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RIP Andrew Breitbart

A conservative icon has passed. Andrew Breitbart served as a conservative beacon in the media industry, personally counter-balancing to a great extent the monolithic leftward tilt of the entire "main-stream media." He was a lion for the conservative cause and his untimely death at the age of 43 is a tremendous and truly lamentable loss. RIP.
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Discussions - 26 Comments

There's a part of me that thinks: a man just died; I should show some modicum of respect.

And then the bigger part of me, maybe the Kantian part of me, wonders what Andrew Breibart would do. And then I realize that he really was a "duplicitous bastard," a "prick," and a truly "special pile of human excrement."

And so on the day that the world got just a little bit better, there's this:

http://overratedwhitedudes.tumblr.com/post/18552920792/you-know-you-lack-credibility-when-no-one-believes

You make more clear what kind of other one you are.

Andrew Breitbart had courage or nerve or something most like that which most people do not have. This must have taken its toll. I confess to not paying much attention to him, but people I respect did. It is a pity he's gone.

The response of the Left is an interesting contrast to the response of the Right to the illness and death of Christopher Hitchens, who also had courage or nerve or something. The vitriol is shocking on the one hand and becoming simply a nasty, tiresome routine on the other hand. The approach seems to be, if you haven't got anything nice to say, simply spit.

Nice. Well Done. You Deserve an Academy Award for that post. You must be proud.

What - no occupy protests today? Come on - you all have something to celebrate.

Liberalism is a mental illness.

I didn't come up with any of those remarks. Each one of them was made by Breitbart about Ted Kennedy on the day that Kennedy died. What a great man he was, eh?

Breitbart's comments about Kennedy were, indeed, slimy. But for God's sake, a 43-year-old man has died, leaving four children without a father. Someone with more class would resist the temptation to take cheap shots behind the safety of an online pseudonym.

It's interesting to wonder whether Kate and cowgirl were dumb enough to realize where Just Another One's quotes came from - even though they had quotation marks around them. It's especially interesting because Breibart has long been criticized for using just that kind of rhetoric. Which means that Kate and cowgirl either (a) don't care how one speaks about dead people, so long as they're dead people they disagree with or (b) when aware that criticism of someone in their tribe exists, rather than make the most minimal attempt to familiarize themselves with the issues at hand, simply double-down and praise their tribe-member and issue invective against those from outside of the tribe, never even realizing what ignorant hypocrites that they're revealing themselves to be in the process.

But I would actually agree that "Andrew Breitbart had courage or nerve or something". In the same way that if I released a tape of Kate saying "I confess to...becoming simply a nasty, tiresome routine" underline the headline "Kate admits to being an irritating b*tch", I would also have "courage or nerve or something". It just wouldn't reflect very well on me.

Scanlon - I keep asking you and you never answer - does it ever occur to you that I post what I post in order to wait for you to get your panties in a wad. Do you really believe that I could careless about what you write or think?

Furthermore, your under-handed post is obvious. You know as well as I do that you are just playing games. Grow the hell up.

I don't know if he believes that you could "careless" about what he writes or thinks, but since you admit that you "keep asking" what "occur[s]" to him, I would say, obviously you must care. If your definition of "careless" is "take the time to read and write comments, enter captcha codes, repeatedly asking what 'occurs' to someone [i.e., what they think]" then I think that you need to work a lot harder on caring less, because there's a whole lot of caring right there.

Kudos to John for his good comments. And then there's this: without at all excusing what Breitbart said of Kennedy (I am with Thumper on this--especially when it comes to the newly departed) it seems to me that this is the worst thing anyone can say of him. I have heard it echoed all day. But gee . . . Andrew Breitbart did not, to the best of my knowledge, leave a woman to die after getting drunk and driving his car off a bridge. Even if one agreed with Ted Kennedy, there was plenty of reason to question his character and feel just a little annoyed by the over-the-top Lamentations when he passed. Maybe you liked his politics . . . But he wasn't much of a man. I didn't know Breitbart, but I know many people who did. And by all accounts he WAS quite a man. And what did Andrew Breitbart do in his short life that so offended the Left? He wrote things with which they disagreed and helped others to do the same. And he exposed some of their lies. Yeah. What a bastard.

Yes, John Moser's points sound right to me. It's not as if calling Andrew Breitbart names can hurt him at this point, but hurting his family is something else. No, I did not guess where the unattributed quotes came from. How would I know? Dumb? Maybe, but I said I did not pay attention to Andrew Breitbart. Maybe that was dumb. I had just seen a website with a long list of nasty things people had "tweeted" about Andrew Breibart. What I was seeing was like an echo.

Slimy? Yes, but I like Julie's point about character, Ted Kennedy and Breitbart. Who died to cover Andrew Breitbart's sins? As I said, I hadn't been paying attention to him. Maybe Mr. One More wants to tell me.

Breibart left out Murderer, Drunk and womanizer.

Wrong. It is all about proving my point : Liberalism is a mental illness. And thanks for continuing to do so...

From "just another one"'s link:

"You know you lack credibility when no one believes you died because your own site reported it."

Pretty good. Definitely true regarding my reaction when I heard the news; I'm still waiting for the guy to grab a mic somewhere and start screaming how the media's reaction to his (faked) death just proves his (incredibly original and fresh) point that the mainstream media is controlled by a monolithic bloc of liberal extremists. But who knows, he could have actually died for some reason. I think he followed Christopher Hitchens' health regimen.

Of course, this crazy leftist might ask why his death really warrants as much coverage as it certainly is going to be getting. It belongs in a section way in the back of the paper (or in small print at the bottom of the website), a brief article at most. But in a fame-obsessed age where being loud and confrontational, like a rude and obnoxious guest ready to start a fight at the slightest provocation on the pop-political stage equivalent of the Jerry Springer show, Andrew Breitbart will be getting loads of press coverage, well beyond that merited by his actual impact in media (he followed a path well-worn by PowerLine, Malkin, DailyKos, PajamasMedia, FreeRepublic, and of course, the aptly named Drudge before him) or by his actual greatness (don't get me wrong: bringing us the incredibly important Weiner bulge was a sizeable... (ahem) accomplishment).

Of the few things I've read about his death thus far, David Frum seems to have come closest to nailing it:

===
"This indifference to detail suffused all of Breitbart’s work, and may indeed be his most important and lasting legacy. Breitbart sometimes got stories right (Anthony Weiner). More often he got them wrong (Sherrod). He did not much care either way. Just as all is fair in a shooting war, so manipulation and deception are legitimate tools in a culture war. Breitbart used those tools without qualm or regret, and he inspired a cohort of young conservative journalists to do likewise.

(...)

And this is where it becomes difficult to honor the Roman injunction to speak no ill of the dead. It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?

Especially when that career was so representative of his times?

We live in a time of political and media demagoguery unparalleled since the 19th century. Many of our most important public figures have gained their influence and power by inciting and exploiting the ugliest of passions—by manipulating fears and prejudices—by serving up falsehoods as reported truth. In time these figures will one by one die. What are we to say of this cohort, this group, this generation? That their mothers loved them? That their families are bereaved? That their fans admired them and their employees treated generously by them? Public figures are inescapably judged by their public actions. When those public actions are poisonous, the obituary cannot be pleasant reading."

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/01/andrew-breitbart-1969-2012.html

But for folks who see the "journalism" of The National Enquirer as some of the "most important conservative" publishing (of which, Breitbart was simply a foot soldier in bringing such trash online), I can see how they'd deeply lament the passing of Andrew Breitbart.

http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2008/08/three-cheers-for-the-national-enquirer.php

Some things are hard, such as the fact that liberals can't stand the truth. That's why they have to resort to name-calling. Ideas, policies, candidates are not to be discussed on their merits but whether or not they make liberals "comfortable" or whether they are "offended." They have all the sensibility and all of the pretension of divine right monarchs. "His majesty is pleased" means the idea, policy or candidate is right. "His majesty is displeased" means you're in trouble. Barack Obama can force you to violate your religious conscience, and that's OK; Rick Santorum has a different opinion than some people regarding birth control, and that's cause for moral indignation. Breitbarth was great for exposing liberals' dark side.

"Some things are hard, such as the fact that liberals can't stand the truth. That's why they have to resort to name-calling."

Does that make Breitbart a liberal?
http://mediamatters.org/research/201007210054

Surely, you're just not being serious there, richard. Just those first two sentences - wow!

Anyway, here's Breitbart himself:

"I like to call someone a raving c**t every now and then, when it’s appropriate, for effect (...) ‘You cocksucker.’ I love that kind of language."

(adjust the "dot com" as necessary)

tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo dot com/2010/05/breitbart_dreams_of_sean_penn.php

As for Julie Ponzi's claim that he was "quite a man"... It just so happens that one of the targets of one of Breitbart's fictionalized, edited-like-a-Hollywood-action-blockbuster "Gotcha" vids is twice the manly man that Breitbart ever was.

"The news of Mr. Breitbart's death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart's family as they cope through this very difficult time."

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/shirley-sherrod-my-prayers-go-out-to-brietbarts

That, ladies and germs, is known as class.

The 16-year adolescent in the White House presently disguised as "The Most Intelligent President Ever" called Sandra Fluke, the other 16 year old adolescent attending college and asking Congress to have the American people pay for her and her friend's birth control pills, to make sure that she was okay after Rush Limbaugh referred to her as a slut. Truth hurts – just like the truth Breibart told us about the murderer, drunk and womanizer Ted Kennedy.

When is the Most Intelligent President Ever going to grow up?

If I was Man-Boy In the White House I watched out - I am sure Bill Clinton already has her phone number.
By the way, do you think the Man-Boy in the White House will call me with a "How are you doing" when it costs me over $200 fill up my diesel truck's tank?

Craig Scanlon, why not follow Shirley Sherrod's good and kind example?

"Craig Scanlon, why not follow Shirley Sherrod's good and kind example?"

What do you mean, Kate? That I should offer my prayers to his family and friends who survived him?

Here are a few reasons why I won't do that (although my prior posts here are clearly not of a hateful nature - or even like those of "just another one"'s - in which it was reasonably suggested that the Breitbart that lives by the insensitive sword risks dying by the insensitive sword).

- First and foremost, as you should probably know by now, I am not a theist, so it would feel rather disingenuous, rather insincere, for me to offer up something which I don't believe in. Sure, I would hope that his wife and kids don't have to experience any other devastating loss in the foreseeable future, but I don't really see where prayer would help. Haven't conservative believers been praying for Breitbart since he became big, anyway? Why didn't those prayers help to avoid this disaster (for his family, and his business)? It's odd to me that someone would WANT me to pray like this. I'm guessing Kate, that you don't want any non-Christians praying for you (although you might let it slide from a Jew?). But now that we're on the subject of wishing his family well, to me that would include them - later on, after time has slowly begun to heal them a bit - actually learning more about Andrew's rather ugly, vitriolic, and hateful legacy, and his disservice to both the American political and journalistic realms. Maybe, someday, they should meet Shirley Sherrod and find out about just how grotesque his efforts were to "get her" at any cost.

- Breitbart's family almost certainly won't see this blog-post (although the idea of Paulette promoting it by e-mailing or tweeting the link to people at Breitbart.com is hardly far-fetched) - even the polite socialized ritual of it all will likely just vanish into the blog-ether. Frankly, I would think and hope that they have better things to do - better ways to cope with their loss than by running through every little sympathetic right-wing blog.

- Even if I were a Jew (I recall a recent vid-clip in which Andrew described himself as a secular Jew - but of course, a brave fighter for America's oppressed Jews and Christians!) or a Christian, I wouldn't even be eligible for equaling Sherrod's high-class behavior (insert facile pun here), since I've never met Breitbart and, more importantly, I've never lost my job due to one of his little torch-and-pitchfork parties that culminated in a dishonestly edited video designed to show me saying something that was nearly the opposite of what I actually did say. (And here I should give a tiny credit to Bill O'Reilly - the situation was so blindingly obvious in its sleazy mundacity that even Bill-O offered an apology for airing the vid...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/07/bill-oreilly-apologizes-to-shirley-sherrod-for-not-doing-my-homework.html

- something which Breitbart never did, manly man's man that he was.)

So no, I will not be offering any pointless and necessarily hollow prayers to Breitbart's no-doubt devastated family. Generic condolences? Sure, just like you offered them (and/or prayers) to the surviving families of every non-blogging, non-celeb civilian and non-terrorist casualty that occurred over the last decade in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan (I think even FoxNews concedes that there were at least a couple dozen). [And before any number of fingers start screech-tapping that I'm engaging in a false equivalence - stop. The whole point is that the disparity in treatment would be the problem, that one (I'll let you guess) is worse than the other; while she will pray for those suffering from a non-violent/non-hostile death, there's exceedingly little reason to think she would have for those I mentioned, since they were probably on The Bad Team, by auto-default.]

(Yikes! I now see that in my earlier comment I failed to make one of those words family-safe in Breitbart's quote about his love of name-calling. Sorry! I appreciate the NLT comment system for (surprisingly - I'd think an automated system would catch that word!) letting it through; here's hoping the webmaster and the FCC will be as kind.)

None of us here are surprised by what you don't notice, Craig.

Above, you quoted Mrs. Sherrod, "The news of Mr. Breitbart's death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart's family as they cope through this very difficult time." and you called that class. It was grace. I understand where that comes from; apparently you don't. You took eight paragraphs or so to justify why you don't need to have it, grace. We are accustomed to you; you are not exactly excused, but we are resigned, though not always graciously.

It looks like you misunderstood me. I said I would be willing to offer condolences - a secular version of prayers in these cases, even if I think it's more than a bit odd. If I happen to sit next to any of them on a plane anytime soon (and I learn who they are), yes, I'll offer my condolences to them.

The idea of grace is a fascinating one. I've discussed it many times with atheists, agnostics, and theists of various stripes (including a friend of mine who's a graduate of Ashland's seminary). In addition to the concept posing a theological chasm between Catholics and Protestants, I've also noticed that the working lay definitions of the term do vary greatly. I can only presume that you meant something roughly similar to my notion of "class" - in this particular case, undeserved kindness (from Sherrod to the family of the man who sought to ruin her based largely on paranoid nonsense, and because it was easy to edit the video).

Since I've no connection to Breitbart or his family, it would be not only pointless, but just odd to DIRECTLY offer my condolences to the Breitbart family [should the entirety of Earth's population offer their prayers and/or condolences to them? Do you/should you do this when anyone dies, or just some celeb pundit? That would involve a massive consumption of one's time, I'd think]. And, since he never tried to screw up my life, any comparison between my condolences and Sherrod's would be, obviously, invalid. The gesture could just not have the same significance.

My explanation was not to justify "why [I] don't need to have [grace]," but why I - or anyone in a similar situation who was not a direct Breitbart target - CAN'T even qualify to offer a comparable gesture of grace (class).

"It was grace. I understand where that comes from; apparently you don't."

Is that your Christian humility at work there? I think I understand where it (grace/class) comes from, although my answer wouldn't involve the supernatural - grace CAN be conceived as non-divine. Let me put it this way: if you were in Michael Moore's next documentary for whatever reason (perhaps in a segment on the tea party) and he edited the footage in a dishonest manner, and you suffered from that in some [real] way(s), then he died after the film came out, would you offer your prayers to his surviving family? Until you are in that situation, how you would react to Moore's death is comparatively irrelevant to Sherrod's display of grace/class.

I hope that clarified things.

"Some things are hard, such as the fact that liberals can't stand the truth. That's why they have to resort to name-calling."

Does that make Breitbart a liberal?
http://mediamatters.org/research/201007210054

Surely, you're just not being serious there, richard. Just those first two sentences - wow!
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Yes, those sentences are hard, but your quotations are not found at the site you posted.

Sure, partisans of all stripes sometimes attack each other, but my point was that liberals have become notorious for demonizing their opponents, starting at the top with Pres. Obama. But set me straight. What are the core principles that liberalism stands for that we can examine on the merits? Equally important, what are the core principles of conservatism that liberals acknowledge the existence of? I await your reply.

"Yes, those sentences are hard, but your quotations are not found at the site you posted."

Pay attention, richard.

The first link is to a detailed, very well-sourced list of Breitbart's lies and distortions over the years - one could speculate that Breitbart "can't stand the truth" based on his record. The first link was pertinent to your first sentence:

"Some things are hard, such as the fact that liberals can't stand the truth."

I did provide the link (you just needed to adjust it yourself - NLT allows only 2 links per comments) for Breitbart's quotations (why would I make them up?) - but if that was too effort-intensive, here you are (and it's not as if these are the only examples of Breitbart calling people names):

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/breitbart_dreams_of_sean_penn.php

...and that covers the 2nd sentence of your earlier comment.

As for your recent evasion, in which you ask me to trot out a book or a manifesto (sorry) on behalf of liberals everywhere, the fact that you equate Obama directly with liberals/liberalism would make it exceedingly difficult to engage you in a reality-based exchange on such matters.

While in graduate school, I subscribed for awhile to the New Yorker, but its consistent leftist bias got very tiresome (although I loved the cartoons). Nothing's changed since then.

As to Obama's alleged lack of liberalism, that's a dodge. He's a liberal politicians, so he has to bend and weave, and he needs money for campaigns. So who's the true liberal?

Okay, so you think that the New Yorker has a "consistent leftist bias" - no surprise there.

So, what does that mean within our exchange? Are you saying that they just fabricated those Breitbart quotes?

If so, I'm wondering why I never heard Breitbart make that accusation himself. It obviously would have been warranted, and let's be honest, Breitbart (like many people) wasn't the sort of guy who would have taken that sort of mistreatment without a protest on his part.

It seems not only possible but very, very probable - fairly certain, really - that the quotes are legit.

Why are there two-dozen comments on a brief obituary for a publicist?

(That was almost as edifying as your word-count comments. I guess I missed the rule where commenters have to check with "Art Deco" to see what the comment limit is per blog-post.)

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