“Hating Breitbart” introduces movie goers to the man the mainstream media despised for telling it like it is.
The film, opening in select theaters Friday, will certainly be greeted with head nods and high fives by those who followed the late media mogul’s work. Those unfamiliar with Andrew’s mission or his successful take down of media memes will walk away with a better understanding of what he was fighting – and why so many people wanted to personally destroy him.
The documentary captures Andrew using his media empire to savage ACORN, the media lie that the Tea Party movement was hopelessly racist and reporters who cared more about attacking Andrew’s minions than doing actual journalism.
Andrew did it all with great humor, a ferocious spirit and a willingness to sign up every citizen journalist he could to join his army.
“Everybody has the ability to break a story … it’s the most exciting era in the history of the First Amendment,” he says during the film.
“We’re creating our own media, and there are so many stories that need to be told,” he later tells an adoring crowd.
Today, months after Andrew’s death, that army continues to fight the good fight. “Hating Breitbart” refreshes their marching orders in compelling fashion.
Director Andrew Marcus captures Breitbart on the move, speaking at one conservative conference after the other, hardly appearing like the wicked fabricator his detractors labeled him.
The self-described multimedia middle class mogul is shown ironing his own shirts, playfully arguing with longtime friend and business partner Larry Solov and posing for as many pictures as possible with admirers. He’s often unshaven, a man keenly aware of his limitations.
“Here comes the husky model,” he grins while preparing for a photo shoot.
The film lets several of Andrew’s professional peers describe what made his approach unique, from his singular understanding of how reporters reinforce their narratives – watch Andrew dance with an ABC reporter trying to get a certain line out of him – to lies that bubble up purposely in the press.
We also hear mainstream media types aghast at Andrew’s methods and results. Their arguments are weak, petty even, and Marcus nails the sense of defeat and fear in their words.
A good portion of the film retells Andrew’s fight to prove the claim that the “N” word was hurled by Tea Party members to black politicians was a lie. We see the videos taken during the day in question, hear how journalists couldn’t be bothered to investigate the matter and watch Andrew get fired up as the fake story spread across the media.
He was one journalist fighting for the truth, and no one in the mainstream press had his back.
“Hating Breitbart” breaks down the incident many media types used to frame Andrew for journalistic malpractice – the Shirley Sherrod affair. The film details how Andrew’s initial report on Sherrod’s NAACP speech included information the media conveniently ignored while savaging him. Sherrod later accused Andrew of wanting to see black people back in chains, something that should have made her a pariah in polite circles.
It was the best the media could do against their sworn enemy, and “Hating Breitbart” reminds us they were wrong once more.