Conservative pot-stirrer Andrew Breitbart demanded an apology Monday from supporters of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), saying they wrongly accused him of inventing the "Weingergate" sexting scandal to damage a prominent Democrat. Moments later, Weiner held a news conference, and tearfully confessed that he had sent lewd photos of himself to women he met online, and that some of the "inappropriate" exchanges took place after his marriage 11 months ago. Many have questioned Breitbart's integrity after he allegedly stretched the truth in both the ACORN and Shirley Sherrod scandals. Does Weiner's confession clear Breitbart's name? (Watch Breitbart's demand.)
Of course it does: Liberals should be lining up to apologize to Breitbart, says William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. They called him a liar and a fraudster, and accused him of masterminding a grand "hoax" to bring down Weiner. Now we know it was Breitbart who was after the truth, and the Weiner fans who "maliciously attacked" the messenger, and who let their biases blind them.
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Nonsense. Breitbart is still a crackpot: Breitbart is still "an unstable, manic, self-aggrandizing right-wing provocateur with a history of botched attack jobs" and disregard for the truth, says Alex Pareene at Salon. The press is trying to rehabilitate his reputation because everybody loves a comeback story. But Breitbart has proven time and again — with his deceptively edited clips that smeared ACORN and former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod — that he'll post any lies that land in his inbox.
Breitbart deserves at least a partial reprieve: OK, so "Breitbart doesn't have a great reputation for doggedly pursuing the truth," says Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic Wire. But this will undeniably win him a measure of the legitimacy he craves. "Even some liberals who loathe Breitbart admitted Weinergate was a victory for him."
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