Andrew Breitbart supporters proved themselves to be just as zealous as Breitbart himself on Thursday.
Conservative commentator and star of the Tea Party movement Andrew Breitbart died suddenly on March 1 in Los Angeles. Breitbart had gone out for a walk sometime after midnight through his Brentwood neighborhood. A bystander saw him collapse, paramedics were called and he was rushed to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at just 43-years-old. No cause of death has yet to be officially announced, though early reports have cited natural causes.
Andrew Breitbart fans were in shock. They mourned the passing of the conservative powerhouse. Andrew Breitbart was an inspiration who drove many of us to dig deeper and pursue our passion with courage. I was truly lucky to know him, tweeted Emily Zanotti, writer and social media consultant.
For many, if not most of us, blogging starts out as a vanity project, something that few of us can ever see anyone else caring about. But for Andrew, it was a crusade. Sword in hand, he took on mountains and conquered every obstacle in his wake, read a tribue to Breitbart on NakedDC.
His attitude and his passion made him an inspiration; his conviction made him a warrior. He was a man of courage, faith and talent who encouraged writers like me to dig a little deeper, think more critically, respond more forcefully, make more connections, fight a little harder and, more than anything, enjoy the fruits of our calling as writers. Even now, I'm sure that Andrew is kicking back with a cold one in heaven, looking down and thinking, now I can see everything. You are all so screwed.
However, some were not as mournful over the passing of Andrew Breitbart.
Rolling Stone write Matt Taibbi published an article on March 1 titled Andrew Breitbart: Death of D----. Based on the title and the lead sentence - So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here's what I have to say to that, and I'm sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! F--- him. I couldn't be happier that he's dead. Many could say with certainty that Taibbi was no fan of the conservative renegade. The article is peppered with other quips and colorful slang, some phrases that Breitbart was a fan of himself.
Andrew Breitbart fans did not appreciate Taibbi's musings. According to an update posted by Taibbi himself, in less than 24 hours his Wiki page was hacked and his personal telephone number was blasted on Twitter. Angered individuals proceeded to call the Rolling Stone offices pretending to be outraged advertisers who wanted to pull their ads.
Breitbart's personal phone number was barraged with phone calls and texts threatening his family and dishing out insults. Better grow eyes in the back of your head, read one; I'm going to take a s--- on your mother's grave, was another; a third called my wife a piece of s--- like you, and many others called me a pile of human excrement.
Taibbi defended his piece with this statement: The really crazy thing is that I was sort of trying to be nice to Breitbart--the obit was at least half an homage. Not that I liked the guy, but he did have a few attractive qualities, one of which being the fact that he got a kick out of the nasty things people said about him. He even once had a plan to set up a website encouraging anti-Breitbart abuse, and was going to let it ride for a while, even spending six figures to hire an Obama p.r. flack to make anti-Breitbart posters, until finally revealing that he'd sponsored the whole thing. Would a person like that really expect someone like me to send flowers when he croaked? No way: he'd be insulted if I didn't give him one last kick in the b---- on the way out the door.
The story has since exploded on the Internet. The article has garnered over 4000 Facebook likes, over 1800 tweets and over 1500 comments. Some commentators defended Taibbi. Thank you, Matthew. And ignore the right wing American Taliban who glorified in Teddy Kennedy's death (as did Breitbart himself). If you can't take it, you shouldn't dish it out. And these right wing commenters certainly can not [sic] take it, wrote one. Others commented on how Rolling Stone should not be delving into political discourse: Here's the problem I'm a conservative but I subscribe to Rolling Stone. I subscribe to Rolling Stone because I like music, I like pop culture. Recently however I have notices tha [sic] Rolling Stone has become much less about the music and more about politics. Rolling Stone isn't a Poltics [sic] magazine, it's a music magazine and it needs to get back to focusing on that - the music.
As for the staff of Andrew Breitbart's official Web site, they expressed their solemnity with the following statement: Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles, We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.