Breitbart

I, like many, was shocked to wake up to the news (actually I’d already been up for a few minutes, but it wasn’t long) that Andrew Breitbart died last night. I only met him once, at a party up in Hollywood, but I’m only one degree removed from him, having several good friends who were friends. So I can’t say a lot about him from personal experience, but from watching him on television and the web, he was perhaps the greatest current champion, our Achilles for the cause of liberty, in terms of his effectiveness in taking the battle directly to the enemy (and I use that word freely, because anyone who has seen his hateful retweets knows that it is exactly how the Left views anyone who values individual liberty). Except apparently, rather than his heel, his weakness was what by all accounts was his great heart. No one has been as successful at displaying the hypocrisy and venality of the Left, which is why there is such hatred for him among them. It is a great loss for that cause, but as Josh Trevino says, we must take up the sword of the fallen.

Instapundit has a roundup of links, and Ed Driscoll (who ironically, and sadly now) was celebrating, but now is merely observing his decadal bloggiversary, has more, as does Christian Adams and Richard Fernandez (in which Davy Jones makes a cameo appearance). The National Reviewers have preliminarily weighed in as well, with thoughts from Jonah Goldberg (who was also caught with his immediate reaction, when he was clearly devastated, on Fox News this morning because he happened to be there for something else), Kathryn Lopez, John O’Sullivan, and Dan Foster.

I’m sure that there will be a lot more in the days to come.

[Friday morning update]

“You can give this day back to the Indians“:

One thing that he [Breitbart] and Bill [Buckley] shared was this basic contempt for the premise that the mainstream liberal elite institutions in the United States are in a position to judge and adjudicate the worth of conservatives. That they are in a position to judge our souls. That if we disagree with liberals, that proves that we are somehow wanting or lacking in compassion; lacking in humanity. That is a fundamental thing that enraged Andrew, this idea that if you disagreed about public policy, if you disagreed about how to organize society, that proved you were a racist. That proved you were a fascist. That proved you were a homophobe. It was the fundamental bad faith of the leading liberal institutions that controlled the commanding heights of this culture that infuriated him. And he refused, at the most basic level, to give them that authority over him or his ideas, and that is what fueled his Righteous Indignation, as his book title called it.

And more from Jonah:

…what made him a public figure is what drove him to leap into battle day after day. Andrew had profound contempt for those on the left who claimed a birthright to a monopoly on virtue and tolerance.

He rejected in the marrow of his bones the idea that conservatives needed to apologize for being conservative or that liberals had any special authority to pronounce on the political decency and honesty of others.

Indeed, when liberals called him (or his heroes) racist, Andrew paid them the compliment of taking them seriously. He truly felt that to call someone a racist was as profound an insult as could be leveled. To do so without evidence or logic was a sin.

He believed, rightly, that much of establishment liberalism hurls such charges as a way to bully opponents into silence, and he would not be bullied. That was why, for instance, he offered a reward of $100,000 (payable to the United Negro College Fund) to anybody who could prove tea partiers hurled racial epithets over and over at black congressmen walking past them to vote on Obamacare, as several alleged. No one got paid because the charge — recycled over and over by the media — was a lie.

The Internet was a boon to Andrew because it exposed liberalism’s undeserved monopoly on the “narrative” — one of his favorite words.

It not only exposed it, it has started to break it. We have to pick up where he left off, and finish the job.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Think Big, America.

[Update a few minutes later]

Who he was, how he was.

[Update a few minutes later]

Breitbart’s last laugh.

[Update a while later]

A seventeen-year-old woman (not girl) pays tribute to her inspirational hero.

[Update a few minutes later]

Ace versus the increasingly diminutive David Frum.

[Update a while later]

Apologize for WHAT?

23 thoughts on “Breitbart

  1. Bill Maron

    Comments have been closed on Breitbart stories at a number of sites. I’m sure because of leftist vitriol. I read a number of them before they closed and they were disgusting. The Breitbart Facebook page was getting a lot of them too. These people are like cockroaches.

    1. Josh Reiter

      Unwittingly enough they are giving Breitbart the last laugh with their 10 minute hate. It just shows yet again all the things that Breitbart preached about that the party of so called civility and compassion is really just a hollow shell filled with hate and bigotry. Anybody that doesn’t toe the line of politically correct double think is degraded as being subhuman and unworthy of being a member of society. And what’s really rich is all the people saying that Breitbart made it impossible to have thoughtful discourse. What? by telling the truth? Is thoughtful discourse when someone sits quietly while you lie to their face? No, the time when we sit quietly and just take it up the ass is over.

  2. rickl

    I was not a regular reader of his “Big” sites, though I occasionally found them through links. I was certainly aware of Breitbart, though.

    Almost every blog and forum I regularly read featured him today. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything like that. He touched a lot of people’s lives. The outpouring of grief was immense and genuine.

    Yet I spoke to two people today who had never heard of him. We have our work cut out for us.

  3. rickl

    A comment I’ve left at a few places:

    Woodward and Bernstein inspired a generation of young journalists. If Breitbart serves as an inspiration to the next generation, we’ll be in good shape. We need a thousand Breitbarts now.

    1. B Lewis

      The comparison was with Achilles’ vulnerability, not his character.

      To be honest, of all the characters in Homer, the only one I truly feel affinity with is Aeneas. I mean, how can anyone not like this guy?

      Diomedes was kind of cool. I mean, he wounded a goddess, so you gotta respect that. I like cunning Odysseus, too, but he really is pretty much an asshole up until the final reel.

      Oh, and Nausicaa. But everybody loves Nausicaa.

  4. Jones

    I hope that people on the left observe some decorum in speaking about Breitbart — hopefully more than he observed in the passing of Ted Kennedy.

    1. Robin Goodfellow

      To be fair, Ted Kennedy was almost assuredly guilty of negligent manslaughter. And he got away with it, the only consequence he felt was being denied the ability to run for president. (He did not even report the incident until 11 hours later, after he had changed his clothes and had got slept for several hours.)

      I don’t think anybody has ever leveled even an accusation of a crime of that caliber against Breitbart.

      1. Larry J

        Ted Kennedy did run for president as a primary challenge to Jimmy Carter in 1980. The fact is that not only was he not prosecuted, he wasn’t censured in the Senate and was reelected many more times. He got away with it, along with disgusting behavior like the “waitress sandwich” with Chris Dodd. Being a Leftist (and especially a Kennedy) means never having to say you’re sorry or suffer the consequences of your actions.

  5. Curt Thomson

    Jonah’s piece is up this morning.

    60 Minutes won awards for hidden cameras, but when he used the same technique to embarrass liberals, such tactics were suddenly proclaimed ethically beyond the pale. The joke was on the scolds because they had to cover the stories anyway. And the stories got results. Congress defunded ACORN. Heads rolled at NPR. Andrew understood that news and arguments change politics if you can get the news and arguments to the people — and if you don’t let those who don’t like what you say define you.

    Rest in peace Andrew.

  6. wodun

    The Internet was a boon to Andrew because it exposed liberalism’s undeserved monopoly on the “narrative” — one of his favorite words.

    I bet the left is regretting this whole internet thing thanks to Breitbart. He pretty much crushed the stereotype that people on the right don’t know how to use the internet.

    1. Titus

      Such an obvious blindspot on their part could only be caused by not seeing themselves for what they really are.

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