My week with Andrew

It wasn’t quite a week, but we traveled to Israel together in 2007 on a “bloggers’ tour” led by Fern Oppenheim. Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit kept the photos and included them in his remembrance of Andrew. I filed this report at midnight after the end of our only full day in Jerusalem:

I’m on a whirliwind four-day, three-city tour of Israel as a guest of America’s Voices in Israel. It’s the first-ever bloggers tour sponsored by America’s Voices. My traveling companions include Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, Jeff Emanuel of Redstate and Jeff Emanuel, Andrew
Breitbart of The Drudge Report, Breitbart and Breitbart TV, and Andrew’s attorney Larry Solov. Our host from America’s Voices is the lovely Fern Oppenheim.

The friendship between Andrew and Larry strikes a distant echo in my mind of the memorable friendship between Hunter Thompson and his attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Andrew and Larry have provided comic relief and spirted argument in addition to their own perspectives on issues addressed by our speakers.

I don’t think I had ever heard of Andrew before the trip. Yet it didn’t take long to get a bead on him. When we boarded the van the following morning, Andrew said something like: “So I’m like Hunter Thompson, huh?” Well, not exactly. Andrew and Larry were more like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza than like Thompson and Acosta, but it took me a few more days to figure that out.

Thanks to Fern’s unrelenting efforts, our third day included a brief meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv (photo above). Later that day we also took a low-flying chopper ride from a point near Tel Aviv down the border between Israel and the West Bank to Sderot and Gaza. Our flying group is in the photo at the left.

I remember eating dinner with Andrew and our group that evening. Andrew was multitasking, pulling his shift on the Drudge Report. He was reading messages from journalists seeking links to their stories, instant messaging with John Podhoretz and making himself the life of the party, all at the same time. Today John Podhoretz remembers Andrew as “Media rebel with a cause.”

I learned in the course of the trip that it was Andrew who changed my life in 2004, linking to our “Sixty-First Minute” post early that afternoon with the screaming siren on Drudge. He confided that Matt Drudge did not like blogs, but that he (Andrew) was a fan. On September 9, 2004, he was following the action online. Thank you, Andrew. Thanks for everything.