Andrew Breitbart was one person any politico would want to fire up a discussion with. It’s an opportunity that sadly won’t come true.
And as politically correct as one could be about the day of his death, it reminds me of something that he’s always tried to portray with interviews, discussions, and debates about politics and the media narrative he has worked tirelessly to expose. The news cycle itself is designed to destroy us. And sadly, it may have taken a genius from the ranks far too soon as well.
One little thing I remember is the way he used others against themselves by repeating their words to the thousands of his followers on Twitter. It was a brilliant method, so others can see how petty these individuals were.
By retweeting their insults himself, it made the angry folks look cheap. Any twitter user mentioning @AndrewBreitbart with various slurs or insults would find their one-minute of fame with an RT on his feed if they were lucky. He encouraged it, showing that everyone without an educated reply would invariably resort to name-calling and insults.
He knew the audacity of words. He’s no stranger with making his opinion known, especially with Senator Ted Kennedy. But mentioning Breitbart’s death-wishers on Twitter (or left-wing Senators caring what right-wing media mavens think about their death) sounds trivial. And I bet Andrew Breitbart would’ve simply responded the way he always had … by re-tweeting them.
Breitbart’s mode of operation was never about the dogma of dialogue, the fake smiles, or the backroom deals that have undermined everything he railed against. He was there to win the argument, and utilized whatever he could to make his point.
I didn’t agree with everything he said, but I could see a few arguments from his perspective. From the O’Keefe saga to the NPR fundraisers, from Anthony Weiner to Shirley Sherrod, from SEIU to ACORN, there wasn’t a topic that he didn’t influence or exasperate in his own way. And last I heard, there are some Barack Obama at Harvard tapes coming in a week or so.
His relentless efforts brought all of these issues (and non-issues) to the front-and-center, and his organization is strong enough to continue egging on the left and will drive them bonkers for years and years to come. And with each issue he promoted, he altered the gateway between the media and the public.
With all of the success, the support and salaciousness, there was a price. The sad part is that the price for this eternal vigilance is costly, and something we haven’t fully grasped yet in the virtual cycle that we live in. Andrew Sullivan notes how much that cycle really asks of us. He somberly notes Breitbart’s drive and the literal human condition.
One of his last twitter statements underscores his drive, and his tenacity. And for those who support his work, it should be a mantra to carry on in his name.
‘I’m far less political than anyone can imagine. I am just hyper-vigilant about left’s instinct to shut down debate. PC is bad’ –Andrew Breitbart, Feb. 29th on Twitter
Cheers, sir. Your evil genius will be missed.