Send in the Clowns: Breitbart Plans World Domination
Ambling around the Web this evening, I stumbled upon this headline:
Two things immediately jumped out at me.
Delingpole—who, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is one James “I’m right about everything” Delingpole, in his own words “a member of probably the most discriminated-against subsection in the whole of British society—the white, middle-aged, public-school-and-Oxbridge educated middle-class male” who a few years ago earned this very blog’s coveted accolade of Dickhead of the Day, along with the timeless lede “Cretinous British twit,” which is far from the unkindest thing that’s ever been said about him (and I’d like a few props for resisting the obvious Photoshop here ... gnnnn).
Why, he’s even described himself as “James Delingpole — the man so barking even Ukip [the UK Independence Party] wouldn’t have him.”
How to sum up Sucky Jim otherwise? Google is, as ever, your helpful friend:
He’s a self-described rightwing libertarian, an ideologue who in 2010 called for a British Tea Party movement, kind of missing the point of the original Tea Party.
He also fancies himself a satirist, a poor man’s Jeremy Clarkson if you will, failing to see why some might take exception to a passage like this:
... Barack Seamus O’Toole Flaherty Joyce O’Bama is the most Irish US president that ever set foot on the Emerald Oisle, so he is, so he is.
Except, when he’s in Africa, of course, when he disappears into the dry ice and re-emerges with a grass skirt and a bone through his nose and declares himself to be Mandingo, Prince of the Bloodline of the Bonga People, Drinker of Cattle Urine, Father of A Thousand Warrior Sons, Keeper of King Solomon’s Mines, Barehanded Slayer of Lions, Undaunted Victim of the Evil Colonial British Empire.
You could also with some justification call him a minor toff (daddy owned a factory, so he’d never make the major leagues short of marrying a Royal filly, which he hasn’t so far), the minorness no doubt being the impetus for his incessant clamor for attention and Pooteresque trumpeting of his mediocrity.
A polemical left-baiting anthropomorphic climate change denier, his Daily Telegraph blurb reads:
James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books, including his most recent work Watermelons: How the Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future, also available in the US, and in Australia as Killing the Earth to Save It. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com.
His acumen can be gauged if you click on that link to “his” eponymous website.*
Delingpole’s qualifications for commenting at interminable length and pipsqueaking volume about climate change—as evidenced by those book titles above and his other opus The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism—include his own cheerfully boasted scientific illiteracy and the fact that various rightwing British publications that in a less flawed world ought to know better, including The Times, have given him houseroom over the years despite, or more likely because of, such measured analyses as “The wind industry is so wrong in every way that to be against it ought to be no more contentious than being against paedophilia,” and:
Always remember this: the Warmist faith so fervently held and promulgated by the Met Office is exactly the same faith so passionately, unswervingly followed by David Cameron, Chris Huhne, Greg Barker, the Coalition’s energy spokesman in the Lords Lord Marland, and all but five members of the last parliament. And also by the BBC, the Prince of Wales, almost every national newspaper, the European Union, the Royal Society, the New York Times, CNBC, the Obama administration, the Australian and New Zealand governments, your children’s schools, our major universities, our minor universities, the University of East Anglia, your local council…
Truly there just aren’t enough bullets!
This is the man who signed off his final Telegraph blog by castigating “green-left-liberal lunacy.”
Such typically understated insights have (of course) earned him a hilariously disastrous audience with Fox News’s Gretchen Carlson, and an extended one with your very own Alex Jones, as reported by the blog Climategate: Anthropogenic Global Warming, history’s biggest scam. I wouldn’t normally give such a blog even the scant oxygen of publicity a post of mine can supply, but I only had to read down two comments to come across this:
January 28, 2010 at 8:21 am
I think I have worked out where commentator James Delingpole is coming from. He pretends to be a climate change denier and enemy of environmentalists. In reality he’s a mole, paid by Greenpeace to inflict as much damage on the anti-green cause as possible. And he’s doing a marvellous job.
Heh. He who lives by the Alex Jones shall die by the Alex Jones, I guess.
Sometime Twitter loose cannon Delingpole got himself in hot water (and to be fair, immediately abjectly apologized, on the basis that he’d made the same quip about male journalists in the past and belatedly realized that he’d made a public twat of himself again) for interjecting in some tweetspat that Tory hack Toby Young had given Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore “such a seeing-to she’ll be walking bow-legged for months.” (To continue being fair, after Moore refused to accept the apology because he’d left his tweet online, he blurted to another passing female tweeter who took him to task, “Excuse me Ms Eumenides I’ve taken it down and apologised. What more do you want? My bollocks on a platter? Bog off!” He probably meant bollocks in batter, which is a Glaswegian delicacy.)
Daily ex-public schoolboy idiocy of much the same ilk appears on his Twitter feed if you’ve the appetite for more (or you could just read the Guardian‘s John Crace’s handy Digested Read, which will save you the bother of reading anything Delingpole writes ever again), and will no doubt expand in scope, since we now come to the second thing that jumped out at me.
UK launch of Breitbart.com
Sorry, that should read
It should also be boggling. Like my mind.
WTF? Yep, it’s happening, apparently:
Breitbart News launched two new verticals on Sunday—“Breitbart London” and “Breitbart Texas”
Sounds positively Russian. London and Texas. That is London, England, yeah? It wouldn’t be the first time Delingpole got the wrong end of the stick.
—that are the first steps in a multi-year expansion effort that will bridge the gap between global and regional news at a time when the rise of anti-establishment forces in politics and new media are threatening the old political and media order.
Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, said that those offices were the beginning of an expansion that would add a new regional site roughly every 90 days. California, Florida, Cairo and Jerusalem have already been chosen as expansion sites, he said.
Breitbart London’s led by Raheem Kassam, Marketing Director at the neocon Henry Jackson Society and founder of the distinctly right/libertarian-leaning British site TrendingCentral, ranked 38,365th in the UK by Alexa, whoa Nelly! His background could be described as colorful, including a history of left-baiting, and a pretty good match for Breitbart, down to a history of astroturfing. Why, he’s even been nailed for editing his own (now deleted) puffed-up Wikipedia page, as Liberal Conspiracy discovered:
So [who] was behind this string of favourable edits for Kassam?
Doing a reverse-lookup revealed the IP address belonged to the digital communications company Aegis Group.
But an official within Aegis sent our source an explanation: it belonged to a tenant in their old building – the Henry Jackson Society (marketing director: Raheem Kassam).
So we are left with is a series of mysteries:
- Raheem Kassam admits editing his Wikipedia page, and denies creating it, but what of the wonderful edits apparently originating from the Henry Jackson Society?
- Will Kassam disclose exactly which edits he was involved with, either directly or through colleagues?
The (I presume paid) staff of 10 include nobody I, nor I imagine most other Brits, have ever heard of other than Delingpole, who I guess will serve as their even poorer man’s Jim Treacher.
Delingpole’s already made his first post, the not at all grandiosely titled “Andrew Breitbart’s War Comes to Britain,” which manages to combine butthurt whining with a new, more upfront, slightly sinister tone that his clowning has so far masked and ill becomes him but seems to go down well with certain sectors of his American audience:
In the Spectator recently, my old friend Toby Young described a dilemma which all those of us right-wing persuasion must face up to in the end: should you soften your position in order to find some common ground with people whose stupid political ideology you loathe and despise? Or should you stay true to your principles and risk being marginalised as, at best, unreasonable and, at worst, as a fruitcake, a crank, a dangerous extremist?
I think that boat sailed a few years ago, Jim lad.
Breitbart Texas’s Managing Director is Brandon Darby, described primarily in his Wikipedia entry as an FBI informant, suspected by some of being an agent provocateur, who leads a team who may be as obscure to you in the USA as the London staff are to me, other than, perhaps inevitably, Lee Stranahan, who’ll need no introduction.
I guess Breitbart.com must have secured some funding for all this expansion. Can its ad revenue alone really be supporting it all? Meanwhile, Shirley Sherrod is still seeking legal redress for Breitbart’s defamation (and being widely pilloried in the US RW blogs for her pains), and the court process is lumbering on, which may eventually end up cramping their style a little.
I just hope they’ve got enough clown shoes to go round.
* At original time of writing, that link led to a hosting holding site. It looks like Delingpole has since coughed up his subs. Either that or the site’s been hacked, as it now displays a collection of deranged rantings accompanied by a series of hideous images that can only serve to mar his reputation even further.