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Obama Admits Breitbart News Helped Defeat Hillary Clinton

A right-wing website significantly influenced last year’s presidential campaign, according to Barack Obama.

The Hill reported that the former president said Breitbart News “did something pretty interesting” that helped Donald Trump win. “They didn’t create a whole new platform, but they did shift the entire media narrative in a different direction — in a powerful direction,” Obama told an audience Wednesday night in Chicago. “The question is, are you able to do that in reverse but to things that are true and are not designed simply to churn anger and resentment and frustration? So solve that, will you?”

Breitbart official Stephen Bannon was a Trump campaign adviser who became the chief White House strategist. He resigned from the administration in August and returned to running the news site. While Breitbart often praises Trump, its op-eds slam him when he cooperates with the Republican establishment. Bannon has pledged to recruit GOP primary challengers to run against mainstream Republicans in next year’s midterm congressional elections.

“It’s pretty obvious the mood at Breitbart is fired up and ready for war,” the site’s political editor, Matthew Boyle, told The Washington Post when his old boss resumed control. “But the real question is whether the political class, media establishment and the swamp are ready for us. Our viewpoint of exposing failed institutions remains the same. Now our captain is back at the helm of the pirate ship.”

The Chicago Sun-Times noted that Obama made his remarks at the first annual Obama Foundation Summit, which organizers billed as a conversation about the “responsibility of powerful online platforms.” The ex-president’s former chief of staff, Denis McDonough, and his White House photographer, Pete Souza, also attended the event.

Much of the discussion concerned Breitbart, which has called itself a voice of the “alt-right.” According to its critics, the site promotes white nationalism and bigotry. Amazon’s Alexa.com analysts determined that Breitbart was the 45th most-viewed site in 2016. “With over 2 billion page views generated in 2016 and 45 million unique monthly visitors, Breitbart News has now surpassed Fox News (#47), Huffington Post (#50), Washington Post (#53) and Buzzfeed (#64) in traffic,” a Breitbart story declared in January.

The Hill pointed out that the site’s popularity has diminished since then, at the same time Trump has experienced plunging approval ratings. RealClearPolitics reported Thursday that the president’s average score in recent polls was 39 percent. However, about 24 million people still read Breitbart at least once a month.

According to Vanity Fair, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov boasted in November 2016 that “while several publishers have enjoyed an uptick in traffic due to election coverage, we are proud to have built a massive and deeply rooted community that will remain long after the election cycle fades.” Two months later, the site proclaimed that it had become “the 29th most trafficked site in the United States, surpassing PornHub and ESPN.” Solov said “the numbers speak for themselves.”

ComScore found that almost 27 million people visited Breitbart last November 2016, but only 10.7 million did so in April 2017. By October, the number was 12.3 million.

Source: The Hill
Photo: YouTube

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