CPAC attendees simply couldn’t get enough of late Internet mogul Andrew Breitbart’s inspiration and legacy.
Shortly after conservatives packed into Breitbart News’ Uninvited panel, which featured voices too often not heard around CPAC, they squeezed into a screening hall to watch Hating Breitbart.
The documentary, which earned Blog Bash’s Best Movie honors earlier in the convention, drew cheers as well as a standing room only crowd on CPAC’s final day. A guard watching the screening door had to keep turning curious attendees away who wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
The event’s post-screening panel included muckraking journalist James O’Keefe, respected journalist John Fund, Hating Breitbart director Andrew Marcus, Media Matters for America’s Ari Rabin-Havt and Breitbart News’ Larry O’Connor. Radio talk show host Rusty Humphries served as the emcee and sometimes referee.
Marcus said the profound difference between how the media covers left and right protests prompted him to pick up his camera, and that led him to Andrew’s side.
“This guy is our story. He personified the fight (against the media),” Marcus said.
The panel also featured Rabin-Havt attempting to skewer O’Keefe’s ACORN videos followed by the young journalist’s stinging retort.
Fund reduced the panel’s heat by deriding anyone who plays the race card as poisoning the modern political debate.
“We should aim for a higher standard,” Fund said. “That’s a lot of what Andrew was about … he didn’t like name calling on either side.”
Breitbart News’ Editor in Chief Joel Pollak hit Rabin-Havt hard for posting an item during CPAC that Pollak was a “birther.”
“That is a smear, and I invite you to correct, retract and publicly apologize right here and now,” Pollak calmly said. “Sorry better be the next word out of your mouth.”
No apology followed.
“You sir are a liar,” Pollak said before sitting down.
As for Andrew’s legacy, O’Connor said no one can replace Andrew.
“He opened the door, opened up opportunities who thought they didn’t have a voice,” O’Connor said.
“He inspired so many people … there are gonna be people watching tapes of Andrew, watching Hating Breitbart, for years to come,” Fund says. “He taught us courage can be fun.”
O’Connor reminded the audience about a little known fact about Andrew’s high-profile battle against the media.
“He didn’t want to fight … he was dragged into the fight. They declared war on him. Don’t ever forget that … he’d prefer to have a drink and a laugh and agree to disagree,” O’Connor said.