(CNSNews.com) – In his new book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, conservative crusader and new media pioneer Andrew Breitbart has plenty to say about the mainstream media (the Left controls it), Republicans (many are spineless), Democrats (America is the bad guy), academia (Marxist at heart), the Tea Party (real and relevant) and, of course, online “citizen journalism” (it could save America, if not the world).
But it is clear throughout the story of his transformation from liberal slacker to passionate conservative and his unplanned plunge into the new media tidal wave on which he is now riding high, that Breitbart thinks Hollywood and its pop-culture-promoting celebrities have more political clout than a multi-million dollar ad campaign.
“When Lady Gaga tells her flock that she is for a certain political position, she affects people with the wave of a pop-culture wand far greater than 10 million dollars in political advertising can do at the height of political season,” Breitbart told CNSNews.com by telephone from his not-too-far-from-Hollywood home in Brentwood, Calif.
After all, he says, if Gaga and Defense Secretary Robert Gates walked into Starbucks on Main Street U.S.A., who would be more recognizable--the man in charge of fighting America’s enemies or the woman who caused a buzz because she donned a dress made entirely of raw meat?
Breitbart said he wrote Righteous Indignation, in part, because he felt it was time to fly solo after working behind the scenes at Matt Drudge’s The Drudge Report, which rocketed to success in the late 1990s by breaking stories that the mainstream media refused to break, including the one about a White House intern that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
“I’ve spent so much time working for other named quantities and feeling the comfort that comes from the protection of working behind somebody who has to take the brunt of public criticism and I started to question--given how much I was concerned about where this country was heading--whether I had the requisite courage to stick my neck out there knowing that if I said what I believed and I acted on what I believed, that there would clearly be ample critics desirous of taking me down,” said Breitbart.
He also helped another new media magnate and comrade-turned-nemesis, Arianna Huffington, create her now influential The Huffington Post. That site today rivals what Breitbart says is one the most liberal media institutions in the country, The New York Times.
So now Breitbart, 42, is sticking his neck out with a book that reveals both personal and professional details of his life.
The California native grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood with his adoptive Jewish parents. He held liberal views until experiencing a political epiphany after witnessing the “national disgrace” of Justice Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The conversion was consummated, Breitbart said, after he switched on his car’s AM radio and found the mentor and “professor” he never had during his college days at Tulane University--Rush Limbaugh.
Breitbart’s conservatism is, in fact, mostly self-taught--derived from delving into any kind of media he could get his hands--or his mouse--on to educate himself about the foundation that the Founding Fathers’ provided for the United States through the Constitution.
And he immersed himself in understanding the power of the deeply entrenched message that, for years, academia, liberal politicians, Hollywood, and the media--or the Democrat Media Complex as he calls it--have used as a mantra to control the “American narrative.”
That began to change, Breitbart said, first with talk radio and then when the Internet gave regular or extraordinary folks a platform for rejecting that narrative, especially as it was “reported” by the dominant media.
Breitbart said Americans got online and started to fight back.
“And the fighting back has come in the form of citizen journalism, activist journalism, that is doing to them what they’ve been doing to us for too long,” he said.
On the professional side, Breitbart details his own battle strategies, including the launching of several news Web sites, including Biggovernment.com. It hit the Web with more than the usual upstart traction as Breitbart teamed with young activist and filmmaker James O’Keefe to unveil a series of videos that eventually led to the federal defunding of ACORN, a “community organizing” group.
The book serves as a manual of sorts, aimed at inspiring those who care about the future of the country to get involved in what Breitbart calls a “battle for the soul of the country.”
“We have to get the American narrative back and that will be fighting the Left in the trenches of Hollywood, academia, and the mainstream media and even the mainline churches,” Breitbart said.