It’s a pity that the 19th-century Austrian novelist Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach was not still around this week to witness a spectacular vindication of her most famous aphorism: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
That old adage applies to Andrew Breitbart, the right-wing-media hit man previously best known for manufacturing a charge of racism that forced the heroic Shirley Sherrod to resign from the Department of Agriculture and for publicizing a highly edited sting videotape supposedly showing employees at the now defunct community organization ACORN advising a prostitute on how to avoid paying taxes. His track record establishes that Breitbart’s grasp of the facts is no firmer than Sarah Palin’s command of American history.
But in, er, exposing the eponymously named Rep. Anthony Weiner, Breitbart finally managed to hit his target. It will be a relief when Weiner finally realizes that he should resign from Congress and devote himself to his pregnant wife. He is an embarrassment.
But does bagging Weiner mean that Breitbart has restored his credibility, or that his numerous liberal and journalistic critics owe him an apology for writing him off as a purveyor of sleaze, as some conservative bloggers have maintained? I don’t think so.
I’m all for giving the devil his due, but such forbearance has definite limits. If you will pardon yet another old cliché, one sparrow does not make a spring. And being right in this instance does not negate Breitbart’s outrageous behavior toward Sherrod, who is suing him for defamation, or balance out the fact that despite his sensational claims, investigators have found no proof that anyone at ACORN actually committed a crime.