Days of Change

Day 1216 – The Real Breitbart

March 4, 2012

One thing I’ve seen about Andrew Breitbart in the last few days is that a lot of what he did wasn’t about him. He didn’t really achieve greatness so much as he had greatness thrust upon him. He created the “Big” websites as group blogs and aggregators. He would talk to anyone, not to hear himself talk, but to engage people. He became the story three times in the last few years with ACORN videos, Shirley Sherrod and Anthony Weiner. He never sought them out. He was entrusted with telling the stories. In the case of Sherrod, someone steered him wrong and Breitbart kept that person’s identity secret.

There are a large number of people who consider Breitbart their friend and an even greater number who “knew” him. In recent years, the group that Greg Gutfeld assembled on Red Eye Wednesday night may have known him best. Bill Whittle and Charles Johnson and others told tales of getting the best of Breitbart in a conversation and from what I’ve heard, that isn’t possible. Andrew was a man who could go on for hours on various political and non-political topics, but he would also abruptly end a conversation and move on to the next thing. I imagine if you called it winning, he would come back and prove otherwise.

Howard Stern has said that his real self is the one on the radio. Some liberals who knew Breitbart have tried to paint him as the opposite, a provocateur who found this outlet as a means to fame and fortune. All evidence points to the contrary. Breitbart tended to overextend himself financially for the new projects that were always on his mind. He’s done more behind the scenes that he ever did in front of the camera. Ultimately, those Obama-loving liberals are just doubling down on their own stupidity. The reality is that Breitbart was a likeable guy who talked about everything, including politics. Some liberals committed the crime of liking him and they are trying to justify it.

Because of Breitbart’s California roots, I think his real drive was to make it possible for the entertainment industry to include all voices, liberal and conservative. Hollywood created its own blacklist where conservatives are not easily hired and also painted as strange for having those beliefs. Breitbart was a culture warrior, but not for the family values that he quietly lives, but for a culture where being black or gay and a conservative did not deprive you of your cultural status. He was more liberal than liberals in that regard. Truly free speech was his passion.

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