Sad Breitbart Is Sad
Let's all pour out a 40 for the political influence of Dead Breitbart's Home For Perpetually Aggrieved Whitefolks, where the readership is falling and the attention of non-rightwing media has waned so badly that instead of setting the Republican agenda as it once did, the site has largely been reduced to reblogging other sites' content like a sadder, shriller version of The Hill. CNN chief media reporter Oliver Darcy hasn't quite written the site's obituary, but he does explain why it's become the Chuck Cunningham of rightwing news, that character who people sort of remember but is now on a long, long bus trip.
With Steve Bannon's forced departure after he said all those unkind thing about Donald Trump and others in that I Fired a Furry book earlier this year, nobody seems to think Dead Breitbart has much to distinguish it any more from any other burbling gas vent in the rightwing fever swamp. Readership is down, badly -- Politico reported in June the site's traffic had declined for seven straight months, a trend that began even before Bannon's ouster. Darcy, citing data from analytics company IQ Media, points out that the number of online news mentions of Breitbart this spring was less than half the rate in 2017, when Bannon was still getting called Trump's brain. SAD.
Even former Breitbart fans are in a kind of weird mourning, if operatic, maudlin, and overwritten clichés count:
"The story of Breitbart's rise and fall is a lot like that of Icarus who arrogantly flew way beyond his station in life, got too close to the sun, and had his wings of wax melt, causing him to fall from the sky," said John Ziegler, a conservative talk show host who writes for Mediaite and was a friend of Andrew Breitbart's.
Or maybe a lot more like that one band that had a really big novelty hit a while back, and they were on the cover of Rolling Stone, but the rest of the album sucked and the lead singer vomited on Oprah and whatever happened to them anyway? Oh, they're still at the same schtick? Huh. Why? Vomiting on the weatherman from Minot, North Dakota's CW affiliate won't bring back the magic, guys.
Several White House reporters told Darcy that since Breitbart no longer seems to be an early warning system for foul winds blowing from the Trump administration, they simply don't read Breitbart anymore. As a case study, Darcy looks at coverage of Trump's family separation policy. Breitbart had plenty of copypasta about what a fine deterrent it was, keeping America safe from violent MS-13 toddlers; but mainstream sources simply ignored the frothing, even though constant fear of the migrant hordes remains Breitbart's key obsessions.
BuzzFeed senior writer Charlie Warzel, who keeps an eye on rightwing media's effluent flow, said the lack of interest in what Breitbart had to say about baby jails (passionately for 'em) indicates what sad weak poop the place has become:
"A year ago, we all would have been tweeting whatever the Breitbart splash was," Warzel said. "There would have been some incendiary headline, some story -- and we would have all been looking to that in some way. ... It would have been a huge deal."
Nonetheless, a Breitbart spokesperson, Brian Glickich (of the Glickich media dynasty, obvs), remained proud of the site's output:
According to Alexa, Breitbart is the 65th largest website in the United States, and CNN's opinion of our relevance is meaningless and immaterial to our audience.
He then added the site was STILL big; it was the lamestream media that got small, and refused to explain why William Holden's body was floating in the Breitbart Embassy's pool.
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