Andrew Breitbart didn’t have a big cable news show, but his political commentary was heard by the masses just the same. The author and blogger, who died Thursday, spent years expounding on his conservative views and aiming to expose liberal hypocrisy. Let’s take a look back at some of his more notable media moments. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Breitbart began working with Matt Drudge in the mid-1990s on the Drudge Report, a news aggregation site. Breitbart went on to form his own aggregation site, Breitbart.com.
Following Breitbart’s death, Matt Drudge offered this remembrance of his colleague: “DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20’s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today... MDRUDGE.” (DrudgeReport.com)
In 2005, Breitbart teamed with political commentator Arianna Huffington to launch the news website the Huffington Post, becoming one of the primary developers of the aggregation site. He and Huffington eventually parted ways, but she would go on to feature a few of his columns on her site.
When the blogger died, Huffington released this statement: “I was asked many times this morning for my thoughts on what Andrew meant to the political world, but all I can think of at the moment is what Andrew meant to me as a friend, starting from when we worked together -- his passion, his exuberance, his fearlessness. And above all, what I’m thinking of at the moment is his amazing wife Susie and their four beautiful young children. My love and thoughts are with them right now.” (Scott Eells / Bloomberg)
“I’m committed to the destruction of the old media guard,” Breitbart told the Associated Press in August 2010. “And it’s a very good business model.”
As part of that commitment, Breitbart founded Breitbart.com, a website dedicated to breaking news, commentary and analysis. Breitbart went on to found BigHollywood.com, BigJournalism.com and BigGovernment.com -- playing off of phrases such as Big Oil and Big Tobacco, typically used by the media. (breitbart.com)
Via BigGovernment.com, Andrew Breitbart helped activist James O’Keefe (pictured) and his partner Hannah Giles release hidden camera tapes documenting how employees at a community organization called ACORN gave advice on how to qualify for government housing funds, lie about their profession for tax purposes and even launder money. O’Keefe and Giles were dressed as a pimp and a prostitute.
Breitbart’s claims were attacked by government and media outlets, which argued about the validity of the tapes, the editing that had occurred and the fact that the couple was turned down many times in other branches before recording the meetings that made headlines.
Congress did not renew ACORN funding. (Bill Haber / Associated Press)
In 2009, Breitbart took to Twitter to unleash an attack soon after the death of Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, calling him a “villain,” “duplicitous bastard” and more. The tweets referred to the July 1969 accident in which the politician drove his Oldsmobile off a bridge into the water on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, killing his 28-year-old female passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, and waiting to report the incident. Breitbart continued: “I’m more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified.... Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it.” (Doug Mills / Associated Press)
On Jan. 19, 2011, the conservative gay rights group GOProud announced Breitbart had joined its advisory council. He served alongside fellow conservative activists and commentators Margaret Hoover, Grover Norquist and Tammy Bruce. “I applaud GOProud’s strong, principled conservatism and admire their courage to defy the left’s stifling demand for group conformity,” Breitbart said in a statement about the group. (Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)
Andrew Breitbart was a strong proponent of the “tea party” movement. His involvement in the organization was usually met with positive responses, though he was sometimes chastised for over-the-top rants, like ones against the Occupy D.C. protest. Another rant put him in conflict with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when he challenged her assertion that she and Congressman John Lewis faced racial slurs from anti-Obamacare protesters.
Breitbart called her claims “lies” and called her something worse, at a tea party gathering, claiming her story was conjured to make the tea party seem like a racist organization. Combing through tapes, he found no evidence of the alleged incident. Breitbart offered a reward for anyone who had footage proving otherwise. No one stepped forward. (Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press)
In July 2010 on BigGovernment.com, Breitbart posted a video of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, appearing to make racial comments while speaking at an NAACP event. Breitbart accompanied the video with his own lengthy commentary. Sherrod was promptly asked to resign.
Soon after her departure, the unedited video was released by the NAACP proving that Sherrod’s comments had been taken out of context. Sherrod received an apology from the White House, a phone call from President Obama and was offered a new position with the USDA, but she declined. Breitbart added a correction to his blog post but never apologized. Sherrod came at him and his partner Larry O’Connor with a defamation suit in 2011, and the case is ongoing. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)
Weinergate started in May 2011 when Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) tweeted a sexually suggestive photo of himself to a woman in Washington state. He tried to remove the image, but it was too late. His Twitter followers had already managed to take screen grabs of the racy picture. Soon enough, the photo was in the hands of Breitbart, who posted it on BigGovernment.com. Weiner, newly married, initially denied that the photo was of him but eventually admitted it was. In the end, Weiner admitted to having had several online relationships with young women, and he resigned from office. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)