Breitbart’s success was not as a journalist, but in how he impacted the field of journalism. Hating Breitbart reveals how he eschewed the Old Media information channels for New Media information channels, channels of his own creation that directly challenged the public narrative.
When Andrew Breitbart collapsed and died near his Los Angeles home on March 1, 2012, his abrupt passing rocked the conservative world like little else could. Fox News host Greg Gutfeld said Breitbart’s death was “like a fiery planet going dark.” Film producer Jason Jones called him “a white plume over the battle.” Commentators of every stripe offered memories of Breitbart’s passion and personality. And then came the hatred—vitriol boiled thoroughly in white-hot rage stirred up by Andrew Breitbart’s devastating success in attacking the Left, from the journalistic sting operations on the left-wing organization ACORN to the infamous “Wienergate.” They were glad he was dead. They wished it had happened sooner. They were, in death as well as life, hating Breitbart.
That, of course, is the title of a new documentary released after Breitbart’s death, detailing his bombastic, no-holds-barred fight with the institutional Left in the United States. Hating Breitbart gives us an intimate look at the pioneer of New Media, from his confrontations with protestors outside Tea Party rallies, to his speeches at CPAC that often amounted to disjointed but fierce war cries, to revealing interviews with his father-in-law, Orson Bean.
The Left hated Breitbart for many reasons, but perhaps the foremost of these reasons was that he was sure that he was right, and he wasn’t afraid of them. This is a dangerous combination for people who, generally speaking, often make their point by planting doubt, ridiculing their opponents, and declaring premature cultural victory and telling the rest of the “throwbacks” (or “Teabaggers,” as the media often referred to Tea Party supporters) to go home. And most people do—afraid of being called racist, or homophobic, or perhaps just stupid, many conservatives choose to go home, raise their families, and hope that they will be left alone. Andrew Breitbart didn’t get intimidated. He got angry, he got loud, and he got even. And the Left hated him for it.