I’m one of those 9/11 Republicans, a formerly apolitical soul forever changed by both the terrorist attacks and how the Left responded to them.
Those sentiments dovetailed with my duties at The Washington Times, a newspaper unafraid to zig when the rest of the mainstream media zagged. As an entertainment reporter, I was encouraged to look at the news from fresh perspectives without losing the veracity of the story.
I relocated from Washington, D.C. to Denver in 2007, which meant I had to leave the newspaper as a full-time contributor. The move also convinced me to find a place on the web to call my own. Looking back, whatwouldtotowatch.com could have had a snappier handle, but it was an invaluable way to learn about journalism in the 21st century.
Being a blogger meant striking up cyber-friendships within my entertainment niche. Networking matters, both online and off. But the people blogging about film were the kind of folks with whom I’d love to share a beer – or knock back a Coca-Cola.
That led me to Dirty Harry, the pseudonym of Big Hollywood’s own John Nolte. He ran DirtyHarrysPlace.com at the time, and his caustic, right-of-center views matched my own. But he challenged me all the same while proving the best modern writers weren’t necessarily working for august news outlets any more.
So when he left his blog to help start up Big Hollywood I naturally followed. Big Hollywood kindly let me contribute posts when my schedule allowed, and when Andrew Breitbart and his talented crew invited me to join the Big Family in September 2011 I couldn’t nod my head fast enough.
I had previously read “Righteous Indignation,” Andrew’s blistering memoir about his goals for changing the media marketplace and the culture at large. But after becoming an official employee I pulled it from my bookshelf and started poring over it again. This time, I turned each page with purpose. I wanted to “get” what Andrew wanted me to do.
Andrew’s passing means that direct education will no longer be possible. But I’m still learning from John Nolte and many of my fellow editors in the Breitbart family of sites. They cracked the code thanks to Andrew’s instruction and the example he provided. And I’m more dedicated than ever to follow in their footsteps.