02 Mar 2012

Breitbart’s Death Provided a Character Test Which Lefties Failed

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Jackal feeding on dead lion.

The American left responded with characteristic class yesterday when confronted with the sudden death of prominent conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

Twitter erupted with unconcealed expressions of liberal delight at news of the death of a political opponent.

Typical examples:

AlmightyBob ‏ @AlmightyBoob : @AndrewBreitbart haha youre dead and in hell being a gay with hitler

Dave Lartigue ‏ @daveexmachina : Andrew Breitbart has died. Honestly, good riddance. He helped poison the country where I live and we are better off without him.

DAC ‏ @dac2527 : Satan calls Andrew Breitbart home… Good riddance!

The most prominent leftwinger to comment on Twitter was Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) who contributed: “Conventions around dead people are ridiculous. The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBrietbart dead.”

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The response on Twitter was pretty bad, but Rolling Stone’s Nicholas Kamm had a go at topping all that in a gleeful farewell piece titled: Death of a Douche.

So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here’s what I have to say to that, and I’m sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.

I say this in the nicest possible way. I actually kind of liked Andrew Breitbart. Not in the sense that I would ever have wanted to hang out with him, or even be caught within a hundred yards of him without a Haz-Mat suit on, but I respected the shamelessness. Breitbart didn’t do anything by halves, and even his most ardent detractors had to admit that he had a highly developed, if not always funny, sense of humor.

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Still, in many ways, an even more impressive example of seriously bad form was turned in by the perennial-critic-of-conservatism-pretending-to-reside-within-its-ranks Andrew Frum.

And this is where it becomes difficult to honor the Roman injunction to speak no ill of the dead. It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?

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The oleaginous Frum only really succeeded in lighting Ace’s fuse, and Ace responded by slapping Frum around in print the way Samuel Spade (Humphrey Bogart) handled Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)>

Andrew Breitbart died today. But he took David Frum’s last shred of credibility with him. …

David Frum exceeded Andrew Breitbart in one measure only, span of life.

But not in life.

David Frum will die as he lived, gray, timid, small, spiteful, cramped in thought and bent in spirit, slender of talent and obese in self-regard, unloved, unnoticed, unremembered and unread.

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