At best, it seems like comically awful timing. At worst, it seems symptomatic of an accountability-free Beltway media culture that rewards buzz-creation above all else.
Either way, Politico has given a coveted slot on its just-released “50 Politicos to Watch” package to none other than … Andrew Breitbart. Politico’s write-up glowingly described Breitbart’s wit and “edge,” with no mention of his rather widely-discussed Shirley Sherrod caper, which by any measure should have dealt his credibility a severe blow.
But Politico editor John Harris defended the decision in an email to me. He said the piece had been assigned and completed long before the Sherrod flap, though he conceded the timing was unfortunate.
“The Breitbart piece for the 50 Politicos feature was assigned and reported weeks ago,” Harris wrote. “It was for a special glossy magazine version of our print edition and had a long lead time so was not assigned, reported or written in the context of the Sherrod furor.”
I concur. It is so hard to stop the presses on their internet edition. Wait, what?