The mainstream media have been struck by the powerful and resonating presence the late Andrew Breitbart still has — as does the Breitbart News empire that carries on his legacy — at CPAC.
Elspeth Reeve, writing for the Atlantic Wire, observed that "Andrew Breitbart was the coolest thing at the first day of CPAC" — even though he is no longer with us.
On Thursday, three events honored the late conservative icon and media mogul. There was a cocktail party in his honor, a discussion about "The Legacy of Andrew Breitbart," and a screening of "Occupy Unmasked," the blockbuster documentary that starred Breitbart, in which he — along with director Steve Bannon — deconstructed how the institutional left used the Occupy Movement to try to gain power.
Reeve did not expect a "documentary about the real puppeteers behind Occupy Wall Street—unions, The New York Times, other Democratic groups" — to be as popular as it was among devoted conservatives, but found the movie to be "wildly popular."
"At the Occupy Unmasked screening, it was so packed that they brought in more chairs 30 minutes after the film began — and that still wasn't enough," Reeve writes. "The crowd was really into it."
Writing about Breitbart, Reeve said that his message, which Breitbart News carries on, is appealing because, "it's comforting, but empowering: The left is trying to silence you by calling you racist, sexist, all kinds of -ists. But you're not the racist — they are. Also, you can be cool."
One attendee commented that he viewed Breitbart, especially with his "longish wavy hair," as a "Founding Father."
In many ways, Andrew Breitbart, as a new media pioneer, was a Founding Father of a generation that realized they could use new media to break the stanglehold the mainstream media has had on the national political narrative. He aggressively attacked the mainstream media and the institutional left, but he also knew how to use popular culture to shape the narrative while enlisting happy warriors in this digital #WAR.
One way the mainstream media maintained their tight grip on the narrative was by using race as a weapon to discredit conservatives. Breitbart hated bullies in life, and he loathed when the mainstream media and the left would bully conservatives, especially conservative minorities and women like Clarence Thomas, Allen West, Herman Cain, and Sarah Palin.
Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News' Editor-at-Large who had known Breitbart for more than a decade, is one person carrying on Andrew's legacy, especially in his fight against bullying pundits.
Reeve went to Shapiro's Thursday panel, which was called, "Stop THIS: Threats, Harassment, Intimidation, Slander & Bullying from the Obama Administration." Reeve observed that Shapiro argued conservatives will lose to liberals if they treat liberals who bully conservatives by calling them racist or sexist as reasonable people.
If conservatives on the receiving end of intimidation treats the bully as someone who is reasonable, then they have already conceded the argument. Andrew Breitbart knew this.
According to the Atlantic Wire, Shapiro urged conservatives attending his panel to respond to liberal trap questions like asking why conservatives hate poor black children by asking them why liberals are "keeping millions of children in poverty to pay off labor unions." He said conservatives should not feel any guilt for being aggressive in response to such bullying.
The Atlantic Wire aptly summed up Breitbart's appealing spirit and that of Breitbart News--fierce, smart, engaging, accessible, and fun.