Breitbart To Bannon

by TOM MCLAUGHLIN February 28, 2017

"That's my ADHD," said Andrew Breitbart from the podium at CPAC as he was drawn off topic by something in the crowd. With my press pass, I was free to get near to him on the dais for close-up photographs and I had recognized his ADHD symptoms earlier in the conference when he was part of a panel. Breitbart was squirrelly as he sat waiting his turn to speak, but full of passionate intensity when he finally got up there.

Breitbart waiting -- David Horowitz at Podium

The panel included former leftist David Horowitz and David Bossie, who later became Deputy Campaign Manager for President Donald Trump. He had been on still another CPAC panel I attended, introducing Irish film makers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, who had just released Fracknation, a documentary debunking mainstream media hype against the hydro-fracking process to produce oil and natural gas.

One theme ran through all his panels and talks: circumventing mainstream media control of what Americans knew and didn't know. He had a visceral hatred of their monopoly and made it his mission in life to smash it. He encouraged CPAC attendees to use a camera and laptop and become guerrilla journalists.

People like James O'Keefe took him up on that when he went on to single-handedly destroy ACORN by exposing its incestuous relationship with both the Democrat Party and mainstream media. Another is Steve Bannon, who took over after Breitbart's premature death in 2012. Bannon then took over Donald Trump's presidential campaign and engineered a political earthquake. Andrew Breitbart is dead, but his mission continues.


It's all-out war now. Bannon was at CPAC himself last week on a panel with Trump Chief-of-Staff Reince Preibus who has an adjoining office in the White House. He usually stays behind the scenes, so this was a rare, out-front appearance. He told his audience that President Trump will not moderate his positions, and will push them even harder. When Preibus predicted the administration's relationship with mainstream media would improve, Bannon disagreed: "Not only is it not going to get better, it's going to get worse every day... There are corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has... If you think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every day, every day, it is going to be a fight."

Shortly before his death, Andrew Breitbart said: "My goal is to destroy the New York Times and CNN... and not just them. I'm committed to the destruction of the old media guard... and it's a very good business model. I believe that from that something better will come... The media class is the wall that we have to climb over in order for our voices to be heard. Once our voices are heard, then democracy will happen."

Steve Bannon is bringing that mission closer to fruition and he's paying the price. Bannon has become enemy number one for the left. Democrats and their mainstream media mouthpieces routinely refer to him as a racist, fascist, misognynist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, white nationalist - and that's on a good day. But then, their candidate, Hillary Clinton, called half of Trump supporters racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, irredeemables - over 25 million Americans. Is it any wonder Bannon called mainstream media the "Opposition Party"?

I voted for Donald Trump, but I cannot say I ever liked him, reminding me as he does of narcissists I've met and tried to avoid over the years. Nonetheless, I like very much what he's doing - his cabinet appointments, his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and his executive orders. I did, however, like Andrew Breitbart. He was unpretentious and approachable. I photographed him over three CPAC conferences and he asked me once if I could understand his friends and fellow panelists Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer through their strong Irish Brogues. I told him I could because I'd just returned from a vacation there and was forced to learn. I cannot say I knew Breitbart personally but I quite strongly identified with his mission.

His successor, Steve Bannon, was born to an Irish-Catholic-Democrat, blue collar family in Virginia. Bannon's world view has been influenced by that heritage, just as my own has. The epithets thrown at him by the left have also been hurled at me and are just as groundless. That's what the left does when they want to avoid discussing issues but they don't know it doesn't work anymore. They see us as deplorable because we don't view the world as they do and we accept that. They think their defeat was a fluke and they're digging in for a long battle to re-take control, so buckle your seatbelt.

Somewhere, Andrew Breitbart is smiling. Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.  Email him at


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