Andrew Breitbart lit up a room. Out at Western CPAC in Southern California a couple years ago, his star was rising, and he gave an interview. I asked him what he was doing; as in, how do you see your role?
He told us that he saw himself as a “merry mischief maker”. He wanted to turn the media upside down. He wanted to destroy them.
Andrew succeeded. He created the most surreal media moment ever: He ended up speaking at Anthony Weiner’s late and ill-fated press conference. He was at once the press and the news. It was a seminal moment. It was the moment I felt that Andrew had achieved his ends.
Everything had changed. The New Media was rising.
The grief-making part of it? He’d just really started. So much work to do. So much vitality.
In the spring of last year, Andrew called me and asked if I’d help him promote his book Righteous Indignation. He overnighted a review copy. In a day, I read it cover to cover.
If you haven’t read Andrew’s book, you really must. Not only is he a great story teller and beautiful writer, and he is, he also gives great hope through his own story. His biography shows a man, who like most Americans, didn’t pay attention and how he “woke up”.
And boy, did he wake up. He was the righteous, pointed finger in the chest of the empty and sanctimonious left. He had their number and they knew it.
As I sit here crying, I fear looking at Twitter for seeing all the nastiness and venom that will spill forth about Andrew from the left. He was hated because he was effective. They hated his persona. They hated his gumption. They hated him. [Updated: Do they ever.]
Knowing Andrew–knowing his sweet nature, knowing his kindness, knowing his generosity–I would just marvel at the contrast between what the left caricatured him as being with who he really was.
You know that carousing guy? That guy who skates on the edge or goes over it? The guy who cheats on his wife while out of town or likes to give the impression of being a player?
That wasn’t Andrew. Ever.
Andrew was devoted. He was a true family man. He chortled about people implying that he was gay as his domestic life with his wife and four kids was so tranquil and happy. He liked that someone viewed him as edgy.
At one small gathering, I found Andrew walking aimlessly around the hotel lobby with his iPad. I asked him what he was doing. Well, he couldn’t find anyone and was waiting for people to show up–for three hours. When it was suggested that he could have called one of us, he responded, “I’m not very good without my wife or Larry.”
Scattered, brimming with ideas, mulish, and hell-bent, Andrew could be a handful. His best friend Larry Solov is as sweet, calm, and circumspect as Andrew is bombastic, frenetic and bold. Larry helped Andrew succeed in so many ways. When it came to the business of Andrew Breitbart, Andrew and Larry were two parts of a whole.
Andrew was so full of life, it is almost impossible to fathom the emptiness that will be felt by those close to him. I feel it and I didn’t interact with Andrew every day.
I worried for Andrew. Before CPAC this year, there had been threats made on his life. Andrew was symbolic for the left and his death would be a triumph. And yet Andrew didn’t seem concerned at all. He just plowed on and engaged.
He gave his phone number to anyone. He would talk to anyone. He was not a respecter of persons.
I wish he was still here. There’s too much work to do. Who will do it? Who will do it like Andrew?
Someone will have to do the work, but no one will do it like Andrew.
Andrew Breitbart. Happy Warrior. Devoted husband and father. Generous friend and co-worker. Merry mischief maker.
I miss him already.
Matt LaBash: By way of greeting, I used to ask Breitbart what kind of evil he was up to. “Most kinds,” he’d say, gamely.
Andrew’s speech at CPAC:
Andrew’s last tweet:
— AndrewBreitbart (@AndrewBreitbart) March 1, 2012
I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.
Matt Drudge says this:
“DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20′s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today… MDRUDGE”
Roger Simon: “When a whirlwind dies, there is a sudden quiet.”
William Jacobson: “Andrew is irreplaceable, but we would serve his memory well to aspire to more freedom of thought and more freedom of action.”
Uncut podcast at Liberty Pundits with Clyde Middleton and Andrew Breitbart.
Ace who drubs David Frum aka The Rat.
Felicia Craven: Andrew Breitbart was our William Wallace.
Andrew Malcolm: So?