Monday, May 20, 2013

A conservative agent provocateur

Andrew Breitbart was a conservative agent provocateur. He probably was that way because at one time he was a liberal agent provocateur. He learned his tricks from the Left and applied them when he joined the Right. Breitbart was a fascinating - and polarizing – individual. Most people, even those who follow the wars between the Left and the Right, probably won’t recognize the name. It’s not top of mind like Limbaugh or Hannity. But he garnered increasing attention in the last two or three years after his websites such as Big Government, Big Media and Big Hollywood, engaged in some highly successful pieces of investigative journalism, including demonstrating how a fictitious pimp and his prostitute could get help from a government-funded community organizing group (ACORN), and exposing former Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner for sexting photos of his private parts to various women. In every one of these scandals Breitbart was vilified but eventually proven correct. Not only did the Left hate his guts but a considerable number of those in the mainstream media did as well. This documentary captures a lot of those confrontations. Once upon a time there was someone named Abbie Hoffman who was kind of a New Left clown with a serious underpinning. Brietbart was the right wing equivalent, who said he had only two modes: "jocularity and righteous indignation." I say was because he died an untimely death just over a year ago at the age of 43. Breitbart’s contribution to conservatism is that he was a type of merry prankster who delighted in in-your-face confrontations, the kind of thing the Left does very well – “Back-at-you!” was his riposte. The documentary, Hating Breitbart, at the Birmingham 8, captures this frenzied personality very well. It’s fascinating to watch for anyone from across the political spectrum because it depicts the kind of real life confrontational politics that continue to play out at the upper echelons of U.S. political debate. Breitbart, a former leftist, came around to viewing most of the mainstream media as in the pockets of the liberal-left and Democrat Party, and called them out on it. For this he was hated, and hence the movie’s title....While a riveting documentary (by Andrew Marcus) this film is getting essentially no publicity. The screening I was at was virtually empty. It’s a shame because good documentaries from the Right should be getting the same publicity as those, such as Michael Moore’s, on the Left.

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