Sin City played host to – as Hillary Clinton would bemoan – the vast right-wing conspiracy this past weekend. Hundreds of conservative bloggers and activists convened in Las Vegas. Americans for Prosperity Foundation sponsored the sixth annual event.
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Sarah Palin kicked off the Conference Friday evening at the posh Venetian Hotel and Casino. Always a fan favorite amongst Tea Party circles, the former Alaska governor was greeted with an exhibit hall-sized applause. “You showed D.C. what having a spine looks like,” declared Palin, “Or, as I said that day in Wisconsin, you showed them how to ‘fight like a girl’.”
The legacy of Breitbart.com founder Andrew Breitbart, who passed away suddenly March 1, was honored throughout the Conference including a special sneak-peak screening of “Occupy Unmasked,” a film featuring the late truth-seeker. Printed signs written in red, black, and white symbolically read “Breitbart is Here” along with #War – a common Twitter hashtag used by the new media pioneer.
Early in his career, Breitbart was an integral part in the beginning of Drudge Report and the Huffington Post. He rose to fame with the explosion of online social networking sites. It can be said that Breitbart ushered in an entire generation (and cross generations) of government and general corruption watchdogs.
Attendees could attend several breakout sessions sorted into four categories – Policy: Real World Applications; Messaging: How to be Heard; Online Activism: Tools of the Trade; Citizen Journalism & Investigative Reporting.
James O’Keefe, known for exposing ACORN and NPR, said that “it just takes a little bit of courage, a little bit of creativity” to do the job the mainstream media has neglected to do.
In making the point that the movement ought to embrace humor Jonah Goldberg, best-selling author of Liberal Fascism and the recently released The Tyranny of Clichés, declared that he was “happier than Hellen Thomas at an Hamas rally” to be addressing the crowd.
The inaugural Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting was announced at the closing dinner. John Fleischman of Flash Report – a site dedicated to exposing corruption in corruption-plagued California – received the recognition. Documentarian Ann McElhinney, Tea Party activist and radio show host Dana Loesch, and pollster Scott Rasmussen paid tribute to his life’s work. Evidently, one man’s courage to stand up for the truth inspired a constituency which cannot be matched: passionate, energized, and patriotic Americans.