At the same time one of his websites was breaking the Alaska-CBS-affiliate-conspiring-against-Joe-Miller story, Andrew Breitbart was dealing with an online onslaught from the Left – with Media Matters and the Huffington Post taking the lead. Breitbart was invited by ABC to participate in their election-night coverage. They’ve got a Facebook-ing digital event going on tonight, and if I’ve understood it all correctly, it was meant, on some level, to correspond with and overlap with ABC broadcast coverage.
Brilliant, I thought. Prior to hearing that Andrew might be part of ABC’s coverage, the possibility of watching that network on election night would never have entered my mind. That would have been good TV, including someone who has played no insignificant role in the backlash against the Left this year.
When Andrew mentioned his ABC election gig online Friday night — probably while many Corner readers and writers were putting finishing touches on their children’s Halloween costumes — the Left went mad. In response, even George Stephanopoulos wound up tweeting about it. Over the weekend, it was made clear that Andrew would be fact-checked while on air. It was overemphasized that he had no connection to ABC.
And then, today, he was canceled completely, and ABC posted this:
Dear Mr. Breitbart,
We have spent the past several days trying to make clear to you your limited role as a participant in our digital town hall to be streamed on ABCNews.com and Facebook. The post on your blog last Friday created a widespread impression that you would be analyzing the election on ABC News. We made it as clear as possible as quickly as possible that you had been invited along with numerous others to participate in our digital town hall. Instead of clarifying your role, you posted a blog on Sunday evening in which you continued to claim a bigger role in our coverage. As we are still unable to agree on your role, we feel it best for you not to participate.
Andrew Breibart is a significant voice in American politics and new media today. He’s also as transparent as people come — when you get Andrew, he puts his positions on the table in a forthright and passionate way. He puts his goals out in the open. And he’s fearless. He would have made a worthy sparring partner for former Clinton aides and some of ABC’s other typical fare. Andrew, who has become a powerhouse despite limited resources, deserves better.
Since we can’t watch him on ABC tonight, my suggestion for this evening: Annoy the Left, click on Breitbart.com.
Fortunately, Breitbart will continue to be heard. I suspect that ABC, in their shameful treatment of a man happy to go defend his views wherever people ask him to, missed an opportunity to expand their audience and put on a good election-night show. And those at ABC who were running away from him could have afforded to meet a good man rather than the Media Matters caricature of him.