WASHINGTON, November 14, 2016 — In 2011, Andrew Breitbart wrote, “The people of the United States, with its First Amendment, are leading the way in combining free speech and technology. Just as Western Rock and roll helped bring down the Eastern Bloc in the latter half of the twentieth century, the Internet is going to provide a similar impetus to the people of the world to grasp the possibilities of freedom.”
He wrote that in his book, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World.” The coupling of the First Amendment and technology—the Internet—shot the populist message of President-elect Donald Trump right over the heads of the thought police of America’s ossified old media, like the editorial board at the New York Times.
Americans flocked to social media and the world-wide-web’s conservative outlets. No one knew that better than Clinton campaign director Christina Reynolds.
In a fundraising email to the Democratic Party faithful last August, Reynolds wrote, “We’ve had a conservative media in this country for a while. I don’t always like what they have to say, but I respect their role and their right to exist.”
But she believed the Internet website that bears Andrew Breitbart’s name was somehow outside the free-speech protection of the First Amendment:
“Breitbart [News] … They’re a different breed altogether—not just conservative but radical, bigoted, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy peddlers who never have been and never should be anywhere near the levers of power in this country … It goes without saying that we have to beat these people. But I want to beat them so decisively that their kind never rises again.”
When the radical left tags a conservative news outlet as “radical,” “bigoted,” “anti-Muslim,” and “anti-Semitic,” it means that outlet is effective at exposing the tropes of the left as absurd drivel.
The same accusations leveled at Breitbart News by the Clinton campaign and the old media were those leveled at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
It was thus only natural that when Trump re-shuffled his campaign staff last August, he picked Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News, to be his campaign chief.
The New York Times described Bannon as a “conservative media provocateur whose news organization regularly attacks the Republican Party establishment, savages Hillary Clinton and encourages Mr. Trump’s most pugilistic instincts.”
The Times, out of a deep concern for the Republican candidate no doubt, said the Bannon pick threatened Trump “by alienating the moderate voters who typically decide the presidency.”
When Sen. John McCain withdrew his support for Trump in October, the Washington Post gleefully noted, “McCain now joins the entire Bush family and Mitt Romney in not supporting Trump, meaning the party’s presidential nominees in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2012 do not back Trump.”
Most of these GOP presidential candidates followed the mainstream media’s campaign advice, going down to ignominious defeat.
Trump followed Bannon’s “pugilistic” advice instead. Now, he’s president elect.
On Sunday the Trump team announced that Trump has picked Bannon to be his chief White House strategist and senior counselor.
Echoing the failed Clinton campaign’s fundraising appeal, the lead editorial in Monday’s New York Times denounced Bannon as the “Pied Piper of the alt-right conspiracy theorists.”
Let’s hope Bannon helps President Trump translate that theory into practice by ignoring the old-media dinosaurs and their gullible dupes among the GOP’s establishment.
In doing so, Trump will “Make America Great Again.”