I watched a terrific new film last night – Hating Breitbart, Andrew Marcus’ documentary about the life and times of the late Andrew Breitbart. You could call the movie at once gut-wrenching and exhilarating.
It was an especially emotional experience for me because I knew Andrew B. well and we had a complicated relationship. (Hey, we’re complicated guys. Or, in his case, was.)
But all that was swept aside while viewing the film. What an extraordinary man Bretibart was. What a necessary man. And what a loss!
I kept thinking how much we are missing Andrew during this current — unbelievably important — election, how he might have found the key to unlocking the hypocrisy of Obama and his supporters. What would he have said and done about the Benghazi scandal, for example, to make its venality clear to the public? Who knows, but it could have been interesting.
After all, Breitbart was a media genius.
That genius was on display in the film, most particularly in that most American of all conundrums — the struggle over race. For me, Andrew’s shining hour was his heroic fight to demonstrate that the Tea Party was in no sense a racist movement. (His finest comic hour was the exposure of the execrable Anthony Weiner.)
Andrew won that struggle on race in the short run, when not a soul took him up on his one hundred thousand dollar offer for verifiable evidence that even one person used the n-word at a Tea Party demonstration in D.C. As you may recall, that was the event during which a group of black political leaders — including, sadly, the great John Lewis — alleged they were assaulted by that racist epithet fifteen times.
Marcus makes clear in his documentary that the vast majority of the mainstream media never reported that this never happened. It didn’t fit their narrative, as Breitbart would say. They wanted the Tea Party to be the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan, not just average citizens who thought that the government –shockingly — spent too much money.
Which leads us inexorably up to today and why I have missed Andrew B. during the election: the unspoken story of 2012 is race.