Andrew Breitbart

We're hearing a lot from conservatives about how Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke, offensive though it may be, occasions a second look at all the offensive things liberals get away with saying. "Liberals" is defined pretty broadly in this instance to include rappers (I guess because they're usually black).

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I'm not sure how many readers are going to be interested in this, but I've been dragged into a pissing match between right-wing pseudojournalist Andrew Breitbart and various lackeys and critics thereof. A couple days ago, Breitbart clipped an exchange in which Norah O'Donnell asked Jay Carney about Democratic objections to the debt ceiling deal. Commentary quoted a portion of the clip to make it appear as though O'Donnell was describing those objections as her own. I wrote about Commentary's misleading item.

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Andrew Breitbart has clipped an exchange from today's press at conference at the White House. In the exchange, reporter Norah O'Donnell press Jay Carney by asking, "Democrats are saying, 'You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing." Commentary has picked up the story, giving it the headline, "CBS's O'Donnell to Carney: We got nothing." CBS’s Norah O’Donnell peppered Carney with terse, accusatory questions about the lack of tax revenue (read: tax increases) in the debt ceiling deal.

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In my line of work, giving advice, people write to me … but when someone with a problem is so overwhelmed by publicity, I just assume he would have written if he’d had the time. So herewith, I offer, unbidden, my counsel to Representative Weiner during this clearly tumultuous and regrettable period in his life. First, ignore everyone making fun of your name. Most people with a handle that is also a nickname for one’s privates do not wind up in the middle of a sex fiasco.

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The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is known as much for its after-parties—where buttoned-up conservatives let loose over libations—as it is known for its official agenda of letting GOP kingmakers and presidential hopefuls vie for the party’s favor. This year’s most talked-about party happened Thursday night, under the dimly lit chandeliers and moody, faux-brocade decor of the 18th Street Lounge, in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. The toast of the party was GOProud, the ultra-conservative, GLBT advocacy group.

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David Frum and Andrew Breitbart debate whether the former invited the latter to parties: Ah, the life of the mind. 

Perhaps it's because unions make workers stronger that some people like to demonize labor unions as "Big Labor." Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government, for example, has a whole section devoted to it. But just how large is the labor movement in the United States? In 2009, out of all wage-earning and salaried workers:   12.3 percent belonged to unions   Union membership is fairly low, in both relative and historical terms. In 1983, the earliest year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has comparable data, 20.1 percent of workers belonged to unions.

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For a few hours last week, Eric Holder could breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, it wasn’t the attorney general but another African American government official whom right-wingers were smearing with allegations of reverse racism. But Andrew Breitbart and other conservative troublemakers’ efforts to turn Shirley Sherrod into Angela Davis proved so ludicrously unfair that they only wound up enhancing Sherrod’s reputation; even long-time conservative commentator Peggy Noonan is now holding up the once-obscure Department of Agriculture official as an icon of racial reconciliation.

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Washington—The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics.

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Greg Sargent makes a smart observation about Andrew Breitbart and his place in the media universe: The conventions of media neutrality apparently require us to keep saying that "both sides do it." But let's drill down on what "it" really is.

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