Lloyd Grove remembers the self-deprecating, zany man behind the adversarial public image.
After years of making his opinions known on any one of his many websites, Andrew Breitbart’s last Internet encounter was true to form. In a tweet posted at 11:25 p.m. Los Angeles time Wednesday night, Breitbart wrote, “I called you a putz cause I thought you were being intentionally disingenuous. If not I apologize.” The final missive was directed toward @CenLamar, the Twitter handle of blogger Lamar White Jr.
The two had begun exchanging messages earlier in the day, when White tweeted, “Andrew Breitbart’s speaking voice is like the love child of Owen Wilson and Dr. Evil.”
But their flurry of messages heated up in the hours leading to the final message as they discussed an article in The Atlantic that Breitbart felt unfairly portrayed video maker James O’Keefe. Breitbart’s BigJournalism.com had reported on Wednesday that O’Keefe had filed a defamation suit against CurrentTV as well as against Keith Olbermann for making references to O’Keefe as a “convicted felon,” according to the post.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Breitbart collapsed while walking near his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood. Paramedics sped the blogger to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The 43-year-old was pronounced dead there a little after midnight—not very long after this last message to White.
Breitbart’s last tweet was true to the way many will remember him: as a tireless ideological crusader who could also extend a hand in apology.
Not knowing that he’d receive no response, @CenLamar tweeted back minutes after Breitbart’s conciliatory message, saying, “You also called me ‘genius,’” referring to an earlier tweet from Breitbart. “So apology accepted.”
Andrew Breitbart, who died of natural causes at the age of 43, was the man most responsible for forcing Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign. Back in June of 2011, the conservative blogger wasn't about to miss another opportunity to talk about the scandal. On 'Piers Morgan Tonight,' he thanked CNN correspondents for taking the story seriously.