It’s been a year since Andrew Breitbart passed away. And one year later he is still very much missed. His number is still in my cell phone, name is still in my Linkedin contacts and Facebook friends, and the spark of fire and passion he injected into everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him is still burning in my heart.
Before his passing, it was my ultimate pleasure to contribute 2-3 posts per week to the growing Breitbart “empire.” We didn’t speak often and saw each other no more that a few times a year but Andrew made me feel like an important part of the “Big” team, and that team was involved in something bigger than us both–finding the truth.
I wasn’t part of Andrew’s inner circle of friends, we may have spoken a total of maybe 30 times (either in person or on the phone) during his too short life, yet I called him (and still call him) my friend. This was not some delusion of grandeur on my part Andrew Breitbart made everyone I met feel like they were the most important people in the world and a key component of his team. Allow me to give you an example:
While on the publicity tour for his latest book, Andrew appeared on the
Hugh Hewitt show. Hewitt jokingly told Andrew of his disappointment that
his name wasn’t in the acknowledgements. Piling on to a good joke, I
tweeted Andrew saying Hewitt had no right to be in the acknowledgements,
but as one of his most prolific contributors I should have been named
and should have gotten some of his royalties on top of it. The very next
day I received a phone call apologizing for not including me. He said
he knew it was a joke but wanted to make sure I wasn’t really upset.
That was the Andrew Breitbart I knew, he always found time to make
others feel important.
Andrew urged us to be unafraid– to stand up to bullies no matter who they were and what their standing. When any of the team followed his advice and the bullies got angry, Andrew would step in front of us to take the bullet.
One Saturday evening after posting an article about the Jew-hating M.J. Rosenberg on Big Journalism the day before, I turned on my computer to find hundreds of twitter mentions on my account. Apparently a senior person at the Soros funded Media Matters for America had decided to call me a Jew-Basher. Realizing that I would probably not be online during the Sabbath Andrew, and the entire Breitbart team spend the day tweeting in my absence for my defense.
The week before he passed away I was on the receiving end of a another twitter attack from an MMFA attack dog–it only took a few minutes for Breibart to step in from across the country to provide “pithiness” and support.
Andrew Breitbart was the guy you wanted in the “fox hole” with you. And I was honored that he welcomed me into the ‘fox hole” with him. The truth was– it wasn’t just me– everyone who was willing to get off their ass and fight for the truth was welcome into the foxhole with Andrew.
If you were found yourself in a foxhole with Andrew you would have to walk delicately around the large pile of cell phones with him, the guy was always working it, texting, talking etc. Once while on the phone with him as he was driving on some California Highway I heard a noise followed by his statement that he had to go because his other phone was ringing. HIS OTHER PHONE?!?!? IN A CAR!?!? Only Andrew.
Andrew Breitbart was the most fearless guy I ever knew, and he taught us to be fearless as long we had the power of truth behind us.
Breitbart was a bit crazy….like a fox. He would intimidate progressive bullies simply because they wouldn’t know what he would do or say next. But like Hamlet, it was all just an act.
Perhaps one of his greatest public moments is when he showed up at the Press Conference where Anthony Weiner was about to resign and at the urging of those in the mainstream media got up and took questions. (if you cannot see video below please click here)
Andrew saw himself as a protector of bloggers, tea partiers and all who were attacked by bullies– from either side of the aisle. He was a “lead, follow or get out of the way” type of person, most of us chose to follow because no other human being could stay ahead of his amazing energy.
Breitbart was a multi-tasker. I am not talking about the kind of person who can work, watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time….that is for amateurs. Andrew could talk about 5 different incredibly diverse topics simultaneously, Not only keeping them straight but he would come up with brilliant ideas on how to tackle each topic.
The last time I saw Andrew was at the bar on the last day of CPAC 2012. Sarah Palin had just finished her keynote address and the tired crew of bloggers was getting ready to go out to celebrate the three days of intense work just completed….well all except for Breitbart. Andrew was holding court in the lounge of the hotel bar, discussing the news of the day with a group of college students who had attended CPAC. He was answering their questions and wasn’t going anywhere until each questioner was satisfied. He wasn’t holding court because of a need to be adored by a big crowd; but because he really cared about the future of this country, wanted to create new citizen-journalists and wanted these students to understand what was going on around them.
That’s the point the anti-Breitbart smear machine could never understand, Breitbart wasn’t working hard to promote politics or ego, he was motivated by his love for this country, the truth, and for the future of his children.
In a way it is ironic that Andrew died just before the Jewish holiday of Purim. Like many Jewish holidays Purim’s theme is “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.” What makes Purim different is that there is no overt splitting of the sea-type miracle. The lesson is to have faith that our victory came from God even though he was “hidden” during Purim. To celebrate Purim Jews wear masks and costumes to hide our faces the same way God did.
Andrew Breitbart’s work was all about masks and hiding. He forced politicians and mass media figures to take off their masks–that spin and rhetoric covering so much of what citizens are still being told today. He fought hard to ensure that we would not be confused by the “happy-talk, everything is wonderful” costumes covering up the dangers ahead America.
When Andrew passed away a year ago today the country lost a heroic warrior. I lost a mentor and a friend. This is a better country because of Andrew Breitbart and I am a better truth-seeker and better person. I still miss him very much.
There will be a lot of articles written today about Andrew. If he was here to read them he would tell us all to stop whining and to get off our asses and fight for the truth. It was never about him, it was all about creating an army of truth investigators.
Those who want to know how to honor Brietbart’s memory there is just one way to do it. Get off the sidelines! This is our fight now. As Andrew said in his last CPAC speech “pick up a sword and join in”.
For those of us who were in the fox hole with Andrew, we need to rededicate ourselves to the search for truth. Andrew won’t be here to help us…he is in heaven right now probably warning God not to believe what the devil is saying.
May God continue provide comfort to Andrew’s wife Susannah, their four kids and the rest of his friends and loved ones:
HaMakom yenachem et’chem b’toch shar avay’lay Tzion vee’Yerushalayim.
May God comfort you, among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
May Andrew Breitbart’s memory always be for a blessing.
I will miss you friend.