Thursday, March 1, 2012
Andrew Breitbart talked fast. Exceptionally fast. His words compounded like layers in a hoagie sandwich. Any one speech, one book, one project, one interview, one soundbite was meaty enough to feed a family of five.
But somehow he always had more in him. More to say. More poignancy and relevancy and guts and all of it slathered with wasabi. His words could clear the sinuses right up.
This is what I thought about in 2008 when I had the chance to interview him. He was sitting somewhere backstage of the Republican National Convention, somewhere with lots of noise and people and questions being barked in the background - an atmosphere that followed him everywhere, it seemed.
He took my call without breaking a single stride. What did I want to know? He was ready to talk. Always, it appeared, ready to talk. Primed to fire off eloquence with rapidity, and then follow it up with a quick jab of cutthroat crudeness.
All together, his points were made. Each of them wedged into the moist areas of your brain so that you never forgot them.
That's what I realized during our interview. That, and the fact he spoke faster than I could record in my wayward shorthand. He had so much to say. So very much. It was a terrible shame to lose even one word.
Sadly, I never got the chance to speak to him again. It was a shotgun kind of crossing. Lots of noise loading, lots of noise when fired. Job done. So I've admired his fighting stance from a distance. He had zeal when so very few do.
People keep calling him a warrior. I can think of no better term. He was schooling the rest of us on how to fight. Then walking into the battlefield, waving his hands wildly so the enemy would put him in the crosshairs, and screaming, "FIGHT THEM LIKE THIS!"
He never wavered, never backed down. It was a fearless, in-your-face technique with such courage that he often made me wonder if, somehow, he could see the end of the war already. As if he knew the devastation coming if conservatives didn't give it their all.
So he led by example.
That's what leaders do.
Near the end of my interview, Breitbart began talking about American exceptionalism, about the loss of Americanism in American films, about the overtaking of Hollywood with foreign money and foreign influence. He spoke like a Colonel eying a map of the battlefield and marking off the territory lost and the territory still left to defend.
"A lot of Hollywood actors and Hollywood writers and directors are starting to ask," he said, in his notable juicy speech, "did we give it all away?"
If they did, Breitbart was determined to get every inch back. And the battle isn't even close to over.
Rest in peace, Andrew. Our warrior.