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Friday, June 3, 2011

Rush and Breitbart: The Lunatics of the Right

The June 2011 issue of The Limbaugh Letter features Rush's interview with Andrew Breitbart, and it's an unintentionally illuminating look into the dark soul of a sick and hateful man. The Limbaugh Letter is not online, but as the author of a new book about Limbaugh, I have a subscription. Most of the issue recycles a few of Limbaugh's tirades, such as his bizarre demand after the killing of Osama bin Laden that “the left owes us an apology” because “the primary obstacle to achieving the end of bin Laden was the Democrat Party.”

But I devote a book to analyzing the partisan insanity of Rush Limbaugh, so let's just look at the only original aspect of The Limbaugh Letter: the interview with Breitbart. The interview begins with Rush calling Breitbart “my boy” and the mutual love fest grows from there.

Breitbart explains why he became a conservative: “The humiliation of having to get a wait job in fancy Los Angeles, waiting on college and high school friends who were on the fast track to Hollywood success, was a wakeup call.” He resented them for “knowing the right people and possessing the politically correct philosophy of liberalism.” Of course, none of this makes sense, since Breitbart claims he was a liberal at the time, so his ideology had nothing to do with his failures. Breitbart's final words in the interview return to this petulant envy: “I consider David Geffen, Ari Emanuel, all these Hollywood people, they're bullies, they're elitist, they take my lovely 7 o'clock reservations and make me sit near the wait station at 9 o'clock. It's personal.”

Breitbart is admitting that personal hatred at the Hollywood left motivated his return to his parents' conservative views. Ironically, Breitbart became a conservative because of his hatred of wealthy people. Since the rich people where he worked as a waiter happened to be liberal, Breitbart became a conservative.

Bizarrely, he also admits that he disliked Limbaugh until his hatred of bands such as Nirvana led him back to the right: “because of my pure hatred for grunge music, during the 1992 election cycle I grudgingly switched from the FM dial to the AM dial, and I started to listen to you.”

Breitbart also contends that conservatism cured his insomnia: “I used to have insomnia. I think that insomnia was borne of existing in a world in which I believed in nothing. I haven't had insomnia since I embraced conservatism.”

Breitbart espouses conspiracy theories, claiming that American culture is “tilted to the left, on purpose in an organized and conspiratorial fashion.” And he wants his own conspiracy, criticizing those “conservative millionaires and billionaires who don't recognize that our culture is there for the taking.”

Breitbart proudly discussed one of his most recent scams, the student who took video of a labor studies course at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Breitbart posted manipulated videos on his website in an effort to smear the professors. The administration at the university concluded that the videos Breitbart posted were “heavily distorted” and inaccurate.

What's interesting to me is how Breitbart describes this college course: “it showed them in full-throttle indoctrination of the children into communism.” Beyond the bizarre idea that an analysis of labor union actions is “communism,” consider how strange it is that Breitbart regards college students as “children” who are suffering “indoctrination” at the hands of their professors and must be protected from these “bullies.” Breitbart regards other people as dolts and children, idiots who can be controlled by the owners of cultural institutions and incapable of resisting the power of “bullies” who express different points of view than Breitbart's.

Limbaugh defended Breitbart in this interview by telling him, “You've not edited your footage to have somebody saying something they didn't say, which is a common practice on the other side. It's hilarious to watch you be lectured on this stuff.” Actually, Breitbart definitely has edited his footage to have somebody saying something they didn't say. That's precisely what Breitbart has done on many occasions (while Limbaugh offers no evidence of anyone on the left who does this).

Breitbart was quite open about his techniques: “What we do at the end of the day, is the gang tackle. If we see somebody being bullied, like Trig, Palin's kid, I go: 'Sic 'em.' And I say, “Make sure there isn't an ounce of meat left on their bones when you're done.' That is my business model: I hate bullies. I've always hated them.” Breitbart has a bizarre imagination, to claim that Trig Palin is being bullied, and then to invoke the violent imagery of stripping the flesh from the bones of his enemies.

The interview offers some insights into the mental illnesses of Andrew Breitbart, of how an untalented man who failed to make it in Hollywood turned his resentment as a waiter at the success of others into a highly successful career as a right-wing hit man, a brainless bully who imagines himself to be a superhero of the right standing up against the “bullies” who dare to criticize any conservatives.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

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