Andrew Breitbart's Web empire continues with his 'warrior spirit'
Andrew Breitbart's Web empire launched a redesign that the late conservative commentator was working on at the time of his unexpected death at age 43 last week.
"Today, as Andrew dreamed and planned, we launch what he called 'Breitbart 2.0.' Many of you wondered what he was working on so hard during the last year of his life. Here it is," breitbart.com announced. "This was Andrew’s design. And it is Big, like everything else about him. It took him – and all of us – sleepless nights and countless hours to make it a reality. We go forward infused with Andrew's fire, his fight, his humor and his warrior spirit."
Besides redesigning the website, his staff added new featues and posted an essay about President Obama that Breitbart wrote before his death.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's office said it will take several weeks to determine a cause of death for Breitbart. Officials said they believe he died of natural causes.
"It looks like a heart attack, but no one knows until" an autopsy is done," his father-in-law, actor Orson Bean, told The Times.
"He was walking near the house somewhere.... He was taken by paramedics to UCLA and they couldn't revive him," Bean said. "We're devastated. I loved him like a son."
Breitbart was a Hollywood-hating, mainstream-media-loathing conservative and shot to stardom with two stories in recent years: breaking the story over sexually charged tweets by liberal Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, a scandal that led to his resignation; and posting a video of Shirley Sherrod, a black employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in which she appeared to make racially charged comments, leading to her firing and then a subsequent apology by the Obama administration when it was later revealed her comments were taken out of context.
Breitbart spent his first years helping to edit the Drudge Report and later helped launch the Huffington Post. In 2005, he launched his news aggregation site Breitbart.com, which was designed to counter what Breitbart described as the "bully media cabal" that he says ignores stories at odds with prevailing liberal orthodoxy. His goal, he often said, was to "destroy the institutional left."
His big splash came in 2009, when he posted an undercover video in which a pair of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend asked employees of the community group ACORN for help with a brothel that would house underage Salvadorans. ACORN was embarrassed when some of its workers seemed too helpful; Congress responded by defunding the organization.
Breitbart's mother-in-law, Alison Mills Bean, called Breitbart "one of the most genuine people I’ve met in my life.... He always spoke the truth of his heart and no matter what people agreed or disagreed with him he never wavered."
-- Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Andrew Breitbart signs his book "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!" on Feb. 25 at the Americans for Prosperity Presidential Forum in Troy, Mich. Credit: Jeff Kowalsky / European Pressphoto Agency