Lots of reaction, lost of sorrow, and lots of disbelief, here are some reactions from around the blogging world
Andrew Breitbart died today. But he took David Frum’s last shred of credibility with him.
In fact, it’s hard even to use the word “issues” in connection with Andrew Breitbart. He may have used the words “left” and “right,” but it’s hard to imagine what he ever meant by those words. He waged a culture war minus the “culture,” as a pure struggle between personalities. Hence his intense focus on President Obama: only by hating a particular political man could Breitbart bring any order to his fundamentally apolitical emotions.
Because President Obama was black, and because Breitbart believed in using every and any weapon at hand, Breitbart’s politics did inevitably become racially coded. Breitbart’s memory will always be linked to his defamation of Shirley Sherrod and his attempt to make a national scandal out of back payments to black farmers: the story he always called “Pigford” with self-conscious resonance.
Yet it is wrong to see Breitbart as racially motivated. Had Breitbart decided he hated a politician whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, Breitbart would have been just as delighted to attack that politicians with a different set of codes. The attack was everything, the details nothing.
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.
What a pathetic excuse for a man Frum is. Ace sums him up quite well I think
David Frum exceeded Andrew Breitbart in one measure only, span of life.
But not in life.
David Frum will die as he lived, gray, timid, small, spiteful, cramped in thought and bent in spirit, slender of talent and obese in self-regard, unloved, unnoticed, unremembered and unread.
I could not have said it any better
Stacy McCain has some touching thoughts and remembrances
He may have been the greatest genius I’ve ever met, with a keen, intuitive mind. Although he had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder — he had a freewheeling quality about him, and his schedule was quite improvisational – Breitbart was also capable of a laser-like focus on whatever subject captured his interest. There were times you’d be talking to him and, if that spark of passionate interest hit, his luminous blue eyes would glow with an intensity that was almost frightening.
The Left, sadly, albeit predictably is dancing in the streets
Of course, noted douchebag Matthew Yglesias had to add to the pain Andrew’s family is feeling
The most influential tweet came from Slate’s Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), who tweeted: “Conventions around dead people are ridiculous. The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBrietbart dead.”
What a coward Yglesias is.
Bob Belvedere adds a tremendous homage to Breitbart
Our Sam Adams passed away early this morning of, it seems, a heart attack. Mr. Breitbart was just forty-three years of age. He leaves behind his wife, four children, and his beloved father-in-law, Orson Bean.
I gave him the nickname of one of our Founding Fathers because, like Sam Adams, Mr. Breitbart was relentless in his quest to restore our rights as freemen, because he was willing, as Greg Gutfield wrote, to ‘work without a safety net’, and because he understood that the Right had to go on the offensive wherever possible and never give up, never give in, and never despair.
But he was more than a reincarnation of Mr. Adams: Andrew Breitbart was also a George Patton in that he loved the sting of battle and enjoyed the clash of arms. He was, as many have stated, a ‘Happy Warrior’.
Few people are indispensible to a cause, but Andrew Breitbart was. There is no one else like him around. A good number of commentators have been saying that we should honor him by carrying on his fight using the methods he developed, and they are correct: we must not let his life’s work be in vain because his life’s work was to defeat the malignant forces of the Left and see America restored to the ways of The Founders. However, we have some mighty big shoes to fill, so it will not be easy.