Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 1 2012 9:24 AM

Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

115305050
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Andrew Breitbart, who runs BigGovernment.com, speaks to members of the media before a press conference held by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), in which Weiner both admitted to having numerous sexual relationships online while married, and apologized to Breitbart, at the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue on June 6, 2011 in New York City. Breitbart, whose publication was one of the first to break the story of Weiner's sexual conduct, was accused of lying. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Andrew Breitbart—the former Drudge Report guru,  the man who co-founded the Huffington Post and published the ACORN sting—has died at age 43. Big Journalism, the media watchdog site in Breitbart's "Big" network of blogs, was first with the story. In the age of Twitter, a medium Breitbart used to mock his critics, retweeting them for his own amusement, this wasn't enough to convince people. I confirmed it with some members of Breitbart's team, who were holding off on saying more. Nobody saw this coming. I chatted with Breitbart on Saturday, in Michigan, where he was giving a speech to an Americans for Prosperity conference, and he was as hyped-up and funny as I'd ever seen him. He polled me for my take on the GOP race, then mused that it must be incredibly boring to cover.

Back in 2010, Christopher Beam profiled Breitbart for this magazine. It was one of many profiles Breitbart sat for that year, and it was typical: He gave Beam oodles of time and access, walked him around his world, and gave him more verbiage about his philosophy than anyone could ever cram into an article. This year, Breitbart walked me and other reporters around a house he had rented in D.C., joking about his enemies, rewriting the lyrics of some World War II doggerel to make them about his enemies. Breitbart was like that: completely unafraid, confident that he was on the side of truth and justice.

Advertisement

Of course, he would only say something like that in order to make fun of the cliche.

UPDATE: I'm writing a longer piece about the news and talking to the people who make up the Breitbart blog empire. The man's name was at the top of the breaking news/video site Breitbart.tv; the Big blogs are edited by Joel Pollak, with individual editors at each. CNN contributor Dana Loesch runs Big Journalism; Peter Schweizer, author of the book that started the STOCK Act stampede at Big Peace; and so on. The Bigs rent a house in D.C., next to the Supreme Court. I'm told that nothing is changing; as proof, one journalist in the Breitbart network called me back en route to an investor meeting.

Slate V: Andrew Breitbart’s Greatest Outbursts

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.