Yesterday saw the debut of the new Breitbart page, Breitbart California.
However, right out of the gate, Breitbart California stirred up a ruckus with the roll out. The site’s graphic street art depicting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s face photoshopped onto a bikini-clad woman on hands and knees, with tongue hanging out and blood red lips, has possibly distracted readers from the written content, especially now as several prominent women have publicly voiced their objections to the depiction. Some would say the depiction deserves protesting. Others would say Breitbart California handed the opposition a golden opportunity to use to their advantage. War on women anyone?
From Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz,
“To say the least, the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive, and disrespectful to all women. It is a disgusting new low and would be reprehensible against any woman – regardless of party. It’s no wonder the Republicans are having problems appealing to women. If GOP leaders are serious about their rebrand, then both their elected and Party leadership should condemn this outrageous behavior, call on Breitbart News to immediately remove the ad, and not continue to use this website as a forum for their views.”
She also called on the site to remove the offensive image.
Jon Fleishman, the site’s California politics editor, wasn’t having it,
“I think the likelihood of that is zero. It’s light-hearted satire.”
Like beauty, satire may be in the eye of the beholder.
He also gave a glimpse into the mission of the Breitbart California site,
“The launch of Breitbart California represents some much-needed reinforcements in the ongoing battle against the institutional left in California.
Popular blogger Ann Althouse posted today that she agrees with Ana Marie Cox’s tweet,
“The people at Breitbart appear to have gone insane.”
And the Washington Post reports that Nancy Pelosi had this to say,
“So tasteless, that… I mean, is it even worthy of a question. It’s so undignified.”
Breitbart California pointed out that this satirizing of political figures is nothing new. And, if anything, recent history has proven that it only matters when those being ‘satirized’ are of a certain political persuasion:
-When making an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night, the house band introduced Michelle Bachmann by playing the song “Lyin’- Ass Bitch“. Breitbart California notes that there was no cry of protest from either Wasserman Schultz or Pelosi.
-And when Bill Maher referred to Sarah Palin as a “dumb twat”, there was, again, no outcry from either Wasserman Schultz or Pelosi.
They cite several more crude examples of conservative women being publicly degraded – with no outcry with from either Wasserman Schultz or Pelosi.
While I understand the point they are attempting to make, one wonders, if Breitbart California’s goal is to lend support and give voice to Californians fighting the raging battle against the institutional left, is justifying their decision with a cocky, Look, you never made a stink when it was our side being degraded, so it’s okay if we do it to you now, the best way to go? And, does resisting the urge to wrestle in the mud and instead choosing to maintain a high-bar standard, give more power and standing to those on this side of the battle?
Residents of the state fighting this battle certainly need strong voices, and Breitbart California will no doubt be an influential one. Hopefully, in their quest, Breitbart California won’t turn away any readers with this debut decision.
Update from Politico: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy has pulled his column from Breitbart News after the site launched a California version with a lewd photoshop image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
A McCarthy spokesperson told ABC News the images were “inappropriate,” while another told the Los Angeles Times that the office “didn’t condone them.”
“We thought it was the right thing to do to ask for the column to be removed,” said Spokesperson Matt Sparks, according to the Los Angeles Times.