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Conservative media personalities Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh paid tribute to Andrew Breitbart Thursday, after the conservative activist’s unexpected death.
Beck called for an autopsy of Breitbart, who was 43, to ensure there was no foul play involved in his death. Beck said he expected an autopsy himself, when he dies. Beck also expressed hope that Breitbart’s conservative news and commentary website continues, even though it is a direct competitor of his own.
“We need more voices, not fewer voices,” Beck said.
Beck praised Breitbart for a series of videos showing ACORN workers allegedly conspiring in criminal activities. The videos, made by Breitbart protégé James O’Keefe, became a media sensation and eventually resulted in Congress defunding the non-profit organization, which many conservatives accused of being a front for liberal political operations.
STORY: Andrew Breitbart Dead at 43
“He is the guy who exposed ACORN and really made it personal to the American people,” Bleck said.
Beck also addressed the perception that he and Breitbart were feuding, after Beck’s news and opinion site the Blaze took issue with the editing of a Breitbart-promoted sting video, which embarrassed an NPR executive.
“People try to make a big deal out of this feud I had with Andrew. I didn’t have one with Andrew. He may have had one with me, but I didn’t have one with him. I tried to do what I felt was right, and if people disagree with me, they disagree with me.”
Rush Limbaugh called Breitbart an “indefatigable bulldog for the conservative cause,” and said he accomplished much.
“He did things nobody else has done on the Internet, where there a lot of players,” Limbaugh said of Breitbart, who worked as an editor at the Drudge Report and later helped launch the Huffington Post.
STORY: Andrew Breitbart Talked Politics in L.A. Bar an Hour Before Dying
Limbaugh said Breitbart had sent him giant paintings of the American flag for his birthday for the past three years, and had been a guest at his wedding.
Limbaugh also slammed the media response to Breitbart’s death, saying it distorted the activist’s work. Limbaugh was disappointed that “even the AP” misrepresented Breitbart in its obituary of him, saying it unfairly characterized a video his Breitbart helped promote featuring former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod.
VIDEO: Andrew Breitbart Speaking to the Hollywood Congress of Republicans
Sherrod claims the video was edited to make her appear racist and filed suit against Breitbart and one of his aides last year. In its eulogy, the AP noted Sherrod was forced to leave her job at the Agriculture Department because of the video, but was later determined not to have made racist comments when the full, unedited video came to light.
“He exposed Shirley Sherrod just as he exposed Anthony Weiner’s photos,” Limbaugh said.
Other media personalities also eulogized Breitbart Thursday. Fox News host Sean Hannity noted that Breitbart relished the opportunity to confront people at left-wing events.
“Andrew loved nothing more than to go down with a camera and challenge them,” Hannity said on Fox News Thursday. “Where many people would say that was the last place I’d want to be, Andrew loved nothing more than to be in the middle of it.”
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