by Lisa DePaulo, GQ
On February 3, 2011, right-wing firebrand Andrew Breitbart, who died early Thursday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 43, gave me an extended interview on the eve of the publication of his book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! (No, nothing was ever subtle with Andrew.) Breitbart was loved by his fans as ferociously as he was hated by his enemies, which was pretty ferocious. Parts of this interview ran at the time in GQ , and Breitbart responded with, well, righteous satisfaction that some crazy liberal rag "got him." It was hard not to get his rabid commitment to his beliefs, which manifested itself in all sorts of trouble-making, like his crusade against ACORN and Planned Parenthood and his hijacking of the Anthony Weiner press conference. (He was, after all, the one who exposed Weiner's junk tweets to the world.) Less known was the personal side of Andrew Breitbart: how he morphed from a "default liberal" slacker prep-school kid from Brentwood who gambled and imbibed his way through Tulane (and upon graduation was lucky to get a job waiting tables in Venice), to a father of four young kids in L.A., an Internet entrepreneur and the new right-wing messiah.
Your own book cover says you're one of the most polarizing figures of our time. Do you think that's a compliment?
Uh, yes. Because given the status quo that we exist in, in which the media's dominated by people that disagree with American exceptionalism, the academic Marxist crowd's worldview, somebody needed to start taking it on directly. And the thing is, the Right has focused its energy and its monies on the political process, thinking that that alone is enough. It just kind of shrugged off culture. But culture is everything and media is everything, and once you get down to the political level in this country, you've already lost the battle.
Do you think you have to be "polarizing" to make an impact these days?
I think that 99 percent of the time, I'm jocular, lighthearted. It's only when I stand up to the bullies that the cameras are on. And if standing up to the bullies on the playground and getting captured on tape, or proving the bullies wrong in public debate means that I'm gonna be called polarizing, I don't care. I sleep so well at night taking these people on and I understand that they're going to try and portray me in the worst possible way. Because they understand better than anyone that I'm not pussyfooting around whom I've isolated as the problem. It's not Nancy Pelosi and it's not Barack Obama. It's Katie Couric, Brian Williams... It's CBS and NBC and ABC and Paramount and Sony and the people in Hollywood who hide their message in art. And that's why it's so potent.
Who's the worst person in Hollywood right now, in your opinion?
Ari Emanuel. Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen. It's the power brokers in the town who maintain this orthodoxy that creates this template. 25, 30 years ago I would have said the most obnoxious aspect of Hollywood is the casting couch. But Hollywood has traded in the casting couch for the political fundraiser. And the first thing that a young lady who gets off the Greyhound bus learns is to see and be seen, at liberal-based fundraisers.
You think that's the first thing they learn?
100 percent. They know where the deals are made, where the social networking goes on. I live in this environment and it's obnoxious. It's obnoxious that they get to have on their bumper sticker their political point of view. It's obnoxious that they get to go on the Tonight Show and espouse their political point of view. It's obnoxious that they get to create comedies where they take cheap shots at conservatives and Republicans.
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Do you think the power brokers are worse than the stars? To the average person, the people who are out there front and center are the Clooneys, the--
They are symptoms of the problem. There's nothing more fun than swatting at those mosquitoes. Big Hollywood [one of his websites] spends an unbelievable amount of time showing that not everybody is a sycophant in their green rooms giggling at their, you know, "I hope Cheney has a heart attack" jokes. I'm trying to show them that in flyover country and even in that green room, there exist people who think that they're not just obnoxious; they're ignorant and polarizing themselves. But they're doing what actors do. They're reading the script.
You seem to have a following with some non-liberal Hollywood types. Like Jon Voight. Do you two ever talk about Brangelina?
I am the political psychiatrist to the stars. They call me because they read what I do and they say, "You don't understand what I've had to go through."
But you do?
I deal with gay and black conservatives who don't want to be called Uncle Toms of their politically correct Marxist multi-cultural unit structure. And they come to me saying, "What can I do?" And I say, lay low. Because right now if you stick your neck out, even in the slightest, and you get your head blown off metaphorically and your career's dead, there's nothing that anyone in the conservative movement will do for you. The conservative movement has written off culture. Dennis Miller--or even more importantly, David Friggin' Mamet--goes from the left to the right, not only does the left predictably attack and, you know, negatively deconstruct their past career to say that they are hacks and not funny and not good writers, the right is nowhere to be seen. There's no benefactor coming from the right saying, "I'm gonna produce your plays, David Mamet." And worse than that, there's nobody to defend them when they stick their neck out and they get their head shot off. That's what I'm trying to do: go out there and fight on their behalf, for what is a righteous mission.
Read the full interview at GQ.com
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