Just over a year before his tragic, untimely death, the late Andrew Breitbart sat down for an impromptu interview following an early lunch with then-liberal filmmaker Lee Stranahan, liberal blogger Mike Stark, and me. Events conspired to keep me from releasing all but a 3-minute clip of that interview, filmed during the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference, until now. The result is a rare glimpse of Andrew Breitbart that’s markedly different from the high-octane provocateur that most of the public saw him as.
In many ways, CPAC is like summer camp, with booze, so I’m actually not sure it was all that early when I called Andrew to see where I could catch up to him that Saturday. All I know is that it felt early. It was a beautiful, sunny day, with a crisp temperature that I remember as hotter than it was from walking miles with all of my stuff. He was about to have lunch at Hot ‘n Juicy Crawfish, across the street from the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, along with Stark and Stranahan.
I must’ve been in rough shape that afternoon (which I keep remembering as morning), because it took me 3 or 4 phone calls to finally find the place. We sat and joked for awhile, and although I had planned to interview Andrew later in the day, we decided that the odd mix of company would make for some interesting conversation. We moved to the back of the restaurant, and I just let the camera roll until it was out of space.
Unfortunately, when I was copying the files onto my laptop, I accidentally deleted some of them before they had finished transferring. Recovering those files proved difficult, and by the time I had managed to retrieve everything, nearly a month had passed. Since then, I’ve just never had the 8 to 10 hours I would need to process and publish the full interview.
Over this long weekend, though, I had the chance to find every bit of footage that survived, which I’m still working on uploading. In this first part, Andrew and Lee Stranahan talk about Shirley Sherrod, the ACORN and Planned Parenthood videos, and their then-nascent reporting on the Pigford settlement, plus Andrew describes some of his counter-cultural influences. Look for parts 2 and 3 later today:
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