In a 2011 interview on the Joy Behar Show, Andrew Breitbart offered up this assessment of Donald Trump, describing him as a self-interested master manipulator of the media.
"I think Donald Trump — and I don't say this in the negative sense — is for Donald Trump, and right now he's doing an amazing job of promoting his brand. He's utterly entertaining. He's winning, a la, you know, Charlie Sheen, playing the media for what it is. It's obvious," Breitbart told Behar.
In recent weeks, a series of staffers have quit Breitbart News, the company that was founded by the late Breitbart and has become known in the last year or so for its pro-Trump coverage. Ben Shapiro, one of the longtime editors who resigned, wrote in a statement that "Andrew's life mission has been betrayed. Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew's legacy."
In 2011, Breitbart seemed keenly aware of Trump's power over the media, telling Behar, "Well, the other candidates are starting to realize what they should have realized, I don't know, 40, 50 years ago when Ed Sullivan got on the air, is that media is everything, and that these guys don't understand that a Donald Trump can go out there, know how to play the media and rise through the ranks when two years ago he was supporting Nancy Pelosi."
He compared the Trump show to a circus.
"Look, entertainment uber alles," he said. "He's very entertaining. You're enjoying it, I'm enjoying it, and I didn't like it when I would hear people on the right doing it. But now that it's become sort of like the center ring at the circus, I'm sitting back and I am enjoying it."
On Thursday, the Cruz campaign posted a video of Breitbart criticizing Trump onto their YouTube channel.
Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Megan Apper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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