LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2012 – Conservative journalist and firebrand Andrew Breitbart died unexpectedly early this morning, reportedly from natural causes. He was 43. He’d visited Washington just last month to confront CPAC demonstrators who were attempting to disrupt that conservative organization’s meeting in the nation’s capital.
According to a report in this morning’s online LA Times, Breitbart “collapsed while walking near his Brentwood home.” The Times reports that Brietbart “Breitbart was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center about midnight, where he was pronounced dead of natural causes.”
An AP report stated that actor and longtime Hollywood fixture Orson Bean, Mr. Breitbart’s father-in-law, indicated that that a neighbor saw his son-in-law collapse and called for emergency services. According to Mr. Bean, Mr. Breitbart was known to have heart issues.
Mr. Breitbart’s main website, BigGovernment.com, published the following statement today:
“We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.
“Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.
“Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:
“I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.
Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.
“Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.
Muckraking online journalist Matt Drudge employed Mr. Breitbart early on at his own operation before the latter spun out on his own.
Mr. Drudge has posted the following banner on his Drudge Report website:
“In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20’s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today… MDRUDGE”
Mr. Breitbart began to climb the ladder of fame with his own “60 Minutes” style of “gotcha” journalism, this time with an unusual conservative flavor. He was instrumental in unmasking the shenanigans of ACORN, a “community organization” notorious for its attempts to interfere with the electoral process. He also scooped the major media in the “WeinerGate” affair, exposing the former New York Congressman’s “sexting” peccadiloes before anyone else looked into them. The ensuing scandal eventually forced Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, to resign from Congress in disgrace.
We’ll update this report as details become available.
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