9 Things to Know About Andrew Breitbart
Even though Breitbart -- who hijacked Anthony Weiner's press conference Monday -- has famous in-laws and was wielding power behind the scenes at Drudge Report and Huffington Post, he was an unknown entity until recently.
Not that Rep. Anthony Weiner needed help humiliating himself, given his now-revealed penchant for sending women lurid tweets and emails, but the other man most responsible for the mess Weiner has gotten himself into is Andrew Breitbart, who revealed a week ago the infamous photo that Weiner inadvertently tweeted to a college co-ed. Here are 9 other things Hollywood should know about Breitbart, a new-media maven few people had heard of until recently:
1. His father-in-law is actor Orson Bean, who was blacklisted in the 1950s as a suspected Communist, and his stepmother-in-law is actress Alley Mills, best known for her role as the mom on The Wonder Years.
2. He was a liberal until 1991, when he says he had an “epiphany” while watching on C-Span the Clarence Thomas U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings, which focused on accusations of sexual harassment. He told "Townhall" magazine: “By the end of the hearings, I was screaming at my TV, ‘How can you do this to this man?’”
3. He worked for E! Entertainment Television before becoming “Matt Drudge’s bitch” (his words) as editor of the Drudge Report. He also helped launch The Huffington Post before creating Big Hollywood, a blog for conservatives working in Hollywood. (“Big” is a reference to the media’s sinister habit of referring to “Big Oil” and “Big Tobacco”). He has since launched Big Journalism, Big Government and Big Peace.
4. Before penning his current bestseller, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World,” Breitbart co-authored with Mark Ebner “Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon,” a book that rips the behavior of numerous celebrities.
5. Married with four children, Breitbart is on the advisory board of GOProud, an organization of gay Republicans, and is a staple at Tea Party rallies, where he sometimes introduces Sarah Palin.
6. Breitbart launched Big Government by posting videotape of conservative activists Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe posing as a prostitute and pimp seeking financial assistance from ACORN, a liberal community organizing group that once engaged Barack Obama as its attorney. The videos led to Congress de-funding ACORN, quickly leading to its demise.
7. After members of the Black Congressional Caucus claimed they were called the N-word at a Tea Party rally, Breitbart offered to donate $100,000 to the United Negro Fund for any audio or video footage that proved the allegation. No such footage has surfaced.
8. Breitbart posted a portion of a speech that got Shirley Sherrod fired at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sherrod, speaking to the NAACP, said she didn’t want to help a farmer because he was white. Further into the speech, though, she makes it clear that she did help him. Breitbart endured a hailstorm of criticism for selective editing, including from fellow conservatives like Glenn Beck, though he maintains that the point of posting only the snippet was to show the positive reaction of the audience when Sherrod acknowledged her urge to discriminate against the white farmer. Sherrod has sued Breitbart for defamation.
9. Breitbart sometimes substitutes for radio talk-show hosts Dennis Miller, Michael Savage and others. He is a frequent guest on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher and several Fox News Channel shows, especially Hannity and Red Eye w/Greg Gutfield.
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