Breitbart.com Sets Sights to be the Go-To Spot for the Right
Team Breitbart has worked feverishly — with up to 100 posts a day on "verticals" dubbed Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace — to make the site the go-to destination for conservatives. "We are going to be the Huffington Post of the right," said Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network. "That is our focus every day."
James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, Aug 2, 2012
Andrew Breitbart loathed the "institutional left," and what he called "the Democrat media complex." A son of Brentwood who cut his sharp online incisors working alongside blogging pioneers Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington, Breitbart went on to forge an eponymous website and persona as one of the fiercest voices of the right. His mission appeared cut short March 1, when he died of heart failure. Breitbart was just 43.
But an unlikely crew of friends and associates — his oldest childhood friend, a pair of Harvard-educated lawyers, a financier/filmmaker who served in the Navy and a musician pal who reinforces the fallen leader's voice as the website's "minister of culture" — scarcely paused after the loss. Just three days later, with the blessing of Breitbart's widow, Susie, they launched a redesigned Breitbart.com website.
In the months since, Team Breitbart has worked feverishly — with up to 100 posts a day on "verticals" dubbed Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace — to make the site the go-to destination for conservatives.
"We are going to be the Huffington Post of the right," said Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network. "That is our focus every day."
That's a tall order in a crowded field — including the Weekly Standard, World Net Daily and the Daily Caller — which, at least for now, each draw more readers than Breitbart.com according to the rating service comScore.com. Still, the site's readership has been up as much as 30% some months this year. ComScore put Breitbart's traffic in June at 1.1 million unique visitors. Sprawling Huffington Post attracts more than 38 million visitors.
Regardless of size, Breitbart.com can find its way to the center of the political conversation. When aides to Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney said recently that the time had come to "vet the president," for some observers that echoed a Breitbart.com series of anti-Obama hits, "The Vetting." Lefty websites quickly chided that the Romney campaign had gone "the full Breitbart" — all attacks all the time.
Breitbart made his name by sowing outrage. He promoted the hidden-camera videos that helped take down the liberal community activist group ACORN. He exposed the sex-charged online romp of the now ex-Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. He hyped a video that left the misleading impression that an Agriculture Department employee was giving a speech defending racism. In fact, she was condemning it.
Now Breitbart's crew spends a good part of each day, stretching to 12 hours and more, channeling their fallen leader. Why counterpunch against questions regarding Romney's unreleased income taxes and offshore investments when you can beat up on President Obama, the man Breitbart called an "unrepentant radical"?
"You just try to infuse the site with the spirit of the guy, from people that knew his DNA and knew what he ...