Andrew Breitbart

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Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Andrew Breitbart at CPAC, February 10, 2012
Born Andrew James Breitbart
(1969-02-01)February 1, 1969
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died March 1, 2012(2012-03-01) (aged 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Tulane University
Occupation Writer, columnist, publisher
Spouse(s) Susannah Bean (m. 1997–2012)
Children 4

Andrew James Breitbart (/ˈbrtbɑrt/; February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012) was an American conservative publisher,[1] commentator for The Washington Times, author,[2] and occasional guest commentator[3][4][5] on various news programs, who served as an editor for the Drudge Report website.[6] He was a researcher for Arianna Huffington, during which time he played a central role in launching her web publication The Huffington Post.[7]

He owned Breitbart.com, a news aggregation site. He played central roles in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy.

Early life[edit]

Breitbart was born Andrew James Breitbart in Los Angeles, California on February 1, 1969.[8] He was the adopted son of Gerald and Arlene Breitbart, a restaurant owner and banker respectively, and grew up in upscale Brentwood, Los Angeles. He was raised Jewish (his adoptive mother had converted to Judaism when marrying his adoptive father).[9][10] He had explained that his birth certificate indicated his biological father was a folk singer.

While in high school, Breitbart worked as a pizza delivery driver; he sometimes delivered to celebrities such as Judge Reinhold.[11] He earned a B.A. in American studies from Tulane University in 1991, graduating with "no sense of [his] future whatsoever".[12] His early jobs included a stint at cable channel E! Entertainment Television, working for the company's online magazine, and some time in film production.[10]

Previously left-leaning in his politics, Breitbart changed his political views after experiencing an "epiphany" while watching the late 1991 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, who was charged with sexual harassment; Breitbart later described himself as "a Reagan conservative" with libertarian sympathies.[1]

Listening to radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh helped Breitbart refine his political and philosophical positions, igniting an interest in learning that he had suppressed due to his distaste for the "nihilistic musings of dead critical theorists"[13] that had dominated his studies at Tulane. In this era Breitbart also read Camille Paglia's book Sexual Personae (1990), a massive survey of Western art, literature and culture from ancient Egypt to the 20th Century, which, he wrote, "made me realize how little I really had learned in college".[13]

Public life[edit]

Authorship, research and reporting[edit]

In 1995 Breitbart saw the Drudge Report and was so impressed that he emailed Matt Drudge. Breitbart said, "I thought what he was doing was by far the coolest thing on the Internet. And I still do."[7] Breitbart described himself as "Matt Drudge's bitch"[14] and selected and posted links to other news wire sources. Later Matt Drudge introduced him to Arianna Huffington (when she was still a Republican)[10] and Breitbart subsequently assisted her in creating The Huffington Post.[15]

Breitbart's work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online and the Weekly Standard Online, among others.[citation needed] He wrote a weekly column for The Washington Times, which also appeared at Real Clear Politics. Breitbart also co-wrote the book Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon with Mark Ebner, a book that is highly critical of U.S. celebrity culture.[16] On January 19, 2011, the conservative gay rights group GOProud announced Breitbart had joined its Advisory Council.[17]

In April 2011 Grand Central Publishing released Breitbart's book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, in which he discussed his own political evolution and the part he took in the rise of new media, most notably at the Drudge Report and The Huffington Post.

In June 2011 Breitbart's websites broke the story that congressman Anthony Weiner was sending women revealing photographs of himself.[18]

Breitbart.com[edit]

Main article: Breitbart.com

Breitbart launched his first website as a news site; it is sometimes linked to by the Drudge Report and other websites. It has wire stories from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Fox News, PR Newswire, and U.S. Newswire, as well as direct links to a number of major international newspapers. Its Blog & "Network" links tend to run to the right within the U.S. political spectrum[citation needed](e.g., National Review and Townhall.com). The site also has a search engine powered by Lingospot and a finance channel powered by FinancialContent. In 2007, Breitbart launched a video blog, Breitbart.tv.[19]

Commentaries[edit]

Breitbart appeared as a commentator on Real Time with Bill Maher and Dennis Miller.[when?] In 2004 he was a guest commentator on Fox News Channel's morning show and frequently appeared as a guest panelist on Fox News's late night program, Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld. Breitbart also appeared as a commentator in the 2004 documentary Michael Moore Hates America.[20]

On October 22, 2009, Breitbart appeared on the C-SPAN program Washington Journal. He gave his opinions on the mainstream media, Hollywood, the Obama Administration and his personal political views, having heated debates with several callers.[1]

In the hours immediately following Senator Ted Kennedy's death, Breitbart called Kennedy a "villain", a "duplicitous bastard", a "prick"[21] and "a special pile of human excrement".[22][23]

In February 2010 Breitbart received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. During his acceptance speech, he responded directly to accusations by New York Times reporter Kate Zernike that Jason Mattera, a young conservative activist, had been using "racial tones" in his allusions to President Barack Obama, and had spoken in a "Chris Rock voice". From the podium, Breitbart called Zernike "a despicable human being" for having made such allegations about Mattera's New York accent.[24] At the same conference, Breitbart was also filmed saying to journalist Max Blumenthal that he found him to be "a jerk", and "a despicable human being" due to a blog entry posted by Blumenthal.[25]

Activism[edit]

Breitbart often appeared as a speaker at Tea Party movement events across the U.S. For example, Breitbart was a keynote speaker at the first National Tea Party Convention at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville on February 6, 2010.[26] Breitbart later involved himself in a controversy over allegations of homophobic and racial slurs being used at a March 20, 2010, rally at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., by asserting that slurs were never used, and that "It was a set-up" by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party. Breitbart offered to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund "for any audio/video footage of the N-word being hurled", claiming that the several Congressmen made it up. Breitbart insisted Congressman John Lewis and several other witnesses were forced to lie, concluding that "Nancy Pelosi did a great disservice to a great civil rights icon by thrusting him out there to perform this mischievous task. His reputation is now on the line as a result of her desperation to take down the Tea Party movement."[27][28]

In February 2012 a YouTube video showed Breitbart yelling at Occupy D.C. protesters outside a Washington D.C. hotel hosting a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The video showed security escorting Breitbart back to the hotel while he told the protestors to "behave yourself", and alluding to reported assaults of women at Occupy encampments, he repeatedly yelled "stop raping people" and called the protestors "filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!". David Carr said with the incident Breitbart had caused his last "viral storm on the Web".[29][30]

Breitbart appeared posthumously in Occupy Unmasked, a documentary film that contends that the Occupy Wall Street movement of "largely naïve students and legitimately concerned citizens looking for answers" is actually orchestrated by sinister, violent, and organized leaders with the purpose of not just changing, but destroying the American government.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Breitbart was married to Susannah Bean, the daughter of actor Orson Bean and stepdaughter of actress Alley Mills, and had four children.[7][32]

Death[edit]

On the morning of March 1, 2012, Breitbart collapsed suddenly while walking in Brentwood. He was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he later died.[33] He was 43 years old. An autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office showed that he had cardiomegaly and died of heart failure.[34] Conspiracy theories arose about his death,[35][36][37] but the toxicology report showed, "No prescription or illicit drugs were detected. The blood alcohol was .04%. No significant trauma was present and foul play is not suspected."[34] Bill Whittle, a personal friend of Breitbart, had said that Breitbart had a "serious heart attack" just months before his death.[38]

In remembrance, Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich praised Breitbart.[39] Santorum called Breitbart's death "a huge loss" that strongly affected him.[39][40] Romney praised Breitbart as a "fearless conservative", while Gingrich remembered him as "the most innovative pioneer in conservative activist social media in America...."[39]

His funeral was held March 6, 2012, at a Jewish cemetery in West Los Angeles. Attendees included his father-in-law Orson Bean, Matt Drudge, Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, Greg Gutfeld, Ed Morrissey, Guy Benson and Rob Long.[41][42][43]

His mother Arlene Mae Breitbart died two days shy of the one-year anniversary of her son's death. She was the first female trust officer who was promoted to vice president at Bank of America.[44]

A largely sympathetic documentary about Breitbart's life and influence, called Hating Breitbart, was released posthumously on October 19, 2012.

Authored books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Andrew Breitbart, Breitbart.com Publisher C-SPAN, October 22, 2009. Breitbart referred to the "Democrat-media complex" several times...
  2. ^ Chideya, Farai. "Semper Fi Media", National Public Radio, September 14, 2007. Accessed 2011-06-10. "The other person on the panel was Andrew Breitbart, who runs Breitbart.com, a news aggregator.
  3. ^ "Angry Alec Baldwin". The Sean Hannity Show. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Andrew Breitbart Reveals Weiner Photo". The Colbert Report. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Michael Eric Dyson RIPS Andrew Breitbart On Bill Maher Show". Dime Wars. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Ng, Christina. "Publisher and Author Andrew Breitbart Dead". ABC News. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Breitbart.com has Drudge to thank for its success". Cnet news. November 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  8. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (March 1, 2012). "Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Blogger, Dies at 43". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Big Breitbart: Andrew Breitbart is messing with you. – By Christopher Beam – Slate Magazine". slate.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Taranto, James (October 16, 2009). "The Weekend Interview With Andrew Breitbart: Taking On the 'Democrat-Media Complex' – WSJ.com". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ Righteous Indignation, page 17
  12. ^ McCain, Robert Stacy (May 29, 2007). "'News addict' gets his fix". The Washington Times. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Righteous Indignation, p. 36
  14. ^ "Lists: What's Your Source for That? Where Andrew Breitbart gets his information.". ReasonOnline.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  15. ^ "How Andrew Breitbart Helped Launch Huffington Post". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon—The Case Against Celebrity, John Wiley & Sons
  17. ^ "Conservative Media Mogul Andrew Breitbart to Join GOProud's Advisory Council". Goproud.org. January 21, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ Daly, Corbett D. "Conservative website posts private pictures of Anthony Weiner". CBS News. June 6, 2011.
  19. ^ Owen, Rob. The next wave: Ex-WTAE anchor Scott Baker changes channel to run Web news site, Post-Gazette
  20. ^ "National Review Online". nationalreview.com. Retrieved November 2, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Not all Kennedy critics hold fire". Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Compromise: what Pennsylvania lawmakers could learn from Ted Kennedy" (editorial), The Patriot-News (Pennsylvania), August 28, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  23. ^ "Opinion: Ted Kennedy, the liberal adversary to the conservative movement". digitaljournal.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009. 
  24. ^ Benson, Guy. The New York Times Owes Jason Mattera an Apology, Big Journalism, February 19, 2010.
  25. ^ "Max Blumenthal confronted by Andrew Breitbart and Larry O'Connor/Stage right at CPAC 10". YouTube. February 20, 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  26. ^ Breitbart Keynote Part 1 of 4, Nashville, February 2010[dead link] Part 2[dead link] Part 3[dead link] Part 4[dead link]
  27. ^ Breitbart, Andrew (April 2, 2010). "Barack Obama's Helter-Skelter, Insane Clown Posse, Alinsky Plans to 'Deconstruct' America". Big Journalism. 
  28. ^ Alexander, Andrew (April 11, 2010). "Allegations of spitting and slurs at Capitol protest merit more reporting". Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2010. 
  29. ^ Carr, David (April 13, 2012). "The Life and Death of Andrew Breitbart". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ Sources that describe the confrontation with Occupy protesters at CPAC 2012:
  31. ^ "Occupyunmasked.com". 
  32. ^ Orson Bean (November 2005). "Sgt. Curtis Massey Was 41". Cnet news. Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  33. ^ Ng, Christina (March 1, 2012). "Publisher and Author Andrew Breitbart Dead". 
  34. ^ a b Breitbart.com (April 20, 2012). "Coroner: Breitbart Died of Heart Failure". 
  35. ^ Stableford, Dylan (March 2, 2012). "Andrew Breitbart death sparks conspiracy theories". Yahoo! News. 
  36. ^ Epstein, Emily Anne (May 2, 2012). "Conspiracy theorists cry foul after right-wing journalist Andrew Breitbart's 'coroner' dies of arsenic poisoning". Daily Mail. 
  37. ^ Lenz, Lyz (March 1, 2012). "Andrew Breitbart's Death Inspires Obama Conspiracy Theories". Huffington Post/TruTV. 
  38. ^ IN MEMORIAM, ANDREW BREITBART: PJTV Remembers a True Patriot and Friend. PJ Media. Event occurs at 1:48. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  39. ^ a b c Beth Fouhey; Philip Elliott (March 6, 2012). "Limbaugh and the GOP: The media stars and politics". Associated Press. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  40. ^ CBS News. March 1, 2012. 
  41. ^ Lileks, James; Long, Rob; Robinson, Peter (March 8, 2012). Episode 109: The 9th Happiest City. Interview with James Lileks. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  42. ^ Miller, Dennis (March 7, 2012). The Dennis Miller Show. Interview with Dennis Miller. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  43. ^ Hewitt, Hugh; O’Connor, Larry; Morrissey, Ed; Benson, Guy (March 6, 2012). The Hugh Hewitt Show. Interview with Hugh Hewitt. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  44. ^ "In Memoriam: Arlene Mae Breitbart, 1925-2013". Retrieved March 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]