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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 2, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 09
Andrew Breitbart is dead
Section One
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Andrew Breitbart is dead

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart is dead, his lawyer announced on March 1. He was 43, and died of unspecified natural causes.

'Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles,' the attorney's statement read.

'We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot, and a happy warrior.'

While some will certainly mourn Breitbart, others will remember him as a self-promoting shill for the ultra-right, in the same league as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Breitbart's most recent claim to fame - or infamy, depending on your point of view - was as the blogger who posted Anthony Weiner's Twitter photos, ultimately leading to Weiner's resignation from Congress.

Breitbart also posted the heavily edited 2010 video of Agriculture Department regional director Shirley Sherrod that caused the department to fire her. Breitbart cut and pasted the video to make it appear that Sherrod was bragging about discriminating against a white farmer. In fact she acted properly and helped him, which complete videos of her speech prove.

Sherrod sued Breitbart for defamation. He replied with a so-called 'anti-SLAPP' action, alleging that Sherrod was using the court system to intimidate him. On February 15 a federal court dismissed his claims, issuing a six-page statement accusing Brietbart of wasting the court's time and resources.

In 2009, Breitbart posted a selectively edited video of a sting operation against the community action group ACORN, which showed right-wing activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute seeking advice on how to set up a brothel.

The video prompted a groundswell of complaints against the organization, and prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. In spite of findings that ACORN employees behaved properly, Breitbart's video became a pretext for Republican Congress members to slash ACORN's federal funding.

ACORN asked for, and got, a federal injunction suspending the budget cuts, but the suspension was reversed on appeal by the Second Circuit Court. Ultimately, ACORN went bankrupt and closed its doors.

In an interview at this year's CPAC convention, Brietbart told the Huffington Post that he had once been a leftist, but flipped to the right when he saw fellow leftists behaving in what he thought were unethical ways. Specifically, he said, he objected to outing closeted Gay politicians in retaliation

for anti-Gay actions. Last December Breitbart resigned from the board of the Gay Republican group GOProud because, he alleged, the group outed Tony Fabrizio, an aide to Rick Perry.

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