Interview: Andrew Breitbart on ‘Righteous Indignation’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Thursday afternoon, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Breitbart about his new book: “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World.”

In the book, he talks about having attention deficit disorder, so I asked him about it. At the age of 23, a doctor told him of his condition: “This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” so Breitbart went on Ritalin. But he went off it after a week. “I hated it,” he said. “I liked my natural state.” Ultimately, it all worked out for him: “Whatever Ritalin was supposed to do,” he told me, “the internet was the answer to my ADD problems.”

Righteous Indignation also talks about a kid Breitbart met delivering pizzas in the evening, while in prep school. Mike was influential in persuading Breitbart to abandon his parent’s traditional values in favor of liberalism. “He got me into a lot of philosophers…and a lot of Marxist thought,” Breitbart recalled.

Years later, Breitbart started to realize that Mike, “no longer was my Yoda: he was a person I found at a record store … in the middle of the day — and he was on mushrooms.  [He was] in his mid twenties — going nowhere. And I kind of realized, you know what — I need to cut off from Yoda.” (Breitbart learned a few years later that Mike was murdered in a motel.)

We also discussed one of the major themes of his book — that pop culture is more important than politics: “It seems to me the conservative movement and the Republican Party act like life’s a country club,” he said. “And they’re only willing to listen to people who dress the same and act the same.  And they aren’t willing to fight for the votes of people out there who fit outside that very narrow box.”

Arianna Huffington also came up during our talk, and Breitbart — whose political evolution happened over time — told me he was unable to figure out Huffington’s very quick transition from conservative to liberal: “It is what it is. Where is the road to Damascus conversion? … How do you go from having a core set of values one day, and have the exact opposite the next day? The only two people I know that have done that are David Brock and Arianna Huffington,” he said.

Listen to our full conversation here. Or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Matt K. Lewis