“Them that control the narrative also control the way people think and react”
Since I can’t find anyone to attribute this quote, I guess I need to take ownership. Having recently read Andrew Breitbart’s “Righteous Indignation – excuse me while I save the world”, I can imagine this could have been a motivation behind Breitbart’s conservative reaction to the liberal controlled narrative, which following his conversion from being a privileged, hedonistic liberal kid to one who was OCDish in his attack on liberal media and was active promoting an alternative narrative, notably through his conservative leaning website: Breitbart, and in doing so inspire a new generation of anti-liberal, drain the swampers to do likewise.
According to Wikipedia: “Andrew James Breitbart; February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012) was an American conservative publisher, writer and commentator. After helping in the early stages of HuffPost and the Drudge Report, Breitbart created Breitbart News, a news and right-wing opinion website, along with multiple other “BIG” sites – BIGHollywood, BIGGovernment, BIGJournalism. He played central roles in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the firing of Shirley Sherrod, and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. Commenters such as Nick Gillespie and Conor Friedersdorf have credited Breitbart with changing how people wrote about politics by “show[ing] how the Internet could be used to route around information bottlenecks imposed by official spokesmen and legacy news outlets” and “wield[ing] a rhetorical flamethrower in the culture wars” by using his own personal experiences and opinions as the basis for his media career”.
According to Amazon’s promotion of his book (where I got my copy – there are many other online plugs to be found) I read: “Known for his network of conservative websites that draw millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the ‘liberally biased’ major news outlets in the US cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way. Breitbart burst on to the national media scene thanks to his coverage of the ACORN controversy, where a local ACORN community group leader was videotaped giving business advice to a ‘gentleman’ who ran a prostitution ring. When the major news media at first tried to bury the story, Breitbart used his extraordinary marketing savvy to make sure the story got full national attention. The book details how he did it and how he has achieved a substantial following with conservative voters in this country. Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years and how he developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives everywhere”.
I have been doing social media and blogging for six years or so. While culture wars and controlling the narrative were the very things Breitbart was into and devoted much of the second half of his life to participating in by offering an alternative perspective, and with obsessive zeal, I had up to then (by which time Andrew Breitbart was dead) been interested in this but it was more as a side line, focusing instead on things I thought I could do / change. I received a shock when wading in with a passion to the market place of ideas to find it was (or so it seemed) controlled by the very people Breitbart was attacking – the liberals. While I was somewhat bemused when I read that Breitbart and his cronies were white supremacists, racists etc., it at least waked me up that conservative voices were being attacked, especially when they said things that went against the message liberals were trying to put forward. I found along with the Drudge Report, elements of Fox News and dare I admit it Infowars, as well as Breitbart reporting that what was being offered was a very different perspective on world especially USA/UK events than if I confined my reading and viewing to whatever mainstream media (sadly too often as fake news) put out.
Righteous Indignation was a hard to put down book, especially as the title could sum up how I often reacted when learning of some new news item or more specifically how it was reported (or not). It didn’t cause me to believe Andrew Breitbart should be nominated as a saint or be nominated for a posthumous award for his efforts, but I was endeared to him especially as some of his description, especially of his earlier years was self-deprecating. One of my funny moments was him describing an antic he got up to as a teen ager when attending a tennis resort for the rich and famous. In it he managed to get to spend time with a pinup from my past: beauty, Farrah Fawcett, something that at his age would have been envious of.
This is a book worth reading and ought to be an encouragement to nice conservative types to adopt their own strategies to combat those controlling the narrative, and doing their bit to save the world that is too often caught up in FALSE narratives. While I doubt he was entirely right, what Andrew Brietbart achieved before his untimely death was encourage a new generation to challenge the official narrative and stand for an alternative, borne out of righteous indignation. Even as I write in this post-truth Trump era (I wonder what Andrew might have thought), Liberals may think they have sewn up what we the people are meant to think but, thanks to folk like him who see through the deceit and call out wrongdoers, and are determined to say why, that is now less likely to be the case.