Breitbart’s Beef with ABC News

November 1st, 2010 at 12:53 pm David Frum | 33 Comments |

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Andrew Breitbart has exploded into foaming rage that ABC News may have unbooked him for its election night coverage.

In Breitbart’s mind, the alleged unbooking raises issues of the highest constitutional magnitude.

“This is not really about ‘me.’ This is about a full-fledged assault on the 1st Amendment and free speech.”

Really? It happens to me about once a month. A rookie Fox News booker will read something I’ve written and call to book me onto a show, say Fox & Friends. I’ll say, “Are you quite sure about this? Have you checked with your boss?”

The booker will confidently say, “I’m sure my boss will agree you’d be a great guest.”

“Well before we lock in, why don’t you check. I’d hate to have a last minute surprise.”

And sure enough, the booker will call back in a little way, surprised and sometimes embarrassed. There’s been a conflict. Something’s come up.

I’m not complaining. Unlike Breitbart, I do not believe that I have the constitutional right to appear on somebody else’s airwaves. But really, the claims of victimhood from the right side of American politics show a remarkable lack of self-knowledge.

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33 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool

    I, for one, am disapponted. One of his hissy fits would be must-see tv.

  • Madeline

    Andrew Breitbart has exploded into foaming rage

    This phrase could be the lead in to so very many articles on so very many topics, couldn’t it?

    And, SURPRISE! Another conservative who has a limited understanding of the 1st Amendment.

  • Watusie

    Breitbart is, apparently, as ignorant about the Constitution as his fans.

    Of course, this is yet another self-inflicted blow – it all blew up only becasue Breitbart was exaggerating his scheduled role, inflating himself to “analyst”.

  • balconesfault

    Free Speech? What a dork.

    Free Speech gives Breitbart the right to buy his own damn TV station and put himself on it all he wants.

    But let’s face it – all Breitbart sells is victimhood. So why would this particular hissy fit be a surprise?

  • ktward


    You illustrate precisely what I opined on another thread: ABC invited Breitbart and his bag of histrionics to boost election night ratings. Like a car crash, it’s hard not to gawk.

    In the end, it seems ABC decided they’d rather sacrifice ratings than shred their cred.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    the claims of victimhood from the right side of American politics show a remarkable lack of self-knowledge.

    A little unwieldy, perhaps, but much better as a Fox News slogan than “fair and balanced.”

  • LauraNo

    I am glad to see my email to ABC had the desired effect.

  • jakester

    He must be getting coached by Michael Weiner aka Savage.
    They are both clever, middle class Jewish demagogues who exploits the rage and credulity of ignorant Xtain fundies & Palindrones.

  • Xunzi Washington

    They shouldn’t have booked him in the first place. This “Free Speech” crap is getting tiring, too – -as tiring as listening to morons who lap it up repeat it.

    If he wants to exercise his free speech rights, he can blather on as long as he likes on the street outside of ABC studios. If someone comes and arrests him, I’ll listen to his free speech complaints.

  • JJWFromME

    Too funny.

  • josebrwn

    I laughed out loud :) Best story I’ve read all day. Thanks.

  • TerryF98

    Never should have booked the A$$hole in the first place.

  • ktward


    I’m quite impressed by what was evidently an overwhelming backlash that prompted ABC’s ‘clarification’ of Breitbart’s role in their election night coverage. And I’m sure your email played no small part. [collegial sarcasm, not evil.]

    That backlash illuminates how horribly ill-considered ABC’s invitation was, right from the start. Consequently, it really does look like they lead Breitbart on, and Frum illustrates how easily that happens. The difference is that Frum is an adult with a fully functioning prefrontal cortex. Breitbart, otoh, is developmentally handicapped. For whatever reasons. Given his age I’m inclined to believe it’s a permanent disability.

  • jakester

    For a guy who raves about all those elites in big Hollywood and big government, he certainly has a soft spot for big military, as if the military is some special bunch of angels who need protection from all those eveel liberals he fights tooth and nail everyday.

  • ditka

    Breitbart is just mad because he thought this would be a good way to audition to get on Modern Family or Dancing With the Stars.

  • sdspringy

    Or its possible to imagine that Breitbart would have been too jovial during the election returns while the entire ABC news room is in a state of mourning.

  • balconesfault

    Maybe Breitbart should insist that Congress bring back the Fairness Doctrine?

  • Xunzi Washington

    Breitbart’s beef with ABC news should be that that ABC news thought about using him as an analyst at all.

  • Rob_654

    Does ANY Far Righter know what the 1st Amendment actually says?

    “This is about a full-fledged assault on the 1st Amendment and free speech.”

    Uh – Andy, the 1st Amendment only protects you from the GOVERNMENT telling you you can’t say something – there is no protection regarding a private company telling you that they aren’t interested in giving you air time.

  • easton

    jakester, no need to bring religion into this.

    He is a loose cannon, it was stupid to invite him anywhere.

  • MPCpiano

    In you above example where you are booked on Fox News with a rookie booker, is your appearance on the show blocked by a blog supported by millions of dollars of Soros money, whose sole job is to transcribe right wing shows’ content in order to find some words out of context to smear the show with? Did the ABC bosses in your analogy have anything against Andrew Breitbart before Media Matters organized a protest against his appearance??

    Your reasoning is stupid, as is this “Juan Williams”-style lynching of Breitbart’s appearance on ABC. Disgusting.

  • Mark Yzaguirre

    Is it just me, or is Andrew Breitbart increasingly looking and sounding like Sam Kinison, circa 1989?

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  • PracticalGirl

    Breitbart is a right-wing puke with an overinflated and curiously entitled view of who is is and his value as an “analyst”. His public embarrassment must surely be a boo-boo for Andrew that won’t heal quickly. That he’s frothing over this in public shows that Bob Marley was right when he wrote “Pimper’s Paradise”

    “Every need’s got an ego to feed…”

  • TerryF98

    MPCpiano // Nov 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    That word salad just does not make any sense whatsoever. Have you been taking lessons from $arah Palin?

  • Xunzi Washington

    “…as is this “Juan Williams”-style lynching of Breitbart’s appearance on ABC. Disgusting.”

    Sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond to this sort of thing. I mean, what could one say that could actually penetrate such a person’s skull?

  • baw1064

    Is MPCpiano an AI program that trolls the web to post “sentences” consisting of right wing buzzwords strung together in a semi-grammatical fashion?

  • Candy83

    If television news were anywhere as credible as it was decades ago, Andrew Breitbart would not be allowed in any of their studios … let alone receive an invite from ABC News

  • Madeline

    I have never even been approached by ABC News regarding an appearance on their network!

    Help! Help! I’m bein’ repressed!

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  • Gus

    “foaming rage” is Breitbart’s default condition. Dude’s gonna stroke out before he’s 55.

  • Rob_654

    Oh no, an angry, middle aged, overweight white guy!!! That group is just so picked on and are so powerless in American society…