Here's what one of Breitbart's editors said--wondering why more people in the media weren't taking their side:
This quote alone might be enough to get The Omnivore to do the unthinkable and buy a Sleeping Giant's shirt.
Why Is The Omnivore Okay With Stiffing Free Speech?Doesn't The Omnivore believe in free speech? Yes. But isn't that a lie? A reader of The Omnivore thinks she can sniff out the lie because The Omnivore supports the Sleeping Giants approach. So, its time to do some education.
Ladies and gentlemen--and other non-gentlemen readers--behold --
Net-Net: Live by the boycott, die by the boycott (not that what Sleeping Giants is doing is a boycott--but still).
But Omnivore, you say, Milo was fired long ago--ancient history. Right? Not so--he was let go due to exposure of what sounded like a defense of pedophilia--not for doing is best to create offensive media spectacles. If that was all he was doing, he'd still be at it.
Net-Net: Hire bomb-throwers, make a lot of money--but please look up the origins of "hoist by his own petard."
But Omnivore, you say, smirkily, you're just cherry-picking. That article is from some distant past and has no relevance today. That's what you say--okay, let's do the easiest thing possible--let's find some racist comments from tonight. How? Oh, that's easy--look for a home-page ad about black people and then go to some of the most liked comments.
But Omnivore, you say, thinking you've got him--that's the comments--that's not the articles. Breitbart isn't responsible for what people write. Why would an advertiser object to what comments people leave??
The Omnivore will educate you: The problem here is not what's in Bannon's heart--it's what in his media property. If his articles are attracting racists like [ you know ] attracts flies, perhaps the charge that Breitbart is promoting racism has some valid grounding. Breitbart could certainly clean up its comments section--or even close it.
But it won't. Those are Bannon's people. He knows it. We know it. Advertisers know it.
Read that again: Advertisers know it. They know they can find a story about race, go to the comments, and see "monkey." Easy peasy. That's enough for them to pull their ad right there.
Net-Net: Out-and-proud racism might be getting more popular in America--but it isn't popular yet.
ConclusionsWhat The Omnivore is relentlessly hammering home is:
- Breitbart is a special case in the media. They have a ton of traffic--but their brand is inflammatory and controversial. That is not guaranteed to be a sustainable business model--"inflammatory" and "controversial" are seen, by ordinary companies as brand damage.
- Breitbart is actively trying to piss people off. Absolutely trying--just the "right people." That's also a formula for losing the average advertiser. Sure--every media outlet either makes mistakes that upset people--or publish the overly-honest story revealing their liberal prejudices--but they do not make that part of their business model if they want to be mainstream and attract mainstream advertisers.
- The charge that Breitbart is promoting at least a kind of racism is, at least arguable. You can spin conspiracy theories about liberal posters sabotaging them--or say that the comments people are just .00000000000001% of the population and that it's a weird kind of racist who reads/comments--whatever. What you can't deny is that those comments are there. If that's enough for an advertiser--and it is a legitimate line to draw--then you're done on the first count.
In short, no one is coming to Breitbart's defense because this is a situation of their own making. They have worked hard to get to the point where their brand was pretty toxic to run-of-the-mill advertisers--and eventually someone 'called them on it.'
Rather than being against free speech, this is EXACTLY what free speech is: Breitbart can publish offensive articles and draw racist comments--they can engage in boycotts and then whine about it if they lose ad revenue. They can do all that stuff--and no one is stopping them or censoring them.
It's just that some people don't want to associate with them over it. That isn't a problem--after all, as conservatives have long held, the answer to bad speech is more / better speech: like this.