Jonathan Chait

Rallying Around Breitbart

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Kevin Williamson says that Andrew Breitbart has higher standards than the mainstream media:

Dan Rather, to this day, has not owned up to basing a story on forged documents. So far as I can tell, Andrew Breitbart is still operating at a higher editorial standard than the producers of Dateline or the CBS Evening News did on those occasions. I do not see a lot of opportunity for self-congratulation in this episode for the mainstream media. Breitbart's 37-word correction is 37 words more than Dan Rather has offered in honest assessment of his story's shortcomings. May the mainstream media aspire to live up to Breitbart's standards.

Right. "Correction" seems like a pretty significant overstatement of what Breitbart wrote:

Breitbart posted the misleading clip Monday. But a full video of the speech was not posted online until Tuesday night. In the meantime, Sherrod was fired from her job and accused of being a racist by the NAACP. 

But rather than acknowledge any sort of mistake in posting the abbreviated video, Breitbart has updated the post  which still comes under the headline “Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism”  with only a clarification on when she held her government position. 

“While Ms. Sherrod made the remarks captured in the first video featured in this post while she held a federally appointed position, the story she tells refers to actions she took before she held that federal position,” the correction reads.

Meanwhile, Dan Rather lost his entire career because he was duped in one story. So let's recap: Breitbart makes a malicious error, very similar to a previous malicious error he committed, and lashes out at his critics rather than confess his mistake. CBS makes a sloppy but innocent mistake and fires the responsible parties. This contrast shows that Breitbart holds himself to higher standards?

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