Politics & Policy

The Corner

Look, Over There, Jeff Bezos! Lessons in Crisis Management from Breitbart

Breitbart is trying to distract its readers from the Roy Moore sex scandal. The takeaway from yesterday’s Washington Post story is obvious: A woman says that Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14, and key parts of her story check out. To Steve Bannon and his team, though, the relevant facts about the story are that the Washington Post published it, that the newspaper is owned by Jeff Bezos, that the newspaper endorsed the Democratic candidate in the race — and that the whole thing is part of a sinister effort to push Moore out.

In a speech last night — the writeup of which is the current Breitbart lead story — Bannon called the newspaper “purely part of the apparatus of the Democratic party.” “It’s interesting,” Bannon said, that “the Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos-Amazon-Washington Post that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore. Now is that a coincidence?” The writeup calls the story about Moore “an orchestrated political attack.” Meanwhile, the most popular post on Breitbart warns that “establishment Republicans” are trying “to push Roy Moore out of [the] race.” Suspicious, right?

There is no way to favorably spin the Post report without embarrassing yourself, which Aaron Klein and Joel Pollak learned yesterday. So Bannon’s bunch has resorted to insinuating conspiracy theories. Of course, nobody at Breitbart believes that Leigh Corfman, a 53-year old Trump voter, is in cahoots with Mitch McConnell and the Democrats. But they must think their readers will believe it, which raises the question: How contemptuous of its audience is Breitbart?

The strategy amounts to little more than “Look, over there, Jeff Bezos!” or “Look, over there, Mitch McConnell!” Apparently, Breitbart subscribes to the same crisis-management school as Hollywood.

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