A few weeks ago, I went to my local public library and checked out Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!. Actually, my wife checked it out first, but she said she couldn’t get into it. I returned it for her, then put a hold on it so I could have first crack at checking it out again on my own library card.
I can see why she had a tough time with the beginning of the book. It’s a bit of an autobiography of Breitbart’s youth growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. In his early life, he’s shallow and self-absorbed and the first chapters tend to drag.
But as I pressed on, I realized he wanted the reader to know about how he was as a teen and young adult so we could witness and understand his evolution into a “Tea Party Protector.”
I learned quite a lot, especially about the century-long growth of the liberal news media and university system and why they, along with the liberal entertainment industry, are so hard to refute. They seem to be the voice of our nation, defining good vs. evil, and stating that if we don’t let them program our thoughts, our words, and our actions, then we are evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, throwback neanderthals.
Based on the book, I got the impression that in public, Breitbart was an in-your-face, no holds barred communicator, but he revealed his behind the scenes insecurities as well, though I’m sure he didn’t overly disclose personal details.
Although I could agree with him on the majority of his content, the depiction of the 2009 ACORN videos and James O’Keefe was disappointing.
The book was published in 2011, but by June 14, 2010, ” the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published its report finding no evidence that ACORN, or any of its related organizations, had mishandled any of the $40 million in federal money which they had received in recent years.” (of course the source of that information is the Huffington Post and CNN, which I’m sure Breitbart wouldn’t consider objective reporters).
There’s enough evidence to suggest that James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles heavily edited the contents of their numerous ACORN videos to mislead viewers into believing ACORN staffers were complicit in criminal activity. I was hoping that at the end of the chapter in which Breitbart chronicled these events, he’d admit that he’d been duped by O’Keefe and Giles, but he didn’t. In fact, he seemed to be saying that the “Leftist Media Complex” was responsible for pushing that “lie”.
One thing I come away with after reading the book is the strong desire to sit down over coffee or a beer with Andrew Breitbart and get his views on the recent election and how the media has and still is crucifying Trump voters.
I never will. Breitbart died of heart failure on February 29, 2012 at the age of 43. He was obviously intelligent, passionate, well-read, and informed (not as a result of his university education, however, since he blew off that part of his life).
If anything, I’d say he was a little too self-assured about his viewpoints because, after all, liberals can be honest and sincere, and conservatives can be up to no good as well as vice versa.
He did illustrate for me a systemic, organized bias in liberal entertainment, media, and education to shove a highly specific agenda down America’s throat, and to malign, discredit, and if necessary, destroy any individual or group that doesn’t fall in line with “liberalthought.”
I know that sounds paranoid and it’s possible that having just put down the book, my thoughts and language is somewhat influenced by Breitbart’s.
I don’t think he was evil incarnate as probably many or most progressives believe. I don’t think (the ACORN videos aside) he was out to create a false image of the liberal “Complex”. I believe he was generally honest and sincere, if a bit myopic, and he really did see himself as the protector of Tea Party conservatives who were, and still are, under attack.
I preserved some quotes from his book on my Facebook page, but I want to share one in this review that I think is particularly telling. From page 194:
“I told everyone I could (at a large Tea Party event held in Santa Ana, CA in 2009) that they had started an uprising, and that the Obama administration and the media wouldn’t stand for it. I said that they’d be labeled racists and hatemongers and violent criminals, that they’d be depicted as the dregs of society, people to be excluded from dinner parties because of their made-up closet KKK status. They were about to be targeted, and I knew it. I had to warn them.”
Breitbart probably finished the authoring and most of the editing of his book in 2010 and it was published in April of 2011. Yet, the text above is a perfect description of how Trump voters and anyone who did not want Hillary Clinton to be President (even if they didn’t vote for or support Trump) are being treated in the news media as well as on university campuses and among the progressive elites right this very second.
He only missed “deplorables” in the list of adjectives and only because he died four years before Hillary Clinton attached the term to conservatives.
I’ll return the book to the library in a few days, but it’s one of those few books that I may purchase and add to my permanent personal library. The lessons he taught, which sadly ended with his death, are still far too relevant to what we are all having to live through today.
I’m sorry I missed meeting you, Andrew. I’d love to know what you’d say and do today.