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Andrew Breitbart is dead
March 1, 2012 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Andrew Breitbart, conservative provocateur, has died.
posted by BobbyVan (573 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is March 1, not April 1, right?
posted by crunchland at 6:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


Holy shit. Can't quite bring myself to post a dot, but he was really young.
posted by craichead at 6:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama-ordered-the-hit conspiracies in 5... 4... 3...
posted by PenDevil at 6:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [20 favorites]


The hell?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:15 AM on March 1, 2012


Seems to be corroborated. http://twitter.com/Ben_Howe/statuses/175218727401435136
posted by Vhanudux at 6:16 AM on March 1, 2012


I can't find any other information on the web about this.
posted by josher71 at 6:17 AM on March 1, 2012


Don't mess with the lizard people or their emissaries.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


WoW; he was really really young, any details?
posted by NiteMayr at 6:19 AM on March 1, 2012


Some consider him responsible only for racist misrepresentations about Obama officials.

Others say that fails to consider him as a whole.

Myself, I think that kind of simplistic, vicious editing is what he would have wanted.
posted by jaduncan at 6:19 AM on March 1, 2012 [96 favorites]


The post just says "Natural Causes"
posted by to sir with millipedes at 6:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess James O'Keefe will need a new megaphone then.
posted by The Giant Squid at 6:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow. 43 years old. Hafta feel sorry for his 4 kids and wife.
posted by peacay at 6:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


.
posted by AugustWest at 6:23 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Crap - 7 years younger than me. I'm approaching that point in life where they really start dropping like flies, and it's making me nervous. Not sure I'll miss him, but he had a family and kids. This is gonna be tough for them.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:23 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assuming this is true, what does this mean for Shirley Sherrod's lawsuit?
posted by dirigibleman at 6:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


His last tweet; with some edits could sound good:

"I called you a putz cause I thought you werebeing intentionally disingenuous. If not I apologize. @CenLamar @dust92"

Down to

"..I apologize."

I think that should be on his headstone; it'll prevent desecration.

That said, why didn't his media empire put out a press release or something? Maybe it's some kinda prank by anonymous (who promised to "do something" to him soon)
posted by NiteMayr at 6:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Didn't like the guy due to his part in the ACORN scandal, amongst other things. Feel sorry for his family.
posted by arcticseal at 6:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nancy Grace demands to know the identity of the murderer.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [22 favorites]


No dot here. He helped poison the country where I live for money. My sympathies to his loved ones, but in the bigger scheme of things, we're better off.
posted by Legomancer at 6:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [34 favorites]


...developing...

(There has to be more to this story.)
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 6:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


The man was wrong about an awful lot of things. And not especially well-mannered toward those he disagreed with. This can be said of many of us.

I take no pleasure in his passing, and wish his family comfort.

.
posted by gauche at 6:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [23 favorites]


Maybe it's some kinda prank by anonymous (who promised to "do something" to him soon)

or maybe Anonymous has moved into Gambino territory...OMG
posted by fungible at 6:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


My money is on auto-Erotic asphyxiation
posted by Iron Rat at 6:27 AM on March 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


Conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart died unexpectedly early Thursday morning in Los Angeles of natural causes, according to an obituary posted on Big Journalism, one of Breitbart's websites. He was 43 years old. His death was confirmed to POLITICO by Breitbart.com editor in chief Joel Pollak.
posted by chavenet at 6:27 AM on March 1, 2012


If his private persona was anything like his public persona, this is bound to be a relief to his family. The guy was a loudmouthed attack dog, who relished spreading lies and anarchy for the sake of self-promotion. Good riddance.
posted by crunchland at 6:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [27 favorites]


They come in threes, so the saying goes. Davey Jones, Andrew Breitbart and....?
posted by jquinby at 6:29 AM on March 1, 2012


I believe life is not that hard to fail at, you try and do more good than harm. Breitbart... well, he didn't accomplish it.
posted by edgeways at 6:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


What natural causes happen at 43? Heart attack? Did he have cancer and keep it under wraps?
posted by mathowie at 6:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cocaine's a hell of a drug.
posted by empath at 6:31 AM on March 1, 2012 [30 favorites]


Nancy Grace demands to know the identity of the murderer.

Whoa, Brietbart was actually a rich, young, attractive, white woman?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:31 AM on March 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


Rage is bad for you.
posted by ocschwar at 6:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


*
posted by SansPoint at 6:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [18 favorites]


Damn. Courageous man, gone far too soon.

.
posted by davidmsc at 6:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


While I didn't agree with much (if anything he did), if this is true...


.
posted by drezdn at 6:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's really young. I have to think heart attack, but who knows.
posted by OmieWise at 6:33 AM on March 1, 2012


Dying at 43 isn't natural. Nobody deserves to die that young. Not even this guy.
posted by ook at 6:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


No dot for him.

I do feel sorry for his family, but at least he won't be poisoning the political process any longer.
posted by sotonohito at 6:34 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


What natural causes happen at 43? Heart attack? Did he have cancer and keep it under wraps?

If they found him dead in bed this morning, then "natural causes" seems like a thing one would say before actually performing an autopsy.

Wild, disrespectful speculation would point out a heart attack counts as "natural causes" prior to finding out how much blow was in your system to cause it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:34 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


The LA coroner's office has confirmed his death.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Won't miss the guy, but yeah... i hope his family is okay.
posted by ELF Radio at 6:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somehow, this doesn't surprise me. The guy looked and acted like he burned the candle on both ends, for the last several years, And was trying hard to ignite the middle, too. He fed off rage and discord like, well, like his life depended on it.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


jquinby: "They come in threes, so the saying goes. Davey Jones, Andrew Breitbart and....?"

Whitney Houston?
posted by mkb at 6:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


The wheel turns. Let the market try to solve that.
posted by Glomar response at 6:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


To quote the Rude Pundit: "There's something almost admirable about so Machiavellian a liar."

Almost.
posted by notsnot at 6:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Confirmed by his site
posted by louche mustachio at 6:37 AM on March 1, 2012


My dad died at 45. I was 18, and 45 may as well have been 95, in my mind. Everyone around me was saying "he was so young," and I just did not get it.

I am 61 and keep as much of an eye on my cardiovascular health as I possibly can.

So, yeah. I get it now. To die in one's 40's is horribly young.
posted by Danf at 6:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [24 favorites]


There is no independent verification on this story yet, so be cautious here on this breaking story.
posted by novenator at 6:37 AM on March 1, 2012


Hold on trying to squeeze out a dot it's not working I used up all my dots on Davy Jones who deserves it way more than Breitbart

I thought maybe if I squeezed harder then an HTML Poo entity would come out but I can't seem to even dignify him with a cut lil' poo icon

I hope you have a nice time in hell Andy

(but to be nice - yeah, sorry for your family I'm not *that* much of an asshole)
posted by symbioid at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmmm. Didn't agree with him but, damn, he was three years younger than me.
posted by shino-boy at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2012


I demand copies of his long form death certificate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [133 favorites]


Hafta feel sorry for his 4 kids and wife.

Me too. But they are free now.
posted by DU at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


43 years is just not enough time for a lot of people to learn the difference between partisanship and principle.

I hope his new digs agree with him more than here did.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


TPM confirms it, also via the LA Coroner's Office.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.

I, I, I think I threw up a little on the happy warrior living on inside of me when I read that....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


"Natural causes," as I understand it, is what is reported when foul play or suicide is not suspected, and it isn't "death by misadventure."
posted by louche mustachio at 6:40 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thx for finding confirmation on this dirigibleman. It sounds solid.

"TPM Confirms Andrew Breitbart Dead At 43. Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles Coroner's Office tells TPM that conservative media icon Andrew Breitbart died last night at UCLA Medical Center."
posted by novenator at 6:44 AM on March 1, 2012


It's always a shock when someone just dies naturally in their 40s. I will be awaiting the coroner's report. Of the people I know who died naturally in their 40s, it was an undiagnosed heart condition. And if he had one, it could have been exacerbated by the intensity of this guy's work ethic / lifestyle.
posted by Theta States at 6:44 AM on March 1, 2012


Andrew Breitbart's inside speech at CPAC 2012 and his outside speech.
posted by crunchland at 6:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


He was slime. I hope his family isn't hurt by his legacy.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Breitest flame burns quickest.
posted by Eideteker at 6:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yes, at that age there is about 1 sudden cardiac death per 1,000 per year. I've known several.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:47 AM on March 1, 2012


.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:48 AM on March 1, 2012


Weird. He wasn't a good person, but he had people who loved him and will miss him. I do wish he had had time to begin to regret the nasty things he had done and take steps to atone.
posted by Forktine at 6:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


In the hours immediately following Senator Ted Kennedy's death, Breitbart called Kennedy a "villain", a "duplicitous bastard", a "prick"[16] and "a special pile of human excrement."[17][18]
posted by dirtdirt at 6:49 AM on March 1, 2012 [142 favorites]


I was looking for that second video crunchland posted. Just so incredibly irrationally angry. BEHAVE YOURSELF!
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:50 AM on March 1, 2012


Sounds like he was preparing his own obit in advance, tbh.
posted by elizardbits at 6:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm certain he'll try to sneak into the Pearly Gates disguised as someone who's not an asshole.
posted by sourwookie at 6:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hafta feel sorry for his 4 kids and wife.

Me too. But they are free now.


That's kinda a shitty thing to say.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


In the hours immediately following Senator Ted Kennedy's death, Breitbart called Kennedy a "villain", a "duplicitous bastard", a "prick"[16] and "a special pile of human excrement."[17][18]

Projection and self-delusion are a helluva' thing.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 6:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Twitter comments:
@chrislaker Hell just got a little more racist. #Breitbart

Congratulations to Andrew Breitbart on your first real news story, too bad it's your obituary #Breitbart
posted by novenator at 6:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


The man was the walking definition of the words "unethical" and "disingenuous". If anyone loved him, it's because he pulled the wool over their eyes.

As for people saying he "had the strength of his convictions", yeah, so did...somebody else.
posted by Xoebe at 6:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gotta love the Wikipedia footnote references in the copypasta up there
posted by jeremy b at 6:54 AM on March 1, 2012


I am certain that Fox News, et al, has people scouring the left wing sites right now, and will cherrypick comments which are celebratory of Brietbart's passing. He'll be protrayed as a martyr.

I take no joy in his passing, as I took no joy in his tenure in this world.

I also think that his "victims," including NPR and ACORN, were equally culpable for their travails, due to their timid reactions to his distortions an lies.
posted by Danf at 6:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's kinda a shitty thing to say.

I don't know what you expect people to say about the guy. He made a living from being an asshole. He carefully cultivated the asshole persona. I think not recognizing that he was probably the biggest asshole in American politics would be disrespecting his legacy.
posted by empath at 6:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [39 favorites]


Not really surprised after watching that crazy "stop raping people" video of him screaming on the street last month. Maintaining that much mindless rage requires fuels that are hard on younger, slimmer bodies.
posted by Scram at 6:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Saying his family are better off now that he's dead is a shitty thing to say.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Huh, usually the good ones die young and the nasty ones live forever and ever and ever.

Maybe it'll come in threes?
posted by furiousthought at 6:57 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good riddance.
posted by dbiedny at 6:57 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm always curious about people like Breitbart. Did he actually believe he was doing what was best for his country? Was he a charlatan because he believed everybody on the left was even more of a charlatan, like the cynical socialist politicians of Atlas Shurgged? Or was he just an obnoxious jerk who liked shitting on people who challenged wealth? We'll never know, I guess.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


May God have mercy on his soul.
posted by magstheaxe at 6:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


To those dancing on the grave of someone who left behind a family: Your efforts to be a better person than he was are failing. Please stop.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [34 favorites]


Fox was canonizing him on Sirius on the way in this am. It was nauseating and a little hysterical. He brought zero substance to the national political discourse and a lot of toxicity. His absence in the world from a vocational standpoint can only be seen as a positive. Hopefully Norquist is not far behind.
posted by docpops at 7:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I feel sorry for his family, but I think that the state of American politics is better off with his voice not in it.

That's not to say another person won't rise up to immediately fill his spot, but hopefully it's not too callous to say that with all the bad things that happen to good people, it pleases me a little to see bad things happening to bad people too.

He made the country a worse place and contributed to the fall of people and organizations which did worse-off people a lot of good. Death is not justice, but there is a zero percent chance he would have ever been brought to justice, so I'll take this instead.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:01 AM on March 1, 2012 [30 favorites]


Rick Santorum's reaction on CNN: "Huge Loss to Our Country"
posted by jeremy b at 7:01 AM on March 1, 2012


Some say his heart shrunk three sizes that day...
posted by Aquaman at 7:01 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm sensing a MetaTalk post...

Anyway, he wasn't my favorite person, but this sure sucks for his kids/family. Someone loved him even if I didn't.
posted by josher71 at 7:01 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your efforts to be a better person than he was are failing.

His actions in the world caused real harm to real people. There's nothing anybody could say in the thread that would make them a worse person than him.
posted by empath at 7:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [77 favorites]


No dot for him. Spreading lies and making other peoples' lives miserable for fun and profit does not a mourned man make. I'm sorry for the family who has lost a husband and father, but the man was poison and our national discourse will be healthier for his absence.
posted by Lighthammer at 7:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Bette Davis on hearing of Joan Crawford:'s death "You should never say bad things about the dead, only good. Joan Crawford is dead. GOOD."
posted by crunchland at 7:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [75 favorites]


I'll agree with shakespeherian.

The best I can say about Breibart is that he had a sort of low-wattage cleverness coupled to a cause I deeply disagree with. Oddly, I thought he was decades younger from his juvenile approach to the issues. Thinking that a 40yo thought any of this was a good idea is simply sad. And, please, he left no "happy warrior" inside me, and I might seriously consider breaking my writing hands if I had written that sentence for actual publication.

However, the snide speculations about his home life are pretty much a Breibart-style tactic. They do not degrade them so much as the commenters and, by extension, the site. If we are going to burn the dead, let's at least use the kindling that they assembled during their lives rather than whittling our own. Surely we have better things to do....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I always like to check out how Free Republic reacts to things like this. . . they rarely disappoint:

Tragic! WOW! Move on over Vince Foster!
I smell a BIG rat here!

19 posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 9:38:35 AM by JDoutrider

He announces that he has tapes of obama and he he is now dead????????
7 posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 9:34:58 AM by Jewels1091

The story claims he did shortly after midnight in LA. That is 6 hours ago! How the EFF does one determine he died of "NATURAL CAUSES" in less than 6 hours?
This smells so bad dead fish are jumping ship.

27 posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 9:41:43 AM by GregNH


It just goes on like this.
posted by weinbot at 7:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Assuming that the empire of sites he created wont continue of without him is misguided.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:07 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


His mission in life was to cause measurable harm to me and people I know. We've been directly made worse off for the things that he, and only he, gave a national voice to. Fuck him.

He was filthy rich because of the objectively horrible things that he has done, and now his kids and family will now inherit all those piles of cash a few years before they expected to; they'll be fine.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:08 AM on March 1, 2012 [29 favorites]


Just to repeat what Saucy Intruder said, with a small correction:

"To those dancing on the grave of someone who left behind a family. Please stop."

My best friend died at 41 and it was hard, hard, hard on his kids.

Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.
posted by three blind mice at 7:08 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


.

Didn't agree with him, but wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy...even if he might not have held himself to the same standard.
posted by schmod at 7:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


In his public life, he chose to be a vile and patently dishonest man. In that capacity can I say unequivocally, good riddance, as politics and punditry are better off without him.

Other than that, dying at 43 is a tragedy, and in that capacity, I make no judgment.
posted by ssmug at 7:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am certain that Fox News, et al, has people scouring the left wing sites right now, and will cherrypick comments which are celebratory of Brietbart's passing. He'll be protrayed as a martyr.

Yeah, this. He'll just be reaping the same rhetoric he sowed, as dirtdirt points out above, but they'll leave that part out.
posted by ook at 7:11 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am certain that Fox News, et al, has people scouring the left wing sites right now, and will cherrypick comments which are celebratory of Brietbart's passing. He'll be protrayed as a martyr.

All the more why I find the ridiculous, assumed-as-obligatory "memorial" posts and comments from his opponents far more pathetic and insulting than the people making shitty comments about his death (self included.)

Jesus Christ, Media Matters just put up an "RIP" post. Are you fucking kidding me? A double-digit percentage of MMFA's day was devoted to pointing out how Brietbart was a liar who was spreading hate and lies meant to take down ideological enemies. Offering some kind of "well played, fallen opponent" horseshit is just offensive to me. You weren't playing a game, guys- in the context of the exact reason Media Matters claims to exist, his death makes your jobs easier.

"Passion and commitment?" He was a lunatic who worked passionately to destroy peoples' lives. If you really feel some moral, religious or arbitrary obligation to wish well for the family you likely discovered ten minutes ago he had, fine, but please do not act as if his death suddenly makes his work admirable. Shirley Sherrod has a family too.

I don't wish for anyone to die or suffer. And I don't wish for families of the dead to be hurt of mocked for their association with a villain. But I refuse to be a hypocrite. The world is better without Brietbart in it, and I have the right to say that if an opposing voice suggests the opposite because they merely thing that's the "appropriate" thing to do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:11 AM on March 1, 2012 [122 favorites]


His actions in the world caused real harm to real people. There's nothing anybody could say in the thread that would make them a worse person than him.

Totally agree with empath here. Screw this "who can take higher ground contest" - venting out some nasty shit on the internet about someone who actively tried to make American's lives worse is NOTHING compared to what he did in his career.

Fuck this guy.
posted by windbox at 7:12 AM on March 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


.
posted by Infinity_8 at 7:12 AM on March 1, 2012


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device.

Well, from the "conservative" perspective: Respect is earned.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:12 AM on March 1, 2012 [26 favorites]


No sadness. No loss. No dot.
posted by tommasz at 7:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Saying his family are better off now that he's dead is a shitty thing to say.

Maybe so. But, when you make your name saying shitty things about people, including shortly after their deaths, you deserve to have shitty things said about you, including shortly after your own death. So, bring on the shitty things about Breitbart, I say.

However, in the interests of decorum and giving Breitbart the fairness and consideration he never gave anyone else, I suggest that we limit the shitty things said about Breitbart so that nothing said about him is any shittier than shitty things he said about other people. Or, in other words, the sky isn't the limit. But it's practically the limit.
posted by slkinsey at 7:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is very sad for his family.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:14 AM on March 1, 2012


*
posted by dgeiser13 at 7:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think it speaks volumes that this story broke on his website, but it wasn't until there was confirmation from "liberal media" like the LA Times and Talking Points Memo did people really believe it.

Anyone remember when he flipped out drunkenly screamed at/gave the finger to people protesting children being conscripted into fighting in the Congo, and then had to pen an apology in the Washington Times titled "I, Jerk"?
posted by Challahtronix at 7:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's hard on a kid to have a parent die. It's hard on a kid to have a parent be an asshole. It's hard to be a kid. Dots for all the kids.
posted by Scram at 7:15 AM on March 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

Breitbart was a vicious, arrogant man who actively destroyed institutions whose politics he disagreed with. How many people in this thread do you think have done as much damage as he did by supporting James O'Keefe's campaign against ACORN?

Being compassionate doesn't fucking mean you can't ever feel furious at the people actively doing evil in the world, or that you can't feel a moment's spite at their passing. There's a difference between calculated malevolence and a brief cathartic outburst when one of the malevolents has unexpectedly left.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:15 AM on March 1, 2012 [40 favorites]


Why do people keep saying "I didn't agree with him"? It's not about "agree". He was a massive asshole, a cartoonishly evil creation (if he were a character in a book, I'd sigh at how cliched he was). He made a living out of hatred.

I describe myself as a libertarian progressive, and as such, was sympathetic to (some of) Breitbart's stated positions. But his tactics? His overwhelming hatred of anyone slightly different than him? His willingness to wantonly debase the US political discourse in search of a few pageviews? Good riddance.
posted by downing street memo at 7:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart, Right's Hero and Unexpected Gay Ally, Has Died at 43
Breitbart, who had joined the advisory board of GOProud in January 2011 and hosted a party for the organization [sic]

When the presence of GOProud at CPAC in 2011 was questioned by some on the right, it was Breitbart who told Metro Weekly, "If being conservative means rejecting gay conservatives because they are gay, then fine, I’m not a conservative."

Although he left the advisory board recently over questions about whether the leaders of the organization, Christopher Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, had outed an official working with the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), he said at the time that he held no ill will toward GOProud and hoped that they could move beyond the incident to advance the role of gay conservatives in the conservative movement.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


The hell?
Probably.
posted by Webbster at 7:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:19 AM on March 1, 2012


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device.

"Liberal compassion" has to do with having sympathy for people, and classes of people, who are in a disadvantaged position -- often having been put in that position by our society and socioeconomic system -- because you care about people and believe that we, as a society, should care for those who are in a disadvantaged position and help them.

It doesn't have anything to do with not saying bad things about a guy who was almost universally acclaimed as one of the great assholes of 21st century American politics to-date just because he happened to die.
posted by slkinsey at 7:19 AM on March 1, 2012 [48 favorites]


I have only two contexts in which to judge the person of Andrew Breitbart:

First, the unrepentant bullhorn for James O'Keefe, the anonymous Shirley Sherrod hit, and other pieces of disingenuous Republican propaganda too flimsy for outlets with more exacting standards.

Second, his guest-hosting stints for apoplectic Conservative radio host Michael Savage, which I must sometimes overhear because my landlord listens to it most every night. In that capacity he was generally even more annoying than Savage himself, since he spent the first five minutes of each such broadcast fellating the man... a tendency even my landlord was impatient with.

Those who knew him in other contexts may mourn his death, but I will not; in my observation, humanity is increased by his passing.
posted by The Confessor at 7:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's nothing anybody could say in the thread that would make them a worse person than him.

"Not being worse" is not exactly the gold standard. The dude is dead, leave him alone and focus on the many still-alive people who are causing similar damage.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've never read him.

Condolences to his wife and kids. Much too young.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The dude is dead, leave him alone and focus on the many still-alive people who are causing similar damage.

He didn't give a shit what people said about him when he was alive. I doubt he's developed a more sensitive disposition after his passing.
posted by empath at 7:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Being compassionate actually means, among other things, that you hold people responsible for hurting others. Being unwilling or unable to recognize cruelty and injustice is not what compassion means.

He was an evil man; he was an angry, dishonest, manipulative, self-identified enemy of the poor and disadvantaged. He used his time in this life to hurt, punish, and do wrong by others for what we can only assume were a coalition of personal emotional problems and perverse ideological commitments. We're better off for having lost him.

And for his children, who did nothing wrong but have lost their father too young:

.
posted by clockzero at 7:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [31 favorites]


Is 43 the equivalent of 27 for journalists? Because I can't help but compare this to Anthony Shadid's death. The first comment on that Big Journalism post says that "we have lost a patriot and a courageous journalist" and I thought, "You keep using that word. [THOSE words.] I do not think it means what you think it means."

I'm sitting here at my desk, crapping out random characters from behind an anonymous keyboard. Journalism and commentary takes all kinds, and the comparison really shouldn't come up. But today it does, at least in my mind, and I can't help but think that more people should reexamine their idea of what it means to be "courageous." Do you want to use your words to shit on people's life and work, or do you want to encourage the good fight and help people be free?

Maybe Breitbart thought he was doing the latter, but I doubt it.
posted by Madamina at 7:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

If this has led to people such as yourself taking delight at validating their preconceived notions of liberal biases, then Brietbart truly did die doing what he loved.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [22 favorites]


All of you rejoicing in someone's (anyone's) passing are horrible, horrible people.

There is a meaningful difference between "rejoicing in someone's passing" on the one hand and declining to give them a pass on being an asshole just because they died on the other hand. I don't see a lot of people singing "Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead" about Breitbart's death in this thread. But I do see any number of people reflecting on his death by remembering what an asshole he was. That doesn't make them horrible people in my book.
posted by slkinsey at 7:23 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


then Brietbart truly did die doing what he loved.

Death, the ultimate troll.
posted by drezdn at 7:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


"If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all"?

On this one, I ain't saying nuthin'.
posted by ericb at 7:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"If there is any person in the town, who feels emotion caused by this man's death," said Scrooge quite agonised, "show that person to me, Spirit, I beseech you."

The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment, like a wing; and withdrawing it, revealed a room by daylight, where a mother and her children were.

She was expecting some one, and with anxious eagerness; for she walked up and down the room; started at every sound; looked out from the window; glanced at the clock; tried, but in vain, to work with her needle; and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play.

At length the long-expected knock was heard. She hurried to the door, and met her husband; a man whose face was careworn and depressed, though he was young. There was a remarkable expression in it now; a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed, and which he struggled to repress.

He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire; and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence), he appeared embarrassed how to answer.

"Is it good." she said, "or bad?" -- to help him.

"Bad," he answered.

"We are quite ruined."

"No. There is hope yet, Caroline."

"If he relents," she said, amazed, "there is. Nothing is past hope, if such a miracle has happened."

"He is past relenting," said her husband. "He is dead."

She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth; but she was thankful in her soul to hear it, and she said so, with clasped hands. She prayed forgiveness the next moment, and was sorry; but the first was the emotion of her heart.

"What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night, said to me, when I tried to see him and obtain a week's delay; and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me; turns out to have been quite true. He was not only very ill, but dying, then."

"To whom will our debt be transferred?"

"I don't know. But before that time we shall be ready with the money; and even though we were not, it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. We may sleep to-night with light hearts, Caroline."

Yes. Soften it as they would, their hearts were lighter. The children's faces hushed, and clustered round to hear what they so little understood, were brighter; and it was a happier house for this man's death. The only emotion that the Ghost could show him, caused by the event, was one of pleasure.


-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [34 favorites]


De mortuis nihil nisi bonum
posted by Argyle at 7:28 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

Oh yes, all liberal compassion is a lie because a few internet commenters didn't live up to some fake high standard you've suddenly invented for eulogizing a notorious right-wing political operative. Double-plus good contribution.
posted by aught at 7:28 AM on March 1, 2012 [56 favorites]


This is like a very, very wordy WBC demonstration. Stay classy, Metafilter.
posted by Infinity_8 at 7:28 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Death is not a parole from criticism.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 7:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [36 favorites]


I'm always curious about people like Breitbart. Did he actually believe he was doing what was best for his country?

I often wonder if people (of whatever ideological stripe) who get that far into the political machineries' house of mirrors really know what they themselves believe anymore.
posted by aught at 7:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's some kinda prank by anonymous (who promised to "do something" to him soon)

Much as I loathe(d) the man with every fiber in my being I would almost prefer if that was the case and he'd been dropped off in some small town in Mexico with no money and no ID, no smartphone or laptop, and trying to explain that "I'M BREITBART DAMMIT!! I'M NOT DEAD!! SOMEONE LISTEN TO MEEEE!!!!"

[He screams at the sky]


But, this is so weird, and is very suspicious. I so enjoyed lambasting and ridiculing the bastard.

.
posted by Skygazer at 7:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ding, dong, a sociopath is dead.

Out of all the thousands and thousands of deaths last night, his was one.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is like a very, very wordy WBC demonstration. Stay classy, Metafilter.

Yes, pointing out that a dead asshole was an asshole is just the same as holding up "GOD HATES FAGS" signs at KIA soldiers' funerals.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:31 AM on March 1, 2012 [27 favorites]


I knew him irl, and while I didn't always agree with him, I enjoyed his company. His wife and kids are in my thoughts.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Why the bad press about Obama?
posted by Meatafoecure at 7:33 AM on March 1, 2012


"Why do you grant a BULLY special status upon his death?" - Andrew Breitbart
posted by windbox at 7:34 AM on March 1, 2012 [57 favorites]


As someone whose father also died in his 40's, I feel for his children,wife and family, who will undoubtedly miss him terribly. No one should die so young. What a terrible thing.

.
posted by zarq at 7:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I knew him irl, and while I didn't always agree with him, I enjoyed his company. His wife and kids are in my thoughts.

Now he's dead, I shall ask. Do you think the opinions presented through the Big* sites were actually reflective of his own?

I always got the feeling a lot of it was designed to whip up fear rather than genuinely held opinions...chopping up the video that much is either the act of a ends-justifies-the-means True Believer or a propagandist.
posted by jaduncan at 7:36 AM on March 1, 2012


Sometimes I think we need a visual scale of humanity or moral fibre, from Hitler to David Attenborough, say. We could then devote 50% of each new obit thread arguing over relative placement of the newest bastardsaint who has dropped off their perch and into our headlights.
posted by peacay at 7:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Unnaturally praising human life and valuing everything seems more broken to me.

Man I'm not praising anyone. I'm just horrified at the glee some of you show at the death of someone you never met, and know little about other than some political dirty trick juvenile bullshit he did.

Would you say the same things at his funeral? To his brother? To his mom? Maybe you would, and that's why I said you are horrible. And if you wouldn't bray your DING DONG WOOT DEAD RIGHT WINGER nonsense at the funeral, then maybe you can keep it to yourself here as well.
posted by chronkite at 7:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


In his honour I have used judicious editing of his obituary to present a Breitbartian take on his own life.

He was a bit of a key figure in the politics of his country.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Windbox: "Why do you grant a BULLY special status upon his death?" - Andrew Breitbart

People like Brietbart, whose hateful and viscious words can be easily found and repeated after their own death, are their very own uncivilized and loathsome and damning inappropriate death thread.

Inappropriate Death Thread is going to be the name of my next death metal band.
posted by Skygazer at 7:41 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


And if you wouldn't bray your DING DONG WOOT DEAD RIGHT WINGER nonsense at the funeral, then maybe you can keep it to yourself here as well.

I keep forgetting that this is Breitbart's family's official funeral gathering and not a public Internet messageboard where everyone is welcome to post their own opinions.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:41 AM on March 1, 2012 [53 favorites]


I feel sorry for his family, but it is good for politics in the US that this man will no longer be out there pushing his hateful, spite-driven bullshit.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:43 AM on March 1, 2012


Man I'm not praising anyone. I'm just horrified at the glee some of you show at the death of someone you never met, and know little about other than some political dirty trick juvenile bullshit he did.

Osama bin Ladin died again?

Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

This is why it's usually easier to be on the side of hate. You can talk shit about everyone, and when you act compassionate it comes as a surprise. I lost count of the people who i know who are far right, where before hurricane Katrina hit were mocking the poor for being too poor to get out of there. Afterwards when it showed how bad it really was pretended to never have said those things.

While i share a first name with him, fuck Breitbart. He was right up there with the worst people around, and the world is better without him.
posted by usagizero at 7:44 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe so. But, when you make your name saying shitty things about people, including shortly after their deaths, you deserve to have shitty things said about you, including shortly after your own death. So, bring on the shitty things about Breitbart, I say.

However, in the interests of decorum and giving Breitbart the fairness and consideration he never gave anyone else, I suggest that we limit the shitty things said about Breitbart so that nothing said about him is any shittier than shitty things he said about other people. Or, in other words, the sky isn't the limit. But it's practically the limit.


OK, one more time, and I am out of here. Breibart was a man with an unpleasant political agenda and an even more unpleasant way of pursuing it. That is going to be his legacy, and that is an excellent subject to reflect on at his death, whether soberly, vindictively, joyfully, regretfully, or any other emotion. Go to town.

What bugs me about this thread is when people are assuming that he was some sort of monster at home and that his family must be glad he's dead. We don't know that, we can't know that (unless a close friend or family member crops up here), and it's not really relevant to whether his public persona was abhorrent or not, so why take that approach? If you are going to oppose Breibart by adopting his tactics and attitudes, that is pretty much a win for him.

That isn't "liberal respect" or any other damn thing except respect for yourself.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Would you say the same things at his funeral? To his brother? To his mom? Maybe you would, and that's why I said you are horrible.

I wonder... do you think Breitbart would have said these things at Ted Kennedy's funeral or to his relatives? Or do you suppose that his vitriolic public comments about Ted Kennedy after Kennedy's death effectively did that? Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, comments on a MetaFilter thread are hardly likely to be picked up my the news media and repeated back to Breitbart's wife and mother. Kennedy's family wasn't so lucky.
posted by slkinsey at 7:46 AM on March 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm just horrified at the glee some of you show at the death of someone you never met, and know little about other than some political dirty trick juvenile bullshit he did.

It's not like he did political dirty trick bullshit one night and the media decided to keep talking about it for months and months. The bullshit was his life's work!
posted by furiousthought at 7:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Reverend John at 7:47 AM on March 1, 2012



So, do you suppose that I'm going to see a bunch of FB posts that say "Yeah, a reporter died, but today DOZENS of troops will die protecting your freedom."

Probably not. This was a white dude.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


One thing I'll say about threads like this, is that they motivate me to try to live a life significant enough to warrant mention on Metafilter, and humane enough to warrant nothing but a long-ass column of periods.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 7:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [45 favorites]


Yeah, no sympathy here. He poisoned the political discourse of this country for the benefit of his personal agenda. If he knew his days were numbered he would have no doubt apologized and sought forgiveness for his actions - just like his 1980's counterpart Lee Atwater did.

I wish there were a Hell for the both of them.
posted by krtzmrk at 7:48 AM on March 1, 2012


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "So, do you suppose that I'm going to see a bunch of FB posts that say "Yeah, a reporter died, but today DOZENS of troops will die protecting your freedom."

Probably not. This was a white dude.
"

No, they only say that about Davy Jones.
posted by mkb at 7:50 AM on March 1, 2012


Wonkette actually managed a semi-classy obit, without glossing over the vileness of his written and spoken works.

I will say that I'm sorry he didn't live long enough to regret what he has done and try to atone for it.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:50 AM on March 1, 2012


As publisher of the Drudge Retort, I've followed Breitbart's career going back to the days when he was doing half the work on the Drudge Report and getting none of the credit. (Matt Drudge liked the mystique of the just-one-editor myth.) Breitbart had befriended Drudge and run a legal defense fund for him for a suit filed by Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.

I hated what Breitbart was doing to politics and journalism, but my condolences go out to his wife (the daughter of the actor Orson Bean), his four kids and to the many friends he had in politics, journalism and blogging.

When Breitbart was still working at the Drudge Report, I caught the site fabricating a source on a story. The story quoted Breitbart, calling him the professor emeritus of the Cashmere Institute of Media Studies. That institute was fake. Cashmere was a reference to the street he lived on at the time.

Later, when he helped launch Huffington Post, I sent the site an email congratulating him on the launch and asking if he brought Drudge's siren with him.

Breitbart replied back: "no, i left it at the cashmere institute for media studies."

I could never figure out why he was so angry all the time, which I blogged about in 2009.

He operated in a "constant state of anger" that was bigger than politics. He was still bearing a grudge, as a middle-aged man, against a high school principal he believed was turning other kids against him.
posted by rcade at 7:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [48 favorites]


Ideefixe: "I knew him irl, and while I didn't always agree with him, I enjoyed his company. His wife and kids are in my thoughts."

I always got the impression from some of his earlier appearances on Bill Maher's show that he might actually have started out as a decent person before he became a quasi-celebrity, at which point his continued presence in the spotlight demanded that he push the envelope, often crossing the line into character assassination and relentless incitement of a lynch mob mentality.

He clearly had a talent for Web 2.0-ifying Drudge Report style "journalism" and taking it to the next level, and there's certainly a market for that in today's media landscape. His significant role in launching the Huffington Post is often overlooked, and I'm sure Arianna will pause to mourn his passing before she takes her Scrooge McDuck money bath today.

Brietbart didn't have the charisma of a typical media pundit or the quick wit and debate prowess of a guy like Hitchens, so he made his living by turning the noise machine up to eleven. If the noise machine today is saying mean things about him, well, karma's a bitch.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hold no satisfaction that the man has died -- those that loved him and that he loved have lost someone.

That said he actively led to the dismantling of an organization "that advocated for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues*" all because many of the the people they served voted for the wrong team in his eyes.

His family deserves respect and sympathy for their loss -- this thread, however, is about him, and America and its political discourse are better off without him.
posted by ndfine at 7:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


That isn't "liberal respect" or any other damn thing except respect for yourself.

It's great how you're doing that there . . . taking whatever it is that you think certain people aren't doing sufficiently in response to the news of Breitbart's death, and then turning it into a slam against left/liberal politics by calling it "liberal [whatever]" inside of scare quotes. That sure isn't very "conservative traditional values."
posted by slkinsey at 7:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo
posted by zombieflanders at 7:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do feel bad for his family. This just goes to show that having all that hate will kill you. Granted, that doesn't explain all the hateful assholes that live long lives. But, it feels appropriate to say right now.
posted by kellyblah at 7:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


He operated in a "constant state of anger" that was bigger than politics. He was still bearing a grudge, as a middle-aged man, against a high school principal he believed was turning other kids against him.

Carrying around that kind of rage has got to be rough on the system. Being too immersed in politics I used to be able to feel my blood pressure rising reading comments online in my 20s and decided to dial back how much time I would spend reading the news. You get a bit of a high off it sometimes but I guess in the end it's poisonous.
posted by Hoopo at 7:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's the entire context of the quote Windbox posted. Sorry, but I can't shed a tear that such an evil person is gone from this world.
posted by photoslob at 7:56 AM on March 1, 2012


Partisanship aside, the young death of a human being is a tragedy. I disagreed vigorously with almost everything Breitbard said and did, but the problem with our country's discourse lies in its structure and the apetites of the nation's populace, us included. Breitbart's contribution was poisonous, but a healthy culture wouldn't have embraced it.

Every human deserves time to grow, learn, change, and mature. When a life ends early it means that there are no more chances, and that's a tragedy.
posted by verb at 7:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Natural causes, huh? My money's on 'boiled his own head in a microwave until it exploded.'
posted by kaibutsu at 7:57 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by brand-gnu at 7:57 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


zombieflanders: "Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo"
I noticed on my Facebook feed this morning this comment from my friend Hilary Rosen: “‎#AndrewBreitbart RIP you big crazy rabble-rousing bundle of contradictions, loathsome actions and a giant heart. You have made your mark.” I don’t think I can say anything more fitting.

He left his mark.

Beneath all the layers of our public life, we’re sons, daughters; parents to sons and daughters: naked people at our most vulnerable, true moments. This is way, way too young to die, something I know palpably since Breitbart was only a week or so older than I am.

Others knew him better, can memorialize him better. But for myself I wish the very best to his wife and children in this moment of unbearable grief and send my condolences to all his friends, of whom there were many.
That was nicely put.
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am not going to be hypocritical by pretending I am anything but delighted at this news. In other words, I refuse the behaaave myself!
posted by Decani at 8:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always got the impression from some of his earlier appearances on Bill Maher's show that he might actually have started out as a decent person before he became a quasi-celebrity ...

I often wondered that about him and other media provocateurs who achieved fame and money by whipping people up, like Ann Coulter. It always seems like an act.

But back in 2008, Spencer Morgan of the New York Observer followed the not-that-famous Breitbart around for several days at conservative gatherings and simply quoted him at length. The end result? He sounded manic and completely out of his mind.
posted by rcade at 8:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Err... I mean I refuse TO behave myself.
posted by Decani at 8:00 AM on March 1, 2012


We must not insult Breitbart, lest we harm his petite fleur of a wife, a millionaire many times over thanks to her husband's attacks on America's least priveleged.
posted by weinbot at 8:01 AM on March 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


This is another coffin nail in the GOP bid to capture the White House.
posted by Renoroc at 8:03 AM on March 1, 2012


My money is on auto-Erotic asphyxiation

My money is on Cognitive Dissonance.

Should I scroll up and read the thread, or just wait for the post-mortem on Metatalk?
posted by Mcable at 8:04 AM on March 1, 2012


We must not insult Breitbart, lest we harm his petite fleur of a wife, a millionaire many times over thanks to her husband's attacks on America's least priveleged.

We really have no idea of his personal means. And to bring his family into it seems a bit, well, harsh.

No love for the man here, and I'm not clutching my pearls at anyone who's pleased that he's no longer around to spew his hatred. But leave his family out of it.
posted by downing street memo at 8:06 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


His mission in life was to cause measurable harm to me and people I know.

You could arguably say "His mission in life caused measurable harm to me and people I know." But it seems

Well, from the "conservative" perspective: Respect is earned.

Huh? There's no monolithic "conservative" perspective, but from the point of view of many or even most common conservative positions, respect is not earned. The traditional European conservativism that exalts hierarchy and social class... nope the aristocracy didn't "earn" their respect. The American populist individualism/religious conservatism... nope respect not earned, it's based on innalienable rights/human dignity and all that jazz. Who the hell are those folks in Washington to tell me what to do. I'm just as good as they are even if I've never left my hometown and didn't go to a fancy school, etc. etc.
posted by Jahaza at 8:06 AM on March 1, 2012


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device.

Liberals tend to be compassionate toward people they perceive as victims, not bullies, liars, and frauds. It's a hell of a bummer for his kids, but that man did horrific harm with deliberate lies, so expecting much in the way of sympathy is foolish.
posted by Malor at 8:06 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


"With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable." -- Prince Feisal, Lawrence of Arabia, '62.

Or, as rocket88 so wisely says, "If there is a choice between being nice and being right, always be nice."

Words to live by.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:07 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I try to be a good person but maybe this song might've popped into my head.
posted by unsupervised at 8:07 AM on March 1, 2012


There's no shortage of conservatives that Bill Maher can reveal to be fools, but Andrew Breitbart was at least rather pleasant during his appearances on Real Time.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:08 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck this tone bullshit. Do you know what ACORN did? It worked thanklessly to help incredible numbers of the downtrodden. I will not be crying for Breitbart's fucking kids--fuck them--because their lives will go on fine without their evil, evil father who very likely destroyed the lives of thousands of families by trampling ACORN just for some fucking chuckles.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


downing street memo

Children are innocent. Spouses are not.
posted by weinbot at 8:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


posted too soon...

His mission in life was to cause measurable harm to me and people I know.

You could arguably say "His mission in life caused measurable harm to me and people I know." But it seems difficult or impossible to say that his mission was to cause measurable harm to people. He seems to have wanted to move America towards his view of right government (often by duplicitious means). That may have caused harm to individuals or even overall, but for it to be true that his "mission in life was to cause measurable harm to me and people I know." He'd have had to intend that harm and for it not to have been a side-efffect of the change in wanted to see in America. It's possible he was a pure sadist, but you know... you'd actually have to offer some evidence (which you're very unluckly to have...)
posted by Jahaza at 8:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or, as rocket88 so wisely says, "If there is a choice between being nice and being right, always be nice."

Words to live by.


Or, for American liberals, words to lose elections by.
posted by weinbot at 8:10 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck this tone bullshit.

If you guys need to go to MetaTalk to rehash the same old discussion about how we handle obituary threads, please do so. The "how assholish are we allowed to be in the obit thread of an asshole" is well-trod ground and needs to go to MetaTalk, not here.
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Either his family will be better off without him, or their loss is a growth opportunity, or the benefit to the worlds as a whole offsets their personal misfortune.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:10 AM on March 1, 2012


From the CNN article:
Breitbart was the first to post Weiner's infamous Twitter photos last year, in which the married congressman appeared barechested and in his underpants in pictures sent to a woman online.
To be accurate Weiner was the first to post the picture.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


My sympathy to Darth Vader's family.
posted by frenetic at 8:14 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Why am I not surprised that the Breitbartians here have turned his obit thread into another opportunity for liberal-bashing?
posted by Aquaman at 8:15 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good riddance to bad rubbish. Sorry for his family, but he was an enemy of democracy and a brutal bully.
posted by spitbull at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can't say I'll miss him. He was younger than I am, and yet did so much more harm. Once again, I'm glad I lack that level of ambition and ego.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on March 1, 2012


I will not be crying for Breitbart's fucking kids--fuck them--because their lives will go on fine without their evil, evil father who very likely destroyed the lives of thousands of families by trampling ACORN just for some fucking chuckles.
posted by TypographicalError at 11:09 AM on March 1 [+] [!]


There's some real tough talkin' in this thread! Yeah, fuck his kids! You think you know rage and hate, Breitbart? We'll show you how to do rage and hate up right!
posted by pardonyou? at 8:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


He'd have had to intend that harm and for it not to have been a side-efffect of the change in wanted to see in America.

You don't think Breitbart hated you (if you're a liberal), as in actual, visceral hatred?

I think his Kennedy comments were emblematic of "the change he wanted to see in America." He didn't merely want to defeat liberalism politically - he wanted to piss on its grave. And turnabout is more than fair play.
posted by kgasmart at 8:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not dead, only metastasized.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't think Breitbart hated you (if you're a liberal), as in actual, visceral hatred?

A lot of liberals who interacted with him in person would answer "no" to that question.
posted by rcade at 8:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


The enemy of the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll never forget when he hijacked Weiner's press conference. He stood up there to further degrade and humiliate and bully a man who was already on a certain path to have his career, reputation, and family life destroyed by a mispressed button. He preened and bragged and soaked in the fame and fortune one can gain from personal destruction of others. One of the ugliest things I have ever seen. It was no shock when Weiner came to the microphone in tears.

That's why I'm not going to say what I want to say about this guy. It's over, let's move on.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


three blind mice: Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

Wow, really? There's been an amazing lack overall of grave dancing considering what an awful man this was, the one who birthed the still-okay-to-hate James O'Keefe onto the world, the dumb man's Alan Funt. You are beating a drum, and obviously. Proof: up to the point where you posted in the thread to decry our liberal compassion, there was a grand total of one Kurt Vonnegut Asterisk, and there's only two now. So it goes.

Since we're damned if we do and damned if we don't, I guess we might as well do. What a terrible person. We're generally better off now that he is gone -- that is a terrible thing to say about anyone, but it's terrible most of all when it's true. It is a shame for his family tho.
posted by JHarris at 8:22 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:23 AM on March 1, 2012


43 is not a full measure of life, but it is a significant measure. Everyone has someone who loves them, everyone is someone's son or daughter, husband or wife, sister or brother. That sentimentality does not make them immune to criticisms or to be held up and examined for the person that they where. If you wish to be remembered fondly, don't make a career of slandering and destroying people's lives.
His family may deserve compassion for the loss they suffered, but they will likely never have their lives shattered by the actions of one or two men. They trough his reprehensible actions will likely live lives of comfort and ease, whereas many more people he railed against and actively promoted hatred towards have had their lives darkened and made at least a little worse.
Compassion is not a thing given without thought. Compassion is not a partisan thing. To cry crocodile tears over the passion over the death of someone because we fail to show deference to a cold body that when warm caused real harm... well he is dead and in my "belief system" there is no eternal suffering, nor eternal bliss there is only ashes and dirt. Breitbart is dead, it neither excuses nor ameliorates the harm done by him. for the record I would not go to the funeral and say hateful things to his family, I would not go to his funeral at all. I will have zero interaction with his family and will otherwise express my disdain for this human who wasted his life in pursuit of making other living people miserable.
posted by edgeways at 8:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I was talking on Twitter about Andrew Breitbart's personality and was sent this fascinating link:

"Within the week, I will be taking medications unknown to me as of this writing. I am nervous, a bit hesitant, yet excited that my brain may begin to focus and/or slow down a bit, and that my egocentrism may wane. ... I feel my condition is well worse than those I read about. I do not take much joy from this distinction, but true concentation is simply not an option, ever. "

-- Andrew Breitbart in a 1995 Usenet post to alt.support.attention-deficit
posted by rcade at 8:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [19 favorites]


Frankly, I'm sorry that he has passed. I don't wish death on anyone.

I don't know they guy, I do know some of the things he's done and I disagreed with him.

But he was the poster boy for everything wrong about conservatism today. Those things he did that we hated? They helped liberalism, because they showed what was at the roots of all of that stuff. Currently, conservatism is being refreshingly honest about what it stands for. Because of that it will be destroyed.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Children are innocent. Spouses are not.

Sorry, but no. His wife didn't race bait Shirley Sherrod, or fund James O'Keefe, or do any of the other things that, quite honestly, we'll have forgotten about in a few years. His wife was his wife, and it's possible to love someone for quite complicated reasons.

Again. Fine to be pleased that this guy won't be around to infect the discourse anymore, but leave his wife and kids out of it.
posted by downing street memo at 8:26 AM on March 1, 2012


Here's one thought:

"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."

Shirley Sherrod.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:27 AM on March 1, 2012 [42 favorites]


A lot of liberals who interacted with him in person would answer "no" to that question.

Ah, so he only hated you in theory. He only hated Ted Kennedy in theory - the "duplicitous bastard" and "prick" bit in the wake of Kennedy's death were mere rhetorical devices.

And Shirley Sherrod, I'm sure he might have liked her in person, but you know, the cause must be served...

Breitbart embodied the politics of resentment. That resentment, for a lot of people, is intensely personal.
posted by kgasmart at 8:27 AM on March 1, 2012


XQUZYPHYR: Re: Media Matters RIP for AB: I refuse to be a hypocrite. The world is better without Brietbart in it, and I have the right to say that if an opposing voice suggests the opposite because they merely thing that's the "appropriate" thing to do.

You're missing the point a bit here. While it's "appropriate" as you say, to respect the dead, it's deeper than that. We try to be respectful of the dead for the family, but even more importantly to be respectful to ourselves, and the people we are trying to be and the principals we try and live by, and I give Media Matters huge props for having the presence of mind and unflinching character to still be capable of retaining their humanity and their ideals of free speech and civility, even in the face of the death of a total asshole like Breitbart. Bravo Media Matters.
posted by Skygazer at 8:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


What a waste of a life. Seemed like a smart guy, and nice in person. He could've done great things with his time on earth. But he didn't. He fucked up -- caused a bunch of harm either out of sociopathy or greed. That's the loss, here.
posted by chasing at 8:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not glee, but relief. Relief.
posted by introp at 8:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or, as rocket88 so wisely says, "If there is a choice between being nice and being right, always be nice."

In theory. It's a tough choice when you suspect being nice has given others the opportunity to lie about people who believe what you do, and work to take away your rights, when you aren't looking.
posted by aught at 8:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good riddance to bad rubbish! Fuck him.
posted by schyler523 at 8:31 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


rcade, that 1995 Usenet posting by Breitbart is fascinating. I could see it revealed at the end of his biopic... as we unmask that aspect of his personality that drove him to action. Here's the closing paragraph:
Anyway, I'm interested in finding out a few things: are there other hardcore mediaholics out there? Any recovering mediaholics? Can't get to bed at a decent hour (won't turn off TV?)? Know of any pertinent reading material? Will I ever hold a real job, or ever want one for that matter? Why do some people think Chris Elliott is not funny? And of course, what happens when we die, really, no, really?
posted by BobbyVan at 8:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


In lieu of that silly . I am going to leave this:

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2009/08/26/57997/breitbart-kennedy-twitter/?mobile=nc
posted by thelonius at 8:34 AM on March 1, 2012


""What did you learn at Tulane?" asked C-SPAN's Peter Slen.
"I learned how to drink," began Breitbart, who was later asked by Slen to describe "your current relationship with alcohol."
"Why do you ask?" asked Breitbart.
"You write in your book that you had an alcohol problem at Tulane," said Slen."
posted by iviken at 8:37 AM on March 1, 2012


He cheerfully agreed to play politics-as-blood-sports. And, I'm sure, was handsomely rewarded for his efforts.

However, in a few short months, he will--for all intents and purposes--be forgotten by everyone whose cause he ever served--just another disposable tool in the perpetual ideological skirmishes which pass for civil discourse these days. I imagine in a years time, the only ones who will miss or remember him are his family.

So, this . is for them.

and this one is for him, who wasted his life: .
posted by Chrischris at 8:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


I give Media Matters huge props for having the presence of mind and unflinching character to still be capable of retaining their humanity and their ideals of free speech and civility, even in the face of the death of a total asshole like Breitbart.

Media Matters has been under some right-wing scrutiny lately and is likely doing this less because it's the right, respectful thing to do but because if they danced on Breitbart's grave, that would be most grist for the wingers' mill.
posted by kgasmart at 8:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Conspiracy theories already hatching.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:39 AM on March 1, 2012


Counting down until this article appears... "ADHD Medications Redux: Was Ritalin Responsible for Andrew Breitbart's Death?" 5...4...3...2...
posted by Wordwoman at 8:40 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


To those publically celebrating his death, his minions live on and are surely scouring these threads and liberal blog posts to continue on with his life's work and legacy of demonizing and destroying liberals. Pump your fists in private and have a beer on your lunch break, don't make thier jobs easier.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:40 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know what; after reading more of his own words, I'm sad he's dead because he really needed some form of public comeuppance where he was forced at length to [ ON CAMERA ] admit that in fact he was the "Bully" that he claimed to have been "fighting" for so long.

Now we'll never get to see a contrite Andrew Breitbart and that is kinda sad.
posted by NiteMayr at 8:40 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Didn't know that Orson Bean was Andrew Breitbart's father-in-law.
posted by jonp72 at 8:42 AM on March 1, 2012


Wow, Chrischris wins. I think I can feel sorry for Breitbart now.
posted by JHarris at 8:43 AM on March 1, 2012


Not really surprised after watching that crazy "stop raping people" video of him screaming on the street last month.

No, I watched that clip and I thought "I don't know what this guy is on, but he won't last long at that rate."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on March 1, 2012


.
posted by gyc at 8:45 AM on March 1, 2012


Again. Fine to be pleased that this guy won't be around to infect the discourse anymore, but leave his wife and kids out of it.

posted by downing street memo at 8:26 AM on March 1


Please do not accuse me of involving his children in this. They had no choice as to whom they were born, they are totally innocent, and they lost a father whom they must have loved.

His wife actively chose to love him, to marry him, and to stay with him. She is a grown woman with agency. If she chose to stay with a man who did all of these terrible things, she must have either agreed with them or turned a blind eye to them. Either one is despicable.

Osama bin Laden had wives. Should we offer them condolences?
posted by weinbot at 8:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now we'll never get to see a contrite Andrew Breitbart and that is kinda sad.

Would never have happened. If he were still alive he'd consider that possibility an insult, in the same way Oscar the Grouch would be offended if you suggested he take a bath.
posted by JHarris at 8:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Breitbart = Osama Bin Laden

Throw in Eva Braun and we can godwin the thread and go home and be done with it.
posted by falameufilho at 8:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


[T]he worship of the already successful and the disdain for the powerless is essentially the morality of a thug.

Sympathy and compassion to those grieving.

But as we live, so shall we be remembered. And Breitbart got rich, famous, and powerful comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:49 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Osama bin Laden had wives. Should we offer them condolences?

You know who else had a wife...?
posted by gauche at 8:49 AM on March 1, 2012


falameufilho:

Bad people have wives who know they are bad and accept it. That is bad, and I am saying it. Sorry to confuse you with analogies.
posted by weinbot at 8:50 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Someone else will take his place. Hate the game.
posted by mecran01 at 8:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh Christ, yeah, WTF? Osama Bin Laden?

Yeesh. Whoa. Dude ran a coupla websites, he wasn't a cold blooded killer and religious psycho.
posted by Skygazer at 8:51 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be so sure that Bin Laden's wives knew he was bad, and I'm pretty confident that they essentially had no choice but to accept it.
posted by Flunkie at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Osama bin Laden had wives. Should we offer them condolences?

Yes.
posted by verb at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart, Right's Hero and Unexpected Gay Ally, Has Died at 43

So the broken clock was right twice a day? Given Brietbart's repeated defense of arch-homophobe Rick Santorum and his support for Gateway Pundit's false smears against Obama's Department of Education staffer Kevin Jennings, on both his Big Government site and his own Twitter account, among the various lies, distortions, and libels he traded in, how much does this genuinely count for?

(By the way, that link repeatedly crashes my browsers, so there's some concern that something nasty is lurking in its coding.)

So, how long after the mermorial encomia will a real independent conservative break through the hypocrisy and ideological purity tests to assess how much Brietbart's Web 2.0 style of yellow journalism harmed both the political culture of the right and overall public discourse?

How about this for an epitaph, to quote Auden: "Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after/ And the poetry he invented was easy to understand/ He knew human folly like the back of his hand".
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2012


Sorry to confuse you with analogies.

You didn't confuse me, buddy. I hear you loud and clear.
posted by falameufilho at 8:53 AM on March 1, 2012


...in the same way Oscar the Grouch would be offended if you suggested he take a bath.

Can we not Grouchwin the thread like that, thanks.
posted by Skygazer at 8:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


You know who else had a wife...?

Only very briefly.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that an argument about to what extent Andrew Breitbart does or does not map analogically to Osama Bin Laden will not improve this thread.
posted by cortex at 8:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [23 favorites]


It makes me sad when I see a brilliant, caring man ripped away before he could finish spreading his message of love and joy around the world. It always feels so unfair.
posted by pjaust at 8:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


brilliant.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart has died.

He's survived by Limbaugh, Hannity...
posted by noaccident at 8:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that an argument about to what extent Andrew Breitbart does or does not map analogically to Osama Bin Laden will not improve this thread.

Most definitely. Only one of them had a beard.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:56 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


DOT - Only because my mama raised me to be kind.
posted by roboton666 at 8:57 AM on March 1, 2012


Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo

That's how you do a classy obit of a political opponent.

The best I can do is say I'm sorry for the pain his wife, children, relatives and friends must be feeling.
posted by Gelatin at 8:57 AM on March 1, 2012


Cortex, let's take one step back. Let's go out on a limb here and suggest that making analogies comparing Breitbart to Osama Bin Laden will not improve this thread.
posted by falameufilho at 8:58 AM on March 1, 2012


Andrew Breitbart had four children.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even the worst person can be loved by someone, even if it's only family or a spouse. That's a beautiful and intrinsic property of love itself! It's not indicative of what someone is like, really. Love is very powerful.

I'm gladdened, that even a wretch like Breitbart could be loved by some, and forgiven (perhaps, partially) by someone like Shirley Sherrod, whom he egregiously wronged. Those of us who feel nothing but disdain at the news of his death are not wrong, I don't think, but that doesn't have to be the end of the story. We can retain our moral clarity while appreciating the hope that love and forgiveness offer, especially in such a mad and partisan time as that we now live in. Shirley Sherrod should be an example to us: the way out of this poisonous political climate he helped to create is going to involve a lot more understanding, forgiveness, and kindness than most people have been willing to afford.

.
posted by clockzero at 9:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.
posted by Sailormom at 9:04 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


she must have either agreed with them or turned a blind eye to them. Either one is despicable.

Oh come off it. You don't know what his wife was telling him about his stunts. You don't know whether his wife did or didn't advise him against ruining Shirley Sherrod's career or any number of other things, or if she even paid much attention to his work. Anyways, not reading political muckraking trash is not "despicable" whether you know the person writing it or not.
posted by Hoopo at 9:05 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


My condolences to Breitbart's family and friends. 43 is way too young to die. Whatever I think of him, the fact is that there are 4 children who are just beginning the first day of life without their father, and my thoughts are with them.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:06 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


He was filthy rich because of the objectively horrible things that he has done, and now his kids and family will now inherit all those piles of cash a few years before they expected to; they'll be fine.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:08 AM on March 1 [12 favorites]


Speaking as someone who had their father die when I was a kid, I can say that inheriting a "pile of cash" wouldn't and doesn't do much to mitigate what goes on in a child's head when they lose their dad. To suggest otherwise is very sick, IMO. I'm amazed this comment has so many favorites.
posted by the other side at 9:08 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I join others in feeling that his passing will result in a net good for political discourse and for organizations that are trying to help the marginalized.

But I feel incredibly sad for his children.

They will grow up and one day read about the things their father did, learn about the people he hurt, and see some of the sharp reactions from the people he angered, and he won't be around for them to speak with. He won't be able to share any regrets he eventually felt or any wisdom he finally found. That's a huge loss for them. And it increases the odds that they will repeat the sins of their father.

So, for them: .
posted by lord_wolf at 9:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hoopo, you seem confused... Are you actually saying that his wife wasn't aware of his husband's stunts? I never said that she arranged them or was involved in them in any way. But she was aware of them, just as you are and as I am.

It would be an extreme stretch to claim that the person closest to him was not aware of the stunts and dirty tricks that everybody else in the country is aware of.
posted by weinbot at 9:09 AM on March 1, 2012


"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."

Shirley Sherrod


Brilliant. She shows Breitbart's followers exactly what class is.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:10 AM on March 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


JAWSOME
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Right, he died. Can't speak ill of the dead. Condolences to his friends and family. Blah-blah-blah.

Yeah, you know what? Fuck Andrew Breitbart.

He's a person that actively worked and made money trying to make my friends, family, women and minorities into second class citizens, make the rich richer at the expense of the poor, poison the air and water I breath and drink, and advocate for war and death.

Fuck him and anyone who supported him. He made this country and the world a worse place to try and live in.
posted by Relay at 9:16 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart has died.

He's survived by Limbaugh, Hannity...


That really does bring a little perspective. There are ALL SORTS of completely repellent dickheads I hate much much more than I hated Breitbart: Limbaugh, Hannity, Rove, Norquist, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Guiliani. Those are people with real power who're cold blooded and calculated as The Grand Inquisitor in meting out true suffering based on some grandiose hateful vision of mankind.

Someone like Scalia, I've come to the conclusion, probably has the emotional age of a boy scout, and the spiritual presence and empathic abilities of a toad.
posted by Skygazer at 9:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could never figure out why he was so angry all the time, which I blogged about in 2009.

He operated in a "constant state of anger" that was bigger than politics. He was still bearing a grudge, as a middle-aged man, against a high school principal he believed was turning other kids against him.


And he looked at least a decade and a half older than he was.

He had some kind of brain syndrome.
posted by jamjam at 9:19 AM on March 1, 2012


I think the take-away from this thread is the following:

If someone is a repellent piss-poor excuse for a human being. Fight him with all your might and all your mind, while he is still alive. And you are still alive.

It just looks bad and doesn't really have the proper impact after they're dead. And if you die first, well, you're pretty much fucked forever on getting in a coupla good shots...

Unless you right a book or are so massively wealthy you can hire someone to harass them for you, who will be in the afterlife...
posted by Skygazer at 9:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh come off it. You don't know what his wife was telling him about his stunts. You don't know whether his wife did or didn't advise him against ruining Shirley Sherrod's career or any number of other things, or if she even paid much attention to his work.

I learned from this thread that the guy had a drinking problem. It is not hard for me at all to imagine a wife thinking that her husband being Andrew Breitbart in public was an improvement over some of the other things she might have seen him being. For all you or I know, becoming the Andrew Breitbart we've seen might be a triumph of the human spirit.

The man's politics, and his public persona, were repellent. Just awful. But those are not the only things that get buried.
posted by gauche at 9:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


He had some kind of brain syndrome.

It's called wingnuttery, and the only means of treating it is if the patient is subjected to some sort of personal tragedy that involves them becoming poor or homeless or desperately ill and finally realizing that - hey, not everyone in this situation is a freeloader!
posted by kgasmart at 9:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry for his family and all but this I am surprised at his age. I would of thought that he was my contemporary by the looks of him, 50+. He had the look of a hard drinker like Hitch, but none of the intelligence and wit.
posted by readery at 9:27 AM on March 1, 2012


Breitbart's particular brand of fact-free scandal mongering undoubtedly has made political discourse in the USA worse, if only by a little. And he seemed very, very angry for someone who had so many apparent advantages in his life - i.e. wealth, family, friends, recognition/notoriety for his work.
It's hard to muster much sympathy for someone who spent so much time and energy spreading hate and lies, but his wife and kids weren't responsible for that. I hope he was a more positive person as a husband and father than he was as a political operative and propagandist.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:29 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the nastier memes to proliferate among the Breitbart-adoring bloggerati in recent years was the so-called "imprecatory prayer," an out-of-context Psalm that was basically used to wish a brutal death on Obama and people like him.

Leaving aside the vicious curses ("May no one extend kindness to him, or take pity on his fatherless children"), I find the reasoning for the vitriol to be quite an apt description of Breitbart and his legacy.
People who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.

With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause. [...]

He never thought of doing a kindness,
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted.

He loved to pronounce a curse—
may it come back on him.

He found no pleasure in blessing—
may it be far from him.

He wore cursing as his garment;
it entered into his body like water,
into his bones like oil.

May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
like a belt tied forever around him.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:30 AM on March 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


I hope his family is coping.

I'm not sad, however, that his poisonous dialogue is now permanently absent. There will always be another loud, ignorant, hypocritical prick with a following and there's no way in hell I'm going to give them the slightest impression that I'll ever feel sympathetic for them, this life or in the beyond.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:31 AM on March 1, 2012


It is not hard for me at all to imagine a wife thinking that her husband being Andrew Breitbart in public was an improvement over some of the other things she might have seen him being.

As I think we've established, he wasn't Osama Bin Laden. So, you know, he had that going for him.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh come off it. You don't know what his wife was telling him about his stunts

Well, it's a small thing, but in his own words:

Knowing that Susie considers a true escape a day when politics isn't on the menu, I kept my observations to myself. I even restrained my natural impulse to run down to the sand to go mano a mano with the rabble-rousers.

[But then, enraged beyond endurance by the sight of a man holding a fist in the air, he proudly flips the bird to a bunch of kids protesting human slavery and genocide.]

Satisfied by the small victory, I sat down to finish my cocktail. With my wife pretending not to be embarrassed, we went back to enjoying our midday excursion.


(That "apology" of his is astounding. The dissonance between his characterization of the protestors -- "Sneering at their fellow citizens is their chief skill. Projecting arrogance is their birthright." -- and his own sneering, arrogant behavior... His apparent belief that "the white middle-aged man wearing a white LaCoste shirt next to the old red, white and blue" flipping off a bunch of protestors is an image to be proud of, that would land him on "the front pages of the Los Angeles Times"... His narcissistic belief that his beachside temper tantrum was a "victory," and that the fist-raising guy must have been backing down in defeat rather than, you know, just dropping his arm... just incredible.)
posted by ook at 9:34 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like Obamacare failed him.
posted by srboisvert at 9:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the overall tenor here is: human loss of life is a tragedy in a basic sense, and his family are generally worse off (although maybe not so much considering he was a drinker). But if Obama had died instead of him, he'd have been first in line for the victory dance, as illustrated by his remarks in the wake of Ted Kennedy's death, and that's a fundamental difference our two sides.

We're trying to show some respect for the dead generally, although finding it difficult. He wouldn't have tried.
posted by JHarris at 9:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


But she was aware of them, just as you are and as I am.

I'm not confused at all. Lots of people don't watch the news and/or aren't particularly interested in the sort of political muckraking Breitbart engaged in. CNN is describing this as a "blogger". I don't actually even follow this guy. I heard of ACORN and Sherrod through Metafilter and was otherwise completely unaware of his work. The point is you don't know and you're crapping on a woman you know nothing about who has just lost her husband.

In terms of what she "must have known and supported" or whatever point you're trying to make, I would say I probably know better than you think. I am related through marriage to political figure who has been involved in some major, national news level scandals over the years, yet his family--spouse and adult children--didn't really know details of what he was up to at work until it hits the 11 o'clock news. They have never been particularly interested or knowledgeable about politics. And for better or worse, they usually gave him the benefit of the doubt, because they knew him as husband and father, something different from his work. They almost certainly know a different side of him than you do.

Go ahead and crap on Breitbart, I don't care. But leave his wife and kids out of this unless you have concrete knowledge of what you're talking about, because it's pretty disgusting to hurl insults at a grieving widow.
posted by Hoopo at 9:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


One of the nastier memes to proliferate among the Breitbart-adoring bloggerati

Breitbart did enough to sully his own brand personally. I'm not understanding why he should be responsible for memes that proliferated among bloggers who may have adored him.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:37 AM on March 1, 2012


It is eerie to read his tweets from just 10 hours ago. It gives me intense pause, vis a vis one's own time on this earth, and how we should not waste it. There's Breitbart trading slaps with someone and it's 2 AM and he's probably got 50 browser windows open (we've all been there, right?) and next thing you know...it's no longer just another late night having fun and OD-ing on on the Internet, news, radio, cable, tweets, chats, SLYT, comments, posts, political commentary ...etc...etc...

And suddenly:


GOODBYE WORLD? REALLY? NOW??! CAN'T I JUST CHECK MY EMAIL ONE MORE TIME?!!


(The answer was "no.")
posted by Skygazer at 9:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ah, so he only hated you in theory. He only hated Ted Kennedy in theory - the "duplicitous bastard" and "prick" bit in the wake of Kennedy's death were mere rhetorical devices.

I wasn't trying to make excuses for Breitbart behaving one way towards liberals in public and another to them in person. He demonized his opponents and was often exceptionally unfair in what his sites reported about them. What he did to Shirley Sherrod was reprehensible, and instead of apologizing and making good he doubled down and tried to make her role in the Pigford settlement a scandal.

It's just a fact that a lot of liberals and Democrats in the political-media-blogging world liked him more than you might think they would. Wonkette called him a "pleasant enough goofball" in person.
posted by rcade at 9:38 AM on March 1, 2012


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device.

Well, if the guy who's beating you with a stick suddenly dies, the first thoughts in your mind are probably something like "Thank God that's over!" Getting misty-eyed about the real loss your tormentor's family will be going through is probably second or third down on the list.

I'm frankly impressed with the remarkable restraint and consideration most commenters in this thread are exhibiting. Lots of sympathy being expressed here for his family, whom I wish strength and peace in a difficult time.

But still, the guy was an avowed asshole who made himself rich off of trying to hurt me and others, so, yeah, it's a relief to hear he won't be continuing his evil crusade.
posted by darkstar at 9:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not understanding why he should be responsible for memes that proliferated among bloggers who may have adored him.

I didn't say he was responsible for it (though he did do a lot to inflame the kind of hatred that led to it), just that it offered what I thought was an apt description of his life's work.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:43 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why does Metafilter have to be some kind of bastion for liberalism anyway? For the most part, MeFi is left of center vis-a-vis US politics, but that doesn't really translate into true "liberalism" anyway. It's ok to be relieved that a mischievous jerk who was more interested in scoring partisan hits than truly being an upstanding member of the fourth estate.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2012 [12 favorites]


Why does Metafilter have to be some kind of bastion for liberalism anyway? For the most part, MeFi is left of center vis-a-vis US politics, but that doesn't really translate into true "liberalism" anyway. It's ok to be relieved that a mischievous jerk who was more interested in scoring partisan hits than truly being an upstanding member of the fourth estate.

This.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:45 AM on March 1, 2012


I would trade in Brietbart's death in, for that of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in like a nano-second.

I mean, say what you will about the guy, but he was no Sheriff Joe Arpaio. There's a dude who really REALLY sux.
posted by Skygazer at 9:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


oops, meant to end with "It's ok to be relieved that a mischievous jerk who was more interested in scoring partisan hits than truly being an upstanding member of the fourth estate is no longer able to do damage."
posted by Burhanistan at 9:46 AM on March 1, 2012


While I don't know that I can say I'm happy he's dead, I can definitely say that I'm happy he's gone. His every action hurt America and he did the harm knowingly and with malice.

I don't usually drop periods in these threads, but here's one for you, Andrew:

.
posted by item at 9:46 AM on March 1, 2012


Lots of people don't watch the news and/or aren't particularly interested in the sort of political muckraking Breitbart engaged in. CNN is describing this as a "blogger".

CNN knows exactly who he is. They had him on regularly to provide political commentary even though one of his employees tried to lure a CNN reporter on to a sex boat.

In the end the problem with our media isn't that folks like Breitbart can exist, it's that they are taken seriously by people who know better.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:46 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


"In 2009, in light of various alleged scandals a number of Democrats who once advertised their connections to ACORN began to distance themselves, as Republicans began to use ACORN to portray Democrats as corrupt.[106] In light of the controversies, the United States House and Senate, by wide margins, attached amendments to pending spending legislation that would temporarily prohibit the federal government from funding ACORN, or any agency that had been involved in similar scandals — including money authorized by previous legislation. President Obama signed the bill into law on October 1."
posted by iconjack at 9:46 AM on March 1, 2012


I would trade in Brietbart's death in, for that of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in like a nano-second.

Wishing death upon one's political opponents is an impulse that ought to be restrained.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's just a fact that a lot of liberals and Democrats in the political-media-blogging world liked him more than you might think they would.

I always wonder about that Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog routine, whenever I think about it, and by "wonder" I usually mean "suspect we're all being taken for a ride".
posted by furiousthought at 9:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


BobbyVan, what was your opinion of Breitbart? I'd assumed it would be enthusiastic, but when you say he sullied his own brand it makes me wonder.
posted by jaduncan at 9:48 AM on March 1, 2012


CNN knows exactly who he is.

So?
posted by Hoopo at 9:48 AM on March 1, 2012


No dot here. He worked hard at cheapening the political converstion in this country. I feel for him about what I would for someone whose pastime was kicking over gravestones.
posted by ahimsakid at 9:52 AM on March 1, 2012


Since I haven't seen it yet, I'll pass along what someone said on my Facebook wall: "Maybe Davy Jones dragged him down to hell, like Gandalf dragged the Balrog..."
posted by lodurr at 9:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


In the words of the incomparable Melissa McEwan, "I am not glad he's dead. I would have preferred instead that he'd lived long enough to change his mind."
posted by hydropsyche at 9:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Thatcher still lives.
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on March 1, 2012


Come on people, show some respect. Someone loved him. Or at least he probably owed someone money.

Vitriol aside, I do feel sorry for his children. You cannot choose your parents and I do feel for anyone who grew up under a man who hated for a living. Loss of a parent, no matter how foul an individual is a hard thing.

I will not dance on his grave, I will not cheer in the streets. But I will think that his loss is much less a loss to humanity as a whole than most other people's deaths. The loss of any individual is a tragedy. But there are degrees of tragedy.
posted by Hactar at 9:56 AM on March 1, 2012


In the end the problem with our media isn't that folks like Breitbart can exist, it's that they are taken seriously by people who know better.

Amen.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, a whole lot of scorched-earth scum-of-the-earth good riddance shit going on. This sort of reaction is precisely what Andrew Breitbart would have relished. (That and the "Oh woe is me sackcloth and ashes conservative warrior and savior the world is coming to an end" reaction from his rightwing buddies, acolytes, and sycophants.) Bringing his family into it and making pronouncements about their character is even more ridiculous. In any case, his brand of political shenanigans and bullshit will go on unabated, with or without him.

Forget about "mustering sympathy." This thread has gone into the same kind of raving red-faced territory that Breitbart himself loved to stoke. In that sense, yay, mission accomplished.

octobersurprise: I'm not sad, however, that his poisonous dialogue is now permanently absent.

How is it that his sudden death somehow puts a permanent end to his poisonous dialogue? You don't think he may have had a backup plan in mind, paranoid that he must have been, for his bright shining legacy to continue unruffled in case he came to an end at the hands of some raving liberal lunatic? He has hundreds if not thousands of disciples, not to mention a Big Government (as in the name of his vile website) business partner, who will be seeing him as a martyr and modeling their websites, their political hackery, and their lives after him for years to come.

JHarris: We're trying to show some respect for the dead generally, although finding it difficult. He wouldn't have tried.

So because he wouldn't have tried, that makes us not doing it okay?

BobbyVan: Wishing death upon one's political opponents is an impulse that ought to be restrained.

Couldn't agree more.
posted by blucevalo at 10:02 AM on March 1, 2012


BobbyVan, what was your opinion of Breitbart? I'd assumed it would be enthusiastic, but when you say he sullied his own brand it makes me wonder.

I think he was a very smart guy with serious emotional problems that sent him off in a bad and destructive direction. His big idea was to take what he saw as the gonzo populist tactics of the left and appropriate them for conservative causes. He hoped that the mainstream media and the public at large would share his outrage at liberal hypocricy and malfeasance, and became even more outraged when they did not. Unfortunately, his lack of discipline led him into unwinnable battles and bad alliances (the ethically challenged James O'Keefe for instance). I followed him on Twitter and was always amazed at the petty scraps and pissing contests he'd get himself into.

Ultimately, I think he was a net-negative for conservatives, and for our broader discourse. He also seems to have been very troubled man, which is why I hold more pity than anger for him.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


There is absolutely no contradiction in feeling sadness for the people in Breitbart's private life and feeling some modicum of relief for the millions of people harmed by Breitbart's public life.
posted by one_bean at 10:03 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Breitbart was reprehensible, but I'm holding out on leading the brass band at the festivities for when Margaret Thatcher kicks the bucket.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:06 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the end the problem with our media isn't that folks like Breitbart can exist, it's that they are taken seriously by people who know better.

Because we have to have balance, see.
posted by kgasmart at 10:08 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Glenn Beck, incidentally, is not saying that there was foul play involved in his death, but is assuming there will be an autopsy, and urging people not to jump to conclusions.

So, you know, it's not just people on the Left who are having to struggle, and sometimes failing, to listen to their better angels, here.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:08 AM on March 1, 2012


I am not glad he's dead. I would have preferred instead that he'd lived long enough to change his mind.

I know people who would not change their mind if God himself came down and told them they're wrong*. I'm not just saying that Breitbart was like these people, I'm saying that one of the reasons they can continue to be like that is because of enablers like Breitbart.

* 1 LOOK, YE ASSHOLES. 2 I SENT MY ONLY SON DOWN THERE TO TELL YOU TO LOVE EACH OTHER AND OVERLOOK ALL YOUR PETTY SQUABBLES. 3 HE EXPLICITLY SAID TO LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, AND BLESSED ARE THE MEEK. 4 I KNOW I KNOW, NO EARS TO HEAR AND ALL, BUT OH ME GET A CLUE, IT'S NOT FUCKING BRAIN SURGERY.
posted by JHarris at 10:09 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's a sad day for the Actual Breitbart Headlines site, at any rate.

WARNING: Do not read too much of that if you want to maintain a stand=offish sympathetic stance.
posted by Artw at 10:10 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


He has hundreds if not thousands of disciples, not to mention a Big Government (as in the name of his vile website) business partner, who will be seeing him as a martyr and modeling their websites, their political hackery, and their lives after him for years to come.

The Big sites will continue, but without him as the animating force, I expect they'll fade within a year or two. The millions of dollars in free publicity he generated with his ever-present TV appearances and outrageous public media stunts will be extremely tough to replace.
posted by rcade at 10:10 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


He personified everything that is wrong with modern politics, but after his death everything that is wrong with modern politics is still wrong. I don't find any relief or joy in his death. I lost a couple of people in the past year, and I don't feel up to dancing some sort of victory jig over his demise.

My sympathies to his family and friends. That's way too young.
posted by brundlefly at 10:11 AM on March 1, 2012


This looks like one of the final photos taken of him, probably at CPAC. He looks huge (as in fat) and unhealthy. I mean, he always had the air of a heavy drinker, what with the disheveled frumpy cloths and the unkempt hair and beard, but he never looked as heavy as he looks in that picture. I think there were definitely other things involved as well as alcohol. Probably the occassional coke binge, terrible on-the-road diet and lack of sleep. Which is all to say that that stuff really adds up. Breitbart looks like a walking MI waiting to happen.

So, another way to make his death a positive thing in the world is to let it be fairwarning. Lose the beer belly fat (Guilty as charged right over here), stop smoking, if you smoke (I did recently and I can't believe the difference or how nice it is to breath again), go the fuck to sleep and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep, stop arguing with people online (also guilty), stop eating shit food, and do something about the rage. I.E. Exercise.
posted by Skygazer at 10:12 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


blucevalo: JHarris: We're trying to show some respect for the dead generally, although finding it difficult. He wouldn't have tried.
So because he wouldn't have tried, that makes us not doing it okay?


I'm not saying that. I would tell you what I'm saying, but I already did, it was in the comment you quoted. Read that, that's my response. Geez.
posted by JHarris at 10:12 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what's happening. I don't think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind's eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20's. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today... MDRUDGE

posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012


Andrew Breitbart: he converted oxygen to carbon dioxide, which plants really like. So there's that.

My sympathies to the family, though, who probably have a very different image of him than I do.

.
posted by LMGM at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Big sites will continue, but without him as the animating force, I expect they'll fade within a year or two. The millions of dollars in free publicity he generated with his ever-present TV appearances and outrageous public media stunts will be extremely tough to replace.

They'll survive as long as there's a mulatto socialist Muslim atheist facist in the White House.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


More from Usenet: Breitbart posted a letter to his biological parents on his 27th birthday. He even called them out by name.
posted by rcade at 10:16 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Skygazer is right. We can look at his life as a cautionary tale of what happens if you let the rage overtake you so much, and we can feel pity for what the man became. He wasn't born as a relentless right-wing cheerleader who could go up to Occupiers and tell them to STOP RAPING PEOPLE. We can feel sorry for the young Breitbart, full of hope, not knowing the cruel fate in store for him.
posted by JHarris at 10:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, another way to make his death a positive thing in the world is to let it be fairwarning.

I don't think you understand. Michelle Obama wants you to exercise. So the only conservative thing to do is order an other beer, maybe with a side of Twinkies
posted by kgasmart at 10:17 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


This looks like one of the final photos taken of him, probably at CPAC. He looks huge (as in fat) and unhealthy. I mean, he always had the air of a heavy drinker, what with the disheveled frumpy cloths and the unkempt hair and beard, but he never looked as heavy as he looks in that picture. I think there were definitely other things involved as well as alcohol.

What the - dude, you are reading an awful lot into an extremely blurry camera-phone shot. Seriously. That shot is like one of those pictures of a yeti. You are evaluating the emotional state and life choices of the abominable snowman from a photo, is what I am saying.
posted by furiousthought at 10:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Breitbart posted a letter to his biological parents on his 27th birthday. He even called them out by name.

Wow. Behind the snark is a sad, troubled soul. I hope he is in a better place now.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:18 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in the middle of reading Gore Vidal's Empire, in which William Randolph Hearst plays a pretty big role. And that's really got me thinking that, although there are differences with respect to platform and reach, Breitbart wasn't something that the world hadn't seen before. Self-aggrandizing blowhards who care more about attention than truth and get into ridiculous public fights? We've been there before, and been OK in the long run. Hearst was a chunk of shit, but hey, without him we wouldn't have Citizen Kane. Who knows, maybe at some point Breitbart's legacy will sprout a similar turd blossom.
posted by COBRA! at 10:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Skygazer, I think you've just about done the best that can be done with this ;-). I'll dedicate the half-pound of broccoli I just ate to forestalling my own MI and my own slide into type-2 diabetes, and give Breitbart some miniscule credit for enhancing this 47 year old's resolve to get more lifetime to spend with my wife.
posted by lodurr at 10:21 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

HS Thompson
posted by Sebmojo at 10:25 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Who knows, maybe at some point Breitbart's legacy will sprout a similar turd blossom.

Well, after reading this thread I am starting to think there's maybe a very funny dark coming-of-age comedy in the story of man who is a lost soul, justifiably hates his family, can't focus, doesn't know what to do with his life, and with the help of a sarcastic wingman and loving girlfriend finds new meaning and hope doing something completely shallow and vile that makes the world worse.

You know, like a prequel to Grosse Pointe Blank or something.

Okay, so maybe not Citizen Kane!
posted by furiousthought at 10:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Was his "Behave Yourselves!!!!!" tirade an actually mental meltdown? He seemed off his head, maybe he was actually experiencing dementia ( I mean aside form the right wing kind that he always suffered from) .
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:26 AM on March 1, 2012


MRS OBAMA YOU CAN HAVE MY COMICALLY OVERSIZED TV DINNER AND HEFTY BAG FILLED WITH GIN AND GUMMI WORMS WHEN YOU PRY 'EM FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS http://biggovernment.com/hudlash/2011/02/12/obama-nation-listen-to-your-betters
posted by a_girl_irl at 10:28 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Was his "Behave Yourselves!!!!!" tirade an actually mental meltdown?

Liquidwolf, if it was, he doubled-down on it.
posted by lodurr at 10:30 AM on March 1, 2012


25 People Who Think President Obama Killed Andrew -- "A bunch of people seem to believe there's a conspiracy behind Andrew Breitbart's death. The theory is that Breitbart had a video from Obama's college years that Obama didn't want released. So he had to die."
posted by ericb at 10:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was his "Behave Yourselves!!!!!" tirade an actually mental meltdown?

I think it was maybe the tirade of someone who had twisted his perspective around so much that he actually believed what he was saying. He watch the world turn against deeply foundational stuff he thought was utterly obvious, and and had an abreaction. He lost it the same way Lovecraft protagonists will do when they see the horrible creature who represents the true nature of the universe. Breitbart saw Occupy and failed his SAN roll.
posted by JHarris at 10:35 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


The death of a bad person is always a tragedy. In life, there is an opportunity for redemption. This is why I don't believe in the death penalty for murderers, much less for assholes, and this is why I'm sorry he's gone.
posted by gracedissolved at 10:36 AM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


The theory is that Breitbart had a video from Obama's college years that Obama didn't want released. So he had to die.

Oh god, already?!
posted by JHarris at 10:37 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"A bunch of people seem to believe there's a conspiracy behind Andrew Breitbart's death. The theory is that Breitbart had a video from Obama's college years that Obama didn't want released. So he had to die."

Ah, the old "whitey" meme just fails to die doesn't it. Only I think it was Michelle last time.
posted by edgeways at 10:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe his family didn't like him either.
posted by user92371 at 10:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I demand copies of his long form death certificate.

Not good enough. I want to gnaw on his bleached skull.

I have seen Breitbart use his website to aggressively attack a fellow Occupy Wall Street participant I know. You know how he works. He'd single out one person as representative of the entire movement. He'd expose their private problems and try to make him into a pariah. He'd use that person's actions, things that his peers would consider accomplishments, but reframe them slightly with a few keywords from dog-whistle politics, to activate an internet lynch mob. He'd declare that they deserve to be eliminated, as the only way to preserve the body politic.

Breitbart deserves all that, and more. But I'm not going to do it, and neither will anyone I know of, because we are civilized human beings, unlike Breitbart.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:41 AM on March 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


No one can disagree with me politically without me saying 'fuck their kids' is all I'm saying.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:42 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skygazer, I think you've just about done the best that can be done with this ;-). I'll dedicate the half-pound of broccoli I just ate to forestalling my own MI and my own slide into type-2 diabetes, and give Breitbart some miniscule credit for enhancing this 47 year old's resolve to get more lifetime to spend with my wife.
Well, we can say what we want about the guy's egregious public style and his deplorable vindictive baiting and fucked up politics, but I can recognize a Gen-X creature of the web. Many of us here are very much from a web-culture background and we know what that's like. Brietbart for all his failings and whatever-else was exactly that. He may have been a total dick and an asshole, but let's face it...we know this guy. He's equal parts brilliant, troubled and a fuck up.

But he knew who his clients were (Fox, Rush, the RNC) and he delivered content to them. This is no different than any number of web culture and industry people who have corporate clients who are huge multi-nationals with a hand in the military industrial or law enforcement culture and have contracts for them and deliver web design and user experience and web strategy and content management systems and brand optimization.

Only difference I'm realizing is that Breitbart had to go front and center to preach the ideology to get the contracts and that made him a public figure.

Okay, I think, now that's as far as I can go with this. If I ever met the dude, I think we may have come to blows, but whatever....he is not only a cautionary tale, but one that should challenge others who also support egregious industries for a fat paycheck in the websphere but don't have to be public about it.

I know tons of people deeply liberal, in web design, who perform acts of revolting ethical questionability for the PharMa industry...phony misleading websites. Targeting high profile doctors for huge speaking fees if they recommend a certain new drug, what makes those people any better than Breitbart, truly??
posted by Skygazer at 10:44 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Indeed, it is terrible to, in the first few hours following a famous person's death, to call him a villain, a big ass motherf@#$er, a duplicitous bastard, a prick, and a special pile of human excrement. Indefensible, really.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


As he pounds on the pearly gates, I suppose he may finally discover that The Lord indeed may well take the form of a socialist (because it's heaven, obviously) afro-american lesbian who occassionally obliges the faithful reading, in a whispering voice, from the Koran, the Torah, and the Upanishads in even rotation.

There is the option of The Other Place, the only difference being that the occasional whisper becomes a ubiquitous yell.

Humour aside, he worked hard, made a living as he knew best, and remained in service to his principles. Whilst one may not agree with his methods or his message, he passed young and that is sad. He leaves behind a family, who assuredly will remember him fondly and in kindness. If we cannot afford the former, at least we can offer the latter.

.
posted by nickrussell at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2012


what makes those people any better than Breitbart, truly??

Making a website for Pfizer so they can sell more dick-hardening pills is a little different than faking evidence to shut down an organization dedicated to serving the poor.
posted by a_girl_irl at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well - his mouth will indeed be shut for Carter!
posted by symbioid at 10:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wired Magazine's Noah Schachtman remembers Andrew Breitbart.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:52 AM on March 1, 2012


Read this via Longform's Twitter feed this morning: Rage Machine (profile from 2010 in the New Yorker). I didn't know he was dead at that point (scrolling backwards in time!) so I thought it was an odd thing to post, but quite interesting.
“I love judgmentalism—it’s a sport,” he said, his tone exquisitely balanced between humor and menace. “I remember that mantra, ‘Don’t judge.’ I’m, like, why? I like judging. I like judging! Let me judge.”
My dad died at 45, when I was 8. Because of that, I never smoked, and a few years ago I lost a bunch of weight. Some of it's come back, and now that I'm in my late 30s, I'm reminded again to take better care of myself. 45 used to seem really old, but not so much anymore.
posted by epersonae at 10:54 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're looking for a third celebrity death, how about Lt. Buck Compton, of Easy Company fame, among other things?
posted by etaoin at 10:55 AM on March 1, 2012


Let me just say I'm thrilled that he's no longer politically active.
posted by hellojed at 10:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I know tons of people deeply liberal, in web design, who perform acts of revolting ethical questionability for the PharMa industry...phony misleading websites. Targeting high profile doctors for huge speaking fees if they recommend a certain new drug, what makes those people any better than Breitbart, truly??

That's a fair question. I don't do those things, my company doesn't get involved in that kind of thing (the owners are very concerned with being able to sleep at night), but I hear what you're saying and I've seen that myself.

I don't know the answer, and in any case that would require getting into the old question of whether it's worse to know you're doing things you don't believe in or to do bad things you believe in fervently. (And down that path, at some point, we'd need to figure out which kind Breitbart was.)

Absent going there, I still know that Breitbart told a lot of lies in the service of his ends, and with sure knowledge that his lies would hurt a lot of people. There are a lot of cases that can be cited where unless he was more or less totally addled, he had to know he was lying. In that, he's a classic Frankfurtian/Rovian bullshitter, because the truth of what he was saying couldn't possibly have mattered to him -- the ends were what mattered, not the truth. That's pretty bad.
posted by lodurr at 10:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck this guy, and fuck anyone that has the nerve to defend him, his actions or his beliefs.
Everyone dies. Death in itself is not a tragedy. The only tragedy here is that he actively made life harder and more miserable for countless thousands of good, honest people and never had to face up to the consequences, never had the humanity to realise what a negative force he was in the world. He got off light.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 11:00 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I heard that they're going to raze his compound so that it doesn't become a shrine.
posted by found missing at 11:02 AM on March 1, 2012


when you make your name saying shitty things about people, including shortly after their deaths, you deserve to have shitty things said about you, including shortly after your own death.

I hate to break it to you, but the man is dead. He's beyond caring about anything you or I or anyone else say about him.

What we say does, however, matter to the living.

Yes, Breitbart achieved a measure of wealth and fame in political advocacy that could politely be described as barbed and slanted. But his family -- especially his children, who lost a father today -- aren't responsible for that and I, much as I disagree with Breitbart's methods and motives, refuse to pile on.
posted by Gelatin at 11:02 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


No one can disagree with me politically without me saying 'fuck their kids' is all I'm saying.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:42 PM on March 1 [+] [!]


You really think that what people are saying in this thread has to do with a disagreement over politics? The guy deliberately damaged/destroyed people's personal lives over political disagreements. That has little to do with politics and more to do with a personal vendetta.
posted by goethean at 11:06 AM on March 1, 2012


Michelle Malkin:
If he were here, he’d be retweeting all the insane tweets from the Left rejoicing over his death. Even in death, he succeeds in exposing the hate-filled intolerance of the tolerance poseurs.
...
posted by goethean at 11:08 AM on March 1, 2012


Liberals only tolerate some things, Michelle.
posted by Malor at 11:14 AM on March 1, 2012


Even in death, he succeeds in exposing the hate-filled intolerance of the tolerance poseurs.

"Man, I can't stand those [insert minority here]."

"Wow, that's kind of a jerky thing to say."

"Why are you so intolerant?"
posted by empath at 11:15 AM on March 1, 2012 [29 favorites]


Oh, and:

If he were here, he’d be retweeting all the insane tweets from the Left rejoicing over his death.

Plus some he invented!
posted by Malor at 11:15 AM on March 1, 2012 [20 favorites]


ericb: "The theory is that Breitbart had a video from Obama's college years that Obama didn't want released. So he had to die.""

Which would mean not only was he a jerk, he had no foresight.
posted by notsnot at 11:19 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even in death, he succeeds in exposing the hate-filled intolerance of the tolerance poseurs.
Never understood this. I'd much rather someone at least fake being tolerant rather than just be an outright dick about things.
posted by josher71 at 11:19 AM on March 1, 2012


Michelle Malkin:

Oh Christ. Whatever.

Michelle Malkin can bite me with this Zen, I'm rubber your glue horseshit.

Hey Malkin, he's fucking dead. Why not let the body cool down before you turn him into a convenient fucking pathetic Martyr in your obssessive war against the Left.

I mean really...the guy's death is an excuse for her to take a shot at the Left?? How grotesque and tasteless.
posted by Skygazer at 11:20 AM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


.
posted by XMLicious at 11:21 AM on March 1, 2012


octobersurprise: I'm not sad, however, that his poisonous dialogue is now permanently absent.

Blucevalo, for the sake of making your point, you've attributed to me words that I never wrote. (Something that's entirely appropriate in an Andrew Breitbart funerary thread, I suppose.)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:22 AM on March 1, 2012


How grotesque and tasteless.

It's Michelle Malkin, dude. What else would you expect?
posted by kgasmart at 11:23 AM on March 1, 2012


I feel bad for his kids, because people latch on to whatever they've got to find love. Maybe he had good moments. Having said that, the way I try to raise my kids, if I dedicated my life to the sort of vitriol and cruelty the way he did, I'd expect my kids to disown me once they got old enough to figure out what kind of person I was. The idea that you can be a huge asshole publicly and really swell personally rings very false to me. People I've known that seem to have the divide mastered usually seem to end up with a sudden divorce, or some other big negative revelation. For me personally, if I go through a period of being impatient and jerky at work I seem to do the same at home, so I try not to. And that's just normal human impatience and such. I can't even imagine working as hard as I could to make the lives of the less fortunate harder, lying as much as possible to get attention, and then feeling smug about it. I'd hope my wife would divorce the hell out of me and soak me for every dollar I had, because I'd deserve it.

I'm fine with someone who disagrees with me and wants to advance their points logically and passionately, but lying about shit to "win" is just not ok. Not for liberals, conservatives, or anyone. No dot from me.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:24 AM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's Michelle Malkin, dude. What else would you expect?

How come there's no racial self-loathing, hm? She's slipping.
posted by lodurr at 11:25 AM on March 1, 2012


She's slipping.

The body's barely cold. Give her time.
posted by kgasmart at 11:28 AM on March 1, 2012


Conservatism, at least historically, is rooted in the idea that one should honor tradition and promotes minimal change in society. Part of the challenge of pursuing this philosophy is that things are bound to change with time - its an inevitable part of life.

In a sense, there is no more radical affront to the status quo of life than death, in all its appalling randomness. Each death, in effect, refutes the very idea that change can be avoided. The universe is conspiring against conservatism. Though individual conservatives may rail against change, at some point their bodies will embrace it without hesitation.

At its most radical, conservatism has a "it was better before [event]" approach to the world that seeks to undo the current status quo. We've seen a lot of this during this election, of course, as the conservatives try to turn the clock back.

Change, however, is inevitable. Even if they manage to reverse laws that set us back to the 19th century, the 19th century is gone forever. We're different people with different experiences, technology, even language.

So, at its heart, there's a kind of itchy denial-ism at the heart of conservatism. You have to deny that death will happen, that sometimes there are tsunamis (or that they are part of God's plan rather than a random horrific natural act), and that sometimes people don't get what they deserve just because of catastrophic luck. No, its much more comforting to construct a world where people who are suffering deserve it and if we just don't touch or change anything ever, it will all remain the same.

Breitbart's life was dedicated to constructing a narrative that supported the idea that change was bad unless it was change back to a fictional, unachievable past version of the United States. It is a testament to the weakness of his faith that he felt the only way to persuade people to return to it was to lie, mislead and abuse. If his truth was strong and sound, why lie about it? Why mislead people?

But, no, his beliefs were weakly held (and thus agressively defended), his world view constantly threatened by reality, and the only way he could protect it was to invent a narrative. To edit out the parts of reality that didn't match his beliefs. To attack people who tried to expose him to reality.

Reality catches all of us in the end.

His legacy is that he helped destroy an agency that he didn't really understand using lies. He trashed a woman's career using false evidence and was unapologetic about it. And he published a picture of a politician's penis which so embarrassed the politician that he resigned.

His legacy is that he took the propaganda and lies that FOX news uses regularly and took them to their obvious conclusion - if the truth doesn't matter in defense of your beliefs, why not just construct a reality part and parcel out of lies?

His supporters can call him a warrior because he was willing to do whatever it took, including things that were unethical, to beat back the encroaching tide of reality. To tilt, Don Quixote like, at the windmills of inevitable change. They claim immediately that somebody must have killed him because its more comforting to believe that than to acknowledge the obvious.

Change came to Andrew Breitbart today, just as it will to all of us.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [28 favorites]


Well, after reading this thread I am starting to think there's maybe a very funny dark coming-of-age comedy in the story of man who is a lost soul, justifiably hates his family, can't focus, doesn't know what to do with his life, and with the help of a sarcastic wingman and loving girlfriend finds new meaning and hope doing something completely shallow and vile that makes the world worse.

You know, like a prequel to Grosse Pointe Blank or something.


A quick aside: This is almost exactly the the plot of Cocktail. That movie fascinates me endlessly - all the shallow amoral greed of the '80s in a single film, boldfaced and emphasized by the fact that it's taken as a given that we'll cheer for the preening narcissist at its centre because he's played by Tom Cruise's smile and Hollywood said so.

What I'm trying to say is that I'd rather talk about what an amazing piece of shit Cocktail is than Andrew Breitbart.
posted by gompa at 11:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


David Frum:

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.

In time, Andrew Breitbart might have aged into greater self-control and a higher concept of public service. Premature death deprived him of the chance at redemption often sought and sometimes found by people who have done wrong in their lives and work.

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.

posted by kgasmart at 11:32 AM on March 1, 2012 [17 favorites]


Humanity can be divided into passengers on three buses.

If the first went off the cliff, the world would be a better place.

If the second went off the cliff, the world would be much the same.

If the third went off the cliff, the world would be a worse place.

Breitbart was on the first.

That is all.
posted by unSane at 11:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is almost exactly the the plot of Cocktail. That movie fascinates me endlessly - all the shallow amoral greed of the '80s in a single film

Huh. That movie's been on cable a lot lately – I guess I have a reason to sit down and watch it now!
posted by furiousthought at 11:36 AM on March 1, 2012


"To be clear, I do not wish death on conservatives. I actually hope they have long lives. When they have to watch gay marriage becoming legal, a black man becoming president, women entering the political body in a big way, gays serving openly in the military, it just makes me giddy. Here is hoping that the picture of the gay marine making out with his partner was one of the last things Breitbart saw."
— comedian Keith Lowell Jensen on Facebook just now.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


Breitbart posted a letter to his biological parents on his 27th birthday. He even called them out by name.

Wow. Behind the snark is a sad, troubled soul. I hope he is in a better place now.


Wow, is right. I never knew Andrew Breitbart was an adoptee. I really hope he made peace with himself over his adoption before he died, because it's clear from that Usenet post that back in 1996, he wasn't even close.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:42 AM on March 1, 2012


I can't say anything about this man. I feel bad for his lived ones.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:43 AM on March 1, 2012


"Here is hoping that the picture of the gay marine making out with his partner was one of the last things Breitbart saw."

Breitbart supported gay marriage and was briefly on the advisory board of the gay conservative group GOProud.
posted by rcade at 11:44 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am starting to think there's maybe a very funny dark coming-of-age comedy in the story of man who is a lost soul, justifiably hates his family, can't focus, doesn't know what to do with his life, and with the help of a sarcastic wingman and loving girlfriend finds new meaning and hope doing something completely shallow and vile that makes the world worse.

I love this idea. I'm on board with this idea. I'm already hearing "Solsbury Hill" behind the trailer.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:45 AM on March 1, 2012


Change came to Andrew Breitbart today, just as it will to all of us.

Change we can believe in?
posted by logicpunk at 11:45 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


so manipulation and deception are legitimate tools in a culture war

Oh, David Frum. Don't ever change, you crazy idiot. Despite the fact I agree with the rest of what he's saying here, lines like this are exactly why I can't hear anything from him and not cynically view it as some self-serving bid to become relevant again. I remember what you did, David!
posted by Hoopo at 11:47 AM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not here to dance on Breitbart's grave. I've danced on Adam Smith's grave- that was something worth doing.

Breitbart? meh.

Also, is David Frum actually growing a conscience? These new advances with stem cells are amazing.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to a bright sunny day tomorrow. Might go out and enjoy a frothy cappuccino! Maybe life is not so dark!
posted by zaelic at 11:54 AM on March 1, 2012


is David Frum actually growing a conscience?

Don't fall for it! It's no coincidence he's doing this while the Republicans lack a clear direction.
posted by Hoopo at 11:55 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread is seems that "liberal compassion" is only a rhetorical device. I knew that already, but it's not nice to be reminded of it.

In my experience, human compassion is a convenient shared fiction. When we have the luxury of calm, peaceful reflection or discussion with gentle, caring people, most people are similarly kind and gentle and thoughtful. When the chips are down, though -- when we believe that we are in the right and THINGS MATTER, or someone else has transgressed in our eyes to the point that they NO LONGER DESERVE HUMAN RESPECT, the vast majority of humans will behave badly. That is the truth, and it has nothing to do with any partisan affiliation. Liberals cheer at the deaths of conservative power-brokers, conservatives publicly applaud at the very idea of an uninsured man dying, anarchists say 'He got what was coming' when a statist dies, and so on and so forth.

The thing that fascinates me is not that people almost universally behave badly -- it's that some people choose to account for it when imagining how society should work.
posted by verb at 11:57 AM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Donald Rumsfeld ‏ @RumsfeldOffice:

Andrew Breitbart never shied from controversy. He was one of conservatism's most forceful spokesmen and will be greatly missed.

posted by Skygazer at 11:59 AM on March 1, 2012


What a thread. A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics. Sure, he did some mean things but you all are no better. Instant classic here.
posted by GrooveJedi at 12:03 PM on March 1, 2012


> A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics.

I'm not a leftist, and I'll have to wait to shit on his grave until later when it's been dug and the camera crews have left.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics.

No, pretty sure it was because of his documented and undeniable acts of utter assholery.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on March 1, 2012 [22 favorites]


GrooveJedi: A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics.

Not really. There's a lot of attempts here at understanding the guy and giving him at least some credit just on a human level and for his wife's and kids sake, which only goes to show that you didn't read the fucking thread, but came here with some preconceived notion just to shit on Metafilter, which you know, is real classy of you.
posted by Skygazer at 12:08 PM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


What a thread. A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics. Sure, he did some mean things but you all are no better. Instant classic here.
posted by GrooveJedi at 9:03 AM on March 1 [+] [!]


Nice troll, would chuckle at again.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:09 PM on March 1, 2012 [16 favorites]


Ppl are mistaking the difference between his death, and the end of his influence. Everyone dies, so "meh" at best about that. His family hurts, so the socially constructive thing is to empathize with their situation.

As for the end of his influence: good riddance. He actively harmed democracy and intended to keep harming it. We are collectively a lot better off without the media circuses he created.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:10 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to see Conservatives like Frum and Brooks starting to come off the fence. I suspect at some point the trickle will become a flood).
posted by unSane at 12:16 PM on March 1, 2012


We are would be collectively a lot better off without the media circuses he created.
posted by lodurr at 12:17 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


eh, brooks lives on the fence. he was born with the fence between his legs.

frum, sometimes I'm surprised he still tries to call himself a conservative. not that I don't think he is one, just that calling what he is "conservative" went out of fashion with the acceptance of the Contract on America.
posted by lodurr at 12:19 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


(optimistically, i think Breitbart's catalyzing influence is not going to be great. but his mentoring influence will probably be uncomfortably long.)
posted by lodurr at 12:20 PM on March 1, 2012


people living in glass houses should not get stoned
posted by Postroad at 12:28 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a thread. A bunch of leftists shitting on a man's grave mostly because they disagree with his politics. Sure, he did some mean things but you all are no better.

*snort*

I've never creatively edited a video in order to make someone look like they're saying something completely other than what they're actually saying in order to get them very publicly fired.

Spare me.
posted by MissySedai at 12:30 PM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 12:35 PM on March 1, 2012


I've never creatively edited a video in order to make someone look like they're saying something completely other than what they're actually saying in order to get them very publicly fired.

Breitbart claimed he did not edit the Sherrod video.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:38 PM on March 1, 2012


He claimed a lot of things.
posted by ook at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


True enough, Breitbart maintained a negligee of deniability on his lies by mentoring proxies like O'Keefe. Still, unless he was addled -- he knew he was lying.
posted by lodurr at 12:48 PM on March 1, 2012


.... a skimpy nightie of deniability?

cannot unsee

halp
posted by elizardbits at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Breitbart claimed he did not edit the Sherrod video.

Richard Nixon said he wasn't a crook.
Bill Clinton said he didn't have sexual relations with that woman.
Ollie North said Reagan didn't know about Iran-Contra.

There are precedents for public people lying. I'm not saying Breitbart is lying about that, but the odds would have to veeeeeeerrrrry long for me to go along with his statement regarding the Sherrod video.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I recall O'Keefe was arrested trying to commit voter fraud a couple months back, did he ever get sentenced to anything for breaking the law?
posted by mathowie at 12:52 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think he edited the Shirley Sherrod video to make her look like a racist. I think he published the video without having any idea who edited it and without checking the full video of Sherrod's speech, which was readily available to review.
posted by rcade at 12:53 PM on March 1, 2012


My two drunken encounters with Andrew Breitbart, by Mike Elk of In These Times.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:54 PM on March 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


There are precedents for public people lying.

And this justifies making blanket claims about the provenance of the Sherrod video without evidence?
posted by BobbyVan at 12:56 PM on March 1, 2012


Breitbart claimed he did not edit the Sherrod video.

The follow-up story says different:
Breitbart’s Big Government website posted what turned out to be a selectively edited video clip of Sherrod that made it appear as though she was bragging about discriminating against a white farmer
And it goes on to point out that he vehemently denied even knowing about the Pigford Settlements (the topic she was discussing), then quotes him saying “This is about Pigford. It has always been about Pigford."

So, yeah.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Breitbart claimed he did not edit the Sherrod video.

Okay I guess you're right:

He also maintained that he didn’t edit the clip and that it was sent to him already edited.
posted by Big_B at 1:00 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did he just fund the one Rape Boat or is there a whole fleet of Rape Boats out there, waiting to strike?
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


BobbyVan: In the Face of Death, Still on Message

GrooveJedi:

A bunch of leftists (Haha!)

shitting on a man's grave (There is a plurality of opinions and variance in tone going on here. You're cherry picking and mischaracterizing the conversation that's currently taking place.)

mostly because they disagree with his politics. (His tactics. Lack of ethics. Tendency to be pathetic if it served his aesthetic. A view of life that's atavistic. Always antagonistic and ultimately toxic. His politics were awful but there's much ickier shit going on.)

Sure, he did some mean things but you all are no better. (Who is the "you" in this sentence?)

Instant classic here. (Yeah, like tasteless, textureless minute rice piping hot from the microwave.)

---

It's horrible when anyone dies young, but Breitbart made a living by being a horrible person. He threw wrenches and was on a mission to ruin national political discourse. He stoked people's fears and used hate to rally them behind bullshit. He ruined people's careers and lives in the process.

I do hope his family, and especially his kids, are able to deal with the loss. I wish them luck.
posted by defenestration at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Breitbart gave conflicting explanations about the Sherrod video after it blew up in his face. First he claimed that both he and Sherrod were victims. Then he tried to pivot into making the scandal about the Pigford settlement, which was just a new way to go after Sherrod.
posted by rcade at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2012


truly god gained an angel today to help jesus carry on with his good works
posted by klangklangston at 1:04 PM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is one of the things Metafilter does really poorly.

Carrying around that kind of rage has got to be rough on the system. Being too immersed in politics I used to be able to feel my blood pressure rising reading comments online in my 20s and decided to dial back how much time I would spend reading the news. You get a bit of a high off it sometimes but I guess in the end it's poisonous.

Unless one enjoys dancing on graves. Which is wonderful for the constitution. And a joyful practice akin to screaming in one's car at other drivers on the road.

We need to get that rage out, and plan for ways we can vent it in the future, not only so we become more wonderful, and delightful people to be around, but so we can practice being angrier and angrier at people who can no longer hear us.

Yeesh, you'd think pointing out something someone does as ghoulish means you're defending the corpse's beliefs.

As for the end of his influence: good riddance. He actively harmed democracy and intended to keep harming it. We are collectively a lot better off without the media circuses he created.


Nice differentiation. Well said.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:04 PM on March 1, 2012


this justifies making blanket claims about the provenance of the Sherrod video without evidence?

This isn't a court of law, hoss. It's hard to get too outraged over a blanket claim about a man who made a living making blanket claims about his enemies.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:04 PM on March 1, 2012


This isn't a court of law, hoss. It's hard to get too outraged over a blanket claim about a man who made a living making blanket claims about his enemies.

I'm sick of seeing people make excuses for behavior by saying "Breitbart would have done it." Breitbart gave everyone permission to be an asshole - that doesn't mean we should all be assholes.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:10 PM on March 1, 2012


Quoting that Mike Elk article, quoting MLK:

It's really easy to hate Andrew Breitbart, but as Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
posted by jabberjaw at 1:11 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Conspiracy Revealed: Breitbart Assassinated By Light, Love
posted by cortex at 1:13 PM on March 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


About 150,000 people die every day. Andrew Breitbart was notable mainly for the angry, fraudulent, self-promoting life he led. So if we're going to bother reflecting on his death at all, let's reflect on that

If you want a family to feel sad for, there's thousands of new ones every day whose recently deceased family member didn't have a complete lack of humanity and good deeds to their name
posted by crayz at 1:14 PM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


And James Murdoch just quit.

It's Autumn at the Asshole Orchard.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:14 PM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Regarding the old Usenet post to Breitbart's biological parents, a longtime friend of his is on the Drudge Retort. I asked if he'd ever found them, and he replied, "Respecting Andrew's privacy, let's just say that when he passed he was in a comfortable place re: both his natural and adoptive parents."
posted by rcade at 1:20 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sick of seeing people make excuses for behavior by saying "Breitbart would have done it."

Sick of the excuses or sick of the behavior? Because if you followed him on Twitter, then I doubt Andy's behavior bothered you all that much.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:21 PM on March 1, 2012


And this justifies making blanket claims about the provenance of the Sherrod video without evidence?

No, absolutely not. That's why I wrote (in the very next sentence) I'm not saying Breitbart is lying about that, but the odds would have to veeeeeeerrrrry long for me to go along with his statement regarding the Sherrod video.

It's not that Breitbart's saying it that gives me pause, it's his track record for fabrication. It all goes back to a little story I learned as a kid about a little shepherd boy, a wolf, and the zany shenanigans that ensue when lies are told.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:22 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unlike many, I have no feelings of rancor toward him, mostly because I found it hard to take him seriously. He was a provocateur. And really, isn't the fault with those who are so easily led by such low tricks? So, meh. But the real flesh and blood man, now that's different - something very dramatic was going on with his body. I just cannot get over it. Is there a website dedicated to photographing people whose appearance is drastically out of step with their calendar age? It seems there should be, since there's a website for just about anything. Breitbart should be on it. Wow. I'm going back to have another look at the photos, google image search.

I had no idea how he looked. And today, I saw pictures for the first time. It's unbelievable. He looks very old. I mean, some of the pictures I see are from years ago, and already he looks like someone in their 50's or even 60's. It's not about "looking healthy", though that florid puffy look doesn't scream "hale". It's about looking old for the calendar age. The quality of the hair - not the gray or balding aspect, but the wispiness, the textures are that of an old person's hair, ragged and brittle - it comes across even in pictures. The loss of structure in the face, the skin quality. Only the eyes still look the right age, they don't have the rheumy aspect of older eyes.

To be clear, dying at a young age is not necessarily a result of overall health deterioration - there are athletes in excellent shape and health, but for one fatal flaw, who drop dead of a heart attack brought on by atrial fibrillation. And neither would I claim that in the case of Breitbart - only his physician would know what general health the guy was in.

I'm speaking strictly about appearance. He looked old. So terribly, terribly old for his calendar age. Why oh why did he look so awful? I'm not saying he was in any way responsible for that look through bad lifestyle choices. I know nothing about his personal habits. Maybe it was genetic? It looks like he had no physiological reserves, perhaps his telomeres were drastically shortened. Why did he look so bad, so old (for his age), so awful? What a mystery.

I wonder how many people today will dedicate a set of reps or two at the gym in memory of Breitbart, how many joggers will dedicate a lap or two to poor old-looking Breitbart, now dead.

I am shocked. Shocked. Genuinely shocked. What happened to him? What in the world could account for this? Unbelievable. Can't wait for the autopsy, though those are never thorough enough. He was a public figure, I assume some part of the report might be publicly released.

For good detective work on the ins and outs of body examination, there's the Ötzi the Iceman - very inspiring. I'm on pins and needles.
posted by VikingSword at 1:22 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


And this justifies making blanket claims about the provenance of the Sherrod video without evidence?

BAWWW. Tissue?

I've never published a creatively edited video in order to make someone look like they're saying something completely other than what they're actually saying in order to get them very publicly fired, either. Better?

Why oh why did he look so awful?

If I had to guess, I'd say toting around all that bile and vitriol was a bit much for him.

I'm sorry his family is in pain, but I'm not even a little bit sorry that he's dead. I will not miss his special brand of assholery in the slightest.
posted by MissySedai at 1:28 PM on March 1, 2012


And then there's Taibbi:

Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche


So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here’s what I have to say to that, and I’m sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead. ...

[snip]

Breitbart has written some nasty things about me personally, once contrived to publish my private emails online, and even teamed up with Rush Limbaugh to humorously mis-identify me as a behind-the-scenes marionettist of the "media-Democrat industrial complex" (Breitbart thought I was improperly advising Occupy leaders), but all that’s okay. I think today, it’s safe to stand back and simply recognize that while many people go through their lives without leaving distinguishing marks, Andrew Breitbart definitely had his moments.

But he also had enough of a sense of humor to appreciate why someone like me shouldn’t bother to pretend I’m sad he’s dead. He wouldn’t, in my place. So to use one of his favorite words: Good riddance, cocksucker.* Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

* See the following Breitbart quote: “I like to call someone a raving cunt every now and then, when it’s appropriate, for effect... ‘You cocksucker.’ I love that kind of language.”

posted by kgasmart at 1:28 PM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sick of the excuses or sick of the behavior? Because if you followed him on Twitter, then I doubt Andy's behavior bothered you all that much.

People follow others on Twitter for all sorts of reasons. I followed Breitbart to stay abreast of the latest political shitstorms. I found it annoying at times (as I said in my comment above) because of the pointless bickering he'd engage in seemingly 24 hours a day.

It's not that Breitbart's saying it that gives me pause, it's his track record for fabrication.

OK, clearly there are grounds for skepticism when we're dealing w/ Breitbart's claims. His track record is spotty to say the least. Being skeptical is different from saying definitively that he "creatively edited" the Sherrod video. Keep in mind how damaging the release of the full Sherrod video was to Breitbart's reputation. It's hard to imagine that he would have started that shitstorm knowing it would end up squarely at his doorstep.

Similarly, I think Dan Rather actually believed that the Killian documents were authentic - no way would he throw away his career betting that no one would uncover the forgeries.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:33 PM on March 1, 2012


I'm not sure why he would think creatively editing the Sherrod video would blow up in his face, given that creatively editing the ACORN videos didn't.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or rather, publishing the creatively edited ACORN videos, since he didn't edit them himself.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:37 PM on March 1, 2012


Breitbart was enabled by a news media that coddled and amplified the ADHD that he described 17 years ago in that post linked upthread by rcade, and increasingly came to display those symptoms itself, as an institution.

And yes, that's the kind of liberal I-blame-society response that he and his sycophants would especially hate.
posted by holgate at 1:40 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why he would think creatively editing the Sherrod video would blow up in his face, given that creatively editing the ACORN videos didn't.

Because the NAACP would have had the full Sherrod video, and once the quote was seen in full context, it proved the opposite of what Breitbart had initially claimed.

The ACORN staffers really did say some disturbing shit, in context, but they were speaking to an ordinarily dressed James O'Keefe - not a white kid dressed as a pimp for Halloween as implied by the videos.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:41 PM on March 1, 2012


I recall O'Keefe was arrested trying to commit voter fraud a couple months back, did he ever get sentenced to anything for breaking the law?

He's on probation for entering Mary Landrieu's office under false pretenses. His probation officer appears to allow him a long leash.
posted by holgate at 1:46 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sick of seeing people make excuses for behavior by saying "Breitbart would have done it."

Indeed. That's a terrible excuse, because if something is bad, it doesn't matter that you're doing it to someone who also did that bad thing. In that sense, I think that dancing on Breitbart's metaphorical grave is uncharitable, ugly, and generally a bad thing.

I do find it interesting, though, that this method of public discourse is one that Breitbart actively encouraged, modeled, mentored, and embraced. He lived for invective, didn't care what anyone else thought, and seemed to derive his energy from high-octane rage-fuel. I'm less interested in justifying those who say bad things about Breitbart than I'm curious about those who say that the statements prove liberals are mean, heartless people while also lauding Breitbart as a hero.

Breitbart himself said worse things about both the living and the dead, even after the things he was saying were proven to be lies. An acquaintance of mine, for example, said that Breitbart's day of rage against Ted Kennedy was "totally different," because Kennedy was responsible for a woman's death. At the end of the day, it's just a matter of carefully drawing our ethical lines to ensure that it's okay to hat the people we hate.
posted by verb at 1:53 PM on March 1, 2012


GOP candidates react to the death of Andrew Breitbart.
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on March 1, 2012


I followed Breitbart to stay abreast of the latest political shitstorms.

So you liked the dirt, you're just sick, sick, of people calling it dirt. Ha.

The In These Times story is good. I'd have had a drink with Andy. I've encountered a lot of losers like that who are fun to have a drink with. But I think Taibbi's right. It's disrespectful in a way, of everything Breitbart was, and wanted to be, of everything he believed in, to not say at a moment like this "Good riddance, cocksucker. See you in Hell."

As HST wrote about Nixon:
"My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.

Nixon laughed when I told him this. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you.'"
posted by octobersurprise at 1:56 PM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hate it when a douchenozzle like him dies, somebody who did his best to make the world a worse place, to make American politics even more soul destroying and nasty than they already were, a man who saw no bones in bearing false witness (Sherrod) or in helping to end a decades old organisation that was attempting to make life better for the poorest people in the US (Acorn) if that further his petty political goals and self promotion.

I hate it, because instead of pissing on his grave as all good and decent people should, the moral scolds will inevitably show up to tell you that you should speak nothing but good about the dead, that he had friends and family who are mourning for him too and you shouldn't hurt their feelings.

As if it makes up for his actions in public that he had the bare human decency not to be too shitty in his personal life, as if he gave any of this consideration to others. As if you should be sheltered if you chose to be friends with such an asshole.

Meanwhile, it doesn't really matter what you say about him, his death will just be another tool for his fellow wingnuts to further smear anybody to the left of Nixon with.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:02 PM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


So you liked the dirt, you're just sick, sick, of people calling it dirt. Ha.

Making unsubstantiated claims about dirt is different from identifying dirt. Got it?
posted by BobbyVan at 2:04 PM on March 1, 2012


If you want a family to feel sad for, there's thousands of new ones every day whose recently deceased family member didn't have a complete lack of humanity and good deeds to their name
posted by crayz at 1:14 PM on March 1 [+] [!]

You know, I'll just settle for not saying things like "fuck his kids" or suggesting that because his kids will inherit some cash they don't deserve consideration.
posted by the other side at 2:07 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Making unsubstantiated claims about dirt is different from identifying dirt.

You sound like a preacher caught with a porn stash.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:10 PM on March 1, 2012


Making unsubstantiated claims about dirt is different from identifying dirt. Got it?

Look, the only one making unsubstantiated claims here now is you. Evidence was provided several times by several users.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:10 PM on March 1, 2012


Evidence was provided several times by several users.

I've yet to see credible evidence Breitbart edited the video. Doesn't mean it didn't happen... but I haven't seen any evidence of it.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:15 PM on March 1, 2012


No, he just posted video that he knew was edited.

For someone who got all shirty about semantics and hair-splitting in the Zombie Mohammed thread, you're awfully fine with it here.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:18 PM on March 1, 2012


You know, I'll just settle for not saying things like "fuck his kids" or suggesting that because his kids will inherit some cash they don't deserve consideration.

Um, "fuck his kids" was from someone defending him, or at least angered that people had not THOUGHT OF THE CHILDREN.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on March 1, 2012


Also:

Doesn't mean it didn't happen... but I haven't seen any evidence of it.

There's credible evidence (i.e. his own words) that he was more or less lying about everything else, but this time he's totally got to be telling the truth? Are you really saying that you're that naive?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:23 PM on March 1, 2012


Breitbart: Teach the controversy!
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw: This didn't read like satire at all to me. But maybe I'm wrong, and TypographicalError is sarcastically expressing anger about people not THINKING OF THE CHILDREN as you put it, as well as an apparent contempt for ACORN. How do you read it?
posted by the other side at 2:29 PM on March 1, 2012


No, he just posted video that he knew was edited.

Huge difference. If he edited himself, he would have known that Sherrod's quote, in context, actually proved she wasn't a racist. If he didn't edit himself, he could have misinterpreted the video in the same manner as the NAACP and the US Dept of Agriculture.

There's credible evidence (i.e. his own words) that he was more or less lying about everything else, but this time he's totally got to be telling the truth? Are you really saying that you're that naive?

You've gotta be more specific. I freely admit that Breitbart was an opportunist with a casual relationship w/ the truth... let's strive for a higher standard when we're making claims here on Metafilter.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:29 PM on March 1, 2012


Artw: Um, "fuck his kids" was from someone defending him, or at least angered that people had not THOUGHT OF THE CHILDREN.

This is wrong in about three different ways. 1) pardonyou? didn't post anything defending Breitbart. 2) Clearly people had already thought of the children. Because 3) he was responding to TypographicalError's comment: "I will not be crying for Breitbart's fucking kids--fuck them--"
posted by Jahaza at 2:33 PM on March 1, 2012


Ah, fair enough. Serves me right for not reading far back enough after the person who literally said "fuck the kids", who was in fact effectivly saying "fuck his kids" in reacton toTHINK OF THE CHILDREN bullshit.

And, going back to that, I have to agree: fuck his kids, in that they are not pertinent to the discussion and in no way a reason we should consider Breitbart less of an asshole.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on March 1, 2012


Aside from his track record of posting misleadingly editing videos, his full-throated support of people who misleadingly edit videos, and the fact that he refused to disclose who sent him the edited Sherrod video(s), yeah there's no hard evidence that he himself edited the videos. It would be more accurate to claim that Breitbart's "Big Government" organization was responsible for creating several misleadingly-edited clips and for distributing misleading propaganda pieces in order to dupe people about Sherrod, and when caught he refused to disclose who was responsible.

He ran the organization responsible for creating and disseminating lies and possibly even covered up for others who did the same, but there's no proof he was actually the one using Avid or iDVD.
posted by Challahtronix at 2:40 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


> they are not pertinent to the discussion and in no way a reason we should consider Breitbart less of an asshole.

Yeah, it's a complete non-issue. Plenty of murderous thugs around the world go home to their nice families after a hard day's work of torturous interrogations. It's not even ancillary to the discussion about Breitbart's misdeeds, it's completely irrelevant.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:42 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


He may or may not have had a dog. Fuck his notional canine.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Conservatism, at least historically, is rooted in the idea that one should honor tradition and promotes minimal change in society. Part of the challenge of pursuing this philosophy is that things are bound to change with time - its an inevitable part of life.

Well, some conservative thinkers do acknowledge that change is inevitable. Here are some Edmund Burke quotes:

"You can never plan the future by the past."
"We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature."
"A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation." (Source here.)

"To change in order to preserve" is another Burke slogan (although I'm not sure if this quote is verbatim).

I think USA would be better off with more of this kind of conservatism, as opposed to the ignorant populism which currently seems to be so prevalent.
posted by WalkingAround at 2:44 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Huge difference. If he edited himself, he would have known that Sherrod's quote, in context, actually proved she wasn't a racist.

He continued to claim it as racist for months after he had already admitted he had the full video. Again, you'd have to be supremely naive--or cynical, I guess, although that wouldn't explain your continued defense of this issue--to believe that he didn't have his narrative in place regardless of the context.

If he didn't edit himself, he could have misinterpreted the video in the same manner as the NAACP and the US Dept of Agriculture.

They didn't misinterpret anything, they were just trying to avoid controversy in the stupidest way possible.

You've gotta be more specific. I freely admit that Breitbart was an opportunist with a casual relationship w/ the truth... let's strive for a higher standard when we're making claims here on Metafilter.

The fact from the previous links that he said that he received an edited clip, saying it wasn't about Pigford but that's all it's about, and that the full video vindicated his story, for starters. But since it appears that you're not going to listen to the evidence because it doesn't fit your story and/or semantic games anyway, I'm not sure what more you want.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:44 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I freely admit that Breitbart was an opportunist with a casual relationship w/ the truth... let's strive for a higher standard when we're making claims here on Metafilter.

I think you may have this backwards; Breitbart was the one making appearances in national news outlets, in print and broadcast. Standards for Metafilter comments should not be required to be higher than those expected of professional news media when it comes to verifiable details about claims.
posted by Hoopo at 2:51 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. This is another thread where someone gets progressively more angry with the rest of MetaFilter for not being more appreciative of him condescending to speak with them almost as if they were equals, right? Dude, is the Occupy movement not creating enough threads, that you need to start your own, now?
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:54 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whuh?
posted by dirigibleman at 2:57 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


He continued to claim it as racist for months after he had already admitted he had the full video.

As I recall, he shifted his claim of racism away from Sherrod to the NAACP crowd once the full video was released. Opportunistic? Absolutely.

They didn't misinterpret anything, they were just trying to avoid controversy in the stupidest way possible.

That's... charitable.

The fact from the previous links that he said that he received an edited clip, saying it wasn't about Pigford but that's all it's about, and that the full video vindicated his story, for starters.

All of which has nothing to do with whether Breitbart knowingly released a misleading video of Shirley Sherrod.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:59 PM on March 1, 2012


[Folks the who knew what Shirley Sherrod thing is getting sort of derailly, maybe dial it back some? Thanks]
posted by jessamyn at 3:01 PM on March 1, 2012


Yeah, let's not let our stone-piling on the resting place of a hateful, vitriolic, clown who was- at least- too apparently unhinged to be a normal useful idiot collecting right-wing-sugar-daddy dollars for furthering the political agenda of evil douchebags- and who would also apparently have frothed right in the face of anyone disingenuous enough to defend him on the grounds of a wounded fucking sense of civility- be derailled by the concern-trolling.

/adds another
.
to the pile in the hopes that it keeps Breitbart's raving, lying zombie corpse from getting up again.
posted by hap_hazard at 3:08 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


"A bunch of people seem to believe there's a conspiracy behind Andrew Breitbart's death. The theory is that Breitbart had a video from Obama's college years that Obama didn't want released. So he had to die."

Oh man, I hope it's footage of Obama teleporting to Mars! I totally want to see that!
posted by biddeford at 3:15 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


oh my lord - word went out about Matt's blog, and the pack has been called in to defend their own because you know - what he said - the nuance; the irony; the truth behind it (if they even read it) went completely over their heads....
posted by cdalight at 3:16 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alex Pareene @ Salon : Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012
posted by crunchland at 3:19 PM on March 1, 2012


I'd only ever seen him in still pictures until a few minutes ago. CNN now has a clip up of his last appearance on the Piers Morgan show from a couple of nights ago.

I noticed that he had a really disconcerting way of moving his mouth when he spoke. His lips would lift over his upper teeth as he stretched his mouth for a long 'e' or short 'i' sound. But instead of using his smiling muscle (zygomatic major), which stretches the mouth horizontally as it pulls it up, he seemed to be using his sneering muscle (levator labii) which mostly just pulls up. His lip would lift to reveal just about the top of his upper teeth, the point to where you thought he was about smile, and then it would collapse into a sneer. He kept doing it, and I kept expecting it to resolve to a smile, but it never did. Very strange.

I have to think such an unsettling mannerism, a smile continually aborted, must have changed the way people related to him.
posted by crumbly at 3:25 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I will neither celebrate nor mourn Breitbart's passing. But when it's Rush Limbaugh I'll dance a fucking jig.
posted by PuppyCat at 3:41 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, going back to that, I have to agree: fuck his kids, in that they are not pertinent to the discussion and in no way a reason we should consider Breitbart less of an asshole.

I agree wholeheartedly with the bold part of that. I maintain, however, that if you're incapable of expressing that without saying "fuck his kids" (kids who just quite suddenly lost their dad) there's something at least a little bit wrong with you.
posted by the other side at 3:50 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart Talked Politics in L.A. Bar an Hour Before Dying (Exclusive)
posted by BobbyVan at 3:51 PM on March 1, 2012


I like how the NBC network news mentioned the ACORN thing without mentioning how much of it was exposed as edited bullshit that wrongly destroyed the organization. Not talking ill of the dead is one thing, whitewashing is another.

Though it isn't like anyone wanted to do too much reporting about what the ACORN thing was really all about when he was alive either.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:52 PM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's maybe an actual issue of semantics here, where "fuck the kids" can mean something like "the kids can go fuck themselves" or something like "to fuck with the 'the kids' angle". One is an aggressive fuck you to the kids, the other is an aggressive argument that the question of his kids is entirely aside from the actual meat of the discussion.

The former read is really plausible and a pretty contentious thing to throw into the argument, though, so even if the intent is the latter it'd probably be better to find a less ambiguous way to phrase that. Artw's "fuck his notional dog" gets closer, though "fuck the notion that his dog is a consideration in this discussion of the life work of the man himself" would get into more unambiguous territory.
posted by cortex at 3:54 PM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


+
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:58 PM on March 1, 2012


From BobbyVan's "Drinking in an LA Bar" link

'You can't be very happy with the slate of Republican candidates' and he said, 'Why would you say that?' I said, 'Well, they're talking about contraception,' and he said, 'The conversation is being framed by the liberal media.'

Wow. Right to the very end.
posted by Hoopo at 3:59 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bomb squad is at Rush Limbaugh's house. What a strange day.
posted by drezdn at 4:01 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bomb squad is at Rush Limbaugh's house. What a strange day.

Obama is trying to take out all his enemies at once.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:03 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, great. Like we need anything feeding the right-wing persecution complex.
posted by brundlefly at 4:10 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is trying to take out all his enemies at once.

I was wondering why he finally decided to baptize his daughters today.
posted by BobbyVan at 4:10 PM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh, great. Like we need anything feeding the right-wing persecution complex.

Oh don't worry - the crazy started crawling out of the cracks early this morning when this thing first hit. Obama and Soros teamed up to take out Breitbart because he has DAMNING VIDEOS of Obama in college behaving like some kind of (gasp) radical! Lemme find the link...

Here is some of it - there's plenty more where this came from.
posted by PuppyCat at 4:15 PM on March 1, 2012


I was wondering why he finally decided to baptize his daughters today.


I reached my favorite limit for the day, so bravo, sir, bravo. *claps*
posted by drezdn at 4:15 PM on March 1, 2012


This is sad for his family, I suppose. But we should not be jumping up and down with joy either, because others will spring up to take his place, like mushrooms sprouting from the vast networked mycelium of right-wingery rotting the state from within. You don't get rid of the mycelium by knocking down the mushrooms.
posted by bad grammar at 4:27 PM on March 1, 2012


I... see.

/gets in helicopter, goes chasing after the dog.
posted by Artw at 4:30 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Echo-chamber is deafening today. Even if we accept the happy semi-anonymous fistpumps of those who cry that Mr Breitbart deserves no respect because he got wealthy by being an asshole. Well then, atleast he got paid! This thread is evidence that there are many who will gladly be an asshole for free and everyday. The inhumanity being offered up reflects more on those posters than on Mr Breitbart. Only in a semi-anonymous forum could being an alleged asshole and also of a different political opinion be grounds for a death celebration. Stay away from mirrors mefites!
posted by Cainaan777 at 4:34 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, cortex, I see what you're saying there. In fact, I tried at one point to read the original comment in a similar way (i.e. "I will not be crying for Breitbart's fucking kids--fuck (forget) them--"), and while it's marginally better, it still seems to direct a weird amount of anger in the kids' direction in a completely unnecessary way. It makes even less sense to me, because reading the part of the thread before that comment I really only see one comment that actually mentioned his children as a specific reason people shouldn't express happiness about Breitbart's death. The rest seem to treat his kids as a completely separate element (expressing sympathy for them, pushing back against people saying they're better off/free now or that it doesn't matter because they have money, etc.) which I think is perfectly fine (and dare I say, human).

Regardless, perhaps the whole untimely death of a parent thing is hitting a bit close to home, so I think I'll bow out now.

On preview: Take Kurt Russell with you.
posted by the other side at 4:37 PM on March 1, 2012


No, totally, for the record I find the original "fuck them" aside harder to interpret under the above rubric (though who knows, maybe TypographicalError will clarify one way or the other); more just jawing since it felt like the more abstract question of that phraseology in general was at the root of some of the later disagreement in here.
posted by cortex at 4:43 PM on March 1, 2012


The Echo-chamber is deafening today. Even if we accept the happy semi-anonymous fistpumps of those who cry that Mr Breitbart deserves no respect because he got wealthy by being an asshole. Well then, atleast he got paid! This thread is evidence that there are many who will gladly be an asshole for free and everyday. The inhumanity being offered up reflects more on those posters than on Mr Breitbart. Only in a semi-anonymous forum could being an alleged asshole and also of a different political opinion be grounds for a death celebration. Stay away from mirrors mefites!

You're either deliberately pretending to, or genuinely misunderstanding why people are reacting that way. He was a malicious, hateful individual who did real harm to real people's lives for no good reason, and he spat upon the recently-deceased himself in a pointed and public way. It's hard to see how he really deserves any respect simply because he happened to expire.

Your sentiments are ill-informed, awkwardly expressed and poorly thought out. They're just nonsense.
posted by clockzero at 4:46 PM on March 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


This thread is evidence that there are many who will gladly be an asshole for free and everyday.

If you want to get paid for being an asshole, there is SO much more money for being a Right-Wing Asshole. They are universally better paid than either Left-Wing Assholes OR Honest Journalists, and there are far more opportunities to do it professionally. In fact, if you're defending Breitbart in this thread and not getting paid for it, you are a fool and a failure at Capitalism.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:52 PM on March 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


.
posted by disclaimer at 4:55 PM on March 1, 2012


The Fox obit is really, really fucking strange. Pretty harsh. Refers explicitly to his underhanded tactics, describes his actions as 'antics', and calls him an 'underling' at HuffPo and Drudge, and ends on the note of his ghoulish delight in Kennedy's death.
posted by codacorolla at 4:59 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's rehosted AP content... still, for someone who did so much, why not write their own?
posted by codacorolla at 5:00 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nothing to do with Murdoch's fine upstanding organ then?
posted by Artw at 5:01 PM on March 1, 2012


> Oh, it's rehosted AP content... still, for someone who did so much, why not write their own?

It's kind of like how Satan will eventually disown people who made a pact with him and pretend not to know them.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:09 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Excellent. I wrote Andrew Breitbart's name in the Death Note, but my secret will be buried under this sea of comments.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 5:21 PM on March 1, 2012


He's survived by Limbaugh, Hannity...

Limbaugh: Contraception advocate should post online sex videos
posted by homunculus at 5:22 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, nevermind, here's Fox's official piece. Appropriate level of slobber on that one.
posted by codacorolla at 5:26 PM on March 1, 2012


Limbaugh: Contraception advocate should post online sex videos

Me: Misogyny advocate should stop talking, forever
posted by clockzero at 5:40 PM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Limbaugh: Contraception advocate should post online sex videos

When he dies, I will get in my car, drive to the cemetery and do a goddam jig on that asshole's freshly-dug grave.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:42 PM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


When he dies, I will get in my car, drive to the cemetery and do a goddam jig on that asshole's freshly-dug grave

I can't imagine there'd be room. I may take up jig lessons myself in anticipation.
posted by readery at 5:52 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Limbaugh: Contraception advocate should post online sex videos

Jesus, what a miserable lonely bastard he must be.
posted by biddeford at 5:57 PM on March 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


.
posted by gkhan at 5:57 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bomb squad is at Rush Limbaugh's house.

Given what a toxic gasbag he is, he probably simply spoke and ignited a pilot light. Again.
posted by MissySedai at 6:00 PM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


This evening NPR described Breibart's smears of ACORN and Ms Sherrod as "exposes."

Not even surprising anymore.
posted by wrapper at 6:18 PM on March 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


So much for that whole "fair to the truth" bs, I guess.
posted by crunchland at 6:28 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine there'd be room. I may take up jig lessons myself in anticipation.

Take my arm, let's dosey doe!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:39 PM on March 1, 2012


Glenn Beck, incidentally, is not saying that there was foul play involved in his death, but is assuming there will be an autopsy, and urging people not to jump to conclusions.

Sigh, I tried really, really hard not to post in this thread but...


So much for that whole "fair to the truth" bs, I guess.

"Fair" and "Truth", as Fox News defines them.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:57 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a (Reddit) eulogy for a kid aged 21. As sad as it is that someone dies young, I found it almost refreshing by comparison to the public Breitbart and this thread. Kittens.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 6:58 PM on March 1, 2012


let's strive for a higher standard when we're making claims here on Metafilter

Perhaps you're not familiar with the internet.
Ah, I just have a low opinion of humanity. In general, lately, not cause of this. Maybe reading too many news aggregators.

Jesus, what a miserable lonely bastard he must be.

Yeah, I wonder that. What illusions must you maintain just to keep going if you're a guy like that? Is it fear? Ego? I really don't get it. And, does he just drive people away? Is he not aware that life is short, particularly after someone he apparently has kinship with dies?
I mean - it's DEATH, get some f'ing perspective.

Nope, just keep talking, keep turning the wheel like it all matters.

World's pretty short on things that matter. Love. Compassion. Decency. Humor. All that.
It's what I really value. And I think most people do to. And yet it's in such short supply.
Seems like there's always going to be time to work or fight over shit like this and it doesn't really amount to anything. Not anything that will make anyone happy or enlighten them in any way.

Although guys like that get paid for it. But, while that explains it, it sort of makes it worse, doesn't it?
Reminds me of Tolstoy. The Three Questions.
Except the arguments are over 'how' to do it except just, y'know, doing it yourself.
Not that I'm any better. I suppose I should be thankful that I'm not Limbaugh or especially Brietbart.
But either way, got some digging I should really get back to.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:07 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


mkb: "jquinby: "They come in threes, so the saying goes. Davey Jones, Andrew Breitbart and....?"

Whitney Houston?
"

Don't group this guy in with people who actually contributed something of worth.
posted by arcticseal at 7:41 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, the three was Whitney, Davy, and Mrs bearenstien. Mr Breitbart will have to find other travel companions for the river styx.
posted by dejah420 at 8:25 PM on March 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Tons of people died today. A lot of them have families. I feel just as sorry for Andrew's family as I feel for any of the rest of them, which in practice, is to say: not very.

41 was too damn old. ACORN was one of the best institutions we had, people depended on it for their very lives. People have suffered as a direct result of that mans lies and slander. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck him.
posted by keratacon at 8:25 PM on March 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


No, the three was Whitney, Davy, and Mrs bearenstien. Mr Breitbart will have to find other travel companions for the river styx.

We can only hope that the other two will be persons of comparable character.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:33 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


one wonders how history will classify such "conservative activists"..... let us just pray that there's some justice on the other side - perhaps the zyklon b victims will want to have a word with mr galt.
posted by onesidys at 8:59 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone read the National Review tribute by Michael Walsh? It sounds like it was written by someone with a 13-year-old's perspective. I know almost nothing about the deceased, never paid attention to him, but ... This is profoundly silly stuff.
posted by raysmj at 9:16 PM on March 1, 2012


Writes a comment person at NR: "Andrew had the heart of a lion. Fearless and confident he was the king of the forest."

Who talks like this?
posted by raysmj at 9:17 PM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


someone who doesn't understand the irony of someone dying of a heart attack at the age of 43
posted by onesidys at 9:22 PM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart is dead.

I agree with the title of this post.
posted by wallabear at 9:32 PM on March 1, 2012


"Has anything you've done made your life better?"

I've read this thread all day, favorited people I've agreed with, but all I can think about is that Avery Brooks line from American History X.

"Has anything you've done made your life better?"

Well, he certainly made money from being a professional angry person. A lot of it, I'm assuming, if he could leap across the country and keep a family of five in Westwood. He was on tv. He seemed like the kind of person who liked to fight just for the sake of fighting, and people would buy him food and drinks and give him cash so he could go out and fight.

"Has anything you've done made your life better?"

I look at a recent picture of the man, and all I can think is, no, none of it did. He looked bloated from the sheer weight of the hatred and bile inside him, and it killed him, and made his wife a widow, and made his kids fatherless. It made him money, and it robbed ACORN's clients of the help they could have gotten. It made him famous, and it cost Shirley Sherrod her career. It gave him his life, and it took it all away.

When I was younger, I used to wish the people who made the world a worse place would just disappear. Now, I wish they would have the opportunity to see all the harm they did, to see how much they threw away their energy and talent by damaging others for short-term profit, and I wish, oh, Jesus, how I wish they would fall to their knees and beg forgiveness and spend the rest of their lives atoning for what they did and actually leaving things in better shape when they died at a ripe old age. Wouldn't that be something?
posted by RakDaddy at 9:53 PM on March 1, 2012 [21 favorites]


Mark Ames hits the right notes here.
posted by wuwei at 10:50 PM on March 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Taibbi was timid compared to Ames.
posted by telstar at 12:41 AM on March 2, 2012


Ames, Taibbi... they went up against some real crazies back in their Russian era Exiled years. And both can write and both are actually journalists. Breitbart could not hold a candle to either of them.

I'll be enjoying another cappuccino again today!
posted by zaelic at 12:59 AM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


slightly derail-y, but Ames' paragraph on Dennis Miller deserves quoting here:
Like Dennis Miller, another failure who found a second life as a Murdoch monkey after getting run out of the Monday Night Football booth as the worst failure in sports announcing history. Now Dennis Miller will never have to face the rigors of free-market comedy competition again; he’s now protected by the right-wing, so long as he carries their water.
Anyway, back to figuring out how to mark the death of not-nice, actively harmful people.
posted by LMGM at 2:40 AM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Someone touched on this, but as vile as this guy was, the fact that anyone of consequence took him even the slightest bit seriously is a far greater concern.
posted by ambient2 at 6:34 AM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


"[D]uring the last twelve hours, I've received messages from people all over the country congratulating me for 'killing' Andrew Breitbart." -- Lamar White Jr., who Breitbart apologized for calling a putz in his final Twitter post
posted by rcade at 6:42 AM on March 2, 2012


How do you not take someone seriously when they've made it clear time and again that they're willing to burn down the village in order to save it?
posted by rtha at 6:57 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


rtha, excellent point. You have to be either really unjustifiably charitable or insensate to not conclude that the whole "he's just a provocateur"/"of course I'm using hyperbole on Twitter" defense is profoundly disingenuous.

Let's judge him by the damage he was willing to do, which was substantial and frequent and with very, very few exceptions, more or less completely unrepentant.

Let's judge him for the odd standards he expects us to hold him to. For example, he publishes a video defaming someone as news, as an expose, without ever checking up on it or even exercising the most basic critical assessment. (Seriously, how does an educated adult who's had any training or experience in journalism conclude from the initial version of the Sherrod clip that this is a clear case of racism? An isolated quote from speech by a public figure in a highly public forum, and you're not going to double-check that? You're either an idiot, or you don't want to know.)

Let's consider that this is a guy who understood deeply and profoundly that once you get past 12 hours of exposure, the truth of a matter (like Shirley Sherrod or ACORN) doesn't matter anymore -- if you can make the shit stick for 12 hours, you've accomplished your goal.

Up to the end of his life, Breitbart was willing and eager to do great harm to anybody to make his point. He was a thug. Let's not whitewash that.
posted by lodurr at 8:32 AM on March 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Up to the end of his life, Breitbart was willing and eager to do great harm to anybody to make his point. He was a thug. Let's not whitewash that.

Right, but I believe that his steep lowering of the level of the political discourse at a transitional period, when professional journalism is going away, may be more important than his influence on individual people's lives and reputation. For a certain segment of conservative, he made thuggishness acceptable and admirable.
posted by goethean at 9:25 AM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Taibbi and Ames get it.
That said, I have close relatives who regularly spout out offensive and uninformed nonsense in the manner, if not the scale, of Breitbart. Some of them do it deliberately in order to offend. One of my relatives is politically active, and does it in public. Still, each of them is a wonderful wife/husband, parent, child, etc.. I love them dearly, and would be desperately sad if I lost them. But I would neither be surprised nor offended if the people they had hurt did not share my sorrow. Being deliberately offensive is wrong, and my relatives and I know that. I'm certain Breitbart's friends and family know that. They mourn for the person they knew, who is not the same as the one the rest of us knew.
I wonder what they tell the children, though.
posted by mumimor at 10:18 AM on March 2, 2012


harsh as it sounds, it does a disservice to the people he has harmed (or his legacy will harm) to think much about the feelings of his family.
posted by lodurr at 10:57 AM on March 2, 2012


I wonder what they tell the children, though.

You can be assured that the 12 year-old knew exactly what kind of public assholery his father got up to. Middle school social studies classes cover current events, and kids typically have no problems getting on the internet at that age, either. He's probably been told "Dude, your dad is a dick!" more than once. The 10 year-old probably had some inkling.

The younger two? Well, when they're of age to go trawling the internet, they'll find out for themselves and make up their own minds.

I've seen about half a dozen articles today howling about "Think of the children!" in reaction to public criticisms of Breitbart. Why is it my responsibility to think of them and sanitize my thoughts, just in case they might stumble over them some day? Didn't their father have a greater responsibility to be a better example for them? He made a deliberate choice to be a sack of festering goat testicles, without regard for what his children might read about his antics later. If they don't know what a dick he was now, they'll find out through his own recorded blusterings later, and any poor opinion they form of him is going to be his own damned fault, not the fault of those of us criticizing him.
posted by MissySedai at 11:07 AM on March 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Reading something last night (Andrew Sullivan? can't check now) about 'the last hours' of Breitbart, found Andrew Breitbart not far from home arguing politics with a stranger in a bar. Whoa, says me, that's pure alcoholism there. You have four school age kids and you spend your evenings with strangers drinking? He supposedly did not 'seem drunk' and was just drinking wine. Yeah.

When my kids were that age on school nights there was so much to do, helping with homework, checking on spelling words, combing out tangles after baths... how does one skip out on this? It is one thing when you're on the road and spend the evening in a bar rather than sitting in a hotel room, but at home? The talk of him having access to some secret tape of Obama from long ago that would effect the 2012 election sounds like alcoholic blathering.

In other words, FUCK HIM.
posted by readery at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Reading something last night (Andrew Sullivan? can't check now) about 'the last hours' of Breitbart, found Andrew Breitbart not far from home arguing politics with a stranger in a bar.

Here.
posted by rcade at 11:37 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ta-Nehisi Coates:
I have heard it said by some fellow liberals that Breitbart was in fact a good person, that his public persona was not the same as his private. This kind of praise is so broadly true of most contraversial public figures as to be meaningless. And it is irrelevant. Breitbart may well have been an excellent father and a great friend but that is not why we are talking about him. We are noting his death because of the impact he had on our politics and our conversation. It must be said that that impact was for the worse. Any talk of his private life, is an attempt to change the subject and avoid discomfiting truths.

It is wholly appropriate to be sorry that Andrew Breitbart died. But in the relevant business, it is right to be sorry for how he lived.
posted by mhum at 11:46 AM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


Andrew Breitbart Death Sparks Conspiracy Theories Galore
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on March 2, 2012


Andrew Breitbart's Fans Mark His Passing With An All-Out Assault on Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi.
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on March 2, 2012


Okey-dokey.

Friend of Andrew Breitbart to Release Tapes of Obama
One of Andrew Breitbart’s close friends has said that he will keep a promise to the recently deceased blogger. That promise involves releasing tapes that prove Barack Obama is a radical who was bent on ‘racial division and class warfare.’

“We are going through a series of tapes of President Obama at Harvard,” Steve Bannon, a filmmaker said.

“We will show them in a week to 10 days.”

... “We are going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008. The videos are going to come out, the narrative is going to come out, that Barack Obama met a bunch of silver ponytails in the 1980s, like Bill (Ayers) and Bernardine (Dohrn), who said one day we would have the presidency, and the rest of us slept as they plotted, and they plotted, and they plotted. Barack Obama is a radical, we should not be afraid to say that! Okay? And Barack Obama was launched from Bill and Bernadine’s salon. I’ve been there.”
posted by ericb at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2012


“We will show them in a week to 10 days.”

Well, sure. It will take at least that long to splice things together.
posted by MissySedai at 12:20 PM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


He's dead, but his legacy lives on. And we are all the worse off for it, including people who agree with his politics if not his methods.
posted by rtha at 12:27 PM on March 2, 2012


It only wanted Alex Jones.

But in that piece, I take issue with Weigel when he writes "To rant and theorize, with no evidence, about a plot against Breitbart is to do him a great disservice." On the contrary, says I, it's the most obvious way to carry out his legacy.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:13 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apropos of nothing, but: Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:25 PM on March 2, 2012


How do you not take someone seriously when they've made it clear time and again that they're willing to burn down the village in order to save it?

He burned nothing. He spewed shit and people ate it like it was free chocolate.
posted by ambient2 at 11:53 AM on March 3, 2012


yeah, heard a couple you guys on the sidewalk there with him. no?
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:31 PM on March 3, 2012


This seems appropriate for the moment, and for this thread,

... the right-wing intellectual is a knave, a conformist who refers to the mere existence of a given order as an argument for it, and mocks the Left on account of its utopian plans, which necessarily lead to catastrophe; while the left-wing intellectual is a fool, a court jester who publicly displays the lie of the existing order, but in a way which suspends the performative efficiency of his speech. Today, after the fall of Socialism, the knave is the neoconservative advocate of the free market who cruelly rejects all forms of social solidarity as counterproductive sentimentalism, while the fool is a deconstructionist cultural critic who, by means of his ludic procedures destined to ‘subvert’ the existing order, actually serves as its supplement.
-Zizek, The Plague of Fantasies
posted by codacorolla at 8:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


oh my
posted by clavdivs at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2012


ambient2: He burned nothing.

I think you slipt that hair just a tiny bit unevenly, you wanna give it another shot?
posted by lodurr at 12:16 PM on March 5, 2012


Andrew Breitbart: Big Deal, Big Coronary, Big Corpse

The invertebrate response from journalists was exactly to be expected. Breitbart said, like, bad stuff in his lifetime, but he also married someone and fathered people; once he even objected to anti-gay GOP rhetoric. A malicious career and two milquetoast mitigating facts: It all balanced out, really, at least for the purposes of forced, quailing objectivity. To borrow a gross analogy lustily employed on Breitbart's own websites, if today's mainstream media was penning obits on May 1, 1945, they would have summed up with, "Despite initiating the Second World War, the German leader was fond of public architecture and is survived by his beloved dachshunds."

But nothing so generic could be the money quote of this squeamish grudging esteem-a-thon. For that, we have to go to Slate's Dave Weigel, who quoted Breitbart thus: "'Feeding the media is like training a dog,' he wrote. 'You can't throw an entire steak at a dog to train it to sit. You have to give it little bits of steak over and over again until it learns.'" This is just the carrot part of the metaphor. Nobody mentioned the stick.

Breitbart knew the shtick all too well: Accuse journalists of contrived groupthink, partisan deception and indoctrination to needle them professionally, while transmitting that rote accusation to your audience. Insult and demonize them on any available level until they strike back like cornered animals, and—suddenly—there's America's proof: these liberal journo thugs want to silence an honest voice, and, golly, are they ever mad when they try to.

posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on March 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's that from, Artw?
posted by crunchland at 2:15 PM on March 6, 2012


Link seems to have gotten messed up -- seems to be this: Andrew Breitbart: Big Deal, Big Coronary, Big Corpse

(because this is pretty insightful w/r/t how people get picking a fight to work out for them.)
posted by lodurr at 2:17 PM on March 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


lodurr has the correct link. Cheers!
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on March 6, 2012


I have to say, I kinda miss the big guy. He was a lying manipulative relentless shitbag it's true, but I always thought he would come around eventually and redeem himself...or just admit a lot of it was a big put on. Plus I did get into a huge back and forth throwdown with him at one point online over the O'Keefe nonsense. I'm pretty sure it was him or some very close to him. (My basic argument involved how he should stop and desist immediately from anally raping his pet alpaca. But that's perhaps a story for another time....


Death just makes us talk in cliches, but fuck it is so an un-negotable irredeemable state.

Blah.

RIP AB.
posted by Skygazer at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2012


You don't think Breitbart hated you (if you're a liberal), as in actual, visceral hatred?

Breitbart Fantasizes About Killing Liberals: “We outnumber them and we have the guns” (Video).
"Andrew Breitbart fantasized about killing Liberals — and especially union members — claiming that conservatives outnumber Liberals, and are the ones who have guns. The pseudo-journalist and media mogul also said he is the subject of death threats, and complained people on Twitter call him “gay.” Breitbart claimed he is favored by U.S. military officers, who, in a civil war, would come to his aid, and several times belittled political activist Janeane Garofalo. Breitbart said all this, and far more, at the Red Mass Group greater Boston Tea Party event in Lexington, Massachusetts on September 16 [2011]."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:20 AM on March 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


What is this obsession that right wing guys have with Janeane Garofalo?
posted by lodurr at 10:06 AM on March 8, 2012


In case anyone was wondering, the big story Breitbart was working on, the one that was going to really open our eyes to the kind of fella Obama really is, is here. Not with a bang, but a whimper.
posted by crunchland at 10:11 AM on March 8, 2012


What is this obsession that right wing guys have with Janeane Garofalo?

I kind of have a thing for her as well.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on March 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


the one that was going to really open our eyes to the kind of fella Obama really is

Wait. Wait! Everybody needs a hug?

Obama is a metafilter reader and a Timelord.
posted by cortex at 10:24 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


WorldNet Daily covers the first of the 'Obama tapes' which doesn't amount to much more than him introducing and embracing a leftist professor at Harvard. They were released on Hannity (that guy's still around?) with a transcript at the link, and a promise to release more tapes next week. If you don't want to give ad revenues to either business, then here's a report from a Washington Post blog.
posted by codacorolla at 11:03 AM on March 8, 2012


codacorolla: "WorldNet Daily covers the first of the 'Obama tapes' which doesn't amount to much more than him introducing and embracing a leftist professor at Harvard."

Wow, if they wanted to make waves, that's quite the bombshell.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:25 AM on March 8, 2012


artw -- well, i've always had a bit of a thing for her, too, but I'm lefty if anything.
posted by lodurr at 11:25 AM on March 8, 2012


I knew that the exposé was going to be edits of existing tapes like this, but if this is it, I'm actually really disappointed. If their strategy (as I predicted several days ago elsewhere) is going to be to rehash the 'Obama Is A Disciple Of The Demon Saul Alinksy' mini-meme, then its only redeeming benefit comes from them taking it balls to the wall so we can all get some fun watching. But this? It's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed for them.

Maybe that's the strategy....?
posted by lodurr at 11:28 AM on March 8, 2012


It's silly. The "radical past" stuff didn't stick the first time when nobody knew who he was, why would it work when everyone now knows him so well in the present?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm still waiting for Obama to tear off his human mask and reveal himself to be a communist reptilian from France. If only we could be so lucky.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:32 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of this stuff is especially toothless since it's coming so far away from the general (when events in the Republican primary and from Iran are surely going to bury this shit in the news cycle). It just seems like conspiracy theory red meat for the true believers in service of getting page views and ad revenue.
posted by codacorolla at 11:42 AM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was their best shot.

The weird thing about the GOP primary is that there's a ton of stuff they could run against Obama on truthfully, but instead they've just decided to transparently Make Shit Up, except that it's now so transparent that not even their own side believe them any more.
posted by unSane at 11:44 AM on March 8, 2012


So the interesting thing to me about the Frontline video -- is that you can hear the students chanting "Fired Up, Ready To Go" at one point. Obama said he picked that up from a campaign volunteer in the south some where. It's a bit disappointing if he just made that story up.
posted by empath at 11:44 AM on March 8, 2012


heh! furious, that's more or less what my boss just said: "He's an established brand. You need something really heavy to kick over an established brand."
posted by lodurr at 11:57 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a bit disappointing if he just made that story up.

Look at him -- this was a long time ago. He probably just forgot.
posted by lodurr at 11:58 AM on March 8, 2012


I'm still waiting for Obama to tear off his human mask and reveal himself to be a communist reptilian from France.

I just assumed that one of the dozen times he pulled his hand out of chinos, it would be a reptile claw.
posted by gladly at 12:04 PM on March 8, 2012


A fitting tribute to Breitbart's legacy. A feckless attempt to take one final swipe at Obama, the impotence in the threat ringing sadly, pathetically hollow.

It's as if Elmer Fudd were on his deathbed, quoting "From Hell's heart I stab at thee" to Bugs Bunny. Bugs sits there a moment enjoying his carrot, shrugs, and then goes back to enjoy his frolicsome life in the forest.
posted by darkstar at 12:05 PM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look at him -- this was a long time ago. He probably just forgot.

From what I can tell by a quick googling, he actually used it in an interview, and the use of it as a slogan in the 2008 campaign came from a woman in SC who had seen it.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:07 PM on March 8, 2012


"Fwom Hewws Haht, I stab aht thee...."
posted by lodurr at 12:09 PM on March 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Obama said he picked that up from a campaign volunteer in the south some where. It's a bit disappointing if he just made that story up. --- I'm positive that this is the blockbuster truth that Breitbart had intended to tell the world, and Sean Hannity just got the details wrong.
posted by crunchland at 12:38 PM on March 8, 2012


Well, i'm not saying it's as big a deal as like not prosecuting bush for torture, but it's still mildly interesting..
posted by empath at 12:45 PM on March 8, 2012


codacorolla: "WorldNet Daily covers the first of the 'Obama tapes' which doesn't amount to much more than him introducing and embracing a leftist professor at Harvard."

That... That can't be... Really?
posted by brundlefly at 1:57 PM on March 8, 2012


Here's the video of Obama telling the "Fired Up" story. It takes the usual partisan parsing to decide whether or not he says he got the phrase from the lady in Greenwood.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:44 PM on March 8, 2012


The greatest threat to America is... huggles? Huh.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:48 PM on March 8, 2012


The greatest threat to America is ... Huggy Bear.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:22 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The greatest threat to America is ... a bear in huggies.
posted by unSane at 7:47 PM on March 8, 2012


For what it's worth, Edith Childs does exist and seems to think she did inspire Obama to use the phrase.
posted by aught at 5:43 AM on March 9, 2012


That tape with Derrick Bell at Harvard Breitbarts minions have unleashed on the world...

Just dumb, dumb, dumb...for all the reasons everyone's already mentioned. Not even AB would try and get away with that crap, and if HE, himself, was the one holding *the* standard of quality than the rest of what they're going to come up with boggles the mind with the level of silliness this is going to descend too.
posted by Skygazer at 1:10 PM on March 9, 2012


They're lulzing us into a false sense of security.

Either that, or they're so far through their own looking glass that they think this means something.
posted by lodurr at 1:31 PM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


OMG GUYS! Critical RACE theory! Doesn't that sound TERRIFYING???
I think it might even say something bad about us WHITE PEOPLE.
Can you believe the extremist thought coming out of fringe universities like... Harvard? Oh wait, it's now elitist as well.

I'm waiting for the Breitbart folks to start using the term "uppity" any day now.
posted by Theta States at 6:09 AM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. The secret tapes they "found" had already been aired as part of a PBS documentary. That's... shocking.

Just... shocking.
posted by verb at 6:24 AM on March 12, 2012


Well, by the same token, why was everyone so surprised when they recently "unearthed" an op/ed that Romney wrote for USA Today in 2009 where he was telling Obama to go for the individual mandate?
posted by crunchland at 7:57 AM on March 12, 2012


I strongly suspect the Obama camp already had those in hand. Far more money ad volunteers, etc., than Santorum and Gingrich.

Axelrod is probably disappointed it came out now. I'm sure he would have loved to have Obama use it to crush Romney in their first debate when Romney rattled on about the horrible mandate and Obama rubbed his nose in it.
posted by darkstar at 9:32 AM on March 12, 2012


I don't envy Axe his task with Romney. It's like fighting Chauncy Gardner.

That said, he's got a lot to work with if he gives up on counter-punching and just goes on the attack.
posted by lodurr at 7:41 AM on March 13, 2012


"Sarah Palin pens farewell to Andrew Breitbart."

I wonder. Has an ex-Vice-Presidential candidate ever wanted attention so badly that she's grasped at the reflections of a dead alcoholic famewhore just to get it?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:13 PM on March 16, 2012


The spirit of Breitbart lives on! Jim Hoft (the second dumbest guy on the planet) pastes his stern-yet-intoxicated visage to every porta-potty in St. Louis. CEILING CAT BREITBART IS WATCHING YOU PEE.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:39 AM on March 18, 2012


that blog is completely toxic, octobersurprise...
posted by kaibutsu at 12:07 PM on March 18, 2012


Who could possibly be #1 if not Dim Jim?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:49 PM on March 18, 2012


Google "dumbest fucking guy on the planet."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 PM on March 18, 2012


Hold up - there are a bunch of stickers being put up at Occupy encampments the message of which is "Andrew Breitbart was a fighty drunk who embarrassed himself in front of you", and they are being put up by his friends?

I... what?
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:48 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Breitbart's face as the acknowledged symbol of a good place to piss, is approaching some sort of genius of poetic justice.
posted by Skygazer at 12:44 AM on March 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jason Mattera — editor of Human Events and known ambush interviewer — recently posted what purported to be an interview with U2’s Bono. In the clip, Mattera tries to go after Bono, suggesting the singer moved his charity’s office to avoid higher taxes. Breitbart.com touted the interview — now removed — as a tax dodge by Bono.

But, just one small problem. It wasn’t Bono. It was an impersonator.

posted by crunchland at 7:18 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can Breitbart's Media Empire Survive Without Him?
posted by crunchland at 8:19 AM on March 22, 2012


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