Andrew and I first met three years ago at a party. We would run into each other everywhere: at parties, functions, and left-wing protests we both happened to be crashing. I was at the time a lesser-known 22 year-old freelance filmmaker and journalist, and while at events he would be surrounded by a galaxy of high profilers, Andrew always seemed to notice me, remember my name, and say hello.
For the next three years up until he hired me just a month ago, I did freelance journalism for other clients, and wherever I traveled, Wisconsin, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., we would run into each other as a pleasant surprise and within minutes find ourselves devilishly co-scheming, sharing secret footage, and laughing excitedly about what the media was in for upon release.
I wish I could catalogue all the memories, projects, laughs, and even random moments that on the surface seem insignificant but would prove eerily poignant in retrospect. But I will name just a few.
I was in Palm Springs a year ago to go undercover at a left-wing Common Cause rally headlined by Van Jones. It was not more than a week after the Tucson shooting that had the left erroneously presuming Jared Loughner was a “right-wing extremist” and that the tea party was somehow responsible for the tragedy due to “racist and violent rhetoric.”
I decided drop a nuclear bomb on that narrative and put it to permanent rest, and with an Obama T-shirt and a camera, I approached several unrelated protesters and asked them what we should do with Clarence Thomas after we impeach him. Their responses all seemed to harbor a similar motif: “String him up,” “Hang him,” “Send him back to the fields,” “I’m all about peace but I would say torture.”
It was then that I ran into a familiar friend on rollerblades being accosted by raging, foaming-at-the-mouth detractors yet jovially inviting them to Applebee’s.
He then noticed me and smiled. Noting my Obama T-shirt and intuiting immediately what I was up to, he restrained himself from the usual pleasantries and said, “I remember you! You’re that Code Pink guy!”
After the rally (and minutes before the clueless, groupthinking protesters actually did congregate at Applebee’s), Andrew and I snuck away from the crowd and huddled, relaying our delicious footage finds with deviant rapture.
The next day we released the Clarence Thomas tapes and the mainstream media went into emergency damage control mode, accusing me of everything from egging-on the protesters (as if racially murderous sentiments are universal that need only a bit of verbal snake-charming to manifest) to literally accusing me of casting performers to utter the racial maledictions, noting the subjects appeared to be wearing obvious wigs, costumes and make-up. (It was then that I literally took offense on behalf of my victims.)
Noticing this, Andrew publicly leapt to my defense and declared a counterwar against those who were maligning my character, basically appointing himself as a human shield against my attackers. He didn’t have to do that, but it wouldn’t be the last time, and it was who he was: A true altruist who had philanthropically devoted his attention, resources and bottomless energy to defending the otherwise-voiceless from the reputation-bulldozing monstrosity that is the Democrat-media complex.
It is impossible to do justice to the support and tutelage Andrew would give me for years as a friend up until becoming my boss a month ago. My last memory of him took place hours before his death. We were in the office discussing angles for a new story–that is until he opened his Twitter, forgot the world around him and reclined in his chair, sipping his soda and sighing delightedly at the new bombardment of hate-tweets aimed at him. Within seconds he began playing his keyboard like an accordian, having half-forgotten our conversation and then gleefully asking my opinion on a Tweet draft he’d just prepped, aimed at Shuster and Olbermann.
I write this just feet away from what is now an empty desk that days ago was the throne of the most dynamic walking fountain of energy, humor, wisdom, and kinetic human electricity I’ve ever known. I intend to double down my work for him and spend the rest of my career making him proud. Thanks for believing in me. Hope to party, joke and scheme with you against someday. Miss you, boss.