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Andrew Breitbart, 'tea party' star and 'reluctant culture warrior'

Right, left or center, the audience who waited for provocateur and right-wing media guru Andrew Breitbart to race from LAX to USC ("I broke some laws to get here," he said) had a rollicking time as he talked with L.A. Times reporter Robin Abcarian at the Etc. Stage on Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Breitbart's second book, "Righteous Indignation," came out this month, and it's part handbook, part memoir of his journey from wanna-be hipster to star of the "tea party" movement. As Abcarian wrote in a Times profile, Breitbart was transformed from a "liberal, West Side child of privilege into a Hollywood-hating, mainstream-media-loathing conservative."
Breitbart burst into the news last summer when he posted on his Big Government website an item with two videos that had a USDA official named Shirley Sherrod telling an NAACP chapter that she once didn't give enough help to a white farmer. In the ensuing hoopla, Sherrod was condemned and then absolved when a longer video of her talk was released. Abcarian asked Breitbart if he still believed, as he earlier told Newsweek, that if he had a do-over he would have waited to see the longer version.
It wasn't easy to get a yes or no answer.

Breitbart said the Sherrod incident led to a "three-week attack on me by the mainstream media," and he said there was a lot of talk about "selective editing" and racism and efforts to hang that charge on the tea party movement. Finally, he said he "mildly" still agreed with the statement. "I guess I should have looked at it," he said.
He called himself "a reluctant culture warrior" who is "very aware of the degree to which the humanities departments" in U.S. colleges have been taken over by the left. His own degree in American studies from Tulane in New Orleans was a mind-numbing "cultural Marxism" that was "a waste of my parents' money." He also acknowledged drinking a lot but said the only time he took acid was when he was "doused" at a Radiators concert. He "hated" the acid experience, he said.
Breitbart has said his "disgust at racism" motivates his work. And on Saturday, he said he is a "No. 1 advocate" for conservative gays, blacks and Latinos. He said he would love to see "an all-black ticket" in the next presidential race of Allen West, a tea party Republican and congressman from Florida, and businessman and columnist Herman Cain, former chairman of Godfather's Pizza.
Although Breitbart railed against the "Democratic media complex," he said Abcarian was "unbelievably fair" in her profile of him -- after he joked that she was the definition of his phrase -- which refers to "the natural alliance of the mainstream media, liberal interest groups and the Democratic Party," he said. As a result, he said, "the tea party is always guilty until it proves itself innocent."
Though he called the "birthers" questioning President Obama's birthplace a "sideshow" and a "distraction," Breitbart echoed a conversation he had on "Real Time With Bill Maher" broadcast Friday night in which he said he would like to see the president's college transcripts -- including the classes he took with his Columbia literature professor Edward Said, a Palestinian American.
"The Democratic media complex did not vet this president," he said.
And when Abcarian asked his opinion of Sarah Palin, Breitbart replied to laughs and applause: "I have a foolproof test. If the Democratic media complex is out to destroy this person, this person is pretty good." He agreed it would be fair for the public to have a look at her transcripts as well.
Breitbart helped launch the Huffington Post, eventually leaving over ideological differences ("It was an awkward experience being around all these lefties," he said, adding that they didn't like being around a conservative person.) He has worked for the Drudge Report and wrote a previous book, the bestseller "Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- the Case Against Celebrity." He launched Breitbart.com in 2005, later adding a series of "subsites" including Big Government to counter, as Abcarian wrote, media that "ignores stories at odds with prevailing liberal orthodoxy."
Breitbart, wearing jeans and a black Lacoste shirt with black Converse sneakers, jogged onto to the USC campus shortly after his afternoon appearance was scheduled to begin. He had just returned from a trip to Tucson, where he spoke to a tea party gathering of 2,000 people, he said. As he arrived at the stage, some people in the audience gave him the thumbs up sign. After the conversation, he signed books.
-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Andrew Breitbart in 2010. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (33)

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The "liberal" media is in love with right wingers, you anoint them cultural pundits and you grovel at their feet lapping up the morsels that fall from their lips. The cultural and intellectual impoverishment of our society directly fl0ws from this deafening chatter masquerading as "ideas." This Breitbart talking head only loves minorities if they come over to the Dark Side. Well, dude, there's a reason why many non-white people are "liberal." Most of racism resides on your side.

Nothing this man says you can take as the truth. The birthers are all racists and the tea party is the KKK reinventing itself. When do we as Americans say enough and put these people in their place. I know good conservatives that are distancing themselves from both these groups and I say rightly so.

Damaged an organization that focused on registering poor people of color to vote.

Used a heavily edited tape to smear an African-American official causing her dismissal.

Continues to support a dirty tricks activists who was convicted of trespassing and tampering.

Supports defunding programs that mostly help the poor that over-represented by people of color.

Breibart's actions speak louder than word. His new party and his old conservative friend have race-baited to power for thirty years. Why take him for his word and look at his action and who they hurt.

don't feed the troll

Breitbart is a self-serving tool. He lacks any moral or ethical integrity and unfortunately there are still a large enough number of Americans who were failed by the education system and subscribe to his garbage. We can only hope there is a hell so there is some justice coming to Breitbart for his actions. He should be lined up next to Perez Hilton and other bottom feeding idiots who drag America into stupidity. He is a coward. He throws out slander and then runs away when anyone challenges him on his facts. Low life. You do a disservice by giving him any press.

Another "I love America, but it's all about me" conservative.

This guy, just like Trump, knows how to create controversy that will be grabbed by the media and sent all over the country. These guys are good at tweaking and then take the high road out of town. Ignore them all. In fact throw out your TV.
Hoa binh

Why are you giving this guy press? He is a Matt Drudge protege who uses the press for political motive. He's proven himself repeatedly unreliable.

Ignore him and let him disappear.

This fool gets too much attention.

In reference to looking at the USDA official's complete video Brietbart said that "I guess I should have looked at it..." OF COURSE he looked at it --- in order to selectively edit and accomplish his hatchet job. That corrupt clowns like these can pose as victims, is a reflection of light weight journalists like the one that wrote this article.

Reluctant? Hardly. Like Drudge, he's been enriching himself deliberately with these lies for years now. That he had a hand in fomenting the teabagger movement is not even a controversial statement.

Right wing media plays into this by coming up with fantasy images like this. Enough.

Wow LA Times, way to glorify an avowed racist!! Great job.

Hey Mr. Facist have you had your 15 minutes yet? Lets get some PI's to look into your life history and lets see how much 'garbage' you accomplished ( aside from the present obvious) in your pathetic life..I betcha love all this attention doncha???..sure u do..have you hooked up with pathetic Palin yet? lots in common..

Teabagger star and professional liar is more like it.

Look at all the liberal tolerance in this comment thread! You rush to condemn tea partiers, but you kiss the shoes of propagandists like Michael Moore. Pathetic.


I imagined that you might be the first to evade the issue and are EXACTLY doing what a self-righteous person does.

What is YOUR age and location, and I ask because I would bet you have NO clue what it's like to be a Hispanic Patriot and have a few years of experience.

Sophie, do you understand what civil discourse would be like? You would actually be willing to "listen" and respect the person with different views.

The only way to solve very difficult issues, is to use difficult and often unpopular solutions. We both agree, POVERTY SUCKS! BTW anyone can be racist, biased or in your case wrong.
I would prefer you spend your time helping to stop the poverty, not trying to make others feels they are somehow "indebted" every Hispanic that would take from another!! Two wrongs never make a right, Sophie and extremists of all ilks.

Hey know it alls...

Tell me exactly how Amnesty would work and if it would fix the problems in America? Please I want some specifics?

A common theme among the most extreme liberals, is that all thankfully grow out of it.

A girl at PETA once told me to remember the one good thing about and extremists, it becomes more clearly a balance.

The VAST majority of liberals are barley even thirty years old. Is it possible to think there is a reason for this.

The other good thing a far lefty, they can make for great conservatives, when they grow up....after they leave nest.

Breitbart is about fomenting controversy at the expense of those whose only "crime" is being an available target of ridicule for Breitbart in his zealous quest to scapegoat and offer up metaphorical punching bags for his own profit and self-promotion.

The "Liberal bashing" comments from Homer (Simpson?) and Turbin are quite amusing and as misguided as Breitbart. If Breitbart has anyone to blame, he needs to look in the mirror since he took himself out by his own sword and misdeeds. For example look at this reasoning: "anyone who takes issue with Breitbart is automatically a liberal or must somehow embrace someone like Michael Moore." How does that work? So Conservatives can't dislike or disagree with Breitbart? How about independents? This merely amounts to more flawed analysis / illogical thinking or is possibly a lame attempt at spreading misinformation and propaganda by Breitbart supporters.

Get real, this guy Breitbart is just one more snake oil salesman who can't hold a job as a "Real" journalist and takes advantage of "suckers" by appealing to their hates and fears. It's so sad and truly pathetic that anyone at all supports and/or defends this professional liar.

Unbelievable level of misinformation by Sophie and Howell nearby. The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and segregation. Let me repeat that: historically the Democrats were the party of slavery and segregation. The Republican Party was created in 1852 for one purpose: to end slavery in America. They continued the fight for racial equality in the decades that followed the Act of Emancipation. The Civil Rights movement was dominated by Republicans. By contrast, and not surprisingly, the Ku Klux Klan was dominated by Democrats (and NOT Southern Democrats). Yet Democrats today revel in their ahistoricism, they can simply reframe and redefine history as they see fit, as the idiots Sophie and Howell so clearly demonstrate. This frankly is why I've given up on the USA. As a Canadian I'm shocked at the relentless propaganda of the Democratic Party, and its success in molding the thinking of Americans. Everywhere you look in America liberal lies dominate the culture, from Hollywood to academia to the media to federal and state bureaucracies to the intel services to the judiciary ... the elites are 80% dominated by apparatchiks of the Democratic Party. It's disgusting to watch America being subverted from within. It's hard to see how the Tea Party movement can roll back such a tide of ignorance.

Most of the posters following this report show their total lack of understanding of the Sherrod issue but it is no surprise as you are under the control of the liberal media complex. The Sherrod video snippet was not for the purpose of exploiting Shirley Sherrod, it was for the purpose of displaying the racist response from the NAACP (in the crowd that she was speaking to) agreeing happily as she explained how she mistreated the white farmer.

Things to



isn't liberal synonomous with troll?

Are there any liberals that blog or tweet worth even bothering with, because I am convinced they have the
maturity of a gnat. It seems they are very naive or
very angry. They never answer any logical questions
with answers, they simply make another statement.

I have an proposal to make voting more fair to everyone:

If your a liberal your votes should only count half as much!

To BOB: (you dish out, so can't libs take it?)
Since you were respectful, I will tell you explain: Breitbarts title "Rigteous Indignation" was describes
my feeling about MANY lefty people. Either that, or
I have found they are simply more hypocritical and
lack in reality based solutions. They have ideas that
sound nice, BUT are not well thought out. I am an Independent more or less, and I don't know anyone that
blogs, so don't profess to take it to seriously. If you
remain civil, I would debate anytime. Thanks!

To Bob,

BTW, Do you think that a teapartier, Independent, or anyone likes to be called racist.. do you deny Libs do this a Lot?


I want you to read your own comments and tell me, are they're ANY teaparty bashing libs on here?
Why can ONLY a LIB dish it out, and you point our the few jabs at liberals. I never said you had to like Breitbart.
I would ask you if you read the page of comments, and try to look for flaws in YOUR story.

ALso, this is about Breitbart and not really an open to debate?

It's an article, why would he HAVE to be racist? Is that
simply stupid to be a bigot. Ask Al Sharpton, he's racist.

I haven't read one interesting or insightful liberal comment on here, I was open minded to ideas.

same old.... he's white, and whites always bad and black panthers and homosexuals and peta and fanatical hypocrites are always right! Epitome of righteous indignation!

A novel idea: Anyone can be a hypocrite,racist,liar,I know we are ALL imperfectly biased and flawed.

I prefer to be an Independent for this reason. I do what I think is best, that's all. Balancing act to extremists.

I read thru most comments and I saw statements that were in conflict with themselves even.

I saw racist,facist, corrupts, liar and wonder if you even .
I see very little of any humility. It's possible that you know a bully when YOU see one! Freedom of speech is how he is allowed, btw.


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