As we reported last September, Andrew Breitbart secured nearly ten million dollars in venture capital from two sources just a few months before his death. One of them was reportedly his friend Aubrey Chernick, a right wing Israel-booster who made his fortune in the national security world and uses his millions to subsidize Islamophobia. We wondered what had happened to all that money, and now we know: the New York Times reported yesterday that it is being spent to expand the Breitbart News operation to cover culture war hotspots.
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.
Mr. Bannon said he was taking his cue from The Huffington Post, the liberal news and commentary site that has been growing rapidly overseas. He said there was an audience hungry for his brand of activist journalism. “There is a growing global anti-establishment revolt against the permanent political class at home, and the global elites that influence them, which impacts everyone from Lubbock, Tex., to London, England,” he said.
Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman, said Breitbart News would add 12 workers and operations in Texas and London.
The expansion is being financed by a large pool of capital that Mr.Breitbart raised from private investors, Mr. Bannon said. Although it was always the company’s plan to add staff members and offices overseas, he said the timing had been accelerated because of a desire to influence two important political battles.
In London, Breitbart News Network hopes to support a nascent European Tea Party before parliamentary elections in May. In Texas, it is eager to combat an emerging “Turn Texas Blue” movement intended to improve the standing of the Democratic Party. “We look at London and Texas as two fronts in our current cultural and political war,” Mr. Bannon said.
Breitbart News apparently rehired our old friend Lee Stranahan for Breitbart Texas, where his new beat seems to be gay marriage and abortion issues. According to the Guardian, Stranahan’s podcast partner-in-slime Brandon Darby is in charge of the operation there. We went looking for local reaction in London and found this delightful blog post:
Had I been permitted the luxury of taking time out to imagine my fantasy line-up of credibility-free Right-Wing nutjobs, the result would have been remarkably similar to that being paraded at the launch of Breitbart London. The unappealing convocation of ranters, spivs, chancers and sundry nonentities is sure to bring a non-stop stream of unintentional hilarity, combined with next to zero credibility.
All true, but we have learned that it does not pay to underestimate Breitbart News. If anything, London liberals should be extremely wary of a right wing publishing organization with an amazing track record of cultivating powerful relationships and pushing its agenda in Washington. British films and television shows often feature an obnoxious American trying to take charge of things; Breitbart.com is as close to that stereotype as a website can get. More to the point, Breitbart’s guiding hands see London as a great place to expand on one of their biggest themes: Islamophobia. Breitbart editor and anti-masturbation crusader Ben Shapiro made that perfectly clear on Breitbart’s warmongering “Big Peace” vertical.
It is difficult to see how the future of Texas looks like the present of London; it is difficult to see how the future of London looks like the present of Jerusalem. Nonetheless, in the battle for Western civilization, all three locations exist along the same timeline, the same continuum. That is because all three hotspots symbolize fronts in the same conflict. It is only a matter of time before Jerusalem becomes London, and London becomes Lubbock.
Not to be overly reductionist, but this is the essential core of the Breitbart News world view: Muslims want to destroy the West, and the liberals are helping them do it. This is not just a convergence of interests, but a sinister plan. The Breitbart universe is built on conspiracy theories, presenting its view of events through the prism of an invisible spiritual conflict that only they can see. This has created some strange alliances. We are very curious about Mr. Bannon’s plans for Cairo, for example, because Egypt been one of the most fruitful projects in the right wing conspiracy world. Bizarrely, the same Islamophobia-addled conspiracy nuts who see secret Muslim agents everywhere have visited that country to find a credulous Muslim audience. Breitbart Cairo will undoubtedly enhance this strange phenomenon, and we expect to see constant cognitive dissonance with the Breitbart Jerusalem vertical.
In short, Aubrey Chernick’s millions are being spent to expand the Muslim-bashing, conspiracy-mongering, and Israel-boosting at the heart of the Breitbart brand in addition to those conservative perennials like abortion and marriage equality. Remember, this is the same “news” organization which sponsored a special “Uninvited” panel for Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference after they were rejected as speakers for being too hateful. We did not need any more reasons to want to see Shirley Sherrod win all that money in her libel suit and defund this beast, but now we have at least six of them.