First, this is not a remembrance. Although Jim Hoft remains in critical condition in a St. Louis hospital, he, fortunately, is still planted firmly on this mortal coil. I write with the full confidence that he will make a full recovery. Right now, however, the man is enduring his own private hell. You may not immediately know the name Jim Hoft, but some part of our present world has been shaped by his work as an activist and through his blog, Gateway Pundit.
I first met Hoft in my hometown in September 2009. A childhood friend had organized a major Tea Party rally in the town, with Hoft, Andrew Breitbart and other conservative stars like Glenn Reynolds, Kevin Martin and GOP knife-fighter Roger Stone as speakers. We had just launched Andrew’s BigGovernment days before the event, and were just days into exposing the criminal front-group that was ACORN. Hoft was closely at our side in that fight.
I had first worked with Hoft, however, months before. Even before the launch of BigGovernment, Andrew, I and a few others had strategized over late-night conference calls with Hoft and other members of the fledgling Tea Party movement in St. Louis and around the country. Even then, Hoft was a force of nature. He would criss-cross the country attending rallies and offering his moral support to any fight. Whether SearchLight, NV or Madison, WI, Hoft marched to the sound of the guns.
“Jim’s been one of the most consistent bloggers for most, if not all of the ten years I’ve been in the game,” said Breitbart Contributor and blogger Dan Riehl. “Often a regular at Conservative events, he grew Gateway Pundit into one of the Right’s largest blogs and is a loyal fighter for liberty and conservative causes, as well as a good friend.”
Hoft has contributed often to the Breitbart sites. Always find a new angle on a story or unearthing new revelations about corruption, Hoft finds unique ways to communicate the cause of liberty to the general public. His style is blunt and concise and gives voice to millions of activists who don’t have their own platform.
Larry Solov, CEO and President of Breitbart News, has his own fond memories of Hoft. “I first met Jim Hoft in July 2007 at JFK, where we were boarding an El Al flight to Israel together, along with Andrew, Jeff Emmanuel, Scott Johnson and Fern Oppenheim,” Solov said. “In fact, look at the header on Gateway Pundit – lower right side. That’s a picture of us with Benjamin Netanyahu from that trip.”
“To meet Jim, much less to know him, is to love him,” Solov added. “He is who he is. Unpretentious. Unassuming. Playful. But also a loyal and fierce journalist and advocate. I personally, along with everyone at Breitbart News, wishes Jim the speediest of recoveries, as he is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Keep in mind, Hoft isn’t a full-time blogger or activist. He has a pretty significant day-job. It is a mystery where he gets the energy to do what he does. His daily work responsibilities give him a pass to not be fully engaged in the fight for liberty. But, he has never requested a pass and would laugh in your face if you offered one. He, like Andrew and many of us in the movement, realize that the fight for liberty isn’t a hobby, it’s a calling.
“There’s no kinder and more sincere fighter than Jimbo,” said Jon Kahn, Breitbart News’ Minister of Culture. “He’s one of those guys that when you see him at an event, you know you’re on the right team.”
And, now our friend is in trouble.
He is surrounded by friends and family. He has a friend, Andrea Ryan, who has stepped up to keep the Gateway Pundit site active while he is recovering. We at Breitbart, and others in the conservative on-line world, have done what we can to help this effort. We can’t replicate Hoft, but we can help keep things going until he returns to the fight. And, we need him to return.
A year and a half ago, we lost Andrew. Six months ago we lost my childhood friend, Chip Gerdes, who organized that Tea Party event and late-night conference calls that brought together activists from around the country. Last month, we almost lost Jim Hoft.
God speed to Hoft in his recovery. There aren’t many of us. We need you back in the fight.
On Sunday night, around 9:30 pm EST, Breitbart News Sunday will do a special tribute to our friend Jim Hoft. Tune into Sirius/XM Patriot Channel 125 for stories, memories and a renewed call to action.