Well, it was a 25 mile drive into the wilds of Burbank, but The Boy and I caught the documentary Hating Breitbart two weeks ago.
I haven’t written about Andrew since his passing in March, finding it almost as difficult to articulate my thoughts about him as about my father, who died last year, though the difficulties stem from entirely different sources. I used to tweet things like “I think @AndrewBreitbart is Batman” partly because I thought he was wealthy (he wasn’t) but mostly because he was heroic.
He would confront mobs of screaming lefty protestors. In one clip I saw him single-handedly drive off an entire crowd just by asking them questions. It wasn’t just challenging them about who was paying them—they often were paid—but just asking them what their signs meant and to give an example of what they were protesting.
The documentary shows a classic moment of an anti-Glenn Beck mob, where Breitbart challenges him to back up his “Beck Lies” sign with a single example. The guy sputters about hundreds, and Breitbart continues to persist to ask for a single specific example, until the guy just says “I’m not going to fall into your trap.”
Of course, it wasn’t exactly him, so much as it was the cameras that faced down the mob, which was Breitbart’s point. But he was critical to that happening, he was the face of all of us who are tired of the manipulations and machinations of the radical left.
So, I was “there” for all of these shenanigans (in the sense of following them in real time on social media) and there is very little that’s actually new to me in this documentary. (Even the behind-the-scenes stuff reminds strongly of Breitbart on “Red Eye”.) I loved it anyway, of course, as I loved Breitbart.
From a technical standpoint, it’s a competent bit of documentary film-making. We get a little background and some interviews from pro- and anti-Breitbart people mixed in with the footage of him going to-and-from events, hanging out in hotels and so on.
The music by Chris Loesch does the job, mostly, although I thought the passage used during a scene of one of Andrew’s more playful moments was unnecessarily mawkish. I mean, I totally get it because I never even met the guy and get choked up thinking about him, so I can’t imagine how it must be for the Loesches. A minor quibble at best.
Without naming names, I can safely say that quite a few people are expert at taking flattering pictures for their avatars. Nobody looks very good in this. I mean, even when some seem to be okay looking, they usually don’t look very healthy. Including Andrew, sadly. Part of this is probably due to the impromptu nature of the footage—but not all of it. These are not people with “healthy outdoor lifestyles”.
Overall, it’s less slick than D’Souza’s 2016, but relatively fast-paced and of course more inspirational than terrifying (as D’Souza’s film is meant to be). Ultimately, Bretibart’s battle is the more important one.
A pivotal part of Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns involves Batman training other people to be, in essence, Batman. He’s older, the corruption is out of hand, fighting crime is not a job one man can do any more (if it ever was).
Breitbarts hatred of the distortions and outright lies of mainstream media led him to exhort everyone to carry cameras with them, to record everything, to learn to be Batman, because Batman won’t be around forever, at least according to Miller’s book.
Of course, Batman being fictitious will always be around, unlike Breitbart. Which would seem to make it more incumbent on the rest of us to step up.
Yeah, I really can’t give up on the whole “Breitbart is Batman” thing. Down to hoping he faked his own death to better fight evil, as The Batman has done so often. When the credits rolled, someone in the audience is front of me said “We got your back, brother.”
The Boy, who hasn’t really followed this stuff closely, found it well worth watching.