On Andrew Breitbart

Mark Ames, three times the journalist Breitbart even aspired to be, does some delightful dancing on Breitbart’s grave:

Let’s be honest: Even when it comes to right-wing hit-men, Breitbart was never that good. Or even interesting. He was a desperate self-pitying hack, a second-rate McCarthyite, his spite fueled by thwarted celebrity ambition. Like Dennis Miller, another failure who found a second life as a Murdoch monkey after getting run out of the Monday Night Football booth as the worst failure in sports announcing history. Now Dennis Miller will never have to face the rigors of free-market comedy competition again; he’s now protected by the right-wing, so long as he carries their water.

Breitbart never even rated with a hack like Dennis Miller. He couldn’t act; he couldn’t write. He could only peddle pro-oligarchy hate with a convincing bloated-faced froth. He performed public executions, ordered by the oligarchs; in his Salieri-like little mind, he convinced himself his PR hit-jobs were performance art. I remember when the right-wing used to produce some really formidable hate-mongers, but Breitbart was a Little Leaguer who lucked into a decadent period on the Right. He only stood out in our time because the American Right is so degenerate and feeble. Breitbart knew it too. An old friend of mine who works in one of the NewsCorp outlets told me that just a few months ago, Breitbart was at the NewsCorp pub across from their mid-town New York headquarters, holding a beer, drunk and sweaty, loudly boasting, “The thing people don’t understand about me is—I’m a performance artist. You see? But people don’t get that about me, they totally misunderstand me. I’m a performance artist, everything I do is performance art.” My friend said it was painfully embarrassing to listen to, typical pampered pretentious Los Angeles male bimbo talk…but coming from Breitbart, you’d expect something more formidable.

Since decency went out of politics a long time ago and Breitbart himself had no sense of decency himself I think his untimely and early death is fair game.  He would throw anyone under the bus to score cheap partisan points and has ruined more than a few lives in the process of enriching himself through the misery of others.

That Breitbart’s friends and colleagues on the professional right insist on holding everyone else to standards they never held Andrew Breitbart to is comical. Part of the reason he was so beloved despite being the type of person that most conservatives pretend to despise, Breitbart had no problems doing the dirty work that most conservative’s quite simply don’t have the stones for. They loved him because he had no scruples and not even the most minutely developed sense of right and wrong. So when they play their high-minded bs they can trust that Breitbart will get down in the mud and do ruinous things to other people that most would find beyond the pale.

Matt LaBash of the thoroughly mediocre Weekly Standard eulogizes Breitbart with a series of boring (or booring?) vignettes that ultimately fail to tell us anything about Breitbart we didn’t know. Sure, he was a glorified fratty prankster who had found traction as a foot-soldier for the activist right who despite saying terrible things about just about anyone should now we treated like any other average yokel who dies having make thousands of blood enemies:

By way of greeting, I used to ask Breitbart what kind of evil he was up to.

“Most kinds,” he’d say, gamely.

So one could easily have envisioned this being the latest Breitbart media stunt: Fake your own demise, go missing for 24 hours, thus encouraging all your ideological adversaries to bleat and fume and make asses of themselves just to prove what kind of sonsofbitches you were up against. Let the record show that tasteful blogger Matt Yglesias came through like clockwork, nearly getting ahead of the Los Angeles coroner’s announcement by crowing: “Conventions around dead people are ridiculous. The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBreitbart dead.” (Well done, Matt! Perhaps you could pass your thoughtful sentiments on to his fatherless children, since they likely don’t follow you on Twitter. Prick.)

You can be sure that LaBash exalted in this opportunity to call one of his intellectual adversaries a prick. Like a 13 year old catholic school kid smoking cigarettes behind the bleachers this is the kind of crap that conservatives pretend to abhor but secretly crave more than anything else. They loved Breitbart because he did it all the time. LaBash keeps mentioning Breitbart’s predilection for “capers” but little evidence is presented to indicate that Breitbart was anything more than a devious, mean-spirited goblin of a man. He was wrong more often than he was right and the wreckage of careers and reputations left in his wake is enough to warrant the vitriol some have tossed his way.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m gonna shrug and say who cares. Breitbart was a product of our internet-driven 24 hour news cycle that forgets as quickly as it noticed. In six months he’ll be little more than a Wikipedia entry with declining pageviews. Given how little of value he contributed to society, I think that’s pretty damn fair. Like any other easily replaced hack, he’ll inspire many right-wing copycats and as long as James O’Keefe is alive and hiding under some bridge in New Jersey, I think we’ll have trolls aplenty in Breitbart’s place.

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