I was stunned to learn of the death of Andrew Breitbart, author, journalist, New Media maven, conservative activist and scourge of the left. There is hardly a New Media outlet or conservative group he did not impact. From Huffington Post to Big Journalism to Pajamas Media to GOProud (he served as a mentor and board member), he doggedly pushed back against liberal media bias, leftist canards and stuffy back-room politics.
Many lay claim to the Tea Party, but no one encouraged its growth more or better represented its anti-establishment, take-no-prisoners persona than he. In a conservative movement with far too many seeking to narrow the tent and drum this or that person out of the movement, he was the ultimate community organizer. He understood that in different media and different venues, conservatives of all stripes could contribute to the cultural and political debate. He’ll be remembered by some for the stings he masterminded and the scandals he exposed (ACORN, NPR, Anthony Weiner), but of more impact than any single episode was his joyful embrace of politics and journalism, and his understanding that dour, staid conservatism was not going to keep the right alive.
Breitbart will also be remembered for his enemies, whose vile tweets he delighted in re-tweeting, in keeping with his defiant attitude and willingness to shame hateful adversaries. In that and everything he did, he taught all conservatives a powerful lesson: If you’re not making the left mad, you’re not making a difference. He leaves behind a wife and four children, who, along with friends and colleagues, will deeply miss him.