How Andrew Breitbart Changed the News

It doesn’t matter who we is, kemo sabe. It’s the conservatives at Drudge, the liberals at HuffPo, the leftists at DailyKos, the libertarians at Reason. It’s all of us and Breitbart helped create and grow a series of do-it-yourself demonstration projects through which we can all speak more loudly and more fully.

To get a sense of just how polarizing a figure new media innovator Andrew Breitbart was, get a load of this tweet from Slate’s Matt Yglesias that went out mere hours after the news of Breitbart’s unexpected death at age 43 broke: “The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBrietbart dead.”

Breitbart would relish that sort of venomous barb, not least because it meant that liberals with an uncomplicated mainstream media perspective were taking notice of him and his point of view. That such a churlish and distasteful comment reflects poorly on its author, an establishment blogger with impeccable left of center bona fides, and his Washington Post-owned platform, would simply be icing on the cake.

As the creator of the controversial suite of “Big” sites (including Big Government, Big Journalism, Big Hollywood, and Big Peace), the man who helped put the nonprofit ACORN in the crosshairs of angry lawmakers who ultimately defunded the organization, and the reason former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s crotch shot went viral, Breitbart didn’t simply risk the ire of indignant liberals. He insisted on it, even as he was no straight-up social conservative: At the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference, he protested the banning of the gay-friendly group GOProud by hosting a dance party featuring lesbian singer Sophie B. Hawkins.


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