After losing most of its real advertisers, Breitbart has been limping along and, as a result, relies heavily on syndicated content from the AP and AFP to fill out the site, with sometimes amusing results.
For example, this week, the outlet ran multiple stories blaming the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on it 'going woke' and supposedly focusing more on diversity and ESG than investing. It was then amusing to see Breitbart post the AP's "Fact Focus," which explains that there's "no evidence" of such an impact and that the real reason the bank failed was that it "had not properly managed the risk on large investments it had made in recent years." What's more, "SVB wasn't even all that diverse," as the "executive team was all white and mostly male and its board of directors had just one Black member and one LGBTQ member."
Who could have guessed that scapegoating minorities wasn't accurate? (Everyone.)
What's actually surprising, though, was the original piece produced by Breitbart reporter John Binder, headlined, "Koch-Linked Groups, Including One Funded by Norfolk Southern, Line Up Against J.D. Vance’s Rail Safety Reforms."
Since when is Breitbart running pieces that are critical of Koch-linked groups and supportive of government regulation of business?
Well, Breitbart is criticizing these groups because they’re opposing a bill put forward by J. D. Vance, the “douchey,” Peter Thiel-backed, and fascism-friendly freshman Ohio senator. Vance previously made his MAGA name with Hillbilly Elegy, a book that's "woven through with dog whistles about class and race [and] gender," according to (at least) one expert on Appalachia.
There has always been a somewhat friendly rivalry between Breitbart and the Koch network disinfo outlets like the Daily Caller or Signal, which pander to the same crowd with often overlapping propaganda campaigns. However, there's also a palpable rift between the Koch network (and traditional Republicans) and the more alt-right camp represented by Steve Bannon's Breitbart and backed by Thiel and the Mercers. Essentially, the Koch network would prefer that Breitbart quit saying the quiet (racist) parts out loud.
While the Koch network uses political ideology as a means to prevent regulations and protect profits, the Thiel and Mercer fortunes aren't reliant on pollution remaining unchecked. Instead, the regressive white supremacist political ideology is Thiel’s and the Mercers’ end goal, and capturing the Republican party is the means to enforce that worldview.
Immigration is the clearest example. Because immigrants are an easily exploitable source of cheap labor, the Koch network and its Big Business backers are more eager to welcome immigrants into the country than the "populist" (racist) wing of the party that supported frauds who wanted to build a wall, and as reflected Breitbart's decidedly unflattering coverage of immigrants.
Now we're seeing a new rift open up, as J. D. Vance capitalized on the Ohio train derailment and petrochemical disaster to offer up some reasonable-sounding regulations — with some bipartisan support. With right-wing disinfo buzzing about the disaster being a Biden failure, it's an obvious choice for Vance to try and position himself as being the one to fix the train problem.
But just because Vance and Breitbart are the enemies of our enemies in the Koch network, there is no reason to start treating them like friends.
This is especially true given that historically, fascists’ promises to get trains running on time were actually more a matter of propaganda than punctuality.
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