My “interesting news” I was planning on running today just doesn’t seem as interesting anymore.
Instead, I’m going to write about a man I didn’t know, had never met personally, and whose website I rarely link to and don’t visit all that often. Yet it’s that larger-than-life personality he had which merits this post.
There’s no question Andrew Breitbart was very brash in his assessment of liberals. I don’t know if he would have called himself the Rush Limbaugh of internet news – perhaps he may have called Rush the Andrew Breitbart of talk radio – but there are some similarities in style between the two. Like Rush, Breitbart infuriated critics because not only was he right, he seemed so damn self-assured about being so.
It’s interesting that I wasn’t really on top of this because I didn’t get a chance to read my e-mail this morning. I had what I thought would be a long day and my laptop has been acting up, so I took a cursory glance at what was on my cel phone’s e-mail list and went about my outside job. It wasn’t until I returned home that I found out the news.
In reading the story, I didn’t realize Breitbart was as young as he was – I was already a lad of 4 1/2 when Andrew came into the world. So the news is doubly sad because he had young children. That’s not to say that his death is anymore tragic than those of other men who had families with mouths to feed, but it points out something often missed about people in the public eye – many are parents and when their father dies at a young age it leaves just as much of a void in the lives of the children. Celebrity doesn’t discriminate in that respect.
Already there are some among us who believe there were sinister intentions carried out – after all, they ask, how could a guy who was 43 years old drop dead while taking a midnight stroll, particular when he had recently announced to the world that he had college-era film of President Obama that presumably portrayed him in an unflattering light?
Obviously if those whispers about a government hit had any shred of truth they would be rather scary, but one also could subscribe to the school of thought that if there’s millions like him, we can’t be stopped by any government. And I think that’s what his legacy may become.
Sure, there are his news sites – Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and Big Peace, all under the Brietbart.com umbrella. And like National Review has done after the passing of William F. Buckley, these will carry on in some form. Yet his inspiration comes in the fearless, devil-may-care attitude many on the Right have adopted in searching out the evils of (ahem) big government, big Hollywood, etc., etc.
And while these “Big” sites were relatively recent creations, Breitbart got his start with the Drudge Report, in those long-ago days when the internet was something you dialed a modem to access. (That was back when America Online was considered hip, not bankrupt.) If nothing else, he was a part of internet history and lore. But it was only in the last few years that he stepped out of the shadows and created his unique media brand. Breitbart proved that hard work and talent still counted for something.
While I run the risk of sounding cheesy like a bad Hollywood movie plot, I get the sense that had Andrew known the wailing and gnashing of teeth which would be occurring over his death, he wouldn’t have suffered it very long before he demanded we all get back to the important business at hand. It’s not like there are no more stories which are in desperate need to be uncovered, and the loss of Breitbart shouldn’t mean they get a pass.
We still have a lot of work to do, and now there’s one less soldier to carry out the mission.