It didn’t take long for California’s newest conservative voice to stir up controversy.
The Breitbart News Network, created by the late conservative publisher and commentator Andrew Breitbart, launched its Breitbart California page Monday. The blog's homepage included a graphic image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s face digitally placed on a scantily clad woman. The graphic — part of a series of wheatpaste posters the company mounted around L.A. — shows Pelosi on her hands and knees, wearing bright red lipstick with her tongue sticking out.
“To say the least, the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive and disrespectful to all women,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz said in a statement. She called on the site to remove the ad.
“I think the likelihood of that is zero,” said the site’s California politics editor, Jon Fleischman. “It’s light-hearted satire.” The site also features a graphic of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with women's breasts.
Fleischman, who runs the well-read Flash Report blog based in Orange County, said he’s happy the Breitbart brand is adding a California focus.
“The launch of Breitbart California represents some much-needed reinforcements in the ongoing battle against the institutional left in California,” he said.
Andrew Breitbart was a conservative blogger and author from Los Angeles whose fiery approach offended some people and delighted others. He was a frequent guest on Fox News and speaker at Tea Party events. He died of heart failure in 2012 at the age of 43.
“Andrew Breitbart and I grew up in Los Angeles and even as kids were proud Angelinos and Californians,” Breitbart News president and CEO Larry Solov said in a statement.
"The well-being of this state, not to mention the Dodgers, was always near and dear to our hearts. As adults, we would often lament to each other, 'How do you screw up the greatest place on earth?'” Solov said. “We'll be examining that question and many others at Breitbart California.”
Despite the decline of the California Republican Party, Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon sees the Golden State as fertile ground for political conservatives. He pointed to the “growing libertarian movement at the heart of Silicon Valley” as an example.
"The truth is every single day there are stories worth telling about the successes of the conservative movement in California and the failures of the left-wing establishment," he said.
The group said a number of prominent political and cultural voices will provide content to Breitbart California, including:
- GOP Gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari
- House Republican Whip and Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)
- Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove)
- Former California GOP chairman and Lt. Governor candidate Ron Nehring
- Former state legislator and Congressional candidate Tony Strickland
- Claremont Institute President Brian Kennedy
- Former Reagan administration economist Art Laffer
- Actor Orson Bean