Breitbart, Tea Party cheer against Jeff Zucker
It's business as usual for Tea Party protesters to react negatively at the mention of liberal politicians, or even left-leaning celebrity pundits like Keith Olbermann. But at a rally in Beverly Hills they were celebrating the departure of media executives whose names are likely foreign to much of the rest of the country.
When Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart told a Tea Party gathering Sunday that NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, ultimate overseer of left-wing MSNBC, was on his way out, and ditto for ABC News president David Westin, the crowd cheered.
The mainstream media, in fact, was a primary target of this particular Tea Party rally, where Breitbart not only celebrated the departures of Zucker and Westin but also chastised an industry that is inhospitable to those in its midst who don't lean sufficiently left on the political spectrum. [Check out video from the event here and at the end of this article.]
Breitbart, who has become a fixture on shows like HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" and various Fox News programs, first praised Hollywood of old as "patriots that created the beacon that caused people to come here from around the world." But then he blasted modern-day Hollywood for forcing conservatives to remain "in the closet." He asked the crowd to "wage war" on those in the entertainment industry who might try to stifle free speech.
He told of right-leaning actors, musicians and directors who "can't speak openly" and also do not want to donate to Republican candidates for fear of reprisals. And Breitbart said he frequently explains this situation to politicians.
"I don't think you understand," he said, recounting such conversations with Republican lawmakers and candidates. "If they put $500 in your account, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety and the Los Angeles Times are going to look through it and they're going to put them in the paper and say, 'Hey, guess who is for Sarah Palin? And guess who is for this person?' And they'd use Alinsky tactics to destroy you."
Shortly after that, Breitbart reminded the Tea Partiers that Westin was stepping down at ABC News and that Zucker was leaving NBC Uni. The cheering crowd embraced that scenario as evidence that there is a price to pay for being dismissive of the Tea Party movement or hostile to conservatives in general.
"Their business model is going to crap not because they can't figure out CGI or 3D," Breitbart said, "it's because they have a contempt for their audience."
Breitbart was introduced by singer Pat Boone. Other speakers at the rally included "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Victoria Jackson, actor Robert Davi and political activist David Horowitz.