Blaming Breitbart

12Mar12


It’s all Andrew Breitbart’s fault.

Originally, this blog wouldn’t exist. There were (and still are) plenty of like minded bloggers out there, discussing the importance of limited government, liberty and the problems with the current leadership in Washington DC. Chief among those was noted firebrand and raconteur, Andrew Breitbart. National Review called him “The conservative Achilles” but I tend to think of him more as a cross between Patrick Henry and Sam Adams. The speaking prowess of Henry with the ability to rile up a crowd like Adams (Henry could do that as well, as evidenced by Harlow Unger’s book “The Lion of Liberty”).  Breitbart’s exploits have been noted everywhere: his “Big” sites (breitbart.com, Big Hollywood, Big Peace, Big Journalism and Big Government), National Review, Drudge Report, Daily Caller, Michelle Malkin, Misfit Politics, Huffington Post and CNN/Fox News.  His involvement in the Tea Party, GOProud, CPAC, Citizens United and countless other grassroots organizations are well known.
His sudden death at the beginning of March stunned allies, friends and foes alike. Lord knows I was shocked to wake up and see my Twitter feed full of Breitbart tributes.

I didn’t completely agree with Breitbart’s tactics. Advocacy journalism, along with gotcha questions, don’t do it for me. It’s good for a soundbite, for catching people off guard, but they do more to make a name for the questioner and not the questioned. One reason why Breitbart and his minions (which is said in a nice way because I like minions) used those tactics were because they’d been used successfully against the right by the left. Confrontational, outspoken and rather outrageous. Breitbart would get into Twitter wars (and face-to-face ones (see: Occupy DC confrontation)) because he knew it’d get people riled up. He was also pretty funny about it too, whether it was shouting “Behave yourself!” to Occupy DCers or rollerblading through a protest making comments at people.  And there’s nothing wrong with it. When you’re able to get someone to lose their temper and say “Well f*ck you and I hope you suck plenty of dick in Hell.” it obviously means you’re getting on someone’s nerves. And someone said that in a “tribute” to Breitbart shortly after his death. Some people can be real tolerant when others are mourning.

Sometimes the people who shout do need to be shouted back at.  It’s just not my thing. I like discussing policy, when it’s not full of buzzwords and pointing out what’s wrong with someone else’s position. Breitbart didn’t do that in public, although based on the tributes which have poured in, he was certainly willing to. Matthew Boyle, Mickey Kaus and Tucker Carlson have great tributes at “The Daily Caller.” Greg Gutfeld and the “Red Eye” crew have awesome ones as well. He sounds like the kind of person who’d talk to anyone about anything. And would have fun doing it, knowing you could go out for a beer afterwards. If my only complaint about Breitbart is the confrontational style, well that doesn’t say much (although sometimes I think some of his minions are looking to be offended).

One thing I really liked about Breitbart was his investigation abilities. He was willing to go dig deep into stuff to see if it was true or false. Some of them he questioned (Kaus points out the Dan Wolfe discussion during “Weinergate”) while others he pursued relentlessly (see “Weinergate” and the current “VetThePrez” movement on Breitbart.com). There need to be people willing to do this. It’s important. Politicians (and their handlers) aren’t the dumbest of people and do their best to keep their sound bites, affairs and contradictions in order (or at least harder to track). It takes people being willing to investigate and write about it to get people to listen. Or at least try to. Breitbart did and people listened. His existence made people listen. And encouraged them to start speaking up and saying their piece. It obviously wasn’t easy, but people listened. And started acting.

Hence the Tea Party, “The Bigs” and Misfit Politics.

And now this blog. It will probably cover everything from politics to pop culture (hope you like comic books and music). I’m not sure it will talk about religion because I’m not sure that’s what it’s supposed to do.

So here we go…

Eye Desert



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