I got to know Andrew Breitbart five years ago on a whirlwind tour of Israel during which we became friends. Andrew was one of a kind, a big lovable bear of a man with the heart and soul of a warrior. His death leaves me distraught. It leaves the conservative movement, in which Andrew exerted his leadership with a convert’s zeal and a Falstaffian wit, bereft of an irreplaceable presence.
Last year we posted Andrew’s appearance with Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge (transcript here). What follows below is the introduction with which we prefaced the video together with the video of Andrew doing his thing, live and unforgettable.
Our friend Andrew Breitbart is the consequential fellow who stepped out from behind his work for the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post to establish his own online empire under the rubric Big: Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and Big Peace. He is smart, he is funny, he has the soul of a warrior, and he has quickly made himself a pillar of the conservative movement. He is therefore a target of the mainstream media. They are out to destroy him, and Andrew heartily reciprocates. It’s Andrew versus Goliath.
Andrew and his team doggedly pursued the story behind the allegations of Reps. Andre Carson, John Lewis. Emanuel Cleaver and James Clyburn that Tea Party protesters abused black congressmen with racial epithets while demonstrating against Obamacare on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2010. The story was reported as fact by news organizations including Fox News and McClatchy News, but Breitbart called baloney and exposed it as a concoction of the congressmen who peddled it.
One can say this with something approaching metaphysical certainty because of the utter lack of evidence supporting it under circumstances where there would have been such evidence had it happened as alleged. The key to the case was Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward to anyone producing video of the epithets being shouted. There were no takers because it didn’t happen.
One can reasonably conclude that the congressmen’s story was a fabrication intended to defame the Tea Party movement and distract attention from the resistance to Obamacare. Not a single video corroborated it although many videos were shot that day, and despite Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward to anyone producing a video that corroborated it. No independent journalist or other eyewitness stepped forward to vouch for the congressmen’s story.
Andrew’s exposure of the story as a fraud was an incredible piece of journalism all by itself. He deserved a Pulitzer Prize for it. I propose that Andrew’s next Big site be Big $100k.
In the meantime, we have Andrew’s memoir cum manifesto, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! The book provides the occasion for Peter Robinson’s recent interview of Andrew. Through our arrangement with the Hoover Institution, we are pleased to present the interview in its entirety. Please check it out.