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In her latest column, the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus unloads a fallacious smear-filled broadside against Breitbart News Network and our 45 million unique monthly readers, declaring that we are not merely a publication, but rather “a pestilence.”
From Marcus’ column in the Washington Post:
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To President-elect Donald Trump, Breitbart News — the racist, sexist and all-around offensive website once overseen by his campaign chairman and designated White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon — is “just a publication.”
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Breitbart’s editors and writers, Trump told the New York Times, “cover stories like you cover stories.” Granted, Trump said, “they are certainly a much more conservative paper, to put it mildly, than the New York Times. But Breitbart really is a news organization that’s become quite successful, and it’s got readers and it does cover subjects that are on the right, but it covers subjects on the left also. I mean it’s a pretty big, it’s a pretty big thing. And he [Bannon] helped build it into a pretty successful news organization.”
Referring to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Trump observed, “I mean, I could say that Arthur is alt-right because they covered an alt-right story.”
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No, no, no. The notion that Breitbart is “just a publication,” like the Times but just several notches to the right, is untrue and unacceptable. There are any number of conservative publications and websites that would fit that description.
We’re going to hear the word “normalize” a lot during the Trump administration, and the risk is going to be exactly that, underreacting. Trump says and does so many outrageous things that it will be tempting for us to tire of calling them, and him, out. The job of opinion writers — my job — is to not let Trump define outrageousness down.
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