Boston-based journalist Chris Faraone spent the first few months of last year hopping between radio and press appearances to argue with dipshits and promote his book on the Occupy Wall Street movement, 99 Nights with the 99 Percent. In traveling to more than a dozen states, he clashed with countless conservatives including hosts and callers on the right-wing WRKO in his adopted home of New England, where he's spent the past decade writing for alternative news outlets.
On February 27, 2012, Faraone faced his ugliest opponent yet – the incendiary blog tornado Andrew Breitbart. They scrapped, took a few bites out of one another, and at the urging of producers at the station, agreed to a rematch one week later. They never got a chance to dance, though, as Breitbart died from heart failure the next day. In the weeks that followed, the army of assholes who worship his unique brand of right-wing baloney attacked Faraone ferociously, dragging him into the toxic underbelly grumbling beneath American politics.
Following an introduction by satirical anarchist icon Vermin Supreme, BOOK ONE of I Killed Breitbart opens with Faraone's story of countering conservative Goliaths. In the 8,000-word title chapter, the critically applauded polemicist casts asses like Breitbart and Sean Hannity into history's trash can alongside slave owners and Klansmen. Following those tales about Team Breitbart, Faraone has included an expanded version of his viral feature, "The Trials of Nadia Naffe," part of which first appeared in the now-defunct Boston Phoenix.
BOOK TWO (subtitle: Countless Other Causes of Conservative Consternation) is split into three sections: The Right, The Left, and The Fuzz – each comprising remixes of Faraone's finest field reporting from the past three years. In The Right, he hangs with hardcore libertarians, militiamen, Glenn Beck fanatics, and rapture warriors. For The Left, he blends updates of previously published work with new original gems from post-encampment Occupy actions, a number of which involve police brutally arresting a number of journalists including Faraone himself.
A robust and descriptive portrait of America's most loathsome creeps and ideologues, I Killed Breitbart balances real concern for the state of national sanity with a less-than-subtle mockery of everything from pop culture to religion. In the works for more than a year, the book also packs exclusive pics from the front lines of Faraone's travels, plus previously unreleased road dispatches including a Republican counterpart to his hallucinatory adventures at the last Democratic National Convention. It's not your typical political reporting.
Chris Faraone was born in 1979 and raised in Queens, NY, the son of a teacher mother and a father who published novelty books. As an intelligent teen with a penchant for finding trouble, he studied his way out of a life of low-level crime to graduate from Hobart College before post-grad studies at New York's New School and Boston University's College of Communication - he earned a Master's in Journalism in 2004 from the latter. After graduation, Faraone dove into the field of professional writing as a hip-hop music critic, earning rent money and acclaim reporting for The Source, Spin, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig and Boston Magazine. He landed on staff at the Boston Phoenix in 2008, and remained there until the paper tragically closed in March 2013. He is currently the News + Features editor at DigBoston.
At the Phoenix and elsewhere, Faraone has written about hip-hop, but since 2010 has become known nationally for his unique, unflinching work as a political and investigative journalist. His features - ranging from profiles of drug dealers to gonzo adventures and exposés on state correctional facilities - have received accolades and awards from the Association of Alternative News Media (AAN) and the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA). He is the founder of Write To Power Books (www.WriteToPower.net), on which he published the Occupy road book "99 Nights with the 99 Percent" in March 2012. The project earned accolades from Truthout, the Economist, UTNE Reader, and the Boston Globe, among others.
On April 15, 2013, Faraone was just blocks from the bombing of the Boston Marathon, and in the following week filed on-scene reports for DigBoston, Racialicious, and the American Prospect, among others. He compiled those dispatches - plus more than a dozen other scenes from the post-bombing scramble - into an ebook titled "Heartbreak Hell: Searching for sanity in Boston through a week of tragedy and terror."
Though restricted from profanities for the first time in his career, Faraone ravaged the mayoral beat, eventually packing more than 30 “Politics as Unusual” with some of his most fiery work to date (all of which are featured in HIZZONNAROO). Digging deep to his progressive roots, he helped usher pressing and invisible issues like foreclosure into the public conversation, and did so long before most other journos and opinion mongers spoke up. From the talent of some candidates to the depravity of others, Faraone often fired the first shot.
As implied by the arcane title – a mashup of Hizzoner, the generic moniker for municipal monarchs, and the annual cultural blowout Bonnaroo – HIZZONNAROO is Faraone's most local release to date. But while his writings and polemics on Hub politics are bitter bubble gum for local wonks and lefties, they're also fit for anybody – whether now or in several decades – tracing alternative explanations for how Boston picked its first new mayor in two decades.
From the intro by Peter Kadzis (Boston Phoenix, WGBH)
I don’t agree with all of what he says: in fact, during the final several weeks, my views and his diverged.
But no one in his or her right mind reads Chris looking for consensus, or silky conventional wisdom. Faraone writes to stir things up, to inspire thought, to provoke reappraisals—agonizing or otherwise.
If you are reading these words that means you are among the smart people who have bought Chris’s book. Some of you will be pissed off. Some of you will applaud. But none of you will be bored.
From the intro by John Ruch (Jamaica Plain Gazette, Mission Hill Gazette)
While neoliberal prophets held forth on op-ed pages, Chris exposed and neutered a stealth attempt by an “education reform” group to sway the race.
While the dailies promoted spurious polls that got the results backward, and later both endorsed the candidate who lost, Chris hit street corners and lunch counters to report what real people really thought.
While major media kept wrongly reporting that a white guy was the first candidate to enter the race, Chris reported the challenges of electing a mayor of color in a supposedly diversity-loving city.
While the political establishment wailed, with some justification, about one candidate’s murky union money ties, Chris broke news on the other candidate’s murky evicting-poor-people ties.