April 18, 2011

Andrew Breitbart on Mission to Save World With Citizen Journalism

Guests: Andrew Breitbart, author, 'Righteous Indignation'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Over the last few years, one man has been at the center of some of the biggest and most controversial stories in politics. His websites have helped usher in a new era of conservative investigative journalism.

His name, Andrew Breitbart, and tonight he joins us right here in studio to talk about his brand new book "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World." We've got Breitbart.com, got theBigGovernment.com. We got --

ANDREW BREITBART, AUTHOR, "RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION": Big Hollywood --

HANNITY: BigHollywood.com.

BREITBART: We are going to take on education next, go after the teachers and the union organizers.

HANNITY: You want to really save the world?

BREITBART: I do. It is not just me. It is a citizen journalism revolution that's going on right now and I'm trying to be the pied piper to show you how -- in the case of James O'Keefe, he took down ACORN with $1,400 to go city to city to city. The barrier of entry is negligible to have impact in this political environment.

HANNITY: You tell the story. It's a pretty good story how he walks into your office and he talks about we're going to take down ACORN and you said, no, no, it is bigger than that. We are going to take down journalism.

BREITBART: Yes, we're going to take down the mainstream media. I mean, look -- explain to me why James O'Keefe or Leila Rose or some of these other heroes of the new media come to me in my basement, instead of going to Katie Couric, NBC or ABC?

Because they know what they are exposing is corruption that is left of center corruption so they come to a guy in a basement. I say, we are going to expose that the media won't cover this story, because they're part of what I call the Democrat media complex, the natural alliance of the Democratic Party, liberal politics in the mainstream media.

HANNITY: I used the term in 2008, the media is dead. Media died in 2008, old mainstream media. Well, it is true, right?

BREITBART: Yes.

HANNITY: Look at the NBC, CBS, ABC, they're contemplating whether they want to keep their nightly newscast on now.

BREITBART: Well, here's what happened, 20 years ago, Rush Limbaugh comes in the game. He acts as checks and balance. The Matt Drudge comes in 15 years ago and then blogosphere explodes. All we did was ask of the mainstream media was to correct their bias problem.

HANNITY: Add Fox to that --

BREITBART: Of course, but as a result of that, when they wouldn't correct themselves, citizens in the form of the Tea Party, citizens in the form of Hanna and James and people with video cameras going everywhere said if you are not going to correct yourself, we're going to create a media in the wake of you incompetency.

And that's what happening. It's the most exciting time in the media and unfortunately, the mainstream media so upset about it. It covers it as if we're the villains out there.

HANNITY: Can I ask you, why all the personal stuff? I mean, there's too much information --

BREITBART: In my book, are you talking about or --

HANNITY: I'm talking about your book because -- I didn't know this about you. I didn't know you were a radical hippie --

BREITBART: I wasn't a radical hippie, I was a party boy.

HANNITY: All right, big party boy -

BREITBART: Yes.

HANNITY: And you give the details -- there's a reason to your madness because you advise people that want to get in this fight, you better be ready to be smeared and you better tell your story yourself.

BREITBART: Well, the huge problem with the conservative movement as I see it, most of the people have gone through the conservative movement and they don't realize that there's so many people out there of value who are default cultural liberals.

If you've graduated from a college, if you've watched MTV your entire life, if you have gone to the movies, you are a default cultural liberal and I was one of them, and I awakened to that.

HANNITY: Great story.

BREITBART: What I'm trying to show people in the book is that 50 percent of the people who consider themselves independent or even liberal may actually be conservative and what I want to do is awaken them by showing them how I awakened. And then what you can do about at least neutralizing the imbalance in the media.

HANNITY: You addressed the issued that if you are somebody like Andrew Breitbart and you are going to take on ACORN with Hanna and James, if you are going to take on the media, the complex as you call it in the book, you go into specific details.

First of all, you are telling people that there are plenty openings if this is what you want to do, but be prepared for, you know, being demonized, beaten up, smeared, slandered and how to deal with it. By the way, I think you have become one of the most hated man out there in the country.

BREITBART: I was always fearful. I would go to bed at night thinking, I'm going on TV tomorrow. I'm going to on the Bill Maher show.

HANNITY: I remember talking to you about this.

BREITBART: Yes, and going on the Bill Maher show, you wake up in the middle of the night thinking what if I say the wrong thing? What if the audience boos me? What if Bill Maher smirks at me?

I had AN experience where Bill Maher smirked at me. The audience booed me the entire time. I was insinuated that I was a racist by Professor Michael Eric Dyson and comedian Sarah Silverman as I walked off the stage, went to my seat and went onto my seat and said "slimy."

Worst-case scenario and then my family was in the green room and it was like a funeral. They said I'm so sorry that that happened to you. I said you have no idea. It was liberating.

HANNITY: Why? Because most people would do everything in their power to avoid that --

BREITBART: That's why people relate to Sarah Palin. It is why they relate to Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann or even a Clarence Thomas. Somebody who has been attacked mercilessly and shows that you can survive. That's why they tried to destroy you to demoralize others who would join the fight.

HANNITY: You know, it's interesting you say all these because there's not a person that I know in the conservative -- you told a very actually compelling story about the Clarence Thomas and how that motivated to you pursue this career.

But it's interesting to me, over the years, I have a friend of mine here from Atlanta, when I left Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said, you know, 1996 was a good year. The Olympics came and Hannity left.

When I left Huntsville, Alabama, goodbye to the talk show host from hell. After you are called a Nazi, a racist, a bigot and a homophobe all these times, at some point I don't care. You get immune to it.

BREITBART: Not only do you learn to be immune to it, you also find that people come out of the woodworks and say thank you for fighting and standing up for what is right. That is like manna from heaven. It's the greatest thing in the world. I live in Hollywood where I used to cynically think that Hollywood was --

HANNITY: You used to hang out with Laurie David and Arianna Huffington, what's up with that?

BREITBART: Well, we used to have an air kiss community.

HANNITY: Why don't you air kiss the football?

BREITBART: It's just like --

HANNITY: You don't really kiss?

BREITBRAT: Yes, you just sort like to the side like that. I'm good at it. I lived in Hollywood.

But this is one of the most important things I need to tell you audience. Since I wrote a book called "Hollywood Interrupted" with Mark Ebner, I used to think Hollywood was all liberal. Because I speak up for culture, these people come out of woodworks. There are thousands of people in Hollywood, actors, writers, directors, punk rockers, people with mohawks, hip-hop artists who are conservative and who are looking for the moment in time that they can come out of the closet and fight the battle with us.

HANNITY: It's a great story and great advice for people who want to get in the fight. "Righteous Indignation," there it is, Andrew Breitbart.

BREITBART: Thank you very much.

HANNITY: Thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

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