College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967

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Breitbart Left a Legacy of Cutthroat Honesty

5/5 Stars

Carlos Peterson, Sports Editor

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Fake News. It’s a term that gets tossed around a lot these days but in the media landscape where the democratic media complex runs rampant it’s easy to see how these terms and movements come about. Andrew Breitbart committed his life and legacy to combatting this toxic media outlook with honesty and integrity. His book, “Righteous Indignation” was his story about his rise to the top and all that went into a building of a journalistic enterprise. I was in awe of the transformation process of a young man into a person who was driven by the need to report the truth. This book was the single most influential book that I’ve ever read.

Andrew Breitbart, the former CEO and founder of Breitbart news, brings a feeling of defiance and justification in his book. From his affluent upbringing in Brentwood, California, the base values that his parents created for him wasn’t the reality he was creating for himself. His college search which was solely fueled by where he could party the most, enlightened the masses to how a coming of age moment comes about. Breitbart’s battle with things such as addiction and shame brings light to many feelings that the average american college student can sympathize with. In his delirium infused need to graduate, Breitbart embarked on a willful display of studying and application.

Despite all his efforts, his compulsive need to graduate on time came down to a pre-calculus final that he knew little to nothing about. In his fruitless attempt to will himself to knowledge, he realized he was screwed. Each question being more difficult than the previous one. He finally came to the conclusion that the only way to get what he wanted was to be straightforward. Telling his timid adjunct professor that he didn’t plan on having a career in the field of science or anything that required arithmetic for that matter and that for his advancement as an adult he could pass him. Breitbart finished with a C- in pre-calculus.

Andrew’s immediate post-college experience was the most eye opening and influential piece of writing that I’ve ever come across. His candid and vulnerable description of buying shoes for his job with his own money gave me a moment of self reflection that I’ve never experienced to that depth. His feeling of anguish and existential re-birth was something that he says was born about through realizing how “full of shit” he was in his belief system, and that his upper middle class upbringing gave him the luxury to have his leftist beliefs. Now his arrow was pointed in different direction.

When he talks about his time in Los Angeles working as an intern for E! Entertainment News, it helped illuminate just how pretentious and insensitive the glamorous lifestyle of Hollywood really was. Paying for a car he could hardly afford and shoes that were the envy of those he hung around were all what he needed to impress his shallow superiors on the Hollywood scene. This was just planting the seeds in his political epiphany.

I found the birth of talk radio in particular was a well setup moment in Breitbart’s narrative of his ideological shift, that running a marathon was just an excuse to feed his addiction to talk radio. Arguments with his father in-law to be, Orson Bean, cemented the need to question the mainstream leftist way of thinking by listening to Rush Limbaugh, a pioneer in the conservative talk agenda and someone Breitbart had become accustomed to hate by default. His willingness to listen crystallized his paradigm shift, conservatism was deeply imbedded into his values.

People such as Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington are just one of the many people Breitbart name drops in his quest for the truth in American journalism. The shameful cover up and finger pointing of the Leftist media during the Lewinsky scandal was given an inside scoop through the relationship between Breitbart and Drudge creating a great picture of the corruption that ran rampant.

Breitbart finally closes on his narrative with talking about the upstart of his now cult level following in Breitbart.com. Despite his unfortunate death in February of 2012 his message of self reliance and to hold the words of the powerful accountable is something that still resonates with me today. If you have a chance to read this book, your life will be better for it.

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
Breitbart Left a Legacy of Cutthroat Honesty