I was so proud of myself this week, on Wednesday I was on a writing roll and finished my Under the fedora column in one fell swoop. I figured I’d get up Thursday morning do was some quick edits and I’d be able to submit it a full day early.
I woke up Thursday ready to do just that when I got a tweet from Ben Howe that Andrew Breitbart had died a few hours earlier.
So the column that had been ready will be my Monday column today I’m going to share my encounters with Andrew Breitbart.
The very first time I met Andrew Breitbart was at CPAC 2010 but the first time I interviewed him was at the Tax day rally in DC on April 15th of that year
Breitbart in this interview talked about calling out the lie of Andre Carter’s and the congressional black caucus claiming Tea Party member had shouted “Nigger” at them: (Never mind that a bunch of audio cameras were rolling and never picked it up.)
“They didn’t think in a million years that someone would challenge their authority.”
That was the essence of what he did, he used the new media to challenge an entrenched left that had not been challenged in this way since the first national broadcast of Rush Limbaugh.
My next Breitbart video came 5 months later at the September 12th Freedom Works rally. I sat on the grass between the media and Breitbart.
It wasn’t so much a video of Breitbart as a video of the media as he talked. The looks on their faces was classic, and he described them thus:
“They’re lovely as individuals but as an organism they’re flat out evil”
Andrew was never one to stand on civility; he reminded me of my brother who thinks that tact is what is used to hang things on a bulletin board.
It would be 5 months later before I shot Breitbart again, I videoed the opening of his CPAC speech in 2011
but it was the interview I shot of him the next day that was my favorite.
He actually leaped on a table before that interview and did it lying down on that table until the Hotel people made him get off of it.
Later that month when he went to Madison WI, I asked him for an interview and he called me at home
DTG: I’ve suggested that the events in Wisconsin are a living breathing GOP/or tea party ad for 2012 do you agree.
Breitbart: I agree I think that the visuals, the Hitler stuff, going after the democratic process the way they do, when they call (Gov Scott) Walker a dictator when he was democratically elected, when they do this the protesters are trying to say their minority status trumps the majority. The visuals alone for the ad campaigns are a strong message against this.
DTG: That being so how long can the MSM cover it up?
Breitbart: The acorn videos never played on ABC, NBC etc yet the America people where able to find out about it and Acorn is done. The more they deny the stories like the doctors slowly but surely the average American recognizes that they are not getting the truth. The MSM’s entire edifice is imploding. We’ve shaken the cage and the American People will see there is another way. There is a check and balance against them and it’s the new media
It was always tough to interview Breitbart for me without the video camera, he would say things in a way that I was not always comfortable with, but he was honest. When Andrew Breitbart saw evil,he called it evil and was not shy about it.
I next saw Andrew when he appeared in Lexington last September, I drove down to cover him and shot several short videos of him both speaking and the Q & A.
He answered a question on school reform
He commented on Elizabeth Warren
He talked about Greg Gutfeld who he thought the world of
He Talked about the multiplier of the new Media
…the Constitution as a Dog Whistle
… his tactics of choice
and assured us that the numbers were in our favor
This was a very significant event for me for several reasons. First it was the day that Breitbart gave me his cell phone number and secondly it was where the “bring it on” video became the only video I’ve shot to go viral
It was grabbed and copied, it appeared on MSNBC and Eric Boehlert e-mailed me asking if there was any video I hadn’t posted, there was, the following 14 seconds worth
In fact the comments got so nasty that when I got to Maine I shot a special video for those on the left who were unhinged over it
Although the Bring it on video was the most watched from the Lexington series, I think the most informative was this one
“They figured out that the way to attack America was to not go after the economic pillar of American Society but to go after the cultural pillar.”
When he said this, that’s when I really understood all he was doing and all that he had done. I’d commented how we now have two parallel cultures, the traditional American culture and the left’s secular humanist culture and Andrew understood that it was this division, this balkanization of America was by design.
The last three videos of Breitbart I would ever shoot was only three weeks ago. Andrew was part of a presentation by Citizen’s united on the occupods, he made a typical Andrew Breitbart entrance
and gave his introduction to the upcoming film
and during the Q & A he answered the last question I would ever ask him
When the occupods came to CPAC 2012 I was on the phone to call him and other bloggers to let them know the pop people had arrived. The very last words I would say to him were in passing in the lobby telling him the message on his phone from me was just to heads him up on the occupods arrival and he could delete it.
I wasn’t really emotional about Breitbart’s death like a lot of other people at first. I knew him, he knew me we talked when we saw each other and he took my calls when I bothered him (which wasn’t often). I’ve never been a big partier so I missed a lot of the classic Breitbart stories that folks like Stacy McCain heard and knew.
It wasn’t until I watched all the videos again that it started to hit me how much I’d miss him both as a person and as a pundit. The genius and greatness of Breitbart was the mirror he held up to the left and reflected them as they are. He asked us to have a camera ready and when we see anything send it to him and he’ll put it out there.
The punitive reactions of those who hated him disgust a lot of people who knew him, liked him or loved him, but they would have delighted Andrew, as Ace of Spades said:
The left makes all of his arguments for him. All Breitbart had to do was add two letters: “RT” [re-tweet].
The left had a chance to prove Andrew Breitbart wrong today.
Instead, they proved him right. Even in death, Andrew Breitbart makes the stupid hate-bag puppets dance for his amusement, and for ours.
I thought at first his death was a punking. In a way, it is. He continues punking the left into exposing exactly what it is.
But my last Andrew Breitbart story didn’t involve him directly but has to do with this very topic.
I loved that Andrew re-tweeted those who attacked him and on occasion I re-tweeted and engaged them, usually this would result in exchanges that were rather unpleasant, but there was one young liberal man in Michigan who instead talked to me. I talked about Andrew the person and suggested that he spend one week just reading his site unfiltered and then think on it.
Today I checked that young man’s twitter feed and noticed that is was devoid of the vitriol that so many others on the left have spent the day using (although some had tweeted some of it toward him).
Has he read Breitbart’s sites as I suggested, I don’t know but I have high hopes for this young man, Andrew started out on the left until he had his epiphany, and this fellow seems an intelligent fellow with a lot of years of experience ahead to teach him. Who knows where the seeds of the next generation of Conservatives activists might come from?
Meanwhile the battle goes on and the rest of us will keep fighting it.
As is his wont, Conor Friedersdorf has taken to lecturing us conservatives about our alleged moral shortcomings. His latest lament is that we haven’t thrown Rush Limbaugh under the bus for calling media/left-wing celebrity Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
Prominent and influential conservatives, writes Conor, would never dream of saying such a thing. And yet, when Rush makes this type of remark (as he often has in the past, Conor alleges), conservatives “just stay mum.” And so, Rush remains a “frequently celebrated, seldom criticized figure within the conservative movement.”
Conor finds this “embarrassing”; I don’t.
Politics and public affairs ain’t beanbag, OK? It’s a contact sport. If you enter the arena, then you had better expect to get hit — and hit hard. Otherwise, don’t play this game.
Sandra Fluke is a 30-year-old Georgetown law student, a well connected — and well-heeled — left-wing activist, and she’s nobody’s victim. She’s no “martyr.”
In fact, Fluke knew exactly what she was getting into. As a past president of “Law Students for Reproductive Justice,” reports Robert Stacy McCain, she “evidently enrolled at Georgetown University Law School with the specific purpose of challenging the Catholic university’s policy of denying insurance coverage for contraception.”
“What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?” Limbaugh said on his radio show on Wednesday.
“It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.”
The conservative radio host continued on to joke, “OK, so she’s not a slut. She’s ‘round heeled.’”
Agree or disagree with Rush, there’s no denying the indisputable logic behind his decidedly non-PC commentary.
Now, Conor’s right about one thing: Rush’s statements here are not ones that I would make. His type of freewheeling, roundhouse humor isn’t always appropriate for the boardroom, the halls of Congress, or even this blog.
But in modern-day America, earthy, rough-hewn jocularity is par for the course. And it only becomes controversial and “embarrassing” when political conservatives are the ones dishing it out. When, though, we’re on the receiving end of the left’s venomous “humor,” that’s OK.
In truth, politics and entertainment (Congress and talk radio), are very different and distinct fields. As such, they adhere to two very different standards, and thank goodness for that. But what explains the double standard between liberal “humor” (which the media and our cultural guardians say is just fine) and conservative humor (which they judge “inappropriate”)?
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Rush has issued a thoughtful and gracious apology to “Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
I say not surprising because Rush has always been a better man than his vitriolic critics. Indeed, we will wait in vain for an apology from Bill Maher, Al Franken, Ed Schultz, and any of the other left-wing smear merchants.
And, unlike them at least, Rush’s commentary is not gratuitous and designed merely for shock value. Instead, there is a rhyme, reason and logic behind his criticism. Mr. Fluke, remember, has been soliciting other people’s money (or insurance subsidies) to sustain her private sexual habits.
Political humorist Frank J. Fleming has a highly amusing piece in the New York Post lampooning the media’s dangerously distorted misunderstanding of the Constitution and of our Bill of Rights (h/t: Nathan Wurtzel).
A very timely piece this — especially during these perilous times, when the “extreme right wing” is trying – despicably! – to stop the feds from mandating that health insurers provide “free” contraception to privileged and affluent law students such as Sandra Fluke.
…The Bill of Rights looks like it was written by a crazed, right-wing militia member living in an isolated compound. It’s all “Government can’t tell me to do this” and “Government can’t make me do that” and “I want to have guns.”
We need to update this silly, archaic Bill of Rights, which puts all this emphasis on “freedom” with no mention of the much more important “free stuff.” If we don’t act, other countries will make fun of us for it — and who wants to be tittered at by Belgium?
We want a strong government that guarantees us all the things we need, and we should have a new Bill of Rights that reflects that.
I propose that we have a meeting of all the great minds (college professors, A-list Hollywood actors, people who watch “Downton Abbey”) to list everything people need — basics like food, transportation, and smart phones.
The first section — the “free stuff” section — of the new Bill of Rights will guarantee that everyone gets all these essentials. After that can come the “freedom” section of less useful rights that don’t actually give you anything, like freedom of speech (but let’s leave out the one about guns — they’re dangerous; people will shoot their eyes out).
And the brain trust will make it clear that if the “freedom” section ever conflicts with the “free stuff” part, then “free stuff” wins out.
Of course, Karl Marx put it far more eloquently and far more succinctly: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
That’s not in the Constitution — yet. But in time, as we “progress” and become a more “modern” society, I’m sure we’ll get there. Why, thanks to media misinformation and public school miseducation, 42 percent of us believe Marx’s dictum is already part of the Constitution!
In this week’s address, Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Doc Hastings (R-WA) discusses how the president is unwilling to work toward energy independence in our nation. Gas prices are on the rise again, and our current administration has given no impression that they’re serious about lowering our energy costs and creating much-needed jobs. House Republicans are working to open domestic energy production and ease the burden on small businesses so they can grow and hire again. It’s all part of our plan at http://jobs.GOP.gov
“Hi, I’m Congressman Doc Hastings from the state of Washington. I chair the House Natural Resources Committee, which handles several issues relating to job creation, including American energy production.
“As you’ve painfully noticed, gas prices are rising quickly, already topping four dollars a gallon in some areas. On average, prices at the pump are more than double what they were when President Obama took office.
“Americans are right to worry that no relief is in sight. The president, who campaigned on a promise to address rising gas prices, now talks as if they’re largely beyond his control. This week, when the president’s Energy Secretary was asked whether the administration’s goal is to lower gas prices, the secretary’s answer was ‘no.’ Incredibly, one Democrat leader in the Senate actually suggested we push Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, thereby increasing our dependence on the Middle East.
Like you, Republicans take this issue seriously, because high gas prices hurt us all, and not just at the pump. Local governments are forced to make cutbacks to police patrols and other essential services. Schools run fewer buses. The cost of groceries go up. The cost of running a business goes up, and that means less to invest in hiring new workers. Rising gas prices are a huge drain on our economy, plain and simple.
“As part of our Plan for America’s Job Creators, Republicans continue to pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach that utilizes the natural resources we have right here at home. When we responsibly develop these resources, we don’t just address rising energy costs – we also help create good-paying jobs and improve our energy security, right now and over the long term. This common-sense approach enjoys bipartisan support, and has been endorsed by the president’s own jobs council.
“Though the president now claims to support ‘all-of-the-above,’ he has consistently blocked American energy production, most recently by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition to that, he has restricted drilling in offshore areas while encouraging other countries, including Brazil, to expand their own exploration. And while the president says oil production alone can’t solve our problems, his administration has proposed costly regulations that would hurt the supply of other domestic sources. Instead of placing his bet on American-made energy and the workers who produce it, President Obama has wasted taxpayer dollars on Solyndra and other unproven technologies.
“Actions speak louder than words. Republicans have followed through on our ‘all-of-the-above’ approach and passed through the House bipartisan reforms that break down government barriers to our natural resources.
“While the president has closed off new areas for offshore drilling, the House has passed legislation that would open the most promising areas offshore to exploration and production.
“While the President has delayed leases and withdrawn over a million acres in the Rocky Mountains to oil shale development, the House has passed legislation to set clear rules and require additional leases to be issued.
“While the president opposes energy production in ANWR, the House has passed legislation to make available three percent of the land in this Arctic coastal plain, which is known to be abundant in natural resources.
“The House has also voted to remove regulatory barriers to the development of renewable energy sources and require approval of the Keystone pipeline, a project that even President Clinton says we should embrace.
“Again, this approach has been endorsed by the president’s own jobs council.
“A meeting at the White House this week provided a glimmer of new hope that the President and the Democratic-controlled Senate may finally act on some bipartisan energy bills that have been passed by the Republican-led House.
“That’s welcome news, because Washington D.C. needs to have a sense of urgency about this. The reality is, prices will only climb higher if we don’t take action now to improve our energy security and develop our own natural resources.
“Republicans are ready to continue moving forward with an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan, and we hope the president will live up to his rhetoric. Hardworking taxpayers can’t wait to have the pain at the pump addressed.
“Thank you for listening, and God bless America.”
The American Spectator’s Quin Hillyer is rightfully disgusted by Matthew Yglesias’s reaction to Andrew Breitbart’s unexpected and premature death at the age of forty-three. “Conventions around dead people are ridiculous,” Yglesias lectured in a tweet. “The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBreitbart dead.”
This is disgusting, but not surprising. Throughout history, after all, Marxist-Leninists have denied the humanity of their political opponents in order to rationalize their murder, their pogroms, and their genocide.
Yglesias’s logic is thus quite familiar. All he lacks is the courage of his convictions. (Unlike his ideological forbearers, after all, Yglesias has not actually murdered anyone. Instead, he has simply declared that a political opponent’s death is desirable.)
Sadly and reprehensibly, Yglesias isn’t backing down. In fact, he’s doubling down: “If you think @AndrewBrietbart‘s opponents shouldn’t be glad he’s dead,” he subsequently tweeted, “you’re not taking his life’s work seriously.”
No, Yglesias, you have it exactly wrong and exactly backwards. The truth is quite the opposite: If, like Yglesias, you think Andrew Breitbart’s opponents should be “glad he’s dead,” then you’re taking domestic political disputes way too seriously.
American conservatives are notable for their decency, their humanity, and their good will. Certainly, this was true of Andrew Breitbart, RIP. The same cannot be said, I regret to say, about Matthew Yglesias and America’s disgustingly illiberal Left.