Andrew trusted me to tell the truth about the media when he first started this web site, Big Journalism. I owe him much more than this small tribute. When Andrew first started this site and asked me to be a contributor I had no hesitation.
He wanted a media guy who could tell the "inside stories" on the business, and I have been proud to do that. Thanks to the First Amendment the media is supposed to police itself. They have stopped doing that, if they ever have, and Andrew spotted that early on. I knew this problem with the media years ago, but had no outlet. This became my outlet.
I was with Andrew in Chicago September 2010 at a conservative convention when he simply, boldlyapproached a group of liberal protesters. You'd think Satan himself had confronted them. Satan might have had a warmer reception. Andrew was yelled at, screamed at, and homophobic slurs were hurled at him from the "progressives" in the crowd. We spoke afterwards before he addressed the convention, and he still seemed surprised that this group would do this while he had a full TV crew with him. We were two west coast guys sweating from the Chicago humidity that day, and we spoke of the fearlessness that it would take to expose the left with a media unwilling to do so. With my small, hand held camera, we spoke of Liberty. His answer to my simple question, "What does Liberty mean to you?" has new meaning today.
We were together in Searchlight, Nevada for a rally in Harry Reid's hometown when eggs were thrown at a tea party bus, and Andrew was on top of that story as well--exposing those on the left for their anger towards political opponents. He pointed out brilliantly how the media template on the tea party was 180 degrees from reality. We had seen it together and we knew what we saw. The fact that Big Journalism later exposed that it was a Democrat operative who threw the eggs was no shock to either of us.
I recall a 7:00am phone call on a Sunday morning from Andrew while he was at LAX waiting for a flight to Washington DC. This was smack-dab in the middle of the Anthony Weiner scandal. Weiner was still denying the photos were his and Andrew was being called a "liar." His credibility was openly challenged. Andrew told me he had proof the photos were Weiner's and he was headed back east to expose the truth, and we discussed the story. Every time I have talked to Andrew there was excitement and energy in his voice, and this day was no different, but I was a bit surprised that he had that energy at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. He went non-stop.
Because the media refuses to do its job, there was a need for Andrew Breitbart. The template of the media will not be changing any time soon, so for the foreseeable future there will be a need for "Andrew Breitbart." Yes, he was first a great family man and a loving husband and father--we talked often about our kids. We both have three boys and a daughter, and you could tell they were the spark that motivated him. That was the personal side that meant so much to him, but the world will know him as the guy who dared put his thumb on the media and press hard. Actually, he used much more than his thumb; he used everything he had.
What scared the left the most about Breitbart was that he "storm trooped" his way straight into what previously had been their protected turf--Hollywood, government, the media, pop culture, comedy, music. We talked often about how he felt conservatives needed to take their message to all sectors of society and do it without fear. He was right, and his timing was perfect. Like a Southern California surfer, you can have all the preparation, but if you don't catch the right wave you won't enjoy the ride. When it was all said and done, Andrew didn't ride the wave; he created the wave.
In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote, "the time has found us." Paine knew that forces much greater than man were at work in the American Revolution. You got that sense with Andrew. The time had found him. The Internet, the politics, and the person had aligned at the right time to make great things happen. Of course, like with Paine, it still requires brave men and women step forward to preserve Liberty for all. Paine and Breitbart were not just passengers on a ship; they were guiding that ship, they were fueling that ship, and they were headed in the right direction.
I will always miss a dear friend and a fearless fighter, but I will move forward with a renewed passion towards truth.