and a race-baiter” and threatened that blacks would not visit the site if his content was prominently featured.

Breitbart told TheDC, “I have the exact opposite view on free speech that these left-wing freaks at Color of Change have: More voices, not less.”

He went on to call Van Jones, a former White House adviser and co-founder of Color of Change “a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster.” Jones resigned from his position in the Obama administration following a series of embarrassing revelations, including that he had once signed a 9-11 “truther” petition.

So basically racism, communism and trutherism, not to mention Mumia-ism, really is the new McCarthyism, to coin a paraphrase.

Naturally of course, Slate sorta-kinda blames the victim (emphasis by P.J. Salvatore of Andrew’s Big Journalism site):

Andrew has now gotten exactly what he wanted. He doesn’t need to publish his idiocies at the Huffington Post. But getting banned from the Huffington Post proves his thesis about the repressive, anti-free speech liberal media. And he’ll never shut up about it.

And shutting up is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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More from Lee Stranahan, who has a foot in both camps — or at least he did before Andrew was blacklisted: “Why I’m Quitting Blogging At The Huffington Post:”

One very loathsome  aspect of this story is something that Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff told me in a long phone call about Andrew Breitbart several months ago. Roy knows and worked with Andrew and when the issue of Andrew Breitbart being a racist came up, Roy told me “No, of course Andrew isn’t a racist.”Roy went on to say that while both he and Arianna Huffington knew that the charges of racism being hurled at Andrew weren’t true based on their years of personal dealings with him that they were in a ‘bad position’ to say anything about it.

Read the whole thing. At the Tatler, Bryan Preston adds:

Banning ad hominems from politics is like banning politics from politics. If what Breitbart said about Van Jones is bad, how about the ad hominems that Arianna Huffington routinely launched at George W. Bush? In the post at the link, Huffington calls Bush “deluded, “cockeyed” (as modifiers for “optimist,” oddly enough) and a “zealot.” In this one, she calls Sarah Palin a “Trojan moose.” In fact, given the date on that one, September 8, 2008, it’s fair to wonder if Huffington herself launched the extreme hate campaign against Palin that still rages.I just want to know if the Post will now ban Arianna Huffington from its front page because of her past ad hominem attacks? Or will you folks invent a statute of limitations to exempt your boss?

The Right Sphere also takes a look ad hominen-spewing HuffPost front pagers, Ed Schultz and Jason Linkins. Difference: They’re liberals. So how about it, HuffPo? Gonna get that ban hammer back out, or will you just admit that Breitbart is being banned for other reasons?

Related: Speaking of McCarthy-esque ad hominems, a new item at Huffington Post, and since removed — because apparently even the HuffPo’s editors questioned the timing — proffered us to “Meet the New Soviets: Gingrich, Walker, Breitbart.” The text is still online here; here’s the opening:

Like alot of news junkies, my laptop is about to explode because of all the open windows streaming live. From Wisconsin to Libya, Egypt and Japan, the world has truly crashed through our front door this month. What are we supposed to do with ourselves in all of this mayhem?

First, we need to get more comfortable with uncertainty because this is what the future looks like. Second, we need to believe that the United States has a unique and important role to play as we move forward. Our leadership will be key.

That’s why am I picking on potential Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and propaganda blogger Andrew Breitbart. To me, they represent the tri-fecta of backwardness that we must actively avoid among our political and cultural leadership if we want to stay focused on the future. These individuals thrive on the uncertainty of today’s political environment–presenting simple but false governing solutions along with tabloid fodder distractions— while undermining the society that they claim to seek. These actions actually place them outside of the American political spectrum. They are not so much conservatives as they are Soviets–the ideologically driven, corrupt regime that dominated eastern Europe for most of the last century.

Frank Rich, is that you? And who are the other 54? Or to put it another way, “For Leftists, there is only the near enemy, the people they see everyday.”

Update: “ANNOUNCEMENT: Big Journalism Pledges to Help AOL/HuffPo Enforce No ‘Ad Hominem Attacks’ Rule.”

I’m sure HuffPo would welcome all of the Blogosphere’s help in enforcing this rule…

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