Thursday, March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart Drops Dead at 43

The radical right-wing Andrew Breitbart was a star of the Tea Party movement and a Hollywood-hating mainstream-media-loathing conservative blogger. After spending 10 years as editor of the Drudge Report and helping to launch the Huffington Post, in 2005 he launched his news aggregation site and was a columnist for the Washington Times. He was also a regular on Fox News.

His big splash came in 2009, when he posted an undercover video in which a pair of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend asked employees of the community group ACORN for help with a brothel that would house underage Salvadorans. ACORN was embarrassed when some of its workers seemed too helpful; Congress responded by de-funding the organization.

Breitbart's conservative news websites also broke the story about the sexually charged tweets by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a scandal that led to his resignation.

Breitbart became embroiled in a controversy for his deliberately false reporting on a web video of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod. The edited video appeared to show Sherrod making a racist comment, but the full tape later put the remark in context and made clear that Sherrod was actually talking about bridging racial differences.

The edited video left viewers with the inaccurate impression that Sherrod had deliberately not helped a white man save his family farm in 1986 when she worked for a Georgia nonprofit organization. Sherrod was fired after the edited video surfaced, and later filed suit against Breitbart.

Brietbart had once bragged about making enemies with his extremism, saying, "I enjoy making enemies", and even admitted that he had lost friends.

Breitbart had been walking near his house in L.A.'s Brentwood neighborhood (where O. J. Simpson use to live before going to prison). Shortly after midnight on Thursday, he suddenly collapsed. Someone saw him fall and called paramedics, who then tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center. Breitbart had suffered heart problems a year earlier.

Breitbart's final tweet had been, "I called you a putz cause I thought you were being intentionally disingenuous. If not I apologize."

Presidential hope Rick Santorum said he was crestfallen. "What a powerful force. What a huge loss, in my opinion, for our country and certainly for the conservative movement." bla, bla, bla.

Breitbart's father, Gerald, owned Fox and Hounds, a Santa Monica restaurant that later became a punk rock club. His mother, Arlene, was an executive at Bank of America in Beverly Hills.

Breitbart is survived by his wife Susannah Bean Breitbart, 41, and four children. His estimated net worth was $9.5 million, and he once offered a $100,000 reward for any proof of Tea Party racism.

No comments:

Post a Comment