A strategic and tactical thinker and activist

From Andrew Klavan’s reminiscences of Andrew Breitbart, in City Journal:

Our meeting came after he had helped create both the right-leaning Drudge Report and the left wing Huffington Post but before he created the terrific “Big” sites—Big Hollywood, Big Government, etc.—that gave him powerful platforms of his own. The story that launched Big Government—and Andrew into a new category of fame—was the James O’Keefe/Hannah Giles videos exposing corruption at Acorn, the publicly funded Democrat vote-rigging operation. About a month before those videos went up, Andrew called me and talked for over an hour, describing in precise detail how the release would proceed. First he would post such-and-such a video and then the mainstream media would try to skew the story thusly, and then he would counter by posting another video which disproved their lies. Then they would try this, and he would do that, and so on. When Big Government’s launch took place, I watched awestruck as every stage in the process came off exactly as he’d said it would. Because he understood the nature of the media’s ideological corruption so well, he outplayed them like a chess master taking on a child.

But his vision extended beyond any single duke-out with any one Goliath. He was going after the whole Philistine gang. I remember standing with him on a corner in Westwood for a good portion of one afternoon, listening to him describe his long-term plans. He outlined the unfolding of the Bigs, which had then just begun, and went on to discuss the ways new media could break the Left’s stranglehold on culture and information to give the American public access to something closer to the truth. He even had a plan for a cultural think tank—a Great Good Place in Hollywood—where conservative artists could come for support and protection from the blacklists and beat-downs of the artistic establishment. I would be the think tank’s first president, he told me, an idea I found sweetly amusing then but which only makes my heart hurt now.

Standing there that day, I understood that I was listening to a blueprint for an empire, and I believed without a doubt that Andrew would see it through. I teased him that one day his disheveled, frenetic, and countercultural image would have to be sanitized for the three-piece-suit portrait in oil that would hang in the foyer of the skyscraper named after him. I was laughing when I said it, but I meant it. There’s no question in my mind it would’ve happened that way.

A truly lovely woman has lost a husband. Four beautiful children have lost a father. Many of us have lost a good and generous friend. All of us have lost the future he would have made.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 02, 2012 11:26 PM | Send

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