Breitbart didn’t invent sensationalism. He certainly didn’t pioneer “ambush journalism”. Nevertheless, he and his protegés certainly came close to perfecting the partisan yellow journalism most associated and frequently peddled by Fox News, the Drudge Report, NewsMax, and his own sites (breitbart.com and BigGovernment.com). While most of us would consider this to be a dubious honor, he would have given every indication of being proud of this accomplishment.
It’s difficult to find kind words to say about a news man whose ethics were driven not by the truth, but by loathing. While we should attempt to be respectful of the dead and their families, this wouldn’t have been Breitbart’s first inclination.
Perhaps he will attain some level of martyrdom in conservative political circles. He will likely be remembered for aiding the destruction of Anthony Weiner’s career. But he should also be remembered for producing a fake video that resulted in ACORN being defunded by congress and for selectively editing Shirley Sherrod’s inspiring NAACP dinner speech into something she lost her job over.
Even still, he must be considered one of the pioneers of online journalism and one of the primary creators of breaking-news style websites. He was a disruptor, not an especially honest one, and at the end of the day, he will be missed by those who agreed with his motives.
After the Ted Kennedy’s death, The Digital Journal reported:
‘Andrew Breitbart, Washington Times columnist and operator of Breitbart.com, called Kennedy a “villain,” “duplicitous bastard,” and a “prick” on Twitter hours after he died. Breitbart continued his opposition to Kennedy by posting: “I’m more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified,” Breitbart wrote. “Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it.”‘
Sometimes a man’s words are his own best tribute.