Breitbart Leaves 'Poisonous' Legacy

David Frum: To speak only of the 'good' is to misunderstand him
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 6:13 PM CST
Breitbart Leaves 'Poisonous' Legacy
Andrew Breitbart in file photo.   (AP Photo/David Karp)

(Newser) – Conservative blogger David Frum says it doesn't make much sense to write only of the "good" Andrew Breitbart in the wake of his death, the version of him in which he's a loyal friend and family man. To do so "would be to miss the story and indeed to misunderstand the man," he writes at the Daily Beast. Breitbart reinvented the culture war and made it more about personalities than issues. Along the way, he got some stories right (Anthony Weiner) and some wrong (Shirley Sherrod), but he didn't care either way.

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"Just as all is fair in a shooting war, so manipulation and deception are legitimate tools in a culture war," writes Frum. "Breitbart used those tools without qualm or regret, and he inspired a cohort of young conservative journalists to do likewise." All of which leads Frum to conclude that Breitbart's legacy is a "poisonous" one. He achieved success through a "giddy disdain for truth and fairness" and his politics were "inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas." He was a public figure and should be judged by his public actions, even if "the obituary cannot be pleasant reading." (Read more Andrew Breitbart dead stories.)

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