BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Going up against the "Democrat-Media Complex" ...

I have let a number of books linger in the to-be-read piles due to being certain that reading them, in the current political climate, would only get me very, very angry. However, after letting it sit there for a couple of years (after having found the hardcover at the dollar store), I finally got into Andrew Brietbart's Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! … and I was right, it got me pissed off. First of all, I'm pissed off that he's no longer around, and I'm pissed off that I can't help but think his death (just hours before he was supposed to release a damning video about the current POTUS during the 2012 election cycle) was not from “natural causes”.

One of the most frustrating parts of reading this is that I would have loved to have worked for the man, and having that no longer be an option is depressing. This book came out just a year before Breitbart's death, so it really is something of a summation of his life. However, he was, obviously, not coming to this in that sense, but in an attempt to re-define the right-left battlefield:
      The left does not win its battles in debate. It doesn't have to. In the twenty-first century, media is everything. The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. The left is the media. Narrative is everything.
      I call it the Democrat-Media Complex – and I am at war to gain back control of the American narrative.
The autobiographical parts are interesting … he grew up in Los Angeles, surrounded by limousine liberals, and never really questioning that world view (although not being of the “limousine” crowd). He went to college at Tulane, down in New Orleans, selected because it was a notorious party school that still had a reputation for being a quality college, in a town that did debauchery like no other. There he essentially majored in "drugs, drinking, & gambling", barely making it through … only managing to get his diploma by throwing himself on the mercy of a professor (in a class that he was clearly going to fail) who saw fit to give him a C-, allowing him to graduate with a paltry 2.0 GPA. He returned to L.A. and started out with a job as a waiter (serving college pals who were now in med or law school), eventually moving into a “gopher” job in the movie biz (which, inexplicably led to an offer to be a producer in some B-grade film project).

He had, however, started to have some glimmerings of a conservative awakening … the Clarence Thomas hearings had been so blatantly unfairly stacked against the judge, that he started questioning the whole Leftist narrative. This, added to his job running around L.A. in a car (where he began to listen to AM talk radio), started to shift the needle to the right. His future father-in-law (TV's Orson Bean) also helped in this, suggesting that he give Rush Limbaugh a listen …
I was convinced to the core of my being that Rush Limbaugh was a Nazi, anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti-all things decent. …

I turned on KFI 640 AM to listen to evil personified from 9 a.m. to noon. … One hour turned into three. One listening session into a week's worth. And, next thing I knew, I was starting to doubt my preprogrammed self. …

Most important, though, Limbaugh … created a vivid mental picture of the architecture of a world that I resided in but couldn't see completely: the Democrat-Media Complex. Embedded in Limbaugh's analysis of politics was always a tandem discussion on the media. Each segment relentlessly pointed to the collusion between the media and the Democratic Party.
Breitbart decided that he just couldn't keep working in the movie biz, and was desperately searching for something else … an old high-school friend told him (in the remarkably early year of 1992) “I've seen your future and it's the Internet.” - the eight words that Breitbart credits with changing his life. It took him until 1994 to really get himself established on line (I beat him to it by about a decade, but, hey), at which point he says he was “reborn” …
The Internet in those days was a free-for-all libertarian haven. I saw, even at the very beginning, that this was a new medium born of unwieldy individualism, of people who so desperately wanted to communicate with the world outside of the Democrat-Media Complex (whether they were aware of that construct or not), that they sought each other out in this technological wilderness. I recognized that for the Internet to exist, and for people to have such a massive desire to get on it, there had to be a driving force – and that driving force was the suffocating ubiquity of the Complex. Here was a place where freedom of speech truly existed, where you could say anything, think anything, be anything. It was no wonder that the first adopters of the Internet were the outcasts of the Complex, libertarians and conservatives.
One of the voices he discovered out on the 'net was Matt Drudge, who he found to be “fascinating, unique, and worldly, while also being oddly uncynical”, with that latter feature being what got to him:
With the Drudge Report and the Internet, I thought, Here, at least, is something that takes itself seriously. I was gaining nourishment from something outside of humor and cynicism; I'd found that reading about big issues and listening to other people's thinking about conservative ideas and morality and societal standards was actually fulfilling.
It was Drudge who introduced Breitbart to Arianna Huffington, who was looking to create “media-driven websites”, and hired him as her “Director of Research” … giving him access to LexisNexis (Ann Coulter's favorite tool). This brings the tale up to the point of the hearings regarding Paula Jones' lawsuit against Bill Clinton … the author was still somewhat willing to believe in the media at that point:
{reflecting on the Clarence Thomas hearings} I knew that if they were going to hold Thomas to that standard, they had to hold Clinton to that standard as well.
      The Clinton hearings became, to me, the living embodiment of the Democrat-Media Complex – and the inherent biases of the media were multiplied when cable news came of age during this era. With an enormous dedication of resources, the Complex went to work spinning Bill Clinton out of peril.
{Clinton} get away with sexual harassment … was the emblematic example of the media double standard, where a liberal could get away with anything as long as he toed the politically correct line. … He could get away with it because he was a liberal, and because liberals wanted him to get away with it. I wanted Clinton to pay, and I wanted his enablers to pay – I wanted to see them held to the standard that they had created to destroy their enemies.
Needless to say, nothing has changed with “the Complex” in the intervening years, as they've been all “see no evil” with the execrable Obama regime, and are totally in the bag for Hillery. It's one of the saddest things about this book – as we no longer have the author around to expose the vileness of the media and their leftist masters.

At this point, the book goes a tour of breaking stories, through the Clinton regime, into the Bush years, and on to the first term of the current administration. Breitbart is one of the few people I've ever seen who wrote about “W” in terms that I've held for a long time … the biggest problem with the Bush years was that he bent over backwards to work with the Democrats, and, like in the story of The Scorpion & The Frog, that's a no-win proposition. It's amazing how one can't publicly say any bad about the current administration, given what Bush was besieged with for eight years. Leftist hypocrisy has no limit.

One of Breitbart's biggest “coups” was the creation of the Huffington Post in 2005 ...
... The greatest victory for the right with regard to the site is that for years, conservatives argued that the New York Times, the most important journalistic entity in the United States, was radically left of center. And for years, the left denied it. But the Huffington Post was different – it was openly and loudly and radically leftist. When you read the Huffington Post, you knew there was a collective mind-set, a group-think. And the great irony was that if you looked at the front page of the Huffington Post on any given day and matched it with the front page of the New York Times, they were virtually identical. If you tested the philosophical DNA of the Huffington Post and the philosophical DNA of the New York Times, it was obvious to anyone that they were identical twins. They were fighting the same battles, and the bylines at both places were of people who went to the same schools, married the same kind of people, and voted the same way.
      They were all part of the same incestuous, elitist orgy. They were all part of the power structure of Hollywood, Washington, and New York. They were all from the same group of people who made tons of money, vacationed in the nicest places, flew first class – or private, and then dictated to the rest of America how to live “sustainable” lives. …
What follows is both fascinating and horrific … as the author takes a look at what enabled “the Complex” to get as massive and influential as it has become. He looks past the present-day funding by George Soros and back into the doctrinal underpinnings, back to Marx, “the Frankfurt School”, and others whose “mission was to dismantle American society by using diversity and 'multiculturalism' as crowbars with which to pry the structure apart, piece by piece”, and how these people managed to infiltrate the universities, the government, and especially the media. Here too is Obama's philosophical godfather Saul Alinsky … whose approaches Breitbart looks at closely. Frankly, Breitbart admires Alinsky on a strategic/tactical level, and goes into a good deal of detail on the “how” … noting that “Every successful … {leftist} movement in the United States since the 1960s has used Frankfurt School ideology and Alinsky rules.”. What is amazing is that he's able to take this and spin out a “pragmatic primer” for libertarian/conservative action, with a 13-point plan for countering “the Complex” with their own tactics. Brilliant … and such a shame that we don't have this man still fighting in the trenches for “the righteous cause”.

Obviously, I'm a libertarian, and so Breitbart is “preaching to the choir” when it comes to me … there is nearly nothing in Righteous Indignation that I'm not in full agreement with or at least in visceral resonance with. Of course, if you're a devotee of “the Complex”, your reactions to this will no doubt be quite different. This is one of those books that I wish that everybody would read, but I know those of a Leftist bent will reject it out of hand … which is too bad, as they most of all need to hear this side of things.

While I found the hardcover of this at the dollar store a couple of years ago, it is still in print, in a paperback edition, which you should be able to connect with at your local brick-and-mortar book vendor. The on-line new/used guys, however, have new copies of the hardcover for under a buck, and “very good” used copies of the paperback for as little as a penny (plus shipping). If what I've presented above sounds at all interesting to you … go get a copy!

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Tags: book review
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