How do other people deal with the torrent of information that pours down on us all? Do they have some secret? Perhaps. We are asking various journalists who seem well-informed to describe their media diets. This is from an exchange with Andrew Breitbart, a former editor of Drudge Report, founder of Breitbart.com and columnist for The Washington Times.
I want to preface everything by saying I grew up on troublemakers. I liked journalists who were honest about where they were coming from even if they were bizarre, inebriated or larger-than-life characters. I consumed newspapers like an addict: The Los Angeles Times, The Santa Monica Evening Outlook, The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and British music magazines like Q and Select. In the late '80s and early '90s, I used to get Spy magazine every month. It was my Bible.
Strangely, those habits have died. They were central to my life but they died with the Internet. I feel bad about it but reading the newspaper has become an exercise in nostalgia.
When I launched Breitbart.com, I engaged in a business relationship with the Associated Press and it was like losing my virginity. The wire is everything. The AP, Reuters and Agence France-Presse tell me what's going on in the world at a minute-by-minute basis. I have a secret wire that allows me to get an un-categorized, raw feed of stuff coming in. Obviously it fits my business to know what's going on. But there's also a visceral thrill to knowing I've got the news 3 to 4 minutes before it shows up on cable news.
Also, one of the benefits of creating a news source like mine is the tip box. There's nothing like looking through thousands of e-mails and mining for gold. Out of every thousand e-mails of Viagara ads and people telling me I'm the devil—there's usually one I'll end up chasing that's gold.
I use Google Alert for my name to start fights with people in comment sections or on Twitter. It's clear that Keith Olbermann's strategy to get noticed was to attack people above him. I have precisely the opposite strategy: to go after the mosquitoes that bite my ankles. I'm not sure it's a good business model but I'm a petty enough man to indulge them.
What do I read? National Review The Corner, Powerline, Instapundit. I'm really at the mercy of people telling me where the action is: The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, The Atlantic. I subscribe to The Claremont Review of Books, Reason, National Review, Human Events, Weekly Standard, Imprimis and Barely 18... kidding about that one.
If I had one writer on a deserted island, Mark Steyn would be my go-to guy. He's a zeitgeist guy with a great sense of humor. I think he's the most funny and insightful guy out there.
The Gawker enterprise is absolutely hideous to me. It just seems mindless and joyless. The Nick Denton model is everybody is worthy of being relentlessly ankle-bitten no matter what their offense. It's so contemptuously petty with writers like Appletini party boy Alex Pareene. It would be fun to go after him. They're just reinforcing the boring New York, Manhattan, liberal, predictable narrative. My God.