Andrew Breitbart is dead:
What do right wingers do when a disruptive and deceitful political operator on their side passes away? Focus on the personal. Which is what they did in this instance.Breitbart’s Last Laugh
- Matt Labash (Weekly Standard)My Dinner with Andrew
- Daniel Foster (NRO)Andrew Breitbart RIP
- John O'Sullivan (NRO)
And there are many more in that style.
This approach has been done for centuries. An Italian Renaissance tyrant who has killed and tortured will be celebrated for his good manners, taste in clothing (and food), warm personal style, loyal family and followers. Stuff like that. Or concentrate on the man's energy, enthusiasm, and zeal. Perhaps the imprecise term "warrior" will be used. Bretbart is getting the same treatment.
For a measured assessment of Breitbart, here's David Frum
... to speak only “good” of Andrew Breitbart would be to miss the story and indeed to misunderstand the man.
The good was there. Breitbart was by all accounts generous with time and advice, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend. ...
It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?
Especially when that career was so representative of his times?
We live in a time of political and media demagoguery unparalleled since the 19th century. Many of our most important public figures have gained their influence and power by inciting and exploiting the ugliest of passions—by manipulating fears and prejudices—by serving up falsehoods as reported truth. In time these figures will one by one die. What are we to say of this cohort, this group, this generation? That their mothers loved them? That their families are bereaved? That their fans admired them and their employees treated generously by them? Public figures are inescapably judged by their public actions. When those public actions are poisonous, the obituary cannot be pleasant reading.
Frum softens it a bit at the end by grouping Breitbart with others (Drudge? Limbaugh?), but the basic point is made.
Breitbart destroyed many lives with his deception. He kicked people when they were down (or dead as in Ted Kennedy's case). Those are the hard facts that cannot be ignored.
I'm sorry...that he won't have to face the consequences for what he did to Shirley Sherrod.