The Lileks Zone

One more thing about Andrew.

it seems we’ve forgotten Andrew’s great omission. Constant listeners to Hugh’s show may recall how our host checked the preface of Breitbart’s book, looking for his name among the innumerable luminaries the author thanked. It’s natural! Everyone in the media world does it, if they think there’s a chance they might be listed.

But Hugh’s name wasn’t in the list. You might recall the show where he brought this fact to Andrew’s attention, and did so with the usual playful cheer he normally reserves for tormenting Duane. Breitbart was mortified. He felt horrible. You might think: well, a guy gets called out on a radio show for a faux pas like that, he’s going to work up all the contrition he can muster, salve the host’s tender ego, then hang up the phone and think “Dude. Really? Okay, next book, whatever.”

After the interview my phone rang; it was Andrew. He started to explain why he was calling, and I had to cut him off: look, pal, you do that to my friend Hugh,  you got no business coming around here. He laughed, said okay, you heard: now what can I do to make it right?

He wanted to know Hugh’s hobbies or tastes or side interests so he could do something to apologize. So Hugh, if you’re reading this – that explains the strippergram at the office. Mystery solved, eh?

I don’t know what he did, but it was typical. He was a generous man in every sense that matters, I suspect – generous to family, to friends, allies, and even to his enemies, inasmuch as he gave them so many reasons to amp up their hate and feel better about himself. Whether the generosity extended to himself, I can’t say – but it seems as if he lived his life in broadcast mode, a tall tower shooting out rays in all directions, wires taut and quivering. And finally they snapped.

According to a story about his last hours, he was talking with a liberal in a bar – someone he’d just met and befriended. Not yelling or telling him he was an idiot, but talking. There’s the big grand stage events that grab headlines, and there’s the small moments when you can insert a sliver of doubt into someone’s ideas, or at least make them realize that the other side isn’t a bunch of lemon-sucking old prudes.

It’s not enough to confront. You have to convince. The left may have disliked him for the first one. They hated his power to do the second.

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