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5.0 out of 5 stars Walk Toward The Fire, April 2, 2011
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This review is from: Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! (Hardcover)
If you ever watch the news, listen to the radio or check the headlines on msn.com, you must read this book. There is a battle going on for the information gateway of our country: the news media complex.

And the great general leading the charge, the brilliant strategist who has been literally on the forefront of this fight and has seen it from the inside-out and the ground-up, who makes it possible for you and I to literally hear "the rest of the story".... is Andrew Breitbart.

Anything we know today, about the JournoList, about ACORN, about Pigford is directly because of Andrew Breitbart. (And if you don't know about any of the things I just mentioned, start researching, because this affects YOU)

"Righteous Indignation" is part memoir, part treatise, part history lesson. It begins with the infamous ACORN sting investigation, in which James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles went to multiple ACORN offices around the country and asked ACORN to help them find tax breaks for their brothel, in which they claimed to employ underage illegal immigrants. Yes, they explicitly stated that was their business - underage human trafficking.

And Breitbart dropped the videos, one by one. Aside from the moral repugnance of the actions of the ACORN offices, the bigger story was that ACORN was doing this using taxpayer dollars. Within weeks, Congress unanimously voted to defund one of the largest community activists groups in the country.

All because of some bloggers and a couple of kids with a camera.

The next part of the book details how Breitbart became the biggest New Media magnate of our day, the driving force behind the biggest news stories in the last 5 years. Breitbart grew up in Brentwood, LA's upscale suburb, to middle-class, hardworking conservative parents. He then went to a liberal party school for college and wound up tens of thousands of dollars in debt with a degree in American Studies. (Which, by the way, makes me feel a lot better about that Creative Studies degree I got.) He found himself challenging both the values he grew up with and the values he acquired while in college - at polar ends of the spectrum - and having to decide which were really right.

The power of the internet was made clear in the 90s. It was the internet - specifically, the Drudge Report - that broke the biggest stories of the decade. Essentially, it was Matt Drudge that exposed not only Bill Clinton's criminal and immoral activities (yes, criminal activities, his impeachment was not about sex, it was about him committing multiple felonies.), Drudge also showed how much the mainstream media was ignoring, covering up and lying about. This is gone over in detail in the book so I won't recount it here.

Breitbart also tells about his key involvement in creating what is now the antithesis to his Big sites - The Huffington Post. Yes, The Huffington Post likely would not exist without Andrew Breitbart, and he is proud of it. He and Arianna Huffington, though on opposites side politically, are still friends. Why would he create a venue for people he absolutely disagrees with to be able to express their beliefs - often times hatefully about him? Because, above all, he's a believer in the importance of letting all sides into the conversation, and that when people are able to see all points of view, only then are they able to really decide what is true and what isn't.

In the midst of all these personal anecdotes, he drops a very heady chapter on philosophical history for the last 200 years. Wait, what? My brain was not ready for the shift, and at first it was a little jarring. But the history is important, and he is able to expertly articulate, in a very non-stodgy way, the connection between today's media and political personalities and Rousseau, the Frankfurt School, and Saul Alinsky. (Never heard of those people? You will.)

The latter part of the book is the treatise, the call to action, the good ol' fashioned Rebel Yell (if he'll pardon the expression) calling you and I to stop being merely observers of the world and be engagers. The communications landscape of our country is changing, not because of what goes in in some elitist J-school or because Jon Stewart shoots his mouth off and hides behind his clown nose, but because people like you and me, bloggers, everyday ordinary people, are doing to it.

As Breitbart puts it, it's time to walk toward the fire. It's time to stop being passive and settling for what the official story is from the government and the media. It's time to start engaging our friends and neighbors in conversation and education, to spread the truth and encourage others to seek out information for themselves, rather than being spoon-fed. It's time to start asking questions, holding these people accountable for spreading misinformation, for stoking fear and division. It's time to take up the mantle of responsible citizenship and start holding the 4th Establishment's feet to the fire. We're not gonna take it anymore.

Andrew Breitbart is to me what Rupert Murdoch was to my parents. The game-changer in the media conversation, the one person willing to go out and create an avenue for news from an alternate perspective, not just the canned official line of the establishment. The difference is, Breitbart isn't a multimillionaire doing this out of academic interest. This is his life. This is his country. This is our country. And it's time we stepped up and protected it.

Walk toward the fire.
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Showing 1-10 of 94 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 19, 2011, 7:52:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2011, 8:26:33 AM PDT
SteveB says:
Jaci- Thank you for your articulate and informative review. I haven't read the book yet, but I have a lot of respect for Andrew Breitbart, and the essential information he conveys through his websites. Breitbart's role is even more important today, now that the mainstream media has come out of the closet, and revealed themselves to be biased, agenda-driven liberals. The networks, with the exception of Fox News, have become so good at distorting and obfuscating the truth, that many of our citizens are not only uninformed, but misinformed. If anyone has doubts about the role the media plays in this recklessness of the truth, visit the NewsBusters.org and the Media Research Center websites.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011, 8:23:07 AM PDT
RF says:
Bravo! Excellent review. Thorough, yet concise.

Too bad the Kindle edition costs more than the book.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011, 10:25:40 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 19, 2011, 10:25:59 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 19, 2011, 10:44:13 AM PDT
mike says:
The only fire I am interested in walking towards is one in which the works of the yellow journalists of our age such as Breitbart are being burned...burned not to censor them but burned because the American public won't buy the books anymore. This man is a disgrace and a charletan, sooner or later his character will become apparent. His only mission: promote the welfare of Andrew Breitbart and damn the good of the country.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011, 12:13:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2011, 12:14:18 PM PDT
Dallas says:
In response to mike: Once again, proof that the liberals don't want anyone else exercising their First Amendment Rights other than themselves; and "double-damn" you if you dare to tell the truth about the liberal/socialist agenda.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011, 12:38:39 PM PDT
gnostic19 says:
good to see you came to this book with an open mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011, 2:42:06 PM PDT
It's easy to condemn the Yellow Press. We were taught to do that back in grade school or high school, and the modern professional and impartial profession of journalism was implicitly held up as the model for the Press. But we now know that the modern journalism profession is not, and never was, impartial. From Walter Duranty on, it has covered for the Left, hidden the facts, forgotten scandals of the Left as quickly as it could, and trumpeted and repeated the slightest slip of the right. It has echoed the Keynsian economic line even as Keynes has been completely discredited. And it now has given up all pretense of objectivity ("a thrill up my leg" and the unquestioning "too good to check" that brought Dan Rather down).

We won't get balance from any one source, and we never did. So don't condemn the Yellow Press unless you also condemn the newspapers that covered for the Democrats of Tammany Hall.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011, 3:31:50 PM PDT
Dorian Golub says:
I'm not surprised -- if your parents couldn't differentiate between journalism and the sleaze of Rupert Murdoch what chance did you have? However, you tell people to do their research. I suggest you do the same. There is no way this creature is a journalist and there's no way in which his lies serve your own interest. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having said "You can fool some of the people some of the time and you can fool some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time." Apropos for this dreadful little man and, unfortunately, there are too many like this reviewer who fall into the "fool some of the people all the time" category. But, hopefully, when they come for him, he'll wake up too.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011, 4:17:46 PM PDT
Dorian Golub says:
Sometimes I feel like I'm Alice through the Looking Glass, dealing with people who see with such warped images of reality. The three major networks are owned by major corporations -- General Electric, Walt Disney and (I think) Viacom. Is there anything about any of these corporations that led you to believe they had any opinions to the left of Adolf Hitler? Do you really think they would allow opinions that differed markedly from their own? The major newspapers are owned also by perhaps 3 corporations and the same thing applies. I am quite left-leaning and I rarely read a newspaper because the perspective of all major newspapers that I'm aware of reflect a rightist slant. Our country has pretty much been taken over by the right wing and it's certainly done us a lot of good. As far as the yellow journalism offereing "another opinion" -- yes, they do. The opinion of their corporate masters. Do you really think that every opinion needs to be reflected back to you through a mirror stating the opposite view? Someone said "while you're entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own truth." And because the propagandists you call a press present an aberrant image of what truth really is -- a doctored video in order to destroy a reputable organization that has helped the poor -- and isn't that what Jesus preached -- helping the poor? you celebrate their lies and their "successes". The truth is you believe what you're told to believe, because if you thought for yourself you would see a society that has been effectively destroyed by billionaires, by bankers, by wall streeters. Are you one of them? I doubt it. But you're buying their lies because you read it in the papers, on the tv stations they own. They shouldn't pay taxes because they "create" jobs. Where? In China? Working people have been decimated by the actions of these people and they have paid shills like Breitbart and O'Keefe to spread their lies and continue to not only lay waste to our entire country, socially, financially, ecologically and somehow you can be convinced it's the greedy social workers helping poor people, or the greedy poor people or the greedy teachers. ALL of them are suffering. The billionaires aren't and they don't need your support. If you have to go back to the 1870's to find some support for Democratic corruption that's not too good. The truth is, we have one party and they both serve the super-rich and the corporations. They're both corrupt, but the Republican part of our one-party system seems to be better at acting without conscience. The truth is we have no free press and you are not reading the truth in the corporate newspapers and you're certainly not getting any real news on the corporate tv. But if you can swallow the lies of this cretin, you probably can't handle the truth anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011, 10:52:28 PM PDT
Chris says:
Dorian,

You're the one living in the fantasy world without a clue. (Note for one that "Nazi" referred to the "National Socialist Party" in Germany. Fascists are very close to Communists and the falsehood that they are "right" has been perpetrated by the left to try and associate them with conservatives. Also try researching the Hitler-Stalin pact.)

If you don't see a left wing bias in a "news" network (MSNBC) that has its "hardball" anchor talk about "a thrill running up his leg" about a man (Obama) who constantly talks about redistributing wealth, then you are utterly, hopelessly lost. Even the far left wing Bill Maher noted the MSNBC bias when he commented on the fact it appeared their commentators wanted to "have sex with Obama". If you see "rightist slant" in ABC, NBC, or CBS, or the New York Times or Washington Post you've got to be somewhere in the ultra far left lunatic fringe that represents less than 5% of the US population.

Since arguing the whole rich/poor/greed/compassion thing with you would obviously be a total waste of time, why don't you just find one of the socialist Utopias around the world and move there?? How about trying Cuba? Maybe North Korea. I'll bet Kim Jong Whatever finds MSNBC to have a "rightist slant" as well.
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