[It's] 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?
I tried to avoid listening the shit the man spewed a lot of the time. Whenever I did hear him speak, or read what he had read, I was disgusted. Frum is right: "The attack was everything; the details nothing."
In Twitter-land, there were just as many tributes as insulting ones. My fave so far was by fellow Blogger writer The Rude Pundit which linked to his quirky obit. Best bit from that:
At first, he thought he was on a drug trip, it happened so fast; his soul popped out of him like a cork on a shaken champagne bottle. He saw his corporeal form on the ground and thought it was a wacky out of body experience, perhaps some flashback from the time he licked LSD off Michelle Malkin's ass cheeks, perhaps some residual peyote dream from that Western walkabout he did with Sean Hannity, when they got naked and rubbed each other with red dirt until they howled out that they wanted to kill the Indians again.There were plenty of other comments that actually celebrated his death. I can't join them, although it is somewhat comforting to know that he won't be heard from ever again in real time. And if there's a hell, he's surely roasting marshmallows with the Prince of Darkness just because of his body of work. But I didn't know the man personally. At 43, he was a young one simply to have dropped dead like he did. He was a family man, the adopted son of "moderately conservative" Jewish parents, who had a Latina sister, also adopted. That he was as unctious, as confrontational, as uncaring about being truthful, around them as he was in his public persona is simply something I don't know. It's tragic when someone dies suddenly in medias res. So I'm ambivalent about speaking ill of him.
I think the worst part of this is that his death, coming so suddenly and before he could, as Frum put it, "have aged into greater self-control and a higher concept of public service," might spawn imitators who want to take his particular brand of political thuggery to new lows. Usually, when someone loathesome dies, there are at least some people who say, OK, he/she is gone now. We all know what an asshole he/she was, so can we at least agree that we no longer have to have his/her kind of bullshit around anymore? But I'm afraid that reasonable voices such as that will be drowned out, and are, in fact, being drowned out now.
Great legacy, Andrew, huh? Glad you didn't suffer for too long before departing this life.