If you win a Pulitzer, your obituary will start out, “Pulitzer Prize-winner John Doe…” And if you’re Andrew Breitbart? That’s harder. Was he a journalist? A blogger? A publisher? Should you note that he was conservative? (Most stories did.) In doing so, are you implying that most in media aren’t?
Many news stories used a couple of terms to describe him, which is understandable considering that no one word seems to fully capture what he did. And a couple of stories didn’t label him, instead opting to describe his work.
Here’s the range of descriptors used in news stories Thursday morning about his death.
CNN: Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger whose posting of a sexually explicit photo of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner led to the congressman’s downfall, has died…”
Reuters: “U.S. conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, a larger-than-life author and publisher, died unexpectedly of natural causes…”
Forbes.com: “Andrew Breitbart, the controversial conservative Internet journalist, died…”
NPR: “Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart died Thursday…”
Fox News: “Widely read conservative Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart has died…”
MarketWatch: “Conservative online publisher Andrew Breitbart has died…”
The Wall Street Journal: “Andrew Breitbart, a conservative Internet entrepreneur known for controversial reports that damaged the careers of Democratic officials, died shortly after midnight…”
Politico: “Andrew Breitbart, the outspoken, conservative Internet entrepreneur behind the Brietbart media network, passed away…”
Msnbc.com: “Andrew Breitbart, the conservative firebrand and Web publisher, has died…”
AFP: “Andrew Breitbart, a US conservative commentator and creator of a popular news website, died…”
Mix and match
CNET: “Andrew Breitbart, a controversial conservative blogger and commentator and one of the early proponents of Internet news, has died…” (The headline also calls him a “controversial Internet news pioneer.”)
The Huffington Post: “Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and journalist, died suddenly…”
Slate: “Conservative journalist and publisher Andrew Breitbart died…”
Guardian: “Conservative internet publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart has died at the age of 43…”
AP: “Conservative media publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart, who was behind investigations that led to the resignations of former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York and former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, has died…”
Los Angeles Times: “Conservative writer and website publisher Andrew Breitbart died…”
ABC News: “Andrew Breitbart, the noted conservative Internet publisher and author, has died.”
None of the above
Bloomberg: “Andrew Breitbart, who became a hero to some on the political right for Internet-based muckraking that took on what he saw as too-big government and too-liberal mainstream media, has died…” (The headline also called him a “provocateur.”)