New CEO: Breitbart Relished Confrontation, Not Hatred

Saturday, 27 Oct 2012 05:43 PM

By Todd Beamon and John Bachman

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Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who died in March, liked confrontation, but Andrew did not like to be hated,” Larry Solov, CEO of the Breitbart News Network, tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

“Nobody likes to be hated. He liked to be attacked,” Solov tells Newsmax. “Andrew didn’t like to be hated, and he didn’t like to be attacked — but he liked to be attacked so that others wouldn’t have to be.

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“In other words, he didn’t mind taking all of those arrows if it took the arrows away from other people just trying to express their conservative values, because he had an inherent faith in his strength to take those arrows.”

Solov, Breitbart’s longtime friend, is featured in the documentary “Hating Breitbart,”which opened last weekend in select theaters across the country. The film brought in $10,168 per screen, the second highest tally for any film that weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Breitbart" only trailed the highly publicized independent film "The Sessions," starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, Box Office Mojo reports. This was despite generally negative reviews by mainstream news organizations.

In the documentary, director-producer Andrew Marcus follows Breitbart, who was 43 when he died of a heart attack in March, for two years. They had met in 2009 while Marcus was filming protests by the Tea Party Caucus around the country.

Breitbart presided over a vast new media empire that attacked  establishment organizations because, he insisted, they were controlled by liberals.

The documentary includes his promotion of James O’Keefe’s sting on the ACORN housing group, his attack on U.S. Department of Agriculture Director Shirley Sherrod in Georgia, and his breaking of the sex scandal involving New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, which led to the congressman’s resignation.

Breitbart saw the film about two months before he died, Marcus told The Dallas Morning News earlier this month.

“What people will see,” Solov began, “is the story of a really meteoric rise of somebody who understood how information was processed in this day and age through the media — better than anybody — and how, in a very short period of time, unfortunately too short, he influenced the entire country, changed the way it viewed the media, and changed the way it processed the information it got, in particular, from the mainstream media.”

He said Breitbart was driven by a sense of “righteous indignation,” which led to his 2011 book, “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World.”

“He did have a real strong sense of righteous indignation, but what really drove Andrew was a sense of fairness and a sense of leveling a playing field such that ideas could be discussed on an equal basis,” Solov said. “And in this context, the way things are skewed, the way the narrative has changed in this country, that means giving conservatives a voice at the table.

“And giving them a chance to address their ideas, because Andrew always believed in the fair exchange of ideas, where they were not slanted by the media or filtered by the media, or Hollywood, or pop culture. Conservative ideas would win out.”

Further, “Andrew was real,” Solov said. “What you saw was what you got. Andrew just spoke it from the heart.

“Andrew made himself available to everybody. He would talk to anyone, and everyone. He was very accessible — and that came through, and that really resonated with people. He was just a guy who felt that he had the ability to change things and affect things — and on a scale that was large.

“Andrew had the ability, and part of it was the righteous indignation, but part of it was just strength,” Solov added. “These people come along not too often. To withstand a tremendous, tremendous number of attacks. He had said a number of times: ‘I want to show people that if you go out there, and you express your concerns and ideas — and you’re attacked, you are falsely and wrongly accused — you can withstand the attack, and you can fight back.’ And he knew he had the strength.”

Solov said Breitbart had a critical role in expanding the nation’s conservative media —  but his broader impact had been on the mainstream media.

“Andrew understood the power of the new media and the democratizing effect it could have, and that they — the mainstream media — could no longer dictate what the news was. It used to be that you got your news either in the newspaper in the morning, which was yesterday’s news, or on the CBS, NBC or ABC Nightly News.

“The Internet, Andrew understood, allowed us for the first time to present the news that wasn’t being presented,” Solov added. “That’s the biggest form of media bias. Was Andrew the only one? He wasn’t the only one, but he was crucial to making it happen in a very short period of time.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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