Is there anything more we can possibly know about Andrew Breitbart? In the last year, the man's life has been profiled in Wired, Slate, Time and now The New Yorker. Each examination of the gonzo conservative provocateur is long and—as they start adding up—begins to retread some familiar ground. So what does the latest New Yorker piece offer that's different? You should read Rebecca Mead's whole 6,800 word opus, but in the meantime we've plucked out some of the most essential details. Here's what we found:
- Breitbart's ADD
He was given a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in his early twenties. “It was sort of like finding out that I am straight,” he says. “It was far from a revelation.” He tried Ritalin for about a month before giving it up.
- His Desire to Fight a Hollywood Celebrity
Constitutionally adversarial, he enjoys imagining himself paired with an equally combative leftist opponent, such as Sean Penn. “Sort of like ‘Barfly,’ with Mickey Rourke—that’s how I envision it being with me and him,” he says. “I’d hate him, I’d fight him. He’d fight me, he’d get in some punches, I’d get in some punches. We’d drink some more. At the end of the day, we’d agree to disagree. And then I’d punch him again.”
- On Racism
Breitbart frequently decries racism, and likes to point out that he was adopted, as was his younger sister, who is of Mexican descent. “I hold in great disregard the idea that somehow her blood and my blood separate us,” he told me. “I grew up resenting people who would look at us at the table and would go, ‘Why are those people together?’ ” He likes to say that he is “pro-miscegenation.” As a result, Breitbart says, he is outraged when charges of racism are cynically made.
- Big Jerusalem
Breitbart had arrived that afternoon from Los Angeles to have meetings related to a projected new Big site, Big Jerusalem. With heavy irony, he said, “It’s going to be pro-Palestinian nationalism—kind of Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade-esque, but with hints of pop culture and snarkiness.” Big Jerusalem is one of several sites that Breitbart plans to launch over the next year. Others include Big Environment (he is a global-warming skeptic) and Big Tolerance (“I am going to hire all my gay, black, and Jewish friends to take on all of these supposedly sacrosanct liars, like John Lewis”).
- On Judging
“I love judgmentalism—it’s a sport,” he said, his tone exquisitely balanced between humor and menace. “I remember that mantra, ‘Don’t judge.’ I’m, like, why? I like judging. I like judging! Let me judge.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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