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The Breitbartification Of CPAC

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The Breitbartification Of CPAC

CPAC, Breitbart

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters for America.

“My biggest fear is that later this week I will be among the legions at CPAC rearranging the furniture,” wrote Andrew Breitbart just days before the first Conservative Political Action Conference of President Barack Obama’s administration. “Instead, the conservative movement needs to think in revolutionary terms.”

Eight years later, Breitbart has passed away, but the revolution he started is at its peak: the media company he founded is everywhere at CPAC, and his successor is in the White House working for Breitbart News’ chosen candidate.

Former editor Milo Yiannopoulos is no longer on the program, but seven Breitbart editors and reporters will participate in panels and or give speeches at the conference this week. (In an almost certainly related note, Breitbart is a “Partnering Sponsor” of the event, the highest level.)

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who took over the website following its founder’s death, will appear alongside White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp today for a “conversation” intended to show that the Republican Party establishment and the fringe outsiders who pushed President Donald Trump to victory in the 2016 presidential primaries are united.

And of course, after he pulled out of speaking at last year’s conference following a backlash from conservative critics, Trump himself will loom over the conference, with an address scheduled for Friday morning.

Andrew Breitbart himself dominated CPAC in the early years of the decade. He strode through the conference like a rock star, granting media interviews, greeting cheering supporters, confronting liberal provocateurs, and scouting for new talent. His annual speech-screeds drew large audiences far more interested in hearing his rants against journalists and other elites than a sober speech from a Republican politician or think-tanker.

“I’m old, so I remember CPAC before Andrew Breitbart: Quiet,” wrote David Weigel in 2012. “Since 2010, the first CPAC after Breibart’s Big Government released James O’Keefe’s ACORN video investigations, Breitbart’s appearances at the conference have begun with media interviews, continued with assorted people confronting him on video, and ended with his own speeches, full of nostalgia for the stuff that just happened.”

Weeks after his 2012 CPAC appearance, at which he famously freaked out at liberal protestors, Breitbart suddenly passed away. Bannon took the reins, and began turning the website Andrew Breitbart founded into “the platform for the alt-right.”

The following year, CPAC celebrated the first anniversary of Breitbart’s passing. Hundreds of CPAC attendees showed up for events intended to remember the right-wing media mogul. A standing-room-only showing of his final documentary was followed by a panel featuring his former colleagues and friends, followed by a cocktail party. In 2014, the paeans continued as CPAC rolled out the Andrew Breitbart First Amendment Award (radio host Mark Levin was the first recipient; Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson was the second).

But even as CPAC showered love on Andrew Breitbart’s memory, under Bannon’s leadership, the website he founded was suggesting that the conference was too politically correct and overly dominated by the establishment. In 2013 and 2014, Breitbart News hosted “The Uninvited” sessions during CPAC featuring anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, and fringe figures not welcome at the conference itself.

Notably, The Uninvited sessions featured Frank Gaffney, the founder of the Center for Security Policy — which the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as “a conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States.”

Andrew Breitbart once hired Gaffney to help run his national security website; he still contributes to Breitbart.com. And Bannon loves Gaffney, calling him “one of the senior thought leaders and men of action in this whole war against Islamic radical jihad.” But Gaffney was persona non grata at CPAC for years because he is a paranoid conspiracy theorist who accused two members of CPAC’s board of being secret supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (he has returned in recent years and is on the 2017 agenda).

The situation was bad enough that after he became chairman of the American Conservative Union, which oversees CPAC, Matt Schlapp invited Breitbart editor Matt Boyle to the ACU’s headquarters for a lengthy interview in February 2015. Schlapp and his staff, in fairly obsequious fashion, pitched Boyle on how that year’s CPAC would be more responsive to Breitbart.com’s concerns.

CPAC had “drifted away from the core values of conservatism” but now, “concerted efforts by the ACU to listen to grassroots concerns about the direction of the landmark conference, the organization is now emerging as stronger, more conservative and more united,” Boyle concluded following the presentation.

In the two years since, the Republican establishment has been routed by the Breitbart-led forces who pushed Trump to the front of the Republican presidential primary field and supported him at every step of the way. Bannon moved seamlessly from head of Breitbart, to head of Trump’s campaign, to Trump’s top White House aide.

In addition to Trump and Bannon, attendees at this year’s CPAC will have the opportunity to see Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow interview a Republican congressman on tax reform. They can watch Breitbart UK chief Raheem Kassam introduce Nigel Farage, his former boss at the right-wing UK Independence Party. Breitbart’s Frances Martel and John Carney will be moderating panels on “China’s Expansion” and “Repealing Obama’s Banking Monstrosity,” while Joel Pollak and Sonnie Johnson are on panels discussing trade policy and how the left hates cops. James Delingpole will be leading “CPAC Conversations” on energy.

Breitbart.com spent years shilling for Trump’s candidacy. Now Trump will swagger through the conference that Andrew Breitbart once owned, while the news site he created is a dominant force at CPAC. An ascendent Breitbart.com and President Trump are truly Andrew Breitbart’s greatest legacy.

IMAGE: Media Matters



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 23, 2017

    “Breitbart—CPAC—Bannon—Alex Jones—FOX—Racialism—Nazism—Racist Sentiments—The GOP—Trump—Hate—Nativism—Divisiveness”

    This linkage is clear as day, and undeniable insofar as all the elements are closely linked. This is an axis composed of several embodiments that have a long history of evil, and anti-God sentiments thoroughly infused in each. Specific names are of those who have been immersed and stained outwardly, and whose seat of the soul—the “heart”—has become a storehouse of the ideologies of such evil influences. The media sites and organizations listed currently act as major conduits for the evil influences of the corrupt ideologies shown.

    You can’t be semi-influenced by evil institutions if you’re associated with them, either nominally or as a result of being fixtures in such institutions. Either you are free of the taint of evil, or you are infected and capable of being a carrier.

    The GOP leadership can’t deny this linkage nor claim it to be fake—the logic presented to show the connection is ironclad. What may be disputed is whether all the members in the GOP and all attendees at CPAC are infected with the disease of racism, but to be in bed with any agent of racism, hate, and any other forms of bigotry by necessity make you a partner in crime. As for the specific names cited, there is ample evidence on record to show the extent of their being consumed by hate and racism.

    Therefore, the GOP, CPAC, Trump must be “man” enough to own up to embracing all the links in this chain that forms an “Axis of Evil”. An axis akin to the AXIS of WWII and Bush’s announcement of an “axis” comprising Iran, Iraq, and N. Korea.

    The GOP can’t accept one link without accepting all the links.

    “O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly.” (from ‘The Hidden Words’)

    From this, we see from the angle of Baha’u’llah’s words the direct complicity and the direct association of the GOP with such evil attributes and practices like racism, bigotry, and hate. Not that Democrats and other “liberal” entities and individuals are squeaky-clean and untainted, but the GOP has heartily embraced the evil manifestations outlined in the manifestos of groups and avowed sentiments expressed by individuals such as those mentioned.

    1. dbtheonly February 24, 2017

      I disagree with the idea of the Democrats being tainted by hate. It’s the RW argument of it being intolerant, to be intolerant, of their intolerance. I understand the fractured nature of that sentence. In essence, I contend that opposing evil, in all its forms, is not evil in itself.

      Baha’u’llah’s words certainly echo Jesus’ and I commend them to all.

      I think I’ve told you that I consider Libertarianism to be the most anti-Christ philosophy around. It saddens me to see the depth to which some Christians sell out their God for politics.

      Lest you feel unappreciated, I need to tell you that I appreciate and value your comments, advice, and good attitude.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker February 24, 2017

        During Hitler’s rise to power, the strategy was to make the good, decent, honest people appear to be bad. Now, you have Trump and Bannon slathering all manner of black paint all over liberals, progressives and anyone else who gets in their way. But, what IS their way?

        If you heard Bannon last night at CPAC, you’d have sown you were thrown back to the early 1930s rise of Hitler. Conservatives just sat there just the way the Germans did and listened, cheered and applauded Bannon as if he was the next best thing to the end of democracy.

        Already, Trump is using ICE as his personal police to create immigration pogroms. A domestic airline flight out of California, ALL passengers were asked illegally to show their papers. ICE claimed it was looking for a particular illegal immigrant.

        You’ll be happy to know that Bannon also claims that the U.S. Constitution does NOT grant us RIGHTs. He claims it only grants “privileges.” Scary right?

        1. idamag February 24, 2017

          Damn scary.

          1. Eleanore Whitaker February 24, 2017

            I am not about to cowed by fear by a bunch of power and money mad men and women. To even consider that would be to show indifference toward our children’s futures.

            What I saw of the CPAC crowd was that some in the audience are like the Germans who knew what Hitler was about to do was wrong but they were too chicken livered to stop him. What we have now are self proclaimed “conservatives” whose chief goal is to bring down the U.S. government, destroy democracy and generally allow those with the most money to use our tax dollars to make them wealthier.

            Nothing Trump or Bannon has said thus far proves their intent to erase the national debt, zero out the national deficit, reduce the cost of college for our kids and provide healthcare to our most vulnerable. All of the Trump BUSINESS deals will result in profits they should not, as public servants allowed to profit from.

      2. idamag February 24, 2017

        There are people who have low literacy. They could probably read something, from a book, word for word, but would not understand what they read. With this country’s attitude toward education, we have many more of those kind of people than is good for democracy. Those are the people who can be scared and taught to hate and therefore easy to manipulate. People, like you, give me hope that the low-literates might not be in the majority.

        1. dbtheonly February 24, 2017

          Thank you, I think.

          I would suggest that the majority are caught up in their own lives and have not considered what their inaction costs. Lord Willing, that stopped.

          If Ms. E is accurate, and Bannon did make the claims attributed, then he completely misunderstands our form of Government and we’re in a deeper pit than I imagined.

          I learned years ago, “All that evil needs to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing.”

          I sent Jon Ossoff $25. this morning.

          1. idamag February 24, 2017

            I was complimenting you. That is a pertinent quote. When the nazis marched into Poland, the first people they executed were the intellectuals. The GOP has taken great care to downplay science. I read, once, where a religious faction gave hitler most of his votes.

    2. Independent1 February 25, 2017

      The major distinction I see, is that although there may be individuals associated with the Democratic party who may not be “squeaky-clean”, the major focus and driving force of Democrats is for the good of all the people.

      Whereas, the intent and focus of today’s Republicans as a whole has become what God would consider evil – that the party has become a driving force to make the already wealthy wealthier at the expense of the less fortunate; with the vast majority of the party’s supporters having evil minds with a rare few having the compassion for others that Jesus said was the 2nd great commandment; Love thy neighbor as thyself.

  2. ray February 24, 2017

    The Breitbartification of the GOP.

  3. Eleanore Whitaker February 24, 2017

    If this doesn’t scare the hell out of Americans, what more do we need? At CPAC, Steve Bannon stated, “We will smash the state!” Now compare that to Adolph Hitler’s statement:

    “Only one thing could have stopped our movement – if our adversaries had understood its principle and from the first day smashed with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.”

    Still think these are conservatives? Still think the politicians of the south and midwest are not closet Nazis? They sat there lapping up the very verbiage Hitler used.

    This isn’t about Breitbart or liberals these Nazi Commies love to blame. It IS about them creating a presidency with one intention only: To tear down government as it has existed for 238 years and replace it with a Nazi style government that will monitor every breath we all take and should anyone step out of line, face the Bannon military.

    Remember how Hitler rose to power. Then, compare it to what Bannon is up to. “Smash the state!”

    1. idamag February 24, 2017

      I keep challenging people to read, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

      1. dbtheonly February 24, 2017

        His “Berlin Diaries” are also a good read. Perhaps even more on point.

  4. yabbed February 24, 2017

    There is no surprise here. The right wing freaks have always been haters, bigots, misogynists, racists, and spendthrifts.

  5. Dan S February 24, 2017

    Andrew Breitbarts legacy is a big pile of ???????????? And that pile keeps growing and growing by the day. It’s not unfair to compare Steve Bannons agenda to Nazis and his statement that he wants to tear down our government. With Trump as his pawn i.e. Puppet he’s manipulating him to overthrow our democracy. We need to get Trumpnout of office and lock him and Bannon up for treason. RESIST !!!!

  6. Eleanore Whitaker February 24, 2017

    Pence would be no better either. At CPAC last night, Reverend Pence turned his speech into a gospel that Elmer Gantry would be proud of.

    Is creating lie about immigrants in the US the same as Hitler lying about the Jews in Europe?

    1. idamag February 24, 2017

      Seems so,

  7. bobnstuff February 24, 2017

    Bannon must be loving it and he gets to show off his lap dog to everyone. They need to come up with a new name for their movement though, They are no longer true conservatives or even republicans. They need a good name that fits they movement. Since they are coming from deep inside the party maybe the Bowel Movement would be a better name for them.

    1. idamag February 24, 2017

      How about what they are: Fascists

  8. Eleanore Whitaker February 24, 2017

    One of my most famous authors is Thomas Paine. He once wrote: “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”

    ― Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

    1. Independent1 February 25, 2017

      What’s amazing to me is that the GOP doesn’t appear to have changed since FDR was in office. Even back then they apparently were a backwards thinking lot as they are today. Wanting to keep America in the dark ages – afraid apparently to bringing us into the light of modern day. Conservative thinking seems always to be: Let’s keep all those horse and buggies going!!

      See this from FDR: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f2d289f0c78314603ef3aa25d6db7973be60f3e35647f8d1dfba45a7f0d47ec.jpg

      1. dtgraham February 25, 2017

        FDR was a very great man, Independent.

        “We are all in this world together, and the only test of our character that matters is how we look after the least fortunate among us. How we look after each other, not how we look after ourselves. That’s all that really matters, I think.”
        — Tommy Douglas.

        “Every major progressive reform that has added to the dignity of mankind has been brought about only after a major struggle against those who have something to gain by keeping conditions as they are. This will never change.”
        — Ed Schreyer.

        “Mr Speaker, I conclude our government’s budget address with a quotation from Franklin Roosevelt.” — “The test of our progress as a society is not in whether we add to the abundance of those who already have much, but in whether we provide more for those who have little.”
        — Ed Schreyer.


        1. Independent1 February 25, 2017

          All great quotes and truisms; and all truisms reflective of what God has worked since the beginning of His creation of mankind to impart within the human mind.

          As Jesus so aptly expressed and is recorded in Matthew 22:

          36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

          37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

          38 This is the first and great commandment.

          39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

          40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

          1. Independent1 February 25, 2017

            And sadly, all those who support the many misguided agenda’s of today’s conservatives, have apparently chosen to totally disregard these verses spoken by Jesus; because although many supporters of today’s Republicans purport to be Christians, and are supposedly doing what they do in God’s name, they totally fail to realize that they are consistently violating verse 39 above; and are therefore making any efforts they claim to be in God’s name, totally null and void in the sight of God.

  9. Thoughtopsy February 24, 2017

    Wallow in it, Republicans.
    You’re eating your own side.


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