Within minutes of posting his last tweet at 11:25 p.m. PST on Wednesday night, in which he apologized for calling one of his followers a “putz,” Andrew Breitbart was dead of an apparent heart attack at the age of 43. Most of Breitbart’s followers adored his energy, his brashness and his courage. Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online said “He was one of the most fearless people I ever knew.” Tucker Carlson of the Daily Caller agreed with Goldberg: Breitbart “was completely fearless…he thrived on the brawling.” Terry Moran of ABC News said “I’ll remember his enormous, brawling passion…” Rick Santorum added: “What a powerful force. What a huge loss.”
Ned Ryun, president of the American Majority and a personal friend of Breitbart, was thoughtful in his mourning:
The conservative movement has lost a powerful voice in the fight to protect our freedom. Andrew was a pioneer in using social media and digital technology to bring a courageous conservative message to America’s grassroots.
He did something many in the conservative movement are afraid to do — go right at the left and not back down. He served as an example to the rest of the conservative movement of how to fight for our values without apology or compromise.
In one brash moment Breitbart’s fearless and relentless personality was on display. Following his publishing of improper photos of former Congressman Anthony Weiner last May on his website, BigGovernment.com, Weiner was forced to appear at a press conference to confess. Breitbart was there and jumped in front of Weiner, grabbed the microphone and shouted: “I’m here for some vindication! The media says, Breitbart lies! Breitbart lies! Breitbart lies! Give me one provable lie!” The Congressman resigned following the press conference.
Breitbart started as an editor for Matt Drudge at his Drudge Report and then moved on to create his own news aggregator website, Breitbart.com. His business model was elegant in its simplicity: “I’m committed to the destruction of the old media guard.” He started three other websites, attacking deceit in Hollywood with his BigHollywood.com website, shenanigans and political corruption in Washington with his BigGovernment.com website, and foreign policy posturing and gaffes with his BigPeace.com website.
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