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[ 284 ] March 1, 2012 |

R.I.P. Sad that this report was accurate.

a good way of putting it.

Comments (284)

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  1. cooperstreet says:

    Is it to soon to note that this man exerted a considerable amount of effort during his short life to make other peoples’ lives miserable?

  2. actor212 says:

    Sad?

    I’m hoping they found him in a hotel room with a rentboy and a pound of crack! This is hilarious!

    The man was deeply troubled, deeply troubled enough that he took down many fine upstanding Americans in his hate.

    Scott, how could you forget so quickly? The world is a happier place this morning.

    *popping champagne cork*

  3. Anderson says:

    Speaking no evil of the dead, I find myself speechless.

    … Same age as me, and I suspect if I don’t start getting some daily exercise, I may join him. Relying on alcohol to avert heart disease is probably not a comprehensive plan ….

  4. Joe says:

    It’s sad when someone close to my age dies but really there are millions of others who’d I worry about first.

  5. Jack Malchow says:

    How do you die of natural causes at 48?!? Perhaps his evolutionary place was the same as when it was natural for people to only live to be 50 or so!

    • Jon H says:

      “Natural causes” means it wasn’t a car accident, suicide, murder, overdose, or because he tripped and hit his head on a curb.

      It doesn’t mean “old age”. An undiscovered heart defect would be natural causes: those killed two women I knew, in their 20s.

      A heart attack due to stress would also be natural causes.

    • Ken says:

      “Natural causes” is in contrast to external causes like drugs, alcohol, accidents, murder, or suicide. Probably heart attack or stroke in this case.

    • Icarus Wright says:

      Finally choked to death on his own bullshit.

      • c u n d gulag says:

        I think it was all of that nasty bile backing up.

        Still, wishing he had lived long enough to see the error of his ways, is a better way of putting it.

        • Erik Loomis says:

          Does anyone live long enough to see the error of their ways? One might argue Lee Atwater did, but then the documentary pretty strongly suggests that he was spinning bullshit all the way into the grave.

          • proverbialleadballoon says:

            robert mcnamera lived long enough to see the error of his ways.

            • Malaclypse says:

              That will teach me against wasting time googling to see if it was Mcnamara or MacNamara. Damn you!

            • Ben says:

              Hmmmm . . . if all you’re going off of was the Errol Morris documentary, I’m not sure. He was incredibly self-serving and outright lied. It seems more likely that he felt the need to rehabilitate his public image for whatever reason. Plus, as head of the World Bank for decades it’s not like he stopped fucking over poor countries.

              Then again this kind of judgment is more of a “looking into a person’s soul” exercise than weighing facts and determining the truth. So who knows.

              • proverbialleadballoon says:

                in fog of war, mcnamera elucidates what he and the high command got wrong during the vietnam war, step by step. his reasoning for doing so is unclear, whether to rehabilitate his image or to atone for his sins. but, in the narrow sense of ‘seeing the error of his ways’, he did, and publicly.

                • Ben says:

                  Ok, sorry for the derail y’all, but:

                  He lies about what the Administration got wrong in the Vietnam War in self-serving ways.

                  Take maybe the single incident most destructive to US institutions to come out of that war, the Gulf of Tonkin incident. McNamara outright lies about it. Just flat out lies. He claims that confusing reports and miscommunication between the Administration and ship commanders lead the Administration to believe there was a N. Vietnamese attack, and that the Administration acted on the basis of that belief.

                  That’s not true. We’ve known it hasn’t been true for decades. The Administration knowingly manufactured the incident to get increased latitude in conducting the war, and McNamara was neck-deep in that deception.

                  Or the Cuban Missile Crisis, which McNamara uses as a kind of guide to determine how international relations should be conducted. He says, “I was trying to help him keep us out of war,” and that only Kennedy’s response to two telegrams bolstered by an empathetic insight into Khrushchev’s position defused the situation.

                  We’ve known since 1982 when the records were made public that McNamara advised Kennedy to bomb the missile sites and invade Cuba, repeatedly, and through the end of the crisis. And that it wasn’t some sort of emotional understanding of Khrushchev that lead to the ending of the crisis, but of a realpolitik trade of removing missiles from Turkey to get Russia to remove the Cuban ones.

                  And those are just the huge lies. There are also loads of omissions, like the late 1964 memo McNamara signed stating that Vietnam withdrawal was impossible, and that urged Johnson to use increasing gradations of force to subdue North Vietnam. Kinda complicates McNamara’s insistence that he was counseling Johnson to de-escalate and withdraw.

                  So, no. McNamara saying that bombing hundreds of thousand of civilians in WWII was bad and that Vietnam was a mistake and should have been prosecuted differently does not mean McNamara “saw the error of his ways” in any meaningful capacity when he is still strewing self-serving lies and bullshit that cover up his worst deeds.

            • Erik Loomis says:

              Maybe–or he was cynical enough to revive his reputation

          • Uncle Kvetch says:

            Does anyone live long enough to see the error of their ways?

            Robert Byrd.

            [ducks]

          • c u n d gulag says:

            All right, I trying to be nice.

            Losing a musical Monkee is far sadder for the world than losing this rabid ape.

          • joe from Lowell says:

            Does anyone live long enough to see the error of their ways?

            Alan Greenspan.

            • Sev says:

              The fog does lift briefly, yes.

              • joe from Lowell says:

                That Greenspan statement to Congress, about being mistaken in the self-correcting power of financial markets, happened when I was still a regular on a libertarian blog.

                OMFG was that epic.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  but then greenspan was right back on the sunday shows, pimping his ayn rand love. does seeing the error of one’s ways once, and then going straight back to those ways, count?

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Tell you what: let’s remove the plural.

                  Alan Greenspan lived to see the error of one of his ways.

            • Marek says:

              Good call.

            • timb says:

              Have trouble believing that is true. pragmatically, I like his work, but he’s as much a left wing grifter, IMHO, as he was a right wing grifter.

              Once you lie for money, why would I trust you?

              • actor212 says:

                I have the same feelings about that as I do about Arianna, and while both agree with you, time has shown Brock to be fairly committed to his “come to church” moment, so I tend to cut him some slack.

                I’d feel better about him if he hadn’t been forced out of his conservatism, of course.

          • Bruce Baugh says:

            David Brock. I think there’s a good argument to be made that Media Matters has done at least as much good as his earlier work did harm.

          • Holden Pattern says:

            Kevin Phillips, I think.

          • Malaclypse says:

            Does anyone live long enough to see the error of their ways?

            Now that I’ve thought further, John Dean.

            • actor212 says:

              That’s a hard call, Mal. After all, he was one of the view voices in the Nixon White House to counsel against the cover-up. That seems consistent with his positions later and remember, Nixon was for all intents and purposes a liberal. He even tried to implement single-payer healthcare

              • actor212 says:

                I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not so much that Dean moved left as the nation careened right.

              • BruceJ says:

                “and remember, Nixon was for all intents and purposes a liberal. ”

                No he wasn’t.

                It’s a testament to the evil done by the likes of Breitbart, Rush, et. al. that you’re not simply laughed off stage for saying that…

                • actor212 says:

                  AHEM

                  We can start with the Clean Air Act of 1970, and page through a couple dozen liberal domestic policies until we get to Menominee Restoration act of 1973 which restored Federal recognition (and therefore, assistance) to an obscure tribe that had been taken off the lists.

                  I’m laughing at you, actually. I didn’t like the guy any more than anyone else here, and cheered when he resigned, but if you bother to look back with an objective eye, he’s at least as liberal as Clinton and probably the second most liberal president since LBJ (Carter the exception)

                • Malaclypse says:

                  The old bastard knew how to pay off a liberal Congress just enough that they would not get all that involved with the Global Chess that he and Kissinger believed they were playing.

                  He was not so much a liberal, as he simply did not give a fuck.

                • Furious Jorge says:

                  Yeah, if Nixon had actually championed and fought for those bills instead of merely signed them, then I might be more inclined to buy into this weird revisionism that turns him into a liberal.

          • John says:

            John Dean? Diane Ravitch? David Brock?

    • Brandon says:

      My cousin’s husband died of a genetic heart defect at 28 and was in great physical shape (he was a fire fighter). Shit sometimes just happens, like brain aneurysms.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      “Natural causes” includes cancer, which a friendly acquaintance from high school died of before our tenth reunion, and sudden cardiac arrest, which I lost an old friend to before we’d turned thirty-five, and almost lost my favorite aunt to.

    • DrDick says:

      My father’s younger brother died at 33 of a heart attack. The autopsy showed it was his 5th.

  6. theophylact says:

    Forty-three.

  7. Daverz says:

    I’m going to guess that the cause of death was spontaneous combustion.

  8. Lefty68 says:

    Cue right-wing conspiracy theory in 3 . . . 2 . . .

  9. rea says:

    It’s sad to see someone like this die at 43. He might have repented and done some good, had he lived longer.

  10. joe from Lowell says:

    How many comments were written on this site about it being wrong to express happiness about the death of Osama bin Laden?

    • Jon H says:

      Well, presumably Breitbart wasn’t *killed*, let alone by the military.

      I think that was the source of many such complaints: they objected to people celebrating after we killed someone. There probably would’t have been as many complaints, had Osama bin Laden died of a hear attack.

      • joe from Lowell says:

        Charli Carpenter says:
        May 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm
        When my son woke up this morning, I told him the news. His first words were, “That’s great!”

        Then he said, “Wait… did he have a family?”

        I felt grateful that he reminded me to stop and remember that anyone who dies, however rightly, whatever s/he has done, was once someone’s child.

        reply
        Sean Peters says:
        May 7, 2011 at 8:55 am
        That can be hard to keep in mind. Well done to your son.

        • Jon H says:

          Ah, the ones I remember were more about celebrating an extrajudicial killing.

          • joe from Lowell says:

            Odd that the violence of one’s death would be such an important factor, but the violence of one’s life not be.

            • Colin Day says:

              The violence that OBL inflicted was not done in my name. The violence that the SEAL team inflicted on OBL was done in the name of the American people, hence the asymmetry.

              • OBL’s death didn’t feel like the end of an episode to me. It was a reminder of a chain of horrors that just won’t end. It wasn’t a happy thing to be reminded again of when the towers came down. I certainly wished him those bullets but pleasure at his end did not happen.

        • Marek says:

          This is not an example of a comment about how it is wrong to express happiness about the death of Osama bin Laden.

          • joe from Lowell says:

            His first words were, “That’s great!”

            Then he said, “Wait… did he have a family?”

            • Anderson says:

              That is a pretty broad definition of “happiness.”

              • joe from Lowell says:

                “That’s great!”

                • Marek says:

                  “That’s great!” is arguably an expression of happiness. The words that follow give some nuance to, but do not retract, that expression or state that it is wrong.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Arguably?

                  “That’s great!” is arguably an expression of happiness

                  Thank you for your thoughts, Marek, and God bless.

                • Marek says:

                  Yeah, arguably. Likely, even. It could be an expression of satisfaction rather than joy. But by saying “arguably” I’m conceding the point.

                  God bless us, every one!

        • Bart says:

          Cheney has a family, and I’ll be out in front tooting the car horn.

    • Murc says:

      Speaking for myself, joe, I wasn’t upset that bin Laden was dead. I wasn’t even that upset he was killed.

      I was upset he died as the result of a top-secret military strike, instead of being hauled out his hole and put on trial like the criminal dirtbag he was, and then, after the trial, during the course of which the scope and magnitude of his crimes were alternately paraded before the eyes of the world and shoved down his throat, he would have been executed on the authority of a jury of his peers.

      THAT would have been the act of a strong, confident nation.

      If I’d heard bin Laden died as the result of, say, kidney failure, my reactions would have been “That’s great!” followed closely by “Pity it happened before he could be brought to justice.”

  11. mass says:

    Professional hater dies. Maybe the only way a raging asshole like him can ever rest in peace. Hope his kids get some insurance money.

  12. J. Otto Pohl says:

    Who? I never heard of this guy. But, I will be 43 in the not too distant future and hope to avoid dying of any causes natural or otherwise at that time. Fortunately, the doctor this morning said I was in quite good health.

  13. sparks says:

    I think at this moment we should dwell on Breitbart’s good points.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I’m stuck. Anyone?

    • Jack Malchow says:

      He left us in a timely fashion??

      • R Johnston says:

        Nah, he lingered on about 42 years past any usefulness. He was a bottle of cheap white whine, vintage 1969, left to sit and stew by the radiator all these years, a soured, vinegary sample of humanity who left an awful taste in everyone’s mouth.

    • actor212 says:

      More food for the rest of us?

    • calling all toasters says:

      He helped employ distillery workers.

    • Dave says:

      He was an atheist.

      • actor212 says:

        That’s not painting a particularly flattering image of atheism: first Hitchens and now Breitbart.

        God seems to be carrying a grudge

        • joe from Lowell says:

          I have this theory that libertarians are absolutely, 100% right about economic policy, but that God keeps intervening in human history to make them look bad, because he’s still pissed off about Ayn Rand.

        • Holden Pattern says:

          If there’s one thing we know for sure about Yahweh, it’s that he’s a vengeful, unforgiving god.

          Even the New Testament version that sends you to perpetual Heaven or Hell based on the hoop-jumping legalism of “accepting Christ” and / or whatever you get right in the limited life allotted to you seems petty, cramped and rigid. That god requires a lot of extratextual interpretation to become generous and good — and I’ve never seen any theodicy that allows for omnipotence, omniscience and goodness to apply at the same time without contorting the definition of “good” beyond meaning.

          • actor212 says:

            Well, in fairness to God, you really only have the mortal lifetime to prove yourself. It’s not like in Hell, you can get around rescuing someone from a lake of fire or anything.

            • proverbialleadballoon says:

              whether you believe in god or not, you have to act as though this lifetime is the only chance that you get. cuz it is.

            • Holden Pattern says:

              Here’s the thing — if god is all that he is said to be, why only one shot? Surely reincarnation is an available option for an omnipotent god, giving everyone the chance to progress to perfection.

              • proverbialleadballoon says:

                yeah, but if you are reincarnated, you don’t know about your prior life, and your reincarnated life is your one shot. i’ll put it another way: even if you believe in god, you must live your life as an atheist would.

                • Holden Pattern says:

                  Oh, hey, I don’t disagree with the latter point at all. This entire conversation is basically why I’m effectively an atheist.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  i could see that you agree, i just wanted to make my position clearer. and i believe in god, by the way. to not derail the thread too much with the what, why, and how of proverbialleadballoon’s beliefs, see bill hicks, who more or less got it. plus, he’s funny.

                  ok, i will derail the thread in this way, because it’s much more interesting: i’m willing to posit that bill hicks was the modern-day reincarnation of jesus, or if not jesus himself, a prophet who spoke the greater truths.

              • actor212 says:

                On the other hand, assuming that the story is accurate, how do we know there’s no salvation in the afterlife? No one really talks about it, except Jesus with his “live a good life” crap here, and why would he talk about the bailout option of breeding puppies and kittens after your dead? After all, that would just encourage the lazy and shiftless to be cruel here.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Mormons believe in the possibility of a post-mortal salvation. That’s why the baptize all the dead people.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  i’m also willing to posit that what jesus was talking about was reincarnation, not resurrection or an afterlife.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I’m going to posit, following that great theologian Phillip K Dick, that Jesus was talking about making this life into a Paradise.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  @mal: yes, that’s right. no afterlife. _this life_. dick was another prophet, who spoke greater truths. have you read the valis trilogy, where dick lays out his gnostic views, which include reincarnation?

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Valis was indeed what I was thinking of. Kingdom against Empire was a powerful metaphor.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  @mal: what blew my mind in valis was the angry, lesser god which created the universe, versus the true god, who is love. which may be the kingdom against empire metaphor, or a part of it at least, i can’t remember.

                  another book that nails it, or comes pretty close, is heinlein’s stranger in a strange land. i don’t know about his other work, which i haven’t read, but in this, ‘thou art god’ sums it up in only three words. grok it :)

                • Malaclypse says:

                  You know, I loves SiaSL as a teenager. I reread it in my 20s, and was floored by the misogyny and homophobia I did not notice as a kid.

                  Worst part: Michael, as you may recall, has the ability to make people simply cease to exist. Two of his followers are speculating about what would happen to poor, innocent Michael at one of the orgies should another man try and get frisky with him. They decide that Michael would recognize the inherent wrongness of such a person, and would know to make that person unexist.

                  Heinlein, like all libertarians, thinks of Freedom from a very straight, male, nondisabled perspective.

                • proverbialleadballoon says:

                  @mal: i agree, there are a lot of problems with stranger in a strange land. the female characters are basically only there to have sex with, heinlein doesn’t satisfactorily deal with the moral consequences of michael disappearing people, and i don’t remember the homophobia part but i trust your word. _but_ the central message is that you, me, everyone is god. which is more or less correct, so i am willing to look past how heinlein got there. also, the free love angle is not something that i would be entirely comfortable with, but that could be my moral failing, and i can’t really say that heinlein is wrong there.

                • actor212 says:

                  I tell you one thing we could really use from SiaSL: Fair Witnesses.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  “At this time, the building is painted white on this side.”

                • actor212 says:

                  Listen, I’d prefer that to “CHECK THE KERNING!”

        • timb says:

          The bastard gets us all eventually. Not that I believe in him any more than Breitbart or Hitchens did

      • John says:

        Which is at least as much an indictment of atheism as a defense of Breitbart. More broadly, I don’t believe in God, but I don’t consider that to be an accomplishment that makes me superior in any particular way to people who do. But then I’m a wishy washy agnostic, so that’s what I would think.

    • wengler says:

      He was a real piece of shit.

      Honestly, next to Dick Cheney this is the greatest departure I can think of.

  14. Rand Careaga says:

    Are they going to bother with a funeral, or just pound a stake into his heart?

  15. MR Bill says:

    Im sorry the dude is dead, if only because he’ll dodge the Shirley Sherrodd libel trial.
    I was really really looking forward to see him explain his serial lies on the Pigford settlements, especially, as it’s a Limbaughist talking point that the payments to Black farmers who were discriminated against by the US Dept./ Agriculture were a political payoff or some sort of ‘reparations’ the plaintiffs weren’t due..

  16. mark f says:

    You know, I thought today smelled a little bit nicer than yesterday.

  17. Joshua says:

    Sad that this report was accurate.

    That’s not the word I would use.

  18. Erik Loomis says:

    Yeah, like most of the people here, I am not at all sad by this. In fact, I’d say the world has lost a horrendous human being who caused great suffering on others. Of course, I was happy to celebrate the death of Bin Laden. Not to mention my notorious indifference to Whitney Houston. So I’m just a gigantic asshole.

    I’m only sad I didn’t have Breitbart on my death list.

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Giant assholes I can respect.

      At least you’re not a hypocrite.

      • Anonymous says:

        horrendous human being who caused great suffering

        Maybe I don’t know enough about Breitbart’s career, but in my book he was an opportunistic showman, a gregarious fighter, a liar, and a slanderer. Not all great things, mind you, but I can’t say I’d describe him like he’s Pol Pot. I could reasonably pin far more suffering on Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, and even then, I won’t celebrate their deaths either. Death can be a great human uniter. If you die, you are not pardoned or excused from your failings, but I happen to think that it’s simply healthier in a moment of death to see beyond a person’s worst points and acknowledged your shared humanity with the dead.

        I also think that (re upthread defense) pointing out that Breitbart was crude and classless when Ted Kennedy died should serve as good evidence as for why we shouldn’t do the same.

        • DrDick says:

          He has actively worked to destroy the lives of people, like Shirley Sherrodd, the people at ACORN, and Planned Parenthood, as well as everyone the latter two groups supported and helped. That works for me as defining a monster.

          • mark f says:

            Exactly. I hope he died awake and aware, throwing up blood with his guts twisted in knots. I hope he knew he was dying, and desperately wanted to kiss his kids goodbye and impart a few words, but couldn’t muster the physical ability. And I hope that his kids lacked understanding and he died with them angry at him.

            But it was probably quite sudden and painless.

  19. davenoon says:

    I suppose his colleagues will have to add “Big Coronary” to their lineup.

  20. Dave says:

    R.I.P.? Better that he lived in peace. Oh well.

  21. heckblazer says:

    When he dies a man loses everything he has and everything he ever will, so untimely death is always a sad occasion.

    OTOH, given how Breitbart called Ted Kennedy “a villain”, “a duplicitous bastard” and “a special pile of human excrement” hours after Kennedy died, I feel that I must follow Breitbart’s heartfelt example and call Breitbart…a villain, a duplicitous bastard, and a special pile of human excrement.

  22. actor212 says:

    Keith Olbermann is curiously silent on this, if his Twitter account is any indication. He was running an ongoing series comparing Breitbart’s BigMeltdown to famous film rages.

    • proverbialleadballoon says:

      olbermann is a well-known liberal with a platform; he has to be careful with what he says lest he makes brietbart into a right-wing martyr.

  23. Kurzleg says:

    This explains so much:

    The Times’ Robin Abcarian visited his office in West Los Angeles in 2010. “The command center of Andrew Breitbart’s growing media empire is a suite of offices on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles with the temporary feel of a campaign office. Only the computers seem firmly anchored.”

    According to that profile, Breitbart lived in Westwood with his wife, Susie, and their four young children. He was adopted by moderately conservative Jewish parents and attended two of L.A.’s most exclusive private schools — Carlthorp and Brentwood.

    His father, Gerald, owned Fox and Hounds, a landmark Tudor-style Santa Monica restaurant that later became the punk rock club Madame Wong’s West. His mother, Arlene, was an executive at Bank of America in Beverly Hills and downtown L.A

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      OT: Robin Abcarian babysat me and my brother when we were in primary school. I haven’t seen her in close to four decades, but I have fond memories of her whenever her name shows up on a byline. It’s nice to interrupt entirely unpleasant thoughts connected to Breitbart with some pleasant memories.

  24. actor212 says:

    So what’s his eulogy going to be?

    “Breitbart was a carbon-based life form, like the rest of us”

    I got nothing beyond that.

  25. MAJeff says:

    Sad for some kids who are grieving the death of their father.

    Not at all sad that the nation has lost a complete shitheel that thrived on destroying other people. Actually, the nation is probably better off for this.

    • pete says:

      Yeah, I’m willing to assume his kids are grieving. That I put it so grudgingly is evidence of the appalling influence Breitbart had on the national discourse — not just because I am a bad person but because of the numerous anecdotes of his acting like a complete asshole, irrespective of his politics.

      Let’s give the family space to mourn the private person, but the public persona was twisted and evil and deserves nothing.

  26. calling all toasters says:

    Jesus, Scott. Linking to Melissa McEwan for a calming, charitable perspective? Funny how that works when one finds a fellow apoplectic spirit: one must be kind to them.

  27. actor212 says:

    A bystander saw him collapse while on a walk in Brentwood shortly after midnight and called paramedics, who rushed him to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where he was declared dead.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      I didn’t know that his father-in-law was Orson Bean.

      Bean’s father, in turn, was a co-founder of the ACLU and a fund raiser for the defense of the Scottsboro Boys (at least according to Wikipedia).

      There’s a sad story of familial decline there. Must have to do with “Hollywood values” ;-)

    • Bill Murray says:

      he was probably happy to die at Reagan’s place

  28. Malaclypse says:

    While the source is geeky, I cannot fault the sentiment:

    Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.

    Highbrow version:

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    May he have the peace in death he clearly lacked in life.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      +1

      I understand all the Schadenfreude, I really do, and I don’t judge anyone for expressing it in whatever way they see fit. My initial reflexive reaction was “Good riddance to a worthless PoS.”

      But initial reflexive reactions shouldn’t be the last word.

    • Marek says:

      Eragon series?

    • joe from Lowell says:

      +2.

      Andrew Breitbart does not deserve to be spared this bashing; after all, he did it to Ted Kennedy.

      Nor did Ted Bundy deserve to be spared execution by the state of Florida in an electric chair.

      But the moral question in both cases is about about him, but about us. Do we aspire to be people who do that?

      Avoiding gloating on this occasion is an act of mercy, like pardoning a criminal. Being merciful is good for you.

      • joe from Lowell says:

        Er, “But the moral question in both cases is not about about him, but…”

      • I’m fairly certain that the moral implications of supporting judicial executions are not the same as those of being glad that the universe decided that someone had done enough damage already.

        • joe from Lowell says:

          Because Ted Bundy hadn’t “done enough damage already?”

          Your certainty is quite clear. The rest, not so much.

          • Ben says:

            1. There should be a bias against human beings killing other human beings, period. Not to say it’s never justified, but it always has to be justified. Subject to strict scrutiny, you could say. There’s no reciprocal bias against being glad someone is dead by natural causes.

            2. People marked for death by the judicial process aren’t going to do any more damage if they’re not killed. They’re not going anywhere, they’re in prison for life. So there’s an element of “killing for its own sake” which is morally questionable. That doesn’t exist when people die of natural causes. (I guess it could if someone was all “fuck yeah another death woohoo”, but I haven’t seen that happen too much. Maybe I don’t go to the right parties).

            3. The judicial process isn’t perfect. It makes mistakes in sentencing people to death. Even if it reaches a correct moral and legal decision to kill an individual, the system is biased against different groups of people. We can’t have judicial killing without also having these factors, so the entire operation of judicial killing is dubious. This obviously doesn’t exist for death by natural causes.

      • Gloating? No, relief.

        I see no moral failing in expressing satisfaction that an ethically vacuous and culturally damaging figure has stopped being active.

    • Njorl says:

      I agree somewhat. I’m not going to be sad, or to ignore that he was a terrrible person, but he didn’t deserve to die young.

      People might have said many of the same nasty things about David Brock had he died at age 38. I doubt Breitbart was headed for some transformation into a decent person, but it’s always possible. In my life I’ve stopped being a racist, a sexist, and a homophobe. Would it have been a good thing if I had died while I was still all three?

    • calling all toasters says:

      So… death is bad?

      • Njorl says:

        Death is very useful, biologically speaking. A species which must renew itself via sexual reproduction benefits from the exchange in genes of its members. However, the species could retain this benefit without me personally dying. So death is pretty good on the whole, just not for me.

  29. Evil people dying makes the world a better place and, substantive political differences having nothing to do with it, Breitbart was a demonstrably evil person. So I certainly can’t say that I’m saddened by the news.

  30. actor212 says:

    Breitbart’s last tweet:

    I called you a putz cause I thought you werebeing intentionally disingenuous. If not I apologize. @CenLamar @Dust92

    Apparently, it really DID kill him to apologize

  31. Barry Freed says:

    Andrew Breitbart, a Washington Times columnist who oversees Breitbart.com and BigHollywood.com, tapped into the anti-Kennedy vein in the hours after the senator’s death was announced, posting a series of Twitter messages in which he called Kennedy a “villain,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.”

    “I’m more than willing to go off decorum to ensure THIS MAN is not beatified,” Breitbart wrote. “Sorry, he destroyed lives. And he knew it.”

  32. Fritz says:

    I was going to comment, but then I remembered we’ve been down this path before and we’ll likely go down it again:

    If you claim to be defending the honor of someone who has recently passed away via the behavior of trolls, you are exploiting the death of the person you claim to admire in the service of your partisan agenda.

    • Murc says:

      Ugh, you’re citing THAT? It’s one of SEK’s worst posts.

      I can’t speak for others, but while I’d prefer NOT to die, if, after my death, the events surrounding it could be exploited by my ideological allies in the service of a partisan agenda, I would not only WANT that to happen, I would be outraged if it DIDN’T happen.

      Second of all, this is just wrong in so many ways, as are many of the logical steps following it:

      Outrage at the existence of anonymous assholes on the internet is necessarily feigned.

      No. It’s not. I will never, ever stop being outraged at human beings, ones nominally intelligent enough to pay for internet access and navigate a commenting system, acting like they’re scum just because they’re anonymous. The day I stop being outraged by that is the day I give up on the species entirely. I demand better behavior from my fellow man.

      SURPRISE at the existence of anonymous assholes on the internet is necessarily feigned, but that’s an entirely different thing.

  33. Buttercup says:

    Does this mean we get Davy Jones back?

  34. Dave says:

    Shakespeare’s sister is embarrassing. Josh Marshall’s eulogy is horribly embarrassing and more than a little nauseating. At this point I have to tune liberals out and read the rightblogs, as their lamentations are now the only expressions worth hearing on the subject, now that Dave Noon and Loomis have had their say.

    • sparks says:

      I’m amazed that anyone stopping here bothers to read Marshall. He may not be a useless dick like Somerby, but he doesn’t do anything that isn’t being done better elsewhere.

      • Dave says:

        Heck, I don’t know why I even bother to stop here. Have to pass the time somehow, I guess. But yes, you’re right about Marshall.

      • Furious Jorge says:

        I quit reading him when he stubbornly kept The Bull Moose on his blogroll, insisting that it was a “liberal” blog. It wasn’t even “sensible liberal,” but since Marshall knew the guy personally, it stayed. It was the blog version of that bullshit Senate collegialism we’ve seen so many times.

      • I used to read Marshall for what he wrote, which was ordinarily clear and perceptive and helped me understand what was going on whether or not I thought his leanings were getting in the way. The front page of TPM is all squibs now and it’s not interesting. At some point I will stop checking in there.

        For my part I don’t mind the Breitbart eulogy; Marshall is better when doing the things one would expect of formal journalistic style, and worse when trying to be opinionated or funny.

  35. BradP says:

    But I am not glad he’s dead. I would have preferred instead that he’d lived long enough to change his mind.

    You can’t change the mind of someone who picks his convictions for profit.

    Good riddance.

  36. Jim Harrison says:

    When I listened to Breitbart’s last rant against the Occupy people, I wondered out loud if he was physically ill. His rage was beyond passionate or even hysterical. It sounded like some sort of seizure. Obviously, extreme anger can’t be good for a guy with heart trouble, but is there a known medical condition that can produce uncontrollable, irrational hatred and indecent behavior before it kills you? Is there a House in the house?

    • actor212 says:

      Well, Tourette’s….

      Also, crystal meth. Toxoplasmosis would account for it, too.

      • DrDick says:

        As someone with the condition, I can attest that Tourette’s does not in fact manifest that way. It can contribute to emotional volatility, but he exhibited none of the other symptoms of the condition, which are mostly muscular tics, some vocal tics, and rarely (in about 5% with the condition) copralalia.

        Profound anger management issues would seem to be his problem. Also possibly the meth thing or coke binging.

        • actor212 says:

          Well, I was focusing on the outbursts. I’ve never seen enough footage of him (sober) to really pay attention to any tics he might have.

          And you’re right, Tourette’s does not have to manifest that way at all. Many Tourette’s sufferers exhibit few external cues at all, unless under duress.

          But to be sure, he exhibits some form of copralalia with a patina of palilalia on the night of the Occupy confrontation. Alcohol-induced, I’m sure, and not Tourette’s.

    • calling all toasters says:

      Frontal lobe tumor springs to mind.

  37. ploeg says:

    It seemed to me that he lived his life like a candle in the wind.

  38. Ke says:

    “Everyone brings joy to your life. Some when they enter it, others when they leave.”

  39. c u n d gulag says:

    What are all of the little ratf*ckers he employs and supports going to do now that the King Ratf*cker is dead?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      I mean, CNN can’t hire all of them like they did Dana Douche.
      And who else would?

      Oh yeah – there’s no shortage of Wingnut Welfare programs out there.

      Neeeever miiiiind…

  40. mark f says:

    Hahahaha, from Jonah Goldberg’s remembrance:

    His Instant Messager handle was “Bodiaz” and he was one of those names in my “buddies list” that was always there (the only other being more omnipresent was Kathryn’s)

    I am shocked that Jonah, Breitbart and KLo were three of those “always on AIM” people.

  41. Ben says:

    [Spoken]

    Most things he did were bad. They could really make you mad. Other things he did just made you swear and curse. So when his life abates, don’t be silent. Celebrate! This will help things turn out for the best. And,

    [Sung]

    Always cheer on Breitbart’s end to life
    Always cheer on Breitbart’s end to life

    His life was jolly rotten,
    and there’s something you’ve forgotten.
    That’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
    If you’re feeling in the dumps,
    don’t be silly, chumps!
    Just purse your lips and whistle,
    that’s the thing! So,

    Always cheer on Breitbart’s sudden death.
    Just be glad he drew his terminal breath.

    His life’s a piece of shit,
    when you look at it.
    We should share a laugh and tell a joke, it’s true.
    You see, it’s all a show,
    keep them laughing as you go
    Just remember the last laugh is on you.

    Always cheer on Breitbart’s end to life
    Always cheer on Breitbart’s shortened life
    Always cheer on Breitbart’s end to life
    Always cheer on Breitbart’s shortened life

    • Malaclypse says:

      Between Python and the Simpsons, all events can now be mapped onto a new mythologicial archetype.

      Also, well done.

      • Holden Pattern says:

        What, no Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams?

        • Malaclypse says:

          Those two, particularly Pratchett, are still subcultural. But Simpsons and Python are a pop-cultural lingua franca.

          I mean, you may know that all roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork, but sometimes people just walk along them the wrong way. Everybody knows that I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry’s and hold my head up high and say in a loud, steady voice, ‘Harry, I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today, I think I’ll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.’

        • timb says:

          Douglas Adams’s observations “explained” things to me that I am still realizing were brilliant, a decade after he died and all that time I thought he was just being funny

  42. wengler says:

    As long as he wasn’t raped to death, OWS is in the clear!

  43. Furious Jorge says:

    Late to the party, but I’m not in the least sad that he’s dead. He went out of his way to make the world a worse place, and actively worked to destroy the lives of innocent people whose only “crime” was to be liberal.

    I am sorry for his family’s loss. But not for society’s.

  44. SEK says:

    The best reason not to be uncivil about Breitbart’s death? Because that’s exactly what he would’ve wanted us to be. I didn’t want him to find satisfaction in life, so why would I want him to find any in death?

    • wengler says:

      I would partially agree, but I’ve read some pretty embarrassing things about him from sites that aren’t usually so awful.

      The were three major stories that Breitbart got famous for:

      1) Deceptively edited film that effectively destroyed ACORN. Their crime? Registering poor people to vote.

      2) Deceptively edited film that got a good person smeared, shamed and fired.

      3) The dogged rundown of a Congressman’s penis pics that eventually led to his resignation.

      And now he’s dead. Hopefully he will be forgotten quickly.

      • SEK says:

        To say he was an irresponsible attention-seeker whose influence on political discourse was toxic is a simple statement of fact. It’s not speaking ill of the dead, or ceremoniously dancing on his corpse, but neither is it — and I’m assuming you’ve read the same half-hearted tributes from prominent liberals that I have — an attempt to mischaracterize the life of a man who took pride in being an asshole.

        For some reason, the two “appropriate” responses to his death seem to be corpse-dancing and mischaracterization. People seem reluctant to speak of him as he spoke of himself, and as he proved himself to be time and again, proudly and purposefully.

        • At Big Hollywood, a quote from him:

          I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.

          Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.

        • actor212 says:

          He was a fucking cartoon, SEK and revelled in his two-dimensional stickfigureness.

          I have no problem with slamming him.

          • SEK says:

            He’s an atheist who’s now being prayed for, in volume, by the people who comment on his sites. Nothing you or I can say could top that. (Seriously, should I die and someone respond that they’re just happy I’m with Jesus now — or Mormon Jesus, for that matter — I’d be pissed, you know, if I weren’t dead.)

      • Joshua says:

        I also remember him for the time when, so enraged by a demonstration against war, he stood up proudly and flipped off the entire procession.

        … only to later learn that it was a march against child soldiers in Africa.

        The guy really was a dick. I don’t see why liberals need to be nice to him. Of course a bunch of wingnuts will counter by “oh I thought libs were compassionate” – not when it comes to an asshole like Breitbart, no.

  45. David Hunt says:

    I’m wondering when this “natural causes” coverup will fall apart. I realize that all tests indicate that the bucket the little girl with dog threw on him was only filled with water, but how long can it take them to figure out what would have causes his body to lose all molecular cohesion like that?

  46. Honorable..BOB says:

    I’ve stayed out of the conversation to allow all of LGM’s commenters to get all of the HATE out.

    Hatefule posts.

    My first rule is to never speak ill of the recently dead.

    • MAJeff says:

      Cracker, please.

    • Furious Jorge says:

      Too bad Breitbart himself didn’t adhere to your little rule, douchebag.

      • Brutusettu says:

        If Breitbart thought anyone that was remotely liberal, would just have kind words to say after his death, he would have became physically ill from that news.
        Bless his heart.

        • Furious Jorge says:

          As true as that is, I was more concerned with pointing out Bob’s utter hypocrisy for calling us out when Breitbart himself said some very cruel and revolting things about Ted Kennedy mere hours after his death.

          Kennedy was a human being with a family, just like Breitbart … but according to Horrible.Bob’s logic, he forfeited the right to be treated with dignity immediately after his death because he was a Democrat.

          Fuck Breitbart, and fuck this Bob troll. Both are completely worthless.

    • Your first rule, really? What’s the second rule, don’t draw to an inside straight? Did you leave off “don’t lie” entirely, or do you just observe it in the breach?

  47. Barry Freed says:

    It is sad that this SOB’s croaking has garnered more than twice as many comments than Davy Jones’ sad passing, a man who only ever made me smile.

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