Afternoon reading: Andrew Breitbart remembered
The provocative commentator, who died today, inspired a lot of commentary.
"I liked the idea of Andrew Breitbart better than I liked any of his work at Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, Big Peace, Breitbart or Breitbart.tv," Jack Shafer writes. Shafer credits Breitbart with more hits (Anthony Weiner, ACORN, the NEA) than misses (Shirley Sherrod).
Every work of original journalism is, by definition, a work of press criticism, chiding other journalists for not getting to the story first. In this sense, everything Breitbart did was an act of press criticism, such as seeing with his conservative eyes stories that other journalists were blind to and hollering at them on television and wherever else he could find an open mike.
Speaking of Sherrod, she had kind words for Breitbart: "My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope during this very difficult time. I do not intend to make any further comments."
The Atlantic Wire's Adam Clark Estes toasts Sherrod's class: "It's a simple gesture to offer condolences after someone's death, but it's a classy one, especially when that person released a video that ruined your career," he writes. "Washington could use more people like her."
Jonah Peretti remembers co-founding the Huffington Post with Breitbart.
“He taught us a lot of things early on,” Peretti said, recalling how Breitbart showed them key features of the media ecosystem. “He explained about looking at the British newspapers late at night because they would sometimes break news before the U.S. papers. He cared about getting links up seconds or minutes faster than other publications and was obsessive about that.”
Jon Friedman remembers Breitbart as a sharp stone in liberal journalists' shoes:
It was easy for the liberal media to discredit and even loathe Breitbart, who projected an image of himself as one of those bigger-than-life figures who delight in tweaking opponents — and taking comfort in their discomfort.
Also on Breitbart.tv, there's a clip of an emotional interview with Jonah Goldberg about his friend Breitbart.
James O'Keefe released a heartfelt statement about Breitbart and recounts in it the first time they met:
Andrew was a colorful and magnetic personality, as humorous as he was passionate. On the day we first met in August 2009, his beautiful and precocious children had apparently painted his toenails. It was during that first meeting that I showed him video footage of an investigation into ACORN. He told me the establishment would call the actions of the employees in the first tape, "an isolated incident." "We're going to embarrass the media if they try to cover this up,” he told me. Perhaps that's why they want us on a leash.