You are hereThe Brad Blog: In Memoriam: Andrew Breitbart, 1969 - 2012
The Brad Blog: In Memoriam: Andrew Breitbart, 1969 - 2012
-By Brad Friedman
March 1, 2012- On the day that news of Sen. Ted Kennedy's death hit after decades of service to his nation, Andrew Breitbart took to Twitter to call him a "duplicitous bastard", "a prick," and, "a special pile of human excrement."
Breitbart died here in Los Angeles last night, reportedly of "natural causes", sometime after midnight. He leaves behind a wife and four children. He was 43.
His legacy will speak for itself. It need not be embellished. Though, undoubtedly, it will be. Just not by us. We don't do that here.
We've covered his work honestly, accurately and fairly over the years in more articles than we care to remember and certainly more than we cared to write. It was a courtesy he did not reciprocate. Each time we wrote about him or even spoke of him, it was reluctantly, as it is today. Our interest in Breitbart was never in him, no matter his, or his followers, misguided beliefs to the contrary. Our interest was only in the failures of the mainstream corporate media that he, ironically enough, helped to highlight, and in our hopes of standing up for those he'd harmed.
While pretending to point out "liberal media" bias, what Breitbart ultimately served to do was highlight the corporate media's cowardice, laziness and penchant for trusting in scoundrels. Oddly, that may have been exactly what he wanted to do --- just not in the way he had hoped...
We covered Breitbart here and on radio and elsewhere only to point out the failures of the corporate mainstream media in telling the truth about his hoaxes and duplicity, in hopes that they would not enable him to hurt even one more person in the future. He hurt an extraordinary number of innocent people. He did so for sport and profit. We had tried to stand up for those whose lives had been shattered by his cruel recklessness. Those were the only reasons his name was ever seen on The BRAD BLOG's pages, as it was again just last week after his attempt to dismiss the defamation suit against him by Shirley Sherrod, an African-American woman and public servant, who he had dishonestly tarred as a "racist". His deceptively edited video and report helped lead to her losing her job with the federal government after the Obama Administration, once again, fell for Breitbart's scams, failed to do its own due dilligence, and showed a similar cowardice to so many of those in the corporate mainstream media.
There will be time to point to more specific such failures concerning Breitbart in the future --- if we must. But for now, for the record, since many in the corporate media are, reliably, getting it wrong again today: No, Andrew Breitbrart's employee, convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe, did not "pose as a pimp" in ACORN's office, as Breitbart's website publicized and as Breitbart lied about over and again. Nor did O'Keefe ever dress as one in those offices either, as the New York Times and many many others misreported for months and as some, such as the AP, continue to shamelessly do today.
Nor did the workers of ACORN --- the four-decade old community organization which Breitbart reveled in unfairly destroying, even after they'd legally and courageously fought for the rights of millions of low- and middle-income American citizens to participate in the American dream --- ever offer advice on how to avoid paying taxes or how to smuggle child prostitutes or any other criminal matter that Breitbart and his organizations helped lie about.
As we painstakingly detailed over many months, "the only crimes captured on those videos, as confirmed now by at least five separate independent investigations (see here, here, here, here and again here) were those carried out by O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles in secretly video-taping workers."
There are many other things that Breitbart did and didn't actually do, and many other things that he was and actually wasn't. Those can all wait for another day.
"Whatever Andrew Breitbart did in his short life is now concluded," National Memo editor Joe Conason tweeted today, "and he has left behind a wife and children who deserve compassion."
Breitbart had a very different sense of morality than ours. We take no joy in speaking ill of those who have just died. So, we'll close for now by simply quoting the brief, Twittered thoughts, of just two of those who he had most reveled in unfairly attacking and lying about while he lived.
"Condolences to Andrew Breitbart's friends and family today. He was a force of nature and a passionate foe," tweeted Media Matters' Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert generously upon the news today.
But we'll associate even more so with the thoughts of Salon's Joan Walsh who tweeted: "'Rest in peace' sometimes feels like a cliche, but it's an entirely fitting wish for Andrew Breitbart. My prayers go out to his family."
So do ours.