breitbart

RIP Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart has died. He was 43.

The news was a bit shocking when I saw it passively cross my twitter feed this morning via Brian Lilley. Twitter announcements of celebrity deaths are to be automatically taken with a dose of skepticism these days as celebrity news and rumour can spread quickly on the medium. Compounded with his young age and the fact that controversy around facts was one of Breitbart’s tactics, I thought this too was a hoax that had snagged the imaginations of the twitterers.

Unfortunately, this was not the case.

I met Breitbart at CPAC just a few weeks ago in Washington DC after he gave one of his characteristic barnburner speeches to gathered attendees in the ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park hotel. He came right up to the blogger’s room after the speech. American conservative bloggers have highly revered the man, and the room buzzed as he worked his way through it. I wanted to make my own introduction, really just to say hello, and tell him of similar struggles in Canada to change the liberal media culture landscape. But I had to wait as he tore into a liberal bloggers who had misrepresented herself as a Washington Times columnist in order to get an interview. After the fracas, he was pleasant enough to make time for a quick exchange.

Later at the conference, I was sitting in a restaurant with a few friends taking a break from the activities. Governor Scott Walker was scheduled to speak later that evening and the Occupy/Union folks were planning on giving him a noisy reception. As the left-wing mob advanced on the hotel, we had a view from our table.

And then a booming voice.

He was taking on the mob. In fact, about 100m and through the windows of the hotel, I could hear the general rabble of the crowd being shouted down by one man. It was Breitbart, of course. He was telling the Occupiers to stop the sexual assaults that have been reported at Occupy camps around the US.

If we compare Occupy and the Tea Party, the Tea Party is generally more polite and law abiding than the occupy protesters. But what the Tea Party lacked in fire and bad behaviour, Breitbart tried to close the gap.

He was the boor of the right and we were glad to have him.

The right has often been cowed by mainstream observers into thinking it is their behaviour that is anti-social; many conservatives think they ought to apologize before speaking their views. The man in the tricorner hat, waving a Gadsden flag and a mispelled sign about Obama’s socialism has shouldered more shunning by mainstream opinion makers than the anarchist defecating on a police car while marching to shut down the port of Oakland. Breitbart’s attitude was to tell the right to stop apologizing and to stun the left and put them on their heels.

He wasn’t just a bomb thrower for the conservative movement. His work and the Drudge Report and his own news websites made his work a source of news content for the right. Republicans and Democrats would use Drudge and Breitbart for breaking news and yes, they swore by (and at) it too…

He will be missed by those of us on the right and yes, by those on the left. He is survived by his wife Susannah and their four children.

Comments

comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1283735136 Josef A Kunzler

    I’m stealing this as an obit for Andrew on my Facebook page.  G*d bless.

  • Rev Paperboy

    while I feel sorry for his wife and children, Andrew Brietbart was a professional liar and smear artist. His family is probably fortunate that he died before the Shirley Sherrod  lawsuit was decided, as she would have ended up with everything he owned. He lowered the tone of the discussion wherever he went.

  • Lance

     So?

  • Anonymous

    An interesting take on Breitbart. As Stephen mentions, he did garner fans and enemies from both sides. I think alot of that came from the fact that he was fearless, relentless, and driven. 

    The right has often been cowed by mainstream observers into thinking it
    is their behaviour that is anti-social; many conservatives think they
    ought to apologize before speaking their views.The man in the tricorner hat, waving a Gadsden flag and a mispelled sign
    about Obama’s socialism has shouldered more shunning by mainstream
    opinion makers than the anarchist defecating on a police car while
    marching to shut down the port of Oakland.

    This is spin, sorry. As part of the right’s coalition-building, they drew in right-wing fringe elements, and ordinary people (with resentments and fear), by making  prejudice and ignorance into virtues and rallying cries. That is fairly anti-social, if you don’t hold the same views. The Tea Party differs from the “Occupy” crowd not least because the Koch brothers, and PACs and fellow travellers fund and therefore direct the Tea Party, to orders of magnitude more than any comparable left-wing movement.

    And of course the hat-wearing illiterate and the incontinent anarchist are both outliers and not representative of those respective groups.

  • Anonymous

    An interesting take on Breitbart. As Stephen mentions, he did garner fans and enemies from both sides. I think alot of that came from the fact that he was fearless, relentless, and driven. 

    The right has often been cowed by mainstream observers into thinking it
    is their behaviour that is anti-social; many conservatives think they
    ought to apologize before speaking their views.The man in the tricorner hat, waving a Gadsden flag and a mispelled sign
    about Obama’s socialism has shouldered more shunning by mainstream
    opinion makers than the anarchist defecating on a police car while
    marching to shut down the port of Oakland.

    This is spin, sorry. As part of the right’s coalition-building, they drew in right-wing fringe elements, and ordinary people (with resentments and fear), by making  prejudice and ignorance into virtues and rallying cries. That is fairly anti-social, if you don’t hold the same views. The Tea Party differs from the “Occupy” crowd not least because the Koch brothers, and PACs and fellow travellers fund and therefore direct the Tea Party, to orders of magnitude more than any comparable left-wing movement.

    And of course the hat-wearing illiterate and the incontinent anarchist are both outliers and not representative of those respective groups.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck off. 

    The right-wing pukes are shocked – shocked – that we’re such big ol’ meanies on the left side of the fence, clutching their pearls & fanning themselves that we’re being so personal that a sociopath finally did something human.  Fuck you: your hero made it personal.  You and your well-intentioned useful-idiots on the left (I’m looking at you and your mouth-breathing cargo cult, Melissa McEwan) try to shame us into silence – AGAIN – when we speak the unpleasant, ugly & unvarnished truth & point out that your emperors wear no clothes. I imagine that the stress from the prospect of actually being held accountable for his words and actions are what killed him: Shirley Sherrod had sued him for defamation & this past month his motion for dismissal had been denied, allowing her suit to proceed. It’s amazing how fast the bullies fold when you have them on the hook and in your sights, & I don’t mean any chickenshit nonsense like “surveyor’s marks”.  I hope Sherrod proceeds with her suit against his estate, if such a thing is possible.

    Taylor, you sound pathetic eulogizing a scumbag. Keep it up. It just makes pointing out that your hero was an unrepentant serial liar who made more money in a year lying than decent people make in a decade trying to get by with an honest living that much easier. That – and that he hurt so many people with his lies – is why those of us who despise lies & the liars that tell them are clapping and cheering and singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!” at the tops of our lungs.  We will continue to do so whether the hell you & your knuckledragging pity-partying blubbing fellow travelers like it or not.  Don’t bore us with anecdotes about what a good father & husband he was or we’ll set fire to your tears.Mrs. Breitbart & surviving children – truth time: your husband/father was an unrepentant serial liar who made more money in a year lying than decent people make in a decade trying to get by with an honest living.  The roof over your heads, the warm, dry beds that you sleep in, the clothes on your backs and the food that you eat are the fruits of his smearing and lying and defaming & his toxic influence on the national discourse.  He was yours & no one else’s.  His legacy is disgraceful, shameful & toxic & I shed no tears for him.  That’s your job, not ours.

    Breitbardt: you can go take a big ol’ suck on the devil’s pecker, fat boy. For all the good people you hurt, I hope the worms eat your eyes.  My only regret is that I didn’t get to put you in the ground myself.

  • DougM

    Didn’t know Breitbart so feel free to take issue if you wish.     I agree with what you say,  for years the right has been demonized as still is by the socialists who have run out of both ideas and time now that Greece and co. are reaping the benefits.  On a fiscal basis alone the Parliamentry Budget Officer suggests that OAS can remain stable over a “40 year period”.   Seriously? He beleives that there will be no other fiscal upheaal for 40 years? The man is a simpleton.  That said, some of the right wing speakers have to make one cringe.  Rush Limbuagh is clearly insane – like  Charlie Sheen he twists the most inoccent of ideas into apocaliptic scenarios and does us no favours by his unreasoning and extremist rants.  He makes us look like we come from his intellectual level. Ezra Levant is bright, articulate and has a lot of good things to say, but he too goes over the top at times.  Maybe it is a result of being attacked by the HRC on such a horrendously obtuse principle, but convincing still gets more understanding and converts even if undoubtedly less attention.  

    There used to be a formula about how one could predict revolution by the price of a loaf of bread as it pertained to the median income.  while we are miles from that, the Tea Party contention that the richest Amercians should pay no taxes is ridiculous.   Even Warren Buffet admitted it pointing out that the love and respect of country demanded it.  As pointed out some time ago by David Frum, we are still paying off Trudeau’s disasterous policies and actions – with that, and the euro-PIGS as an example not to mention there are those of us still around who remember the glories of socialism in the Warsaw Pact.   We have more than enough ammunition to prove the fallacy and distruction of socialism.  But we should also maintain a social conscience.   

    I’ll have to check up on Breitbart – so this article has given me a window into something new.   And its good to know that there are people who understand the need to expose the Left.   But lets not fall into the trap they set for themselves. We should always challenge our own ideas, not out of idealogy, but because it makes us and our society better.