Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy in Three Words: “Apologize for WHAT?”

Posted by: ST on March 2, 2012 at 11:39 am

Like many, I was stunned yesterday at the news of mega-conservative publisher and social media giant Andrew Breitbart’s untimely death at the age of 43. I spent most of the day Tweeting and ReTweeting comments from fans/friends and foes alike, many of who (on the fans/friends side) wrote amazing tributes at their websites about their time and interactions with him.  Some had only met him briefly, while others had a stronger connection through their mutual interests – mainly, fighting the left and their allies in the mainstream media on the all-important cultural frontlines.

I never met Andrew Breitbart.

Came pretty close a couple of times, last year at CPAC.  Once, during lunch in one of the hotel restaurants, and the other while on Blogger’s Row. I wouldn’t have dared disturb him during lunch – he was surrounded, of course, but even if he hadn’t been I wasn’t keen on disturbing a  man while he was refueling. :) When I saw him on Blogger’s Row, he was engaged in lively conversations with many of the bloggers and other new media types who were eager to get in a word or snag a picture with someone who was quickly becoming legendary in conservative circles.   I stood back, in observation mode, content to enjoy watching the animations that played across his face as he spoke in that passionate way he always did.

This was the only picture I got of him that day:

Breitbart at CPAC11

Andrew Breitbart at CPAC11 - Blogger's Row

Interestingly enough, he was doing in that picture what he was doing the last night of his life: playing on his cell phone in between having a lively conversation with a liberal at a local LA bar hours before his death:

Andrew Breitbart spent his final hours much like he lived most of his life: passionately talking politics.

Breibart, the 43-year-old conservative pundit and provocateur who died suddenly early Thursday while walking near his Los Angeles home, had stopped into The Brentwood, a nearby bar and restaurant. There, he struck up a conversation with Arthur Sando, a marketing executive who didn’t know Breitbart but likely was the last person to talk extensively with him before he died.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sando says he arrived at the bar in the tony Brentwood section of L.A. around 10 p.m. and soon the empty seat next to his was filled by a man with a familiar face.

“I tried to figure out how I knew him,” says Sando, a veteran publicity and marketing executive who works for dietary supplement company MonaVie and has worked at CBS, King World Prods and Turner Broadcasting. “He was on his BlackBerry. And I said ‘Andrew?’ I told him I had seen his work.”

Sando says the duo quickly struck up a conversation that would last a little less than two hours.

“He was friendly and engaging,” Sando recalls. “I said, ‘You can’t be very happy with the slate of Republican candidates’ and he said, ‘Why would you say that?’ I said, ‘Well, they’re talking about contraception,’ and he said, ‘The conversation is being framed by the liberal media.’ I said, ‘Well, the media isn’t writing Rick Santorum’s speeches for him.’ We had a back-and-forth for awhile until we said we weren’t going to agree on some things.”

Even though I never met AB, I know of and circulate with many who did know him well and many of them would point out how, in spite of his visceral disgust and distaste for the way the liberals and the MSM almost always set the narrative on any given issue of national import, he would never hesitate to engage with the left directly – whether it be to loudly point out their hypocrisy directly to their faces or to have spirited, respectful one on one debates with those who wanted to get to know the man beyond the public persona as portrayed by his many detractors. Breitbart, like many of us, was a former liberal. He knew all their arguments – and he also knew how to soundly refute every one of them. When he had his opportunities, he would try to get people to see the light – just like he eventually did. I suspect he knew, like I did all those years ago when I “saw the light”, that it’s one of the most liberating experiences you’ll ever have.

The thing that always struck me about Andrew Breitbart whenever I saw him, read about him, watched him on TV, read what he had to say at his “Bigs” sites and on Twitter, was that he was absolutely fearless. And when I say absolutely that’s exactly what I mean. You didn’t have to get up close and personal to Breitbart to know this. He was someone who, unlike so many in our movement, never lost sight of the big picture, always knew exactly who and what he should be focusing on: the mainstream media and liberal public figures who have, for decades, shaped how any given issue is being discussed in the public arena, and who have created this false narrative of the opposition as being full of “hate”, “racism”, etc. He also was keenly aware that corruption was not a “one party” issue, and worked tirelessly to expose the corruptocrats on the left who the mainstream media so frequently give a pass to. He never gave up. Not ever.

Which is exactly the type of attitude we all need to have, even though sometimes the media/leftwing drumbeat can be so overwhelming that for a brief fleeting second the idea of just walking away from it all sounds tempting. As Breitbart and many of us knew (and know), we CANNOT and will not win long-term political victories if we can’t win the cultural war being waged against us by the hard left in the press and blogs, on the NYT editorial pages, in Hollywood, and in government.

We must never, ever walk away from the fight. Never, ever give up. We must all do our part, whether we are a “face” of the conservative movement, as Breitbart was, or a part of the movement process, which so many of us are.

Related to that, I wanted to share with you a series of Tweets I wrote last night that fits in with the discussion of Breitbart’s legacy going forward, and how he his death has emboldened many, including yours truly, to pick up his torch and continue the uphill but very necessary battle against liberalism (note: I changed some abbreviations used last night into actual words):

Having a Sally Field “they like me” moment after reading my Klout stats. It indicates I’m influential in a small way. That feels so good.

When I was a confused liberal teen I told mom I wanted to do more than just “exist” – wanted to make a difference in some way, even if small.

I thankfully grew up & away from liberalism & found light w/conservatism. 20 yrs later, I’m making that small difference. It’s overwhelming.

This isn’t my ego talking, btw – it’s pride in knowing you don’t have to be a big name to make an impact. Keep this in mind, young activists.

I see people start blogging all the time who want their name in lights [I used to be one of them]. Most don’t get there. You *have* to be ok w/ being part of the process rather than being the “face” of the process. It’s rewarding in its own way. Everyone working toward a common cause – the defeat of liberalism.

I’m thankful as heck for all who have made names for themselves in this epic battle, who are on the frontlines everyday. Am also grateful to be a part of the process via being one little link in the conservative chain of information & activism, even if it is on a small scale.

@AndrewBreitbart was out front, but anyone who ever met him will tell you he had great appreciation for activists whose names you’ll never know.

He knew, big name or not, everyone had a role to play in the struggle vs. liberalism, & that winning would be its own reward – enough for us all.

Remember that as you reflect on what he did, his impact/legacy, & consider the future of conservatism. Then identify your role – & go forth!

And one other thing to remember – as Andrew Breitbart wrote in his second to the last tweet:

Apologize for WHAT?

Apologize for WHAT?

Be strong. Be direct. Be fearless. Engage. Expose. Inspire. And never, ever apologize for being a conservative. EVER.

Everyone with me?

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33 Responses to “Andrew Breitbart’s Legacy in Three Words: “Apologize for WHAT?””

Comments

  1. Phineas says:

    Lead on, my Leader! :d

  2. Scott McCray says:

    “Apologize for WHAT?” indeed – if I haven’t pissed the left off, I’m not doin’ it right! I am with you.

  3. pluffmud says:

    Thank you for that bit of inspiration.

  4. Well done!

    That’s a great piece and I’m totally bookmarking it.

  5. Rovin says:

    Which is exactly the type of attitude we all need to have, even though sometimes the media/leftwing drumbeat can be so overwhelming that for a brief fleeting second the idea of just walking away from it all sounds tempting. As Breitbart and many of us knew (and know), we CANNOT and will not win long-term political victories if we can’t win the cultural war being waged against us by the hard left in the press and blogs, on the NYT editorial pages, in Hollywood, and in government.

    And in this spirit, I would like to think we all should aspire to be Andrew Breitbart: All of us should stand up and say, “I’m Breitbart” when defending ourselves against tyranny of liberalism!

  6. EBL says:

    I am feeling low today, but I find watching this helps (a bit)

    As for the plan by some Kossacks to get the Westboro Baptist Church to protest Breitbart’s funeral, I am pretty sure Andrew would say: Bring it on! If only that they revealed again how vile they really are. I think he would treat such a protest as a badge of honor.

    I wish this was all an elaborate hoax and Andrew Breitbart will surprise us in October with a bunch of great stuff. Sadly that is not the case.

    And David Frum…I will not speak badly of you. You are dead to me.

  7. Kulhwch says:

    My daily mantra shall be: WWABPO

    Polite interpretation: Who Would Andrew Breitbart Piss Off?

    Impolite interpretation: substitute the word ‘On’ for the word ‘Off’.

    Works for me.

  8. DamnWalker says:

    From a fellow Carolinian, and in the immortal words of Joe Namath to Suzie Kilber, “I wanna kiss you.”

  9. Tex Taylor says:

    As for the plan by some Kossacks to get the Westboro Baptist Church to protest Breitbart’s funeral, I am pretty sure Andrew would say: Bring it on!

    For the KKKos minions to be at Andrew Breitbart’s funeral would be synonymous with the Westboro Baptist Church elect being in attendance.

    They are mirror images of one another, with the only difference being the Westboro Baptist Church members actually have a set.

    KKKos – vile and “cowardly.”

  10. We ex-liberals are the most fierce, in-your-face advocates for freedom against the Left’s thuggery. Breitbart was our leader. No one better understood the Left’s ugly vision of the world and America and how to oppose it.

    Never back down. Take the fight to them with everything you’ve got.

  11. Steven M. says:

    I howled with laughter reading how threatened the Liberal Left felt of Andrew. They called him every name in the book except, Liar! I’m going to miss that man.

  12. G. says:

    The Dems, the left, and this traitorous administration have no idea of how deeply they have pizzed off the rest of America. November is coming, hopefully followed by Congressional investigations into the transgressions of the presidental POS and his leftist entourage. This “team” needs ousting badly…..

  13. Steve Cusick says:

    Brilliantly said, Sister! Look at this building wave of eulogies, bringing his focus forward at a time when we can use it – and some inspiration.

    How about a compilation video tribute for prime-time play at the RNC, ending with his shouting down the Occupy-CPAC nuts, and wrapped up by a live speaker who gets it, summarizes it, and then throws down the gauntlet at the Dems and at their media, right in their faces, “you’re history, no one believes you, it’s over…”

  14. Ricci says:

    With you Sister!!!! Apologize for what? has been a question I have asked over and over. A cheerful giver of offense for most of my life, Breitbart was a rock star to me, the first unapologetic bomb thrower,the first to describe my own view of life,sharp,hard,wise. He is right under Big Daddy Reagan on my love list,and I will never forget him, or his message.

  15. Liz says:

    Sometimes I feel like we’re losing, always losing! He made me feel hope and you do too!

  16. Tom says:

    Today Rush Limbaugh apologized.

    Persuading him to do so must have been one of the many good works Breitbart has been tasked with during his long, long planned stay in purgatory, undoing the havoc he wrought during his time on earth.

  17. quell says:

    this is very bad advice.
    Andrew Breitbart was a self declared culture warrior.
    This was his statement on the first day of Big Hollywood.

    Big Hollywood is not a “celebrity” gabfest or a gossip outpost – it is a continuous politics and culture posting board for those who think something has gone drastically wrong and that Hollywood should return to its patriotic roots.

    Big Hollywood’s modest objective: to change the entertainment industry. To make Hollywood something we can believe in – again. In order to give millions of Americans hope.

    Until conservatives, libertarians and Republicans – who will be the lion’s share of Big Hollywood’s contributors – recognize that (pop) culture is the big prize and that politics is secondary, there will be no victory in this important battle. -Andrew Breitbart

    now…..did AB succeed in “taking culture back”? Not with Big Hollywood.
    neither you, sister, or AB understood pop culture.
    Culture is not a steering wheel…..it is a reflective surface.

    Also, do you think AB won any black voters when he yelled YOU GO TO HELL at the head of the NAACP? Did AB win any youth voters when he yelled STOP RAPING at the OWS protestors? He looked like a crazy old sandwich board guy to us.
    AB alienated black voters and youth voters, two demographics the GOP badly needs to survive.
    Rush had to back down today, and if AB had lived he would have had to.
    I think you need to find a different way to fight the culture war.
    I think it is really hard to be proud of being a conservative with AB and Limbaugh as your exemplars.
    Culture is a reflection of society, and the increasing disenfranchisement of conservatives from pop culture is a reflection of their shrinking representation in society.
    Culture evolves, just like demographics.

  18. david says:

    as an ex-conservative who is now a liberal, let me offer my condolences to the mans family. must say i’m ammused at the comments, exact type of talking points one can read on any lib blog, just change the names! we really are screwed as long as both sides view the other as completely wrong on everything. still, can’t help but feel you culture warriors are going the way of the dinosaurs that went extinct 6000 yrs ago! (snark)

  19. dubiousraves says:

    No, we’re not with you. You can paint him with whatever pretty colors you want, but they can’t disguise what he was: a liar. He tried to destroy lives, based on lies he made up about them. That’s the bottom line about Brietbart. Fearless? Oh sure. So was Hitler. Hitler had lots of passion, too. And got fools to follow him.

  20. EBL says:

    You got linked by Sully.

  21. EBL says:

    Of course Andrew Sullivan is a liar and a hypocrite. Why? Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin vile things and Sullivan does not say a peep. Why should he? Sarah Palin put her self in the public limelight so she is fair game.

    Now Ms. Fluke arguably did so too, but it is different. Because Ms. Fluke is arguing from a position that supports the Democrats. And that is the only difference.

  22. Brigham Young says:

    Too late. Limbaugh already caved.

  23. KarenJ says:

    EBL, sorry to say, you got that wrong.

    Sarah Palin is reviled because as early as her national speeches in September 2008 she raved and ranted directly at Obama in the most unsubtle of terms, scaring the hell out of her running mate and the Secret Service. That was even before Obama was elected, or had anything to do with the economy, bailouts, ACA, anything.

    She’s still doing it.

    Sandra Fluke never ranted or raved. She just spoke at a Democratic minority conference because the Republican majority refused to hear her testimony about the need for comprehensive gynecological preventative care to be available to all women regardless of social or economic status.

    She specifically told the story of two of her friends; one of whom could not afford the treatment that would have saved her ovary from destructive cysts, and the other who could not afford to get advanced treatment for ovarian cancer.

    Rush Limbaugh and many other right wing pundits, commentators and bloggers including those at Fox News have disparaged her story, attacked her, called her a “slut” and a “prostitute”, tried to impugn her motives, tried to suggest she was a “plant”, and a variety of other conspiracy theories.

    It’s shocking how quickly and easily the usual right wing suspects on Politico, the NY Times, Real Clear Politics, etc. began to parrot the talking points, like dittoheads. Problem is, if they repeated anything Limbaugh said, they revealed as much ignorance as he did, when he suggested women use birth control like men use Viagra; as if they need a BC pill for EVERY sex encounter.

    Really, that’s what Limbaugh said, and that’s what morons have repeated.

    Auggghh, the stupid; it hurts.

  24. Baby Koop says:

    Just found your blog through a link from Sullivan and I thought I would add a couple of thoughts. First some background, I call myself a “conservative” but I would be comfortable also being called a classical liberal, a moderate libertarian, a fiscal conservative or a social libertarian.

    If I were to sum up my thinking on the recent passing of AB I would say that I wish he would have lived and his form of “journalism” would have died. We used to have intellectual heavy hitters (Friedman, Buckley and I would even throw Rush and Gingrich in there for most of the 90’s) but now we purge people that aren’t 100 percent faithful (Bartlett, Frum, Sullivan) to all aspects of conservative ideology. And we used to make common sense compromises that moved us into a conservative direction (Reagan did this and we revere the man but today’s “leaders” will turn down a deal that includes $10 in government cuts for every dollar in tax increases).

    I understand the need for red meat and there is a place for it but when you increasingly only offer that type of analysis, tone, etc. we all lose. There is so much more heat than light generated by most people and sadly that is what “our” side is now. You don’t need to apologize for being conservative but we should be humble enough to know that conservative principles don’t work in every situation.

    We have real problems in this country and we really need to work better together to fix our country. AB, in my opinion, did not seek to gain more converts. He focused on making sure he alienated or pissed off people. That is a great tactic for short term financial gain for the likes of AB, Rush, Hannity, etc. Bu it’s a horrible strategy that is leaving conservatives and Republicans in a horrible place this upcoming election and in future elections.

    (And yes, you may have guessed I will likely be voting for Democrats this fall for the first time in my life because I’m pretty sick of “my” sides BS)

    Be well.

  25. elmo says:

    A fawning tribute devoid of any toughness about the man’s faults, which were of course part of the real person. A sycophant is not a reliable reporter. A grown man in full, out of control mode screaming at people and calling them “filthy animals” exposed the frustrated fundamentalism here. Mr. B deprived his own kids with this kind of indulgence and they are the people who deserve some sympathy, Be tougher on yourself, Sister.

  26. Susan says:

    2012 elections without Andrew scares me. He was fearless. Best of all, he knew what the MSM narrative would be before they did.

  27. EBL says:

    Sullivan’s readers reveal themselves. Sarah Palin deserves to be called vile names because she is too political. She brought it on herself.

  28. EBL says:

    Susan, of course you mean Andrew Breitbart…not that other Andrew. And yes, his instincts were spot on.

  29. Joe Smith says:

    Why are you people so angry and unreasonable? You are so full of hate.