Breitbart on Breitbart: Polarizing Blogger Speaks

In this year of American voter anger and discontent, Andrew Breitbart has found his moment.

"I get to be me right now," he said. "That's the best part of this entire thing. This, to me, is the beginning of the beginning."

And what is beginning is, he hopes, the age of Breitbart.

He's everywhere. On Fox News -- a lot. Hobnobbing with Republican leaders in New Orleans. Rallying the Tea Party faithful in appearances across the country. Launching the websites Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Hollywood.

The Video Guy
Andrew Breitbart on Sherrod Controversy

He's also lobbing grenades of controversy -- like his most recent revelation this week of an old speech by Obama Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, in which she confessed that she once, decades ago, was deeply reluctant to help a white farmer who needed her aid.

"I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with helping a white person save their land," Sherrod said in the video.

Sherrod resigned under pressure -- and then it turned out Breitbart had released only a clip of her speech that distorted her real meaning: that she had been wrong and learned from her error.

The controversy continues -- to Breitbart's delight. He says he considers it a victory to have panicked the Obama administration and precipitated a public apology from the White House.

If this is Andrew Breitbart's moment, there are good reasons for it.

First, he's worked very, very hard to get here.

"I'm kind of an alien," he said. "I grew up in West Los Angeles, but I was raised by my [adoptive] parents. ... I was adopted. And so my sister was Hispanic, clearly, and I was Irish, clearly, and my dad was Jewish and my parents were very Middle-American in the heart of the Beverly Hills-Brentwood rich, you know, scene."

He was, he said, a typical West Coast liberal -- until the Clarence Thomas hearings lit him up with the fires of conservative resentment against the liberal establishment.

"This is a circus," Thomas famously said in the hearings. "It is a national disgrace. It is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves."

"It was the moment that I saw a glimpse of the matrix," Breitbart said. "And I started to ask some very tough questions of myself, and my peer group, and my parents and their friends."

Andrew Breitbart: Drudge, Huffington

Breitbart soon signed on to work for a then-fledgling conservative website, The Drudge Report, which he helped build into an Internet colossus.

A few years later, with the same gift for generating buzz, he helped to launch the liberal site, The Huffington Post.

We asked Breitbart about Matt Drudge.

"That's the one thing I don't talk about," he said. "I mean, Matt is an international man of mystery, and the last time I saw him was running into him at the White House correspondence dinner in 2005. That's the last time I saw him. I will say this: Boy, did I get lucky to work with Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington."

Now it's Breitbart who's got a genius for buzz -- for getting people talking, for getting stuff out there that he knows the media can't resist covering and things that advance his conservative libertarian ideals.

One example was the 2009 uproar over undercover videos shot by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe in the offices of ACORN, a community activist group.

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