By Lena Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 20, 2010; 3:18 PM
Andrew Breitbart, publisher of prominent conservative news portals, drew enthusiastic applause and cheers from the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday by attacking the mainstream media and liberal, elitist politics.
He accused the mainstream media of being out of touch with sentiments in real America. Instead of reporting on the problems of the community-organizing group ACORN, Breitbart said, the media investigated conservative activists and ACORN foes James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, who gained notice by posing as a pimp and prostitute to target ACORN in hidden-camera videos.
"Look, mainstream media, it's now six months since ACORN, and you just lost New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia," he said, referring to Republican victories in those states.
Breitbart, who was introduced by Giles, said the conservative movement should stop always playing defense. The success of O'Keefe and Giles, he said, represents a better tactic. "We went on offense."
He also targeted John Podesta, a White House ally and former Clinton chief of staff who heads a liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress.
"You waged war against the good American people," he said. "You progressives, we're going to come after you so hard. You have no idea what you've awakened in this country."
In a 15-minute speech, Breitbart said progressive politics have distorted America's founding principle of e pluribus unum, Latin for "out of many, one." The emphasis on multiculturalism and political correctness, he said, is a ploy for politicians to separate groups "and pit them against each other so you can get votes every election cycle."
He also blamed the elitist mind-set for poisoning college curricula. Going to college in New Orleans, he said, he signed up for American studies because he wanted to read Mark Twain. He said he was told, "No, you can't read it because he's racist."