The Andrew Breitbart Show
Conservative showman speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s fundraiser
Last night, Tablet found Andrew Breitbart, the anti-mainstream-media media impresario who publicized the raunchy sexts that have undone the Queens congressman Anthony Weiner, was wandering around the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, the Beverly Hills venue where the Republican Jewish Coalition was having its summer fundraiser. Newt Gingrich, the struggling presidential candidate, had just spoken; forks and knives were clattering against plates. Breitbart, wearing his white shirt open at the collar, had an hour before he was due onstage to talk about Twitter and what not to post there. Your correspondent decided to ask him about a report, published a year ago in The New Yorker, that he had plans to launch an Israel-focused website, to be called Big Jerusalem. “If someone wants to fund it,” he shrugged, and surveyed the room. “I pay for everything out of my back pocket.”
An hour or so later, he took the stage. Everyone expected him to talk about Weiner’s scandal, and Breitbart, a consummate showman, obliged, after asking anyone under the age of 18 to leave the room. “The American political agenda is held hostage by a schmuck.” Laughter. “He could have said this is just another example of Jew on Jew crime. And I would have had to apologize for the cycle of violence.” More shtick, more laughs: “The best advice, given the situation up in San Francisco, is that he was trying to demonstrate the virtues of circumcision.”
But then Breitbart shifted tack, saying he didn’t want to spend the whole night talking blue. He said that, instead of sending pictures of his genitals into the ether, he had decided to fetishize fighting “the media”—his own all-purpose bogeyman. He cheered on the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, and booed liberal Jews for jumping on the former governor’s case for invoking the blood libel last winter, after (Jewish) Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, one of those whose districts Palin marked with a bull’s-eye in her literature, was shot by an apparently deranged young man. He added what some might construe as a sexist slam against Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, snarking, “No crotch shots from you, Madame Secretary.”
And then he pitched Big Jerusalem to the crowd. “What Israel has to deal with is worse than what conservatives have to deal with,” he said. “I’m willing to live half my year in Israel to draw attention to this.” Claps! “I need your help to create this.” More claps! He argued that press freedom in America is crucial to Israel’s public defense, and invited his interlocutors to join his brigade. “We allowed the American narrative and the Israeli narrative to be hijacked by the media.” Another round of claps, and, later, an endorsement via, naturally, Twitter. “Andrew Breitbart delivers a barn burner,” wrote Robert Avrech, the screenwriter behind the Brian de Palma thriller Body Double and the 1992 Melanie Griffith-as-undercover-Hasid romance A Stranger Among Us. “Discuss plans for ‘Big Jerusalem’ blog with Andrew.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.