Random thoughts on the fifth anniversary of his death
Andrew Breitbart died five years ago last week, so I’m thinking it might pay to remind people where the name “Breitbart” hails from: a man who is no longer on this earth, but seems to be felt everywhere.
First, Andrew was one of the deepest, funniest, smartest individuals I’ve ever met — and the world deserves to know him. Most people know of my relationship with A.B. — though I don’t talk about it much, unless I’m asked.
[Order Andrew’s legendary book “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” from Amazon.com]
In short, we wrote together, talked daily about everything. We conspired hourly for weeks at a time — from our start at the Huffington Post (yes, kids, he launched that site, and I wrote for it) to the Anthony Weiner episode — almost entirely and accidentally choreographed by Breitbart himself. He graced my show Redeye many times, peppering it with memorably absurd appearances. We always drank and sometimes got into trouble afterward (see the Opie and Anthony appearance after the Anthony Weiner press conference). I edited his pieces sometimes, helped organize his second book and helped when I could on his latest endeavors. This went on for nearly a decade, until his death.
“Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.”
Sadly, I had the honor that no one wants when it comes to a close friend: to speak at the reception following his funeral.
If Breitbart is part of your everyday lexicon, then you should know where the moniker hails from. Andrew Breitbart was a joyful, hilarious man. How many people know that? They must know that.
There is a grim silver lining when you die young. There’s no additional 30 years of assorted career changes, gaps of non-exciting employment and detours into events that muddy early great achievements. If you live
long enough, you become disappointing.
Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.
* * *
Andrew was about waging war with the left by using the left’s tactics. His foot soldiers are everywhere now, and their footprints are all over the faces of the shocked liberals who never saw them coming.
Andrew was inclusive, not solely ideological. He was a party leader who wanted a tent big enough for everyone, not a litmus test for locksteppers. He might have rubbed shoulders with the religious, the vocally right-wing, the hardcore moralistic — but he had no tolerance for those who demonized by lifestyle. Did you know Andrew backed out of CPAC because it initially refused to allow gay groups to speak?
When groups planned to boycott CPAC 2011, Andrew promised to throw a bash for right-wing gays. He wanted to call it the “first annual Roy Cohn CPAC Breitbart Homocon Welcoming ’80s Extravaganza.” Breitbart loved exceedingly long titles. Overdoing it was his way of doing it.
* * *
Andrew once was a liberal, but like all liberals with a brain, he wised up. He was a crappy student (he wasn’t much of a reader, he admitted) who liked to party, and he was a default liberal — simply because it was easy and without risk. But when he saw the Clarence Thomas hearings, he transformed from a goofy, partying liberal into a libertarian/conservative Reaganite. He worked for Matt Drudge and then he gravitated toward Arianna Huffington, working as her researcher before helping launch her celebrity-drenched site. He told me his purpose at HuffPo: By giving a voice to liberal celebrities about political issues, he could show the world how absurd their beliefs really were. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Such an easygoing guy, but he was committed to conservatism.’
During his Wednesday night radio show, Mark Levin remembered his late friend and colleague Andrew Breitbart on the five-year anniversary of his sudden and untimely 2012 death.
“We had a fun time together,” Levin recalled of the website founder and namesake. “Such an easygoing guy, but he was committed to conservatism.”
“I just want people to know there was a flesh and blood human being before there was a website,” the Conservative Review editor-in-chief explained.
Andrew Breitbart was “that a hard act to follow,” Levin chuckled, recalling the last time he saw the newsmaker and journalist alive.
“He had a wonderful sense of humor, but you would never question his intelligence,” said Levin. “He was a remarkable young man.”
“He was a warrior for conservatism. Absolutely. 100 percent,” Levin concluded. “He’s greatly missed.” … (more)
Published on Jun 6, 2011
[VIDEO] REWIND 2011: Andrew Breitbart: Illiberal Democrat Collectivism Vilifies Individualism, Independence, Part 2Posted: May 24, 2015
http://democracybroadcasting.com Hollywood blacklisting silences dissent against Obama. Filmed at BlogWorld NYC June, 2011.
Bin Laden’s Right-Wing Reading List Goes Viral
The list includes an archive of radical right wing books, history books, humor texts, and conservative philosophy belonging to the former al-Qaeda chief, some of which are still being withheld by the U.S. government, but leaked online this afternoon.
Among the volumes of books on law and military strategy that were publicly released this week, are a not-yet-declassified list of books by popular conservative authors such as Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and Andrew Breitbart, as well as scholarly texts by Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich von Hayek. The collection includes:
The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome by Kevin D. Williamson
Ideas Have Consequences by Richard M. Weaver
Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom‘ by William F. Buckley, Jr.
Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! by Andrew Breitbart
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
Human Action, The Scholar’s Edition by Ludwig von Mises
The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 by George Nash
Witness by Whittaker Chambers
The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk
Ethnic America: A History by Thomas Sowell
Natural Right and History by Leo Strauss
The leak comes shortly after the fourth anniversary of Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special forces…
AWR Hawkins writes: On April 3, Fox News’ host Greg Gutfeld explained that the media’s gun control arguments increasingly fall on deaf ears because Americans refuse to feel guilty over using guns for self-defense.
Gutfeld said, “No matter how hard the establishment media tries, they can’t convince good people how bad guns are when they’re in the right hands.”
He then explained that the American people, while supportive of the police, have simply come to realize that there are long seconds–and frequently, agonizing minutes–between the time they dial 911 and the time police arrive. Moreover, he stressed that Americans understand that in many instances the police will only be coming to count bodies–that any defense that is going to happen has to happen before badges, handcuffs, or sirens are on the scene.
Gutfeld suggested the gun control media’s inability to understand these things has only placed greater distance between their esoteric arguments and the American people. He said:
“Perhaps the media misses the big point. They do their theorizing from the fish bowl of a well-protected studio and travel to and from work at reasonable hours through tiny neighborhoods in secure vehicles. The fine people of Detroit don’t have that luxury; they realize that any argument against arming yourself is full of holes, which is not the way they’d like to end up being.”
Empirical support for Gutfeld’s claims can be seen in the pro-gun attitude taking hold in Detroit’s heavily black community right now. Breitbart News recently reported that concealed carry is surging in the black community, and no less a prominent figure than Detroit Police Chief James Craig explained that this is a seismic shift from how things have been historically. Read the rest of this entry »
As dyspeptic as Andy Rooney, as cranky as Mark Steyen, and as subversive as Andrew Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld writes: In the interest of time (I’m nearly a half century old and have fewer years ahead than I’ve already swallowed up), I do my best to avoid black holes: what I call “time-suck” stories that are so murky and slippery you can’t make heads or tails of them. These stories are often most attractive precisely because their messiness lets you make them into anything you want.
In the absence of grip, rage becomes the recipe, as media hacks like me become bombarded with shrill demands for coverage. “WHY AREN’T YOU COVERING THIS STORY?!!!” is the usual refrain, often linked to stories that start loud and end in a fizzle (the Million Muslim March, anyone?). Sometimes we should cover them; other times they should be covered with a blanket and labeled “not worth it.” You see this more in our Munchean era of the constant Scream, as the internet transforms into a chorus megaphone of endless complaint, directed at those the public wish to persuade. It’s a legitimate activity — if you’re concerned, why not rally people to a neglected cause? Other times, though, it drags simpletons like me down a hole. A black hole. I avoid these holes if I cannot answer a simple question with a definitive yes: “Do I add any clarity to this mess?” If it’s no, or an “I don’t know,” I skedaddle. I don’t want to make things worse. I don’t want people to get hurt. I don’t want people to look at me and say, “Thanks for nothing, asshole.” Some of my louder and even smarter pals might disagree, but the Bundy saga was a hole — one filled with quicksand that I had no interest in drowning in. So I avoided it. Others didn’t. I’m not as smart about land issues as some, but I know a swamp when I see it. The more I read about it, the less I understood. It’s like a Pynchon novel, only more entertaining. But there’s something just as bad as these rage lasagnas, in my opinion, and it’s something you should also ignore. I refer to lectures from the media about “cozying up to extremists.” Like the piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, with a headline that says exactly that: “Bundy saga reveals the risk of cozying up to extremists.” Or another from the same paper by Kathleen Parker, that reads, “The GOP’s bad fling with Cliven Bundy.” I totally get the importance of vetting any subject to avoid looking stupid. But I wonder, how many in the media offered this sage advice as most of their ilk (and their liberal cohorts in politics) gave repeated, slobbering wet kisses to the Occupy movement, which — after awhile — was reduced to a dwindling bundle of anti-Semitics, lurid felons, and fecal squatters? You’d think the OWS movement would have been relegated to the dustbin of ridicule, but instead glowing anthologies retell the story of the movement, minus the other “movements.” Do the media ever level this warning about extremism when faced with the likes of Reverend Wright? Or Bill Ayers, who actually wanted to blow people up? What about Al Sharpton? Did anyone, beside the typical cranky right winger, ever tell our president, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t really have this race-baiting charlatan at the White House?” I find Al’s outrage toward Don Sterling quaint. Say what you want about the gibbering Sterling, but he didn’t create horrible hoaxes that ruined lives or incite hate that found its way on the streets of New York. Read the rest of this entry »
Was it Andrew Breitbart who coined “Democrat Media Complex“? [See James Taranto’s October 2009 article] When I first heard it I thought it was funny in a combative, mock-paranoid, anti-establishment, new media champion sort of way. Now I realize, it wasn’t meant to be funny. Jonah Goldberg’s column is about the lack of coverage (see below) We promise to cover Leland Lee abundantly in the coming weeks.
Leland Yee should be making national headlines…arrested on Wednesday by the Justice Department for wire fraud, corruption, and his alleged involvement in illegal gun deal between Chinatown gangsters and Islamist militants.
“Being a Democrat — even (or perhaps especially) a disgraced Democrat — comes with a lot of perks.”
And while he has been trying to put automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missile launchers into the hands of criminals, Yee was also an extremely vocal gun-control advocate whose mission was to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
“The New York Times offered only one blurb of less than 200 words on Yee’s corruption charges.”
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said that after the success of 2016 Obama’s America, he didn’t want to just make a sequel, another film about politics, or another biography, he wanted a “bigger idea”. If you’ve seen the trailer America, it’s nothing if not ambitious. Watching his appearance on The Kelly File last night, I was struck by his artful command of the medium, using his time well to convey his message and promote the film. (though producer Gerald Molen didn’t get much air time) Dinesh D’Souza immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. He says,
“…[I] chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.”
“Today we have kids who can’t find America on a map,” Molen said. “We have kids who probably can’t even spell America, and I think that we have, you know, left them out, we have done them a great disservice by not [… ] showing our patriotism a little more.”
D’Souza is natural successor to controversial media wizards like Andrew Breitbart, but with academic flair and debate skills reminiscent of the late Christopher Hitchens. As an ascending public intellectual, he’s a man to watch.
Here’s the introduction text from Fox News Insider:
D’Souza, who immigrated to the United States, says he “chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.” He said the film is about what makes America lovely.
[Get Ben’s book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans” from Amazon]
POLITICO‘s Josh Gerstein reports: A federal judge delivered a severe tongue-lashing to a Justice Department lawyer Thursday, slamming the Obama Administration for its handling of demands for government records in the libel lawsuit fired Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod filed against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.
During a 40-minute hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon repeatedly ripped into the government and DOJ trial counsel David Glass for resisting requests from both sides in the case for government files and e-mails that might be of use in the litigation. At one point, the judge snapped at Glass, ordering him to “sit right down.”
Sherrod was forced to resign as a state rural development director for USDA in 2010 after Breitbart posted video clips online from a speech she gave earlier in the year at an NAACP event. The videos appeared to suggest that Sherrod was a racist. Within a matter of hours, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack dismissed her, acting in consultation with the White House.
How better to celebrate the anniversary of Andrew’s birth, Feb. 1st, than by rolling it into Feb. 2nd? Join me in celebrating the anniversary of Andrew’s last laugh:
“…Though the dinner took place on Super Bowl Sunday, Ayers and co. abruptly dismissed us before halftime, leaving our plan of attack only half realized, as we were attempting to ease into the evening like gentlemen and polite dinner guests…”
“…Ayers, in skullcap and earrings, shows us to an elaborate spread overlooking the city. We’ve entered a parody of a multimillion-dollar liberal lair…”
In 2012, Matt Labash recalls:
…Ayers, in skullcap and earrings, shows us to an elaborate spread overlooking the city. We’ve entered a parody of a multimillion-dollar liberal lair. Unidentifiable abstract sculptures snake about the floor. Framed epigrams from Louise Bourgeois installations (“The Hour Is Devoted To Revenge”) line the wall. Cutouts representing the duality of the American spirit, from Thoreau and Rosa Parks (good), to Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin (evil), festoon our plates. Tofu and quinoa—pinko food—is among the seven savory courses served.
“This is the bomb, Bill,” Breitbart said to the former explosives-rigger…”
Apart from shuffling off to the kitchen or catching a few minutes of the game while avoiding awkward conversations about their past, the Weather-hosts couldn’t be nicer. They ask us about our backgrounds, which they already seem familiar with (thanks, Wikipedia!). They plump us with falling-off-the-bone hoisin ribs and fluff us with apple pie and Ameri-Cone Dream ice cream. “This is the bomb, Bill,” says Breitbart, after sampling the farmhouse cheeses. “It has explosive flavor,” I chime in…”
In a separate remembrance, Matt Labash writes:
“…Our friend, Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson, had won the Ayers dinner at an Illinois Humanities Council auction, and had brought us along. Tucker and I were a little worried that we had in our possession a human grenade in Breitbart, though if we were being honest with ourselves, that’s precisely why we brought him. With Andrew, every day was anything-can-happen day.
As it happened, Breitbart was on his best behavior. “I’m here to learn,” Andrew said facetiously. It was part of the pleasure of keeping company with him. He wasn’t just a friend, he was a co-conspirator. Once we arrived at the apartment, much to Andrew’s and Ayers’s chagrin, they got along famously. Just two guys having dinner, finding commonality, even if Andrew regarded it his hidebound duty to passive-aggressively heckle Ayers as he served us plates of hoisin ribs and farmhouse cheeses. (“This is the bomb, Bill,” Breitbart said to the former explosives-rigger.)
On a personal note, Andrew Breitbart is one of the reasons punditfromanotherplanet exists. I read his book, two or three years ago, and it ignited a series of events and discoveries that inspired and activated me–like a lot of people exposed to Andrew’s magnetic, generous personality–it’s not passive reading, it’s a call to join the revolution, and raise some hell. If you’ve not read it yet, it’s available as an ebook now, too.
From the book’s manic introduction, to its updated conclusion (to include the Weiner episode and crazy press conference) it’s a wild ride. He’d just taken down Anthony Weiner, and had to defend his own reputation against a breathtakingly vicious smear effort. Andrew emerged–with style–stronger and more victorious, principled, and fair, than any of his critics would have imagined.
Sunday, October 27, 2013, William A. Jacobson writes:
…may be the best interview of Andrew I’ve ever seen.
And it’s as relevant, if not more so, now as it was back then.
There’s so much in it, listen to it all.
At 8:45 Andrew describes highly-credentialed mainstream journalists as “the most arrogant bastards you could possibly meet in your entire life.” Sounds about right. Maybe understatement.
Two years later Andrew died.
Andrew Breitbart: It would be his 45th birthday
At the website that bears his name, Breitbart is remembered by Larry Solov “a leader, a voice, a patriot; a brawler for truth, transparency, the democratization of news and information, and for the values upon which this great nation was founded and should be guided still.”
Bashir vs. Breitbart: Disgraced (Former) MSNBC Host Martin Bashir Interviews the Legendary Andrew BrietbartPosted: December 4, 2013
MSNBC’S BASHIR RESIGNS
On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir formally tendered his resignation from his daily show. Bashir had been absent from his show since November 22, prompting rumors from inside the network that he had been suspended; MSNBC had maintained that he was merely on vacation. Bashir was under heavy fire for his comments in which he stated that someone should “p*ss” and “s***” in Sarah Palin’s mouth. He issued an on-air apology, but criticism of MSNBC never waned, especially given the fact that his monologue suggesting such misogyny was backed by the network itself. MSNBC is expected to release its own comment shortly.
Somewhere, up there, Andrew Breitbart is celebrating. On September 10, 2013, the legendary gadfly whose huge heart gave out far too soon chalked up a three more big wins in his campaign to take America back from the hypocritical liberal snobs he despised.
In New York, a Democrat electorate soundly rejected Anthony Wiener’s creepy comeback bid. And in Colorado, an enraged citizenry defied everything the liberal establishment could throw at them and tossed out a pair of Democrat state senators who thought they could trample on the basic civil right to keep and bear arms. Neither victory would have been possible without Andrew. Read the rest of this entry »
If you can find the story on Lois Lerner pleading the Fifth, Ill give you a cookie.
By the way, they’ve changed the position of that headline since the screencap.
Now, instead of being way down low under sports and various soft subjects, it’s way down low under sports and various soft subjects and
Because, you know, that’s an even bigger headline.
via The Conversation
We’re starting to see a preference cascade, in Romney’s direction
Glenn Harlan Reynolds
7:19PM EDT October 22. 2012 – The documentary Hating Breitbart, about the late blogger and media gadfly Andrew Breitbart, opened this past weekend to packed houses. The theme of the film — and of Breitbart’s life — is how conventional “mainstream” media deliberately distort the news to benefit the policies and politicians they favor.
That’s no secret in the Obama era, of course, as the press’s efforts to boost, and then protect, the presidency of Barack Obama have become ever more obvious. But it’s still worth pointing out. It’s a problem for America, and it’s a problem for people on the right. But it’s probably a bigger problem for people with whom the media agree. That’s because they wind up living in a bubble, protected from contrary views, which means that they are perpetually caught by surprise when reality asserts itself.
We may be about to see this happen again. Though we’ve been told over and over again by the press that President Obama, and his policies, are overwhelmingly popular with the American public, and that challenger Mitt Romney is an unlikable loser, this may turn out not to be the case.
In recent years, we’ve often seen that the truth on the ground doesn’t match the images presented in the press. Despite representations that it was a narrow fringe group composed of “bitter clingers,” the Tea Party movement handed the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2010. And despite claims that it was washed up, the Tea Party movement has remained a force in 2012.
Now, despite being told by the press — and quite a few Republican pundits — that Mitt Romney didn’t have a chance, since his performance in the presidential debates things seem to be turning around. Reports of early voting and absentee ballots suggest that Republican voters are a lot more energized than we’d been led to believe. The polls are looking good for Romney, and he’s picking up all sorts of endorsements all of a sudden.
This has caused some Republican enthusiasts to suggest that what we’re seeing is a “preference cascade,” and they may be right.
What’s a “preference cascade?” In his book, Private Truths, Public Lies, economist Timur Kuran looked at the way “preference falsification” can distort societies, and then collapse suddenly.
The classic example is in a totalitarian society, where everyone has to pretend to love the Great Leader on pain of death. If the authorities manage it right, 99% of the populace can be ready to revolt — but won’t, because each individual thinks he or she is the only one who feels that way. This works until some event suddenly shocks the system, and people realize that they’re not alone. When that happens, things can go south in a hurry. That’s a “preference cascade.”
The United States isn’t a totalitarian society, but media bias has the same sort of effect: By privileging some views and suppressing others, the media give Americans, and itself, a distorted idea of reality. Then, when things crack, it’s a big surprise.
That may be what’s happening here. Obama was presented as unbeatable, and a lot of people believed it — until, suddenly, he looked kind of beatable after all. Once that happened, everything was different.
If this really is happening to Obama, there’s a spot of irony to it, because that’s exactly what happened when he ran against Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Hillary spent years building up a facade of inevitability, and the press and pundits went along. Lots of other potential challengers didn’t even bother to enter the race and it looked like she had things sewn up, but then Obama started beating her, and, to everyone’s surprise, she didn’t look inevitable any more.
Will Romney do the same thing to Obama? We’ll see, but I think that’s the way to bet.
via Column: USA TODAY
- ‘Dilbert’ author endorses Romney, Progressives media becomes unhinged. (pumabydesign001.com)
- Surprise! Left goes for Obama, right for Romney in last presidential debate (blogs.denverpost.com)
- MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Will cocooned liberals be surprised by Romney? My thoughts on the “preference… (pjmedia.com)
Today, Politico interviewed the two of the chief creators, along with Andrew Breitbart, of Occupy Unmasked, the new documentary examining the origins, motives, and effects of Occupy Wall Street. Citizens United President David Bossie and writer and director Stephen K. Bannon sat down with Politico’s Patrick Gavin, who rightly called Occupy Unmasked Andrew Breitbart’s “last major piece of work.”
The film, says Gavin, “portrays the occupy movements in such cities as New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as dirty and dangerous encampments that exploited the grievances of average Americans.” Bossie described the movement as “this very well-organized machine, very much the hard-core left, the anarchists movement,” which “utilized the people who kind of felt put upon, or that their American dream or their hope of an American dream had been taken away: College kids that weren’t finding work, middle age folks who were out of work for a long period of time.”
Bannon added that the attitude prevalent in Occupy Unmasked – what he called “the fighting spirit of Andrew Breitbart” – is missing from the political debate today. “You just need that,” he added. “He was a unique guy at a unique sense of time. The conservative movement has really never had a guy who was that physical and that magnetic …. We’re really missing that.”