RIP Andrew Breitbart: Notable reactions to the activist's death
The conservative firebrand's death Thursday at the age of 43 caught many off-guard on both sides of the political aisle. Some of the reactions, as shown below, were particularly passionate.
- 1. James O'Keefe: The "gotcha"-style journalist, who largely came to prominence as a result of his ties to Breitbart, had a particularly emotional reaction. "I've gotten messages from people this morning asking, 'What are you going to do now?' Certainly, it would have taken an army to stop him and just as certainly it is going to take an army to replace him," he wrote. “But in my head I can hear the response come from Andrew: ‘What are *you* going to do about it now?’ What we need are just a few good citizens with both courage and willpower. The courage to act with conscience and conviction, consequences and misconceptions be damned.”
- 2. Rep. Louie Gohmert: The Texas congressman, a strong critic of ACORN, spent nearly 15 minutes today praising Breitbart's work on the floor of the House, at one point comparing his activism to the abolitionist streak of John Quincy Adams.
- 3. Matt Drudge: The online news pioneer, who once mentored Breitbart, wrote an impassioned, anecdotal take on his close friend, who worked on The Drudge Report for a decade. “I still see him in my mind's eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him,” Drudge wrote “He was in his mid 20's. It was all there.”
- 4. The GOP candidates: Three of the four major candidates chimed in on Twitter about the death of Andrew Breitbart, most passionately Newt Gingrich.
- 5. Arianna Huffington: The media mogul, whose association with Breitbart goes back to the late '90s, remembered Breitbart for his passion: “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.” Breitbart worked on The Huffington Post in its early days.
- 6. Jonah Peretti: The BuzzFeed founder, who also helped co-found the Huffington Post, tells a very interesting tale about his time with Breitbart at HuffPo — how he was a guy with tons of ideas but was difficult to keep in check. “He was just incredibly difficult to have in the office – he was totally ADD and would jump from idea to idea,” Peretti says. “He would spend hours playing fantasy baseball during the day. He was incredibly good at fantasy baseball.” Although Breitbart's ideological tensions got in the way and eventually led to his departure from the site, Peretti says that “he taught us a lot of things early on.”
- 7. Rush Limbaugh: A fellow firebrand conservative, Limbaugh spent a large portion of his show eulogizing a friend he felt was doing important work. “It's true to say that there will never be another Andrew Breitbart,” he said on his show Thursday. “There will never be another anybody because we're all unique. I hope that the people who worked with him can maintain the tradition, the energy, and the effectiveness that his websites all were after his passing.“
- 8. Media Matters for America: A liberal group which butted heads with Breitbart on many occasions, Media Matters held back when commenting on his death: “Media Matters has a long history with Andrew Breitbart. We've disagreed more than we've found common ground, but there was never any question of Andrew's passion for and commitment to what he believed.”
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