My goal is to try to weaponize the American people, try to weaponize the conservative movement, try to weaponize the underground conservative Hollywood movement, to weaponize as many people in the center-right country to try to rectify a generation-plus long problem that has been absolute media bias, absolute media used by the Democratic Party as a tool to defeat conservatives.
– Andrew Breitbart
It’s hard to believe that Andrew Breitbart’s giant heart gave out five years ago this past Wednesday, March 1, 2012. Despite the fact that it’s been five years, his cell phone number is still on my iPhone, his name is still in my LinkedIn contacts, and most importantly, the spark of fire and passion he injected into everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with him is still burning in my heart.
I started writing for the “Big” sites because I developed a reputation for strong articles about Israel and the Middle East. Andrew Breitbart and his friend Larry Solov (a Jew who is now Breitbart CEO) conceived of the idea to found Breitbart News Network, with “the aim of starting a site that would be unapologetically pro-freedom and pro-Israel.”
During the last year and a half of his life, I penned 2-3 articles a week the Breitbart “big” sites Big Government, Big Peace, Big Journalism, and Big Hollywood. At first most of my posts of were about Israel or other Jewish-related issues (one of the biggest of which was breaking the story about he anti-Semitic video that cost Helen Thomas her job). But soon I expanded into politics, culture, media criticism, and international relations.
Though never part of Andrew’s inner circle of friends, may have spoken to each other only a total of maybe 30 times (either in person or on the phone) during his too-short life, I called Andrew Breitbart my friend (and still do). This was not some delusion of grandeur on my part, it was part of the magic of Breitbart. Andrew made everyone he met like they were the most important people in the world and a key component of his team.
For example, while on the publicity tour for his latest book, Andrew appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. Hewitt jokingly told Breitbart he was disappointed that his name wasn’t in the acknowledgements. Piling on to a good joke, I tweeted Andrew to let him know that Hewitt had no right to be in the acknowledgements, but as one of his most prolific contributors, I should have been named and received some of his royalties on top of it. The very next day, I received a phone call apologizing for not including me. He said he knew it was a joke, but he wanted to make sure I wasn’t really upset. That was the Andrew Breitbart I knew; he always found time to make others feel important.
Andrew urged us to be unafraid as long as we had the truth on our side. He gave us the confidence to stand up to bullies no matter who they were and whether they were a “regular Joe” or the president of the United States. He also taught us to look beyond the public personas on the front lines. That the bigger threats were the people behind the scenes who pulled the strings as to gain personal power, money, and influence. For example my first posts about George Soros was for Big Government.
And as is the practice of the very best leaders, when any bullies went after the folks on his team, Andrew would step in front of us to take the bullet. One Saturday evening after posting an article about M.J. Rosenberg, an anti-Israel columnist the day before on Big Journalism, I turned on my computer to find hundreds of twitter mentions on my account. Apparently, a senior person at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America had decided to call me a Jew-Basher. Realizing that I would not be online during the Jewish Sabbath, Andrew and the entire team of Breitbart editors spent the day “beating up” the Media Matters people in my defense.
Andrew Breitbart was the guy you wanted in the “fox hole” with you. And I was honored that he welcomed me into the ‘fox hole” with him.