Thursday, March 01, 2012
With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.We have lost a very creative voice, one of a recent crop of conservatives who took longstanding tactics of the left and used them for the right.
Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.
We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.
Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.
Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:
I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies. Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.
UPDATE: Left and right are already politicizing Andrew's death on Facebook and blogs, and I suspect he would have preferred it that way. There are those, even on the left, who appreciated him. Josh Marshall, among others, is generous in his obituary.
Breitbart says he has presumably damning videos about Obama.
Days later, Breitbart suddenly drops dead outside his home from 'natural causes.'
I'm a scornful critic of conspiracy theorists, but even I'm suspicious about this.
'He said bad things about Ted Kennedy, ergo he deserved to die.'
You are a wretched, ghoulish human being.
Now, wish for my death and celebrate it when it comes, you piece of shit; I clearly deserve it.
Danwfire82, as Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, "deserve's got nothing to do with it."
I find it ironic that the very same comments Breitbart applied to Kennedy could equally be well applied to Breitbart. Hence, "what goes around comes around."
You seem overwrought, perhaps by the magnitude of your loss. At any rate, I assure you I am not "celebrating" Breitbart's death; I find it tragic for his friends and family. And although you may find this a disappointment, I harbor no ill will toward you whatsoever. I wish you a long, happy, and productive life!
Truth be told, I did think that Breitbart was a gadfly and a "duplicitous bastard" (to use his own words). Perhaps he could be compared to Michael Moore, who has employed a similar style of "gotcha" journalism. Maybe this is what TH is getting at when he refers to Breitbart's use of the "longstanding tactics of the left". Although Moore is also highly tendentious and often outright dishonest, I think his oeuvre is more substantial than Breitbart's because Moore's focus is broader and on bigger issues, and he is more of a storyteller in that he highlights the plight of the less fortunate among us. Breitbart was more obsessed with destroying individuals and organizations, and while I generally agree with Brandeis that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Breitbart always came across to me as mean-spirited, and his dishonest editing jobs reinforced that impression.
For a good lesson on how to speak honestly about recently deceased villains, though, see here.
Some of my friends on Facebook are taking the stance that since Breitbart was celebrating Teddy's death while the body was still warm, anyone who's a fan of Teddy gets to do the same thing with Andy. They argue that Andy was a wretched, ghoulish human being.
I'm trying to talk them out of this, since I don't wish anyone to die this young. My argument is "Are we going to be great human beings every time a jerk [aside: he WAS a dick. That's why we liked him.] dies and say 'You know, I think he died too old.'?"
I found it interesting to peruse the TH archives from August 2009, right after Ted Kennedy died. Here are some selected comments from Dawnfire82:
"The more I find out about old Ted Kennedy, the happier I am that he died." (Fri Aug 28, 01:25:00 AM)
"I think I am now ready to condemn the whole package that was E. Kennedy. He was a shitbag." (ibid)
Here are some other comments from compassionate TH readers:
"I only regret that his physical suffering ended so soon. He richly deserved every last breath of it."
"No, I don't wish him "RIP" but a "RIH" adage. May Peace be the last thing that guy ever sees."
"'twere better had he not lived at all."
I was shocked when I read he died. I am with you, Aegon, as you probably know from my Facebook post upon hearing of Breitbart's death. I never agreed with him or his tactics (I am no fan of Moore's, too, for the record), but he was that gadfly and duplicitous bastard that he said he was and 43 is far too young.
Hitch was brill, wasn't he?
Breitbart will be missed. He was quite a character.
He was an especially effective critic of MSM.
Breitbart exposed the lies in several MSM stories. e.g that Tea Partiers used the N word and even spat on a Black Congressman. MSM reported this as true, and has never bothered to retract. This was a despicable slur on folks exercising fundamental political rights.
It’s a good rule not to speak ill of the dead. Breitbart may have been speaking ill of Teddy to counter the Camelot hagiography that surrounded Teddy’s funeral.
What I most like about him was the endless struggle he waged against ignorants among Republicans, trying to get them to understand why we should take a big tent approach to our party. He was wonderful.
He is a Frederick Douglass, a Sojourner Truth, a Harriet Tubman! Indeed, a Martin Luther King! He couldn't make it to the mountaintop, or across the river Jordan like Moses, but maybe Rush can, leading an army of "sluts" with OKeefe bribing the way in! Oh Lawd, oh gnashing of teeth.
Meanwhile, back in the regular world...
The RW lunatic fringe, which currently comprises about 50% of the Republican Party, is abuzz with speculation that Obama had Breitbart whacked. Breitbart himself is, understandably, unavailable to investigate, but there's always Donald Trump and of course Sheriff Joe.
Bush impersonator found dead at age 48. Maybe Bush had him whacked, eh?
The obituary I saw showed a picture of Bridges with Bush, who had a sense of humor about himself notably lacking in the current POTUS. More likely he was done in by some lefty who took to heart the book (or was it a play?) suggesting Bush's assassination and made a mistake.