Rest in Peace? Not Too Damned Likely.
"I called you a putz cause I thought you werebeing intentionally disingenuous." - Andrew Breitbart on Twitter minutes before his sudden death.
It's only fitting that in the final minutes of his life, Andrew Breitbart chose to reiterate a final insult to an anonymous detractor. It's also fitting that in his final public appearance (at CPAC), he showed us a last flare of the bugged-eyed conspiratorial venom that he'd aimed largely at liberals, calling the CPAC protesters in a pathetic recycling of the #OWS meme he'd helped launch and spread, "rapists."
I am not going to ask people to pray for Andrew Breitbart and his family because I'm an atheist. And I'm also not going to feign respect for a man who had absolutely no problem whatsoever with dancing on Ted Kennedy's as yet dug grave and who'd crossed swords with me on Twitter when I'd tried holding his feet to the fire. Besides, right about now, I can perfectly imagine Lucifer doing a facepalm and muttering to himself while Beelzebub unsuccessfully tries consoling him, "What the fuck have I done?" From my POV, the most tragic thing about Breitbart's death is that it robs Eric Boehlert of half his reason for living.
But Andrew Breitbart, fellow Americans and countrymen, is dead, according to his own website, BigConspiracy.com, that risibly referred to him as "a happy warrior." There was nothing happy about Andrew Breitbart, a man who saw black power and ACORN conspiracies behind every mailbox. In fact, if Breitbart had let himself be happy outside of squirting sewage at liberals and manufacturing conspiracy theories, he'd still be among us. As it was, his death by natural causes was most likely a heart attack or toxic shock from accidentally biting his venomous tongue or apoplexy over "discovering" yet another evil, dark secret about George Soros.
Breitbart's legacy rests largely on the fact that he was the Sugar Daddy of another conspiracy theorist, James O'Keefe. Thanks largely to Breitbart's financial and public relations backing, O'Keefe was allowed to film misleading and cleverly edited videos purporting to show ACORN workers in a bad light. According to Breitbart and O'Keefe, ACORN was giving advice to O'Keefe and Hannah Giles on how to set up a brothel while both of Breitbart's proteges were in full pimp/prostitute costumes. As we all now know, nothing could be further from the truth.
We also know that low-level USDA offical Shirley Sherrod's speech to the NAACP was also cleverly edited with the express purpose of disingenuously showing Ms. Sherrod in a racist light. In her speech, she recounted an incident in which she revealed she was not too disposed to help a white farmer. What Breitbart not so cleverly left out was the peroration of Ms. Sherrod's speech in which she also revealed this led to an epiphany that taught her an invaluable lesson about racial tolerance.
More recently, Breitbart added to his infamy by "reluctantly" releasing the Anthony Weiner Twitter photos to bottom feeders Opie and Anthony, thereby inspiring in many of us the nausea of Breitbart presenting himself as a model of forbearance.
In a slightly more sane world (forget about "a perfect world". That meme died with the first foreclosure, the expulsion of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden), people like Andrew Breitbart would be reduced to holding sandwich boards and placards reading, "The End is Nigh! Repent!" on urban street corners while sympathetic commuters pass by him and dropping spare change in a paper coffee cup.
But this is not a perfect world nor even a remotely sane one. If it was, then people like Breitbart wouldn't then be given so much journalistic currency to set up a little empire on the internet and wouldn't have found himself on television so often and seriously asked for his opinion. This is the United States, a nation of ass-backwards priorities that is titillated by scandal no matter how baseless.
We are Americans, indisputably the stupidest and most tragically misinformed and uninformed nationality on earth. And all people like Breitbart have to do is edit videos in hamfisted attempts to contort truth. Thanks to people like Breitbart and his underlings (who had actually duped him, by his own admission), it led to a hysteria in Congress leading to ACORN's defunding, hence their destruction, and a USDA official getting the boot without just cause.
Andrew Breitbart during his turbulent, sweaty, bug-eyed life served, or should have served, as an invaluable object lesson on many fronts. He should have served humanity as a warning as to what fallout results when conspiracy theorists like him get hold of the public imagination and is allowed to do with video editing that would put college freshman film students to shame.
He could have served Humankind as an object lesson as to what happens when you completely predicate your very physical existence on hatred and misguided passion. Breitbart was only 43, a full decade younger than me. So many conspiracy theories to manufacture, so many lives and worthy organizations to ruin, so little time.
Andrew Breitbart's various conspiracy theory websites that are charitably referred to as news sites were the sweaty, lice-riddled armpit of an already highly suspect internet that also includes The Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, two other tabloid cyber rags he'd helped found. Breitbart is the price we pay, and the price that innocents pay, when we swallow wholesale every outlandish theory that's advanced and amplified to deafening levels.
Brietbart's entire adult life was the manhole we fall through, the banana peel we slip on, the wall we walk into when we don't keep our eyes open. And not only was Breitbart listened to, he made damned good money for subtracting from our nation's store of knowledge.
I got little moments of joy out of needling Breitbart on Twitter and getting him to reveal the lies that he turned into gold (such as James O'Keefe not being a convicted felon over the Mary Landrieu break-in). But I will not miss such moments any more than I missed Hal Turner after he did the stainless steel shuffle to federal prison.
Andrew Breitbart was a national embarrassment or should have been regarded as such. Instead, he was elevated to a level of celebrity and notoriety denied many, many others who toil in the trenches in obscurity day after day, year after year, to honestly educate the American public about what really is and what's truly important. But if the American public was truly educable, then people like Breitbart wouldn't thrive as he had and backhanded obituaries like this would not exist.