Ben Shapiro, Andrew Breitbart’s Heir Is Itching For A Fight

“I am deeply unhappy with the state of the conservative movement in Los Angeles. The problem is, it’s not the state of the conservative movement in L.A. it’s the state of the conservative movement in general. All the money is going to the wrong places,” he said.

It was at a taco stand in Westwood Village fourteen years ago when the writer and political commentator Ben Shapiro and the late Andrew Breitbart first broke bread.

Breitbart, who was living in Westwood at the time working as Matt Drudge’s right hand man, happened upon one of Shapiro’s columns in the Daily Bruin and promptly contacted him. Over lunch, they quickly found common ground: Both were Jews, hardcore conservatives and were born and raised in the backyard of ‘liberal Hollywood,’ which provided an immediate adhesive to their friendship. But that is pretty much where their similarities end.

“It’s hard to think of any two people any more dissimilar,” said Shapiro in a recent interview. “It’s funny that we have become so linked together.”

In the three years since Breitbart died of a heart attack at the age of 43, much has happened on the national political scene and one can’t help but wonder what Breitbart would have made of, say, Eric Cantor’s recent primary defeat and the growing schism within the Republican Party. But locally, what hasn’t happened is perhaps even more noteworthy. Despite the loss of such a vocal cheerleader, the conservative community in L.A. has closed ranks, asserted itself more publicly and has grown its membership. This is due in large part to the emergence of a new generation of conservative activists led by Shapiro who came of age under the tutelage of Breitbart.


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