That said, let's look at what Bob wrote: "Did Andrew Breitbart Die of Hostility?"
When a 43-year-old man dies of an apparent heart attack, you look for something extraordinary that might explain it. In Andrew Breitbart's case, you don't have to look far.Now, obviously, Bob's a political lefty, not inclined to admire Breitbart. But I greatly admired Breitbart, and soon after I'd heard that he'd died I wrote:
One of the personality traits correlated with heart trouble is hostility. Redford B. Williams, who did the pioneering work on this several decades ago, found that men with a hostile disposition are more likely to develop irregular heartbeats and die before they reach 50....
Dave Weigel recently recalled a phone conversation with Breitbart during the Journolist controversy. He remembered Breitbart saying, "The collusion. All of these reporters agreeing on how to cover a story so it didn't hurt Obama. It's disgusting. It's the corruption of the media. It's corrupt. This is corrupt. This is corruption." Too much of that could be bad for a person's heart.
Obviously, this is just a theory, and a very conjectural one at that. We're not even sure yet that Breitbart died of a heart attack, and even if that is confirmed, we'll never be able to prove that hostility was a factor. And for all I know, Breitbart's closest friends can attest that the contempt and angry indignation were all for show, and that deep down Breitbart was a jovial guy who didn't actually dislike the people and organizations whose reputations he tried to ruin. But for now this theory is consistent with the observed evidence and is as good as any other theory I've heard. Maybe better ones will emerge with time.
I'm guessing a heart attack.... He looked and acted like the kind of person who seems to be at risk for a heart attack, don't you think?I meant "He raged!" as a big compliment. Bob can call it "hostility," but you can also think of it as ferocity, intensity, and a warrior spirit. Put it in a good or a bad light, but this quality does correlate to heart attacks.
Is it terrible to think of this poem?
My candle burns at both ends;What is making Glenn so angry? Is it the suggestion that a man caused his own death? Or is it hearing that suggestion from someone — in this case Bob Wright — who isn't sorry to lose that man? I have often heard people finding peace by embracing the belief that the dead person died doing what he loved. Maybe Breitbart loved raging, and he raged so hard his heart blew out.
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
Is that a schmucky thing to say?
ADDED: "The Los Angeles County coroner's office said it is awaiting the results of toxicology tests before releasing an official cause of death for conservative author and activist Andrew Breitbart, who died unexpectedly Thursday at age 43."