I check up on the Alt Right media fairly frequently for the sole purpose of trying to understand the minds of the sad racists who sent Donald Trump to the White House. I used to not pay the site any attention as I had long believed it to be a glorified message board for right wing trolls, but the rise of Donald Trump changed all that and the site became a major force in the American media.
Breitbart is run by some fairly clever people who have managed to curate a team of writers who have perfected the art of the racist dogwhistle. The journalists write seemingly innocuous pieces about current events that are designed to create a very specific impression. Their work must:
a) Be supportive Donald Trump
b) Create the impression there is a vast "Deep State" working to undermine the president
c) Create the impression that Western Civilization is under attack by Muslims and Mexican gang lords.
d) Portray white people (mostly men) as victims persecuted by feminists and liberal arts professors.
e) Troll liberals.
In order to do this without losing what is left of their remaining advertisers , they have to get creative. But when your resume basically consists of being a right wing social media troll, there isn't exactly a huge well to draw from. So it isn't surprising that their latest wheeze to veil their anti-Muslim agenda is to replace the word 'Muslim' with 'Youths' in single quotation marks. How very clever of them.
Here's how Breitbart reporter Chris Tomlinson covered the death of a French woman who, according to Breitbart, couldn't be rescued by the fire department due to harassment by Muslims:
The headline struck me as odd when I read it, but having followed Breitbart's insidious tactics for some time, I quickly put the pieces together.
The story is about France -- itself quite strange when you consider that Breitbart readers are unlikely to have ever left their parents' basement let alone travel to Europe. The headline also has the word 'Youths' in single quotation marks, which again seems completely out of place. Were they not really youths, but adults pretending to be teenagers?
When you consider there is a large Muslim population in France, all becomes apparent. The story follows a familiar theme at Breitbart -- European countries are being overrun by rapist Muslim thugs who have no regard for the law or common decency. This is precisely why they run stories about London and Sweden routinely on their US front page. The piece today even linked to another story about Muslim crime in in Malmö, Sweden, using the same clever code word:
several similar incidents have occurred with local “youths” attacking firefighters including one in which firefighters were forced to allow a building to burn down in the heavily migrant populated city of Malmö because they had to wait for police backup to arrive.
Given the fact that we run a publication committed to reporting actual facts, I also checked up on the French story, and surprise, surprise, there turns out to be no evidence that a) the youths were Muslim, or b) they impeded the rescue in any meaningful way. Here's the translated story from the actual source of Breitbart's report (via Nice-Martin):
An intervention to say the least complicated: the situation was tense with young people from the neighborhood.
" Some obstructed the work of firefighters at the beginning of the intervention: theft of equipment, invective ... ", reports the sub-prefect Gwenaëlle Chapuis. " The intervention of the national police allowed the firefighters to work in all serenity. "
The night crews arrived in force. They had to use tear gas. And they arrested three alleged troublemakers, placed in custody in the service of the Quart.
Breitbart however, crafted the piece to make it seem like the 'youths' were responsible for the woman's death by stopping the firefighters from being able to do their jobes, only adding this small caveat:
Another factor that led to the death of the woman was said to have been the fact she was both overweight and had recently had hip surgery.
To call this an outrageous transgression against the basic rules of journalism would be an understatement. Breitbart not only unnecessarily used a xenophobic dogwhistle to incite hatred of Muslims, they also grossly distorted the story to the point where it barely resembled what actually happened. More than anything though, the story reveals the site's desperation -- that it cannot generate a readership based on the quality of its reporting or the insight of its writers.
As this ludicrous article shows, Breitbart is, and always will be a glorified Youtube comments section for vicious racists and nothing more.