Horrible person Andrew Breitbart is fighting (again) with horrible person Glenn Beck, and while we know we should be feeling that soft warm joy that comes when two horrible people are engaged in a dispute, secretly we are sort of sad: we agree with Glenn Beck!
The best thing you can say about Glenn Beck is that he might not actually believe every single stupid thing that he says, but even so he manages to be right about once every few months, and it almost always concerns Andrew Breitbart's adventures in journalism. The two most prominent examples: when Breitbart posted an "expose" of USDA official Shirley Sherrod's racism," Beck was one of the first conservatives to point out that the video was essentially a fucked-up lie; in March, his site the Blaze managed to point out that the NPR "sting" undertaken by Breitbart protege James O'Keefe used "questionable editing tactics."
And now it's happening again! This past week, he's had the temerity to suggest that the Tea Party's dislike of Obama might have an uncomfortable racial aspect. (Duhhhhh.) Pointing out on his radio program that Newt Gingrich has supported a number of "big-government" programs that the Tea Party should ostensibly be against, he considers:
"If you have a big government progressive, or a big government progressive in Obama… ask yourself this, Tea Party: is it about Obama's race? Because that's what it appears to be to me. If you're against him but you're for [Newt Gingrich], it must be about race. I mean, what else is it? It's the policies that matter."
Now, it's not necessarily the most accurate assessment of the political dynamic at play—but it's not entirely wrong, either. (Does anyone really think Newt Gingrich is going to shrink the government while he, like, mines for lasers on the moon, or whatever he wants to do?) This makes it, possibly, the smartest thing Beck has said all year. Which in turn makes it infuriating to Andrew Breitbart, as Dave Weigel reports:
On Sunday, Breitbart called into a radio show hosted by Steve Bannon. (The director of the Sarah Palin doc "The Undefeated" now lives in a D.C. house rented by Breitbart et al, to organize and lead new journalism projects.) At Bannon's prompt, Breitbart told and re-told the history of Beck's exploitation of conservatives. "Beck is a coward and won't defend himself when he makes a mistakes," said Breitbart, "the self-appointed historian of the conservative movement, an autodidact who's read a lot of books over the last few years." The mistake he would never admit: "He lied to his audience on television, saying that he didn't do the Sherrod stories on his radio show." Doing so, he "jumped the gun, and in essence jumped the shark."
Breitbart insists that he's proven that no Tea Partiers are racists through the sophisticated method of "saying all the time that no Tea Partiers are racist and insisting that unless there is actual video of a racial slur being used by a Tea Partier you are the real racist for saying so," and it really gets under his skin when people imply that there is, maybe, a racial element to Tea Partyism. So he's now taken to his preferred medium for his obsessive manic episodes: Twitter, where he's writing non-stop 140-character zings and CCing Beck. "As we were defending Tea Party against Dem/Pelosi/MSM-manufactured TeaPartyRacist® meme, @GlennBeck ignored our good work," he writes. Okay, we admit it, we're feeling that soft warm joy.