Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

I was shocked today to hear of Andrew Breitbart’s sudden and untimely death. At 43, he died in the prime of his life, just when he was starting to make a major difference in the world. My heart goes out to his wife and his four children.

Breitbart served as a lightning rod for conservatives who were frustrated with a media establishment that, knowingly or unknowingly, filters its views through a left-leaning prism. He exposed blatant corruption in organizations like ACORN that the mainstream media ignored for years. He also broke the Anthony Wiener scandal. Most importantly, he provided a place for conservative bloggers like me to have a larger platform than we otherwise would have on their own.

Breitbart was fearless, passionate, and determined. Love him or hate him, he certainly enlivened political debate in this country.

Andrew, we will sorely miss you.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Leadership, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

  1. Marcello Jun says:

    “…he certainly enlivened political debate in this country.”

    And here I thought this was supposed to be the go to place for the “rational republican.”

    Breitbart became most notorious for his vituperative vindictiveness, irrational ranting, elated extremism, and liberal use of lies. Promoting debate, by necessity, demands respect in the face of disagreement, politeness towards opposing views, and a reverence for facts and reason. Breitbart exhibited none of these traits.

    You mentioned the highlights of the legacy of his short life: exposing ACORN and Anthony Wiener.

    “He… broke the Anthony Wiener scandal.” A Congressman who sends suggestive pictures of himself to an adult he never meets in person. How is that relevant to the national debate? At all? How has that changed America for the better?

    “He exposed blatant corruption in organizations like ACORN.” Yes, he propagated a heavily edited, deceitfully arranged video that enticed investigations by the Massachusetts, the California, and the New York Attorney Generals, the Congressional Research Service of the House Judiciary Committee, and the US GAO, which unanimously agreed there was NO evidence of ANY wrongdoing or mishandling of federal funds by ACORN. Which must have been obvious for the ones cutting the clip in the first place. How is this relevant to the national debate? Or honest, even? How has that changed America for the better?

    As a fire-stoker, a rabble-rouser, and mob-enciter he was second to few, but a constructive and positive influence he was not. I’m sure his family and loved ones will miss him greatly. The country will not.

    • “How has that changed America for the better?”

      In an American political establishment rife with liars and cheats, Breitbart helped rid Congress of a known liar and cheat. It sounds like a win to me.

      “He exposed blatant corruption in organizations like ACORN.”

      Then please explain to me why an effective arm of the Democratic Party should be funded by the federal government? Explain to me why 400,000 of 1.3 million voter registration forms they collected were ultimately rejected? The world is a far better place without ACORN.

      “As a fire-stoker, a rabble-rouser, and mob-enciter he was second to few, but a constructive and positive influence he was not.”

      He was certainly a polarizing figure. But so are Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank among others. His positive influence was exposing the left-leaning bias that exudes the main stream media establishment (except Fox, of course, which has a strong right-wing bias).

  2. ted hazlett says:

    Marcello- You are a monster moron. Acorn is under investigation for most of the voter corruption and connected to barney frank and fannie and freddie scandals that is eventually going to send us to the poor house. Are you from another planet. Andrew was an american hero. Tou are so deficient that you must be from the ows low-lifes.

  3. bnmng says:

    I keep thinking that it’s common knowledge that the voter fraud scandal was actually not a voter fraud scandal but the result of temporary workers (people Acorn grabbed off the street) deceiving Acorn by turning in fake applications, and I thought it was common knowledge that the pimp scandal was a complete farce based on a carefully edited video. And Acorn is no more an arm of a political party than many other non-profit organizations that receive federal funds while also supporting sister organizations which endorse political candidates.

    Acorn wasn’t run very well, and they violated election law by paying workers for voter registration. Those were issues worth reporting on, and I believe Breitbart did report on those issues, but his biggest accomplishment was reporting on things that didn’t happen, and using lies and distortions to take down an organization which helped provide housing, disaster relief, and education for poor people I don’t believe in spitting on the dead, but I also don’t believe in honoring their misdeeds.

    • bnmng,

      ACORN’s actions, whether through overt action or the gross negligence of failing to vet the people it hired, resulted in actions which fundamentally undermined our Democratic system. 400,000 fraudulent voters is not something that is even remotely excusable. If the US military hired 300 contractors and 1 of these contractors water boarded three foreign jihadis responsible for killing innocent women and children, you can be damn sure several officers get court-martialed. But if ACORN undermines our democratic system, the group disbands and reforms into several other organizations like a hydra, and no one goes to prison.

      I simply cannot understand why people make excuses for this organization. How can one organization allow 400,000 people to commit voter fraud? It is simply inconceivable to me.

      Voter fraud is deadly serious business. If confidence in the system’s legitimacy fails, than the system fails. The world is a far better place without ACORN.

      • VR Kaine says:

        ACORN is, and always will be, a sham, and thanks to Breitbart for exposing it for what it is. Whether it was Rathke’s embezzlement of millions that he was never charged for, the voter tampering, or them scrambling to shred documents after being linked to Occupy, guys like Breitbart showed that unfortunately we can’t rely on the investigative powers (or desires) of mainstream journalism today.

        I don’t put him on some pedestal as a hero or saint. He certainly wasn’t without his flaws, but to me he exposed people who were supposedly serving the public trust whose flaws were far worse.

      • BruinDesign77 says:

        According to Wikipedia: It was estimated by Project Vote that 400,000 registrations collected by ACORN were ultimately rejected, the vast majority for being duplicate registrations submitted by citizens (which is also common at government voter registration services according to reports on the National Voter Registration Act by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission). An unknown number of registrations were fraudulent, but Project Vote estimated that only a few percent were, based on past years and samples from some drives in 2008.

        If you are all about “rational, without the rage,” why are you not fact checking your statements?

        • BruinDesign77,

          This is the danger of writing things in passive voice. It is unclear who the doer of the action is. It is unclear from the sentence you cite who ultimately rejected the 400,000 fraudulent registrations. Was it an outside agency, or ACORN itself?

          Either way, whether ACORN was indicted or not, the fact that members of the organization at multiple offices sought to help a pimp and his prostitute are indicative of a rotten organization any way one cuts it.

          • bnmng says:

            400,000 rejected is not the same as 400,000 fraudulent. A lot were duplicates and since lately there’s been a push to expire old registrations, people have been encouraged to resubmit if they’re worried about any problems with their existing registrations. A bad address is a major reason for rejecting applications. A lot of poor people and young people don’t live at their legal address and write the wrong address on their applications. There’s plenty of reasons for an application to be rejected and some registrars are more enthusiastic about rejecting them than others. Since ACORN targeted people who were unfamiliar with the voting process it’s not too surprising that the number of unacceptable applications was high. That’s not fraud.

            But the big scandal was about the clearly false registrations turned in by temporary ACORN workers. ACORN didn’t want false applications. A million applications submitted with the name “Micky Mouse” will not result in a single mouse showing up at the polls. ACORN wanted its workers to contact real people and encourage real people to vote. All those false applications were a waste of ACORN’s and the registrars’ time, and an impediment to ACORN’s goals of contacting real people. But they were not a problem with confidence in the system until ACORN was falsely accused of a massive voter fraud operation. My confidence is much more eroded by lost and miscounted ballots and people turned away from the polls.

            I do voter registration, and if I get an application that I think was filled out improperly, I still have to turn it in IAW law. But when I do, I run the risk of being accused of voter fraud and having my organization publicly humiliated and discredited. So it’s safer for me not to volunteer. I don’t think our country is better off as a result.

    • I admit that I never watched the videos, either the edited or the full versions; so I’m open to being corrected on this.

      That said, after reading your comment, I tried to research the matter on the Internet and find out what really happened. It sounds to me as if the ACORN workers, in city after city, really did counsel Hannah Giles on how to conceal prostitution and child trafficking:

      In the Baltimore office . . . the employee replies, “but if they making money and they are underage, then you shouldn’t be letting anybody know anyway.” . . .

      In the Washington D.C. office . . . The employee says, “you can have a business. She’s not going to put down that she’s doing prostitution”, and “you don’t have to sit back and tell people what it is you do”. Giles later tells an ACORN employee that she will be giving the money earned from prostitution to O’Keefe. The employee says, “when the police ask you – you don’t know where it’s coming from”.

      In the Brooklyn office, . . . When discussing getting a house and Giles’ earnings, O’Keefe says that Giles is very honest and an ACORN counselor replies, “honest is not going to get you the house that is why you probably been denied cause you probably going in saying”. Another stated to Giles, “you can’t say what you do for a living”. For tax and banking purposes, and to establish a legitimate income and credit history, Giles was told she needed to start saying she was a “freelancer”. The ACORN employee also suggested that Giles open two accounts at separate banks, depositing no more than $500 each a week to ensure few eyebrows are raised.

      In the San Bernardino office, ACORN employee Tresa Kaelke told O’Keefe and Giles they could classify the underage brothel as a “group home” to avoid detection; she suggested the pair “invest in a line of vitamins” to disguise the location’s true purpose. Later, Kaelke stated she believed the activists were joking and made a variety of absurd or joking statements to them. . . . The California Attorney General’s investigation of Kaelke determined that “none of her claims” on the video was true, that “she was playing along with what she perceived as a joke”, [but] Kaelke was fired by ACORN after the videos were released.

      In the San Diego office, edited video showed ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera telling O’Keefe he had “contacts” in “Tijuana” to help get underage girls across the border. But, after the discussion with O’Keefe, Vera reported O’Keefe’s fabricated plan for human smuggling to police. Vera was fired for what ACORN called “unacceptable conduct.” . . .

      (footnotes omitted)

      As far as I can tell, the main accusation that Giles and O’Keefe, or Breitbart, edited dishonestly is that O’Keefe had ostensibly worn an outlandish pimp costume, but in fact had worn a shirt and tie when the actual ACORN conversations were recorded, and possibly that he had never explicitly claimed to be a pimp (although, as noted above, he at least once made it explicit that he would be getting all the money Giles was paid for her prostitution). That doesn’t change the ACORN workers’ repeated efforts to help cover up prostitution and child trafficking. Whether such conduct is illegal or not (apparently at least some states’ investigations concluded that it was not), it is very, very wrong.

      Is there something I’m missing? Or is your “common knowledge” that “the pimp scandal was a complete farce” a product of the very “left-leaning bias that exudes the main stream media establishment” (as Mr. Hazlett put it above) that Mr. Breitbart was working against in the first place?

      • VR Kaine says:

        You nailed it, Chillingworth. The excuses the far left uses to try and exonerate ACORN are ridiculous, being nothing but simple misdirections and ad hominem attacks in the hopes of covering up the ongoing examples ACORN’s crimes and corruption.

        Those who defend it so passionately are likely the same people who argue that the state charged OJ Simpson with murder for no other reason other than that he was black, since it’s defending him using the same logic that they try and use to defend ACORN. And since OJ was found :”not guilty” of the charges against him, those charges must therefore have not had any merit, and therefore must have been fabricated based entirely upon race, right?

        Who cares what costume O’Keefe was wearing or what cover story he went in there with? The fact is ACORN got caught red-handed telling someone who they believed was a prostitute how to commit horrible crimes against minors, and how to commit tax fraud, and how to do both all in the same conversation. Plus, they got caught saying this in more than one location at more than one time. Their only hope of defense is to either try and pretend those conversations didn’t happen, or they try and pretend that they’re no big deal and something that a publicly-funded community organization doesn’t have to be accountable to.

        ACORN was, and still is, rotten under any name it chooses to operate under. I think the only thing “common knowledge” here is that there are surely many charities far more deserving of any funding it receives, but since ACORN fans unconditionally defend the harmful and incompetent’s right to everyone elses’ money (see also their unconditional support of unions), they’ll continue to defend its corruption to their grave.

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