I can’t bring myself to believe that it would have happened, only because this is a brilliant idea and brilliant ideas from CNN don’t happen often. They would have blown it somehow. They always do.
But I don’t know. Maybe this one was foolproof.
Last weekend, Breitbart told friends he was in early talks with CNN about a Crossfire-style show in which he would argue from the Right alongside former US House representative Anthony Weiner taking him on from the Left.
Such a show could have been a blockbuster. In what was perhaps his finest hour, Breitbart was the man who ended the political career of Weiner by revealing that the married congressman he had sent lewd photographs sent to young women via Twitter…
Confidants of Breitbart say he had some reservations about a CNN show but would probably have signed up for it. He was intrigued by the notion of a show with Weiner, believing it could be a vehicle for real discussion of ideas.
Edie Emery, spokeswoman for CNN, said that CNN had no comment.
Weiner would have gone for it, I bet. It would have been the perfect path back into politics for him — an instant ratings hit because of the bipartisan fascination in watching him spar with his accuser plus symbolic remorse/forgiveness for his scandal insofar as he’d be partnering with the guy who exposed it. Think “Parker/Spitzer” but with an irresistible backstory and atomically combustible personalities. It would have been dynamite. The two of them were naturals.
Follow the link up top and read all of Toby Harnden’s post, as it contains a few details I hadn’t seen before foreshadowing this morning’s horrible news. Over at Ricochet, Lileks reflects on the heavy toll, emotionally and physically, that being a one-man media wrecking crew must have taken on Breitbart:
He was at my house last summer for a party, and it was a great raucous event – everyone was his friend by the end, if they wanted to be. Andrew stayed late. Everyone else was gone. We were having a last drink in the kitchen, waiting for his cab. He was leaning up against the counter, expressing frustrations about how he was regarded by the establishment right, the difficulty of getting the message through the thick stone walls of the mainstream media, the damned toll of it all sometimes, the discouraging moments when rewards seemed scant.
He could tire, and did; perhaps he had his moments of self-doubt that may have stabbed as deep as any conviction he was on the right path. I remember that conversation, because it was the opposite of everything else he always was – and it made who he was all the more remarkable.
Institutional discouragements, conflagrations with the left, blogs to manage, projects to launch, media appearances to make, endless travel, and of course a family to take care of. Even for someone who crackled with energy and determination, that’s a heavy lift.
In case you haven’t seen it elsewhere today, a memory involving his would-be co-host.