NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — On Thursday, conservatives were offered a rare treat while attending the CPAC conference at the Gaylord Resort, settled above the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland. Mark Levin, a New York Times bestselling author, firebrand conservative radio talk show host, and extraordinary legal scholar, was honored with the inaugural Citizens United Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award.
The afternoon event combined a tribute to Levin with a thoughtful remembrance of the late Andrew Breitbart, who died two years ago this month. Breitbart Editor-In-Chief Alexander Marlow recounted that when he first met Andrew at a Young America’s Foundation (YAF) conference in Santa Barbara, “You wouldn’t say his talk had what I would call a structure. And his language, I would say, was… salty.” Marlow explained that although Breitbart was a nonconformist, he had a “thesis, and that thesis was pure genius. He said it is not enough for conservatives to talk about culture, we need to become the culture.”
Marlow said that Breitbart was well aware that the left controlled the mainstream media, academia, and Hollywood. Marlow contends this triumvirate of left wing domination “dumps their sewage into family living rooms, where not even the family dog is safe.” He described his educational path, including his college years at “UC… Berkeley.” This drew a round of boos from the audience. “I know, I know… I graduated there five years ago, and just last week I finally got the pot smell out of my hair.” Marlow said that Andrew wanted to reach those potheads: “He was the only one on the right that had that idea. These are all people that, if we reach out to them when they are young, then we can capture their hearts and minds when they are older.”
Also speaking at the award presentation was Larry Solov, Breitbart News Network CEO. He first thanked Citizens United and Dave Bossie in particular for keeping “Andrew’s legacy alive.” Solov also thanked Mark Levin for being there in person to accept the inaugural award. He said that Levin is a “patriot and a champion of real conservative values.” Moreover, he said Mark has something that “is missing too often… common sense. And I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.”
Solov, a Stanford Law School graduate, added that “the First Amendment is so critical and our right to even discuss ideas is so critical.” He recalled that Andrew Breitbart had told him countless times: “‘What I want is more voices not less.’ He wanted an even playing field. He wanted to take on the media, Hollywood, and academia, who are bound and determined to put conservatives on the defensive and make it an uneven playing field.”
According to Solov, that is “what Andrew fought hardest for – for Conservatives to have the right to simply express their views.” Solov ended his tribute to Levin and his remembrance of Andrew by quoting Jon David Khan, a musician, songwriter, “Minister of Culture” for Breitbart News, and a dear friend of Mr. Breitbart: “My sadness today is overcome only by my pride in what we have done to carry on this great man’s legacy.”