Andrew Breitbart's Death: What the Media Is Saying
UPDATED: Pundits and pals of the conservative blogger-provocateur mourn his loss on Twitter.
The news of Andrew Breitbart's death reverberated throughout the social-media stratosphere on Wednesday, as media pundits and friends of the political rabblerouser mourned his loss.
"Sorry for losing it talking about Andrew. Too much death this year. This just hit me like a ton of bricks. Prayers for his family," wrote National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg of the conservative blogger, author and Tea Party advocate.
Breitbart died of natural causes on Wednesday night at the age of 43. According to The Associated Press, he collapsed outside his Brentwood, Calif., home; parademics could not revive him and he was pronounced dead at UCLA Medical Center.
"We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior," read a staff message on Breitbart's website, which operates his blogs Big Government and Big Hollywood. "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."
Meanwhile, Business Insider posted this final eerie exchange with Breitbart, who had a conversation with blogger Michael Brendan Dougherty hours before his passing. The topic: Breitbart's gleeful habit of re-tweeting bitter insults from his critics. "We are shell-shocked," Dougherty noted on behalf of his Business Insider colleagues.
Matt Drudge, the household-name blog entrepreneur who made Breitbart famous, posted a message on The Drudge Report in memoriam.
"In the first decade of the Drudge Report Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment," he wrote. "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."
Wrote conservative pundit Michelle Malkin wrote: "Oh, my God. It is true. Social media entrepreneur @andrewbreitbart has passed away. Prayers for his family. Devastating loss."
Slate political reporter Dave Weigel called the news "devastating," and retweeted a bon mot from Mediaite blogger Tommy Christopher, who posted: "If there's a Twitter in the afterlife, @AndrewBreitbart is retweeting every asshole thing being said about him."
Terry Moran of ABC's Nightline also weighed in, writing: "I'll remember his enormous, brawling passion and ready good cheer. For better and worse, he reshaped modern journalism."
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons also tweeted his condolences, observing "political differences aside, he was a great patriot." And Rosie O'Donnell expressed puzzlement over Breitbart's sudden death at a relatively young age: "its quite odd - no - what is 'natural causes' - for a 43 yr old man?"
Jack Shafer, the Reuters media reporter, made reference to the late journalist's penchant for stirring up drama and attention.
"What does it say about Breitbart that the Twitterverse is skeptical about the announcement of his death on his site?" he remarked.