There is no finer example of the Alt-Right’s attempt to carve out its own alternative reality than the convocation of the terminally batshit otherwise known as Breitbart, which in the UK means the presence of such luminaries as Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam and of course James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole. Climate change? Not happening. Terror? All down to Scary Muslims (tm).
Along with this comes fawning support of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, and the likes of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, plus the sneering, triumphalist dismissal of anyone and everyone of differing view. So it was that Breitbart told last year “Left-Wing New Media Bubble Bursting”. The prime target was BuzzFeed News, but “From Gawker to Salon to the Huffington Post, they all seem to be in trouble”. Sad!
But Breitbart was successful: “Breitbart News smashed company traffic records in July, generating 192 million pageviews, 31 million unique visitors, and 89 million sessions. Last month’s metrics pushed the conservative news giant to over one billion pageviews so far in 2016–a 28% jump in 30 days from last month’s previous record high … A core driver of Breitbart’s growth remains its commitment to delivering content in myriad formats that give news consumers what they want, when they want, and how they want” they claimed.
By last month, Breitbart was even attacking Facebook: “In a post on Medium, Tribune deputy editor Kurt Gessler revealed that the paper had seen a rapid decline in its median Facebook organic post reach after November, with the number of articles being read by fewer than 10,000 readers ‘skyrocketing’ according to Gessler’s analysis of the data”.
But at the end of last year, as Zelo Street noted at the time, advertisers were signalling their distaste at the incessant outpouring of hatred coming out of Breitbart, and by mid-February, a thousand ad deals had upped sticks and left. Towards the end of the month, that figure had increased to 1,250. And now traffic is deserting Breitbart in droves.
As Vanity Fair has told, “As of May 26, 2017, according to alexa.com - the same web-ranking analytics company that Breitbart drew its numbers from in January - Fox News is the 64th most-trafficked site in the country. Huffington Post is at 60. Buzzfeed is at 50. The Washington Post, on the strength of a series of eye-popping scoops, is at 41 … Breitbart is in 281st place”. It had been ranked as high as 29th place.
What happened? Simples. When the Trump presidency began to hit trouble, Breitbart tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. The same problem hit Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), which has lost viewers: people know that Trump is in the mire, so if they aren’t going to get the story from Fox, they’ll switch to CNN or MSNBC.
And the Breitbart campaign to get readers to boycott companies that won’t advertise with them? That’s been a failure, too. With this level of success, Breitbart will be heading for the obscurity it so richly deserves. Hopefully that will include the demise of Delingpole and Kassam. It couldn’t happen to two more deserving useful idiots.