March 4, 2012

"Robert Wright: You should apologize to your readers, and to everyone who actually did know Andrew Breitbart."

"This is unworthy of you. You schmuck." Harsh words, from Glenn Reynolds, toward someone I know (through hours of telephone conversations on Bloggingheads). I also know Glenn Reynolds, but I never met Andrew Breitbart. And let me say: I really like all 3 of these individuals.

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.

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.
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:
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?

He raged!
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;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
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.

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."

136 comments:

MayBee said...

You can ask the people who knew him, but from what I'm reading, he didn't rage nor what he hostile.
He just said what he thought. But it sounds like he was a very fun, big hearted person. When something bothered him, he let it out. When something pleased him, he let it out.

chickenlittle said...

I notice that you don't put many Blogginghades up anymore. Do they still record them?

I never understood what people saw Bob Wright, yourself included. Was it just that he gave you face time?

AJ Lynch said...

Can you explain why you like Wright? I never saw any there there- I only saw a run of the mill, typical lib.

AJ Lynch said...

CL - beat me too it. Wright is a bore- a human sleeping pill. He is The Tree of Life and you don't have to buy the movie ticket.

Maguro said...

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.

Breitbart's observations here seem pretty self-evident. Does noticing obvious stuff like this put you at risk of having a heart attack?

Issob Morocco said...

I would posit that Glenn is upset with Bob Wright's opening comment that he "didn't know Andrew Breitbart,..." and then proceeds to speculate as to what may have caused his death, with all roads pointing to hostility.

It is one thing to say he did not like Breitbart for what he did or how he did it, but using such a word as hostility and putting faux research as a connection to why would be my first thoughts of why Bob Wright is depriving a village somewhere of it's idiot. Glenn will have to answer for his own words.

Was that too hostile to Bob??

Cheers!

Zeb Quinn said...

I believe Breitbart had a bad heart already, for years, going back to his days as a liberal. Maybe THAT'S what damaged it (if we're going to play that game).

fleetusa said...

I am not a doctor but I would think it takes a tricky ticker for rage to really be a serious factor. He has had the ticker for life and at 43 (as for many <50) he probably never had a good exam.

pm317 said...

What is making Glenn so angry?

May be the double standard and hypocrisy on the left.
If Breitbart was working for liberal causes and he burnt his candle of life at both ends to die of a heart attack he would be hailed a martyr, a Mandela, a Gandhi..

robinintn said...

Well sure it's not offensive when you reframe it to say what you want to say, but the original clearly proposed that he died from being hate-filled, and pretty clearly implied that he deserved it.

Kirby Olson said...

If hostility kills people, the whole left would drop dead.

rhhardin said...

The Breitbart (hey, the spelling is correct German! No problem rememebering like Wiener/Weiner) videos I've seen are tedious. The guy isn't as interesting as he thinks, just get to the point.

The performance sucks, in other words.

Undermining all these lefty fronts ought to be a lot easier, but the American people, via their media, get narrative pap about them instead.

Why? Who knows. It's obviously pap to me.

Maybe they never met a used car salesman.

chickenlittle said...

Where are the autopsy results anyway?
Why do people have to speculate?

EDH said...

In answer to your four questions, Dr. Williams, "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes."

There’s nothing inherently wrong with anger. Psychologists say it’s normal to feel angry when your well-being is threatened -- and that goes for your financial as well as emotional and physical well-being. Although people differ in the way they express anger -- men may turn aggressive, women sad, and adolescents impulsive -- just about everyone gets angry from time to time, says David L. Kupfer, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Falls Church, Va. “I’ll bet the Dalai Lama gets angry if his plane is delayed,” he says.

Anger can be a force for good, as when it encourages people to act against injustice. It can be a life guide of sorts, helping steer you away from the situations and people you find noxious. And as we all know from high school biology, anger is a key element of the lifesaving “fight or flight” response, in which we act quickly to repel attackers or flee them.

But chronic, intense anger is neither helpful nor healthy. It can cause problems in your personal relationships and at work; research has linked high levels of anger to heart attack, stroke, and premature death. “There is no question that anger that is chronic or poorly managed is bad for your health,” says Redford B. Williams, MD, director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

How do you avoid being a victim of your own wrath? A generation ago, psychologists often advocated immediate, unfettered expressions of anger. “Letting it all hang out” was considered a good way to dissipate rage. But recent evidence suggests the contrary: Rather than easing angry feelings, forcefully expressing them seems to intensify them. “Now we know the only thing cathartic expressions of anger does is make you better at being angry,” Kupfer says.

There’s now widespread agreement among anger experts that it’s better to evaluate angry feelings before acting on or even accepting them. Williams is a leading proponent of this view; he recommends asking yourself four specific questions whenever you feel angry:

1.) Is the situation or event that triggered my anger important? That is, is the thing that triggered my rage something that threatens my well-being?

2.) Given the situation or event, is my anger appropriate? Faced with the same circumstances, would the average person get angry?

3.) Is the situation modifiable? Is there something I can do to change it for the better?

4.) Is it worth it to try to modify the situation? That is, is it worth my time and effort?

Most of the time you’ll answer “no” to at least one question; if so, this is not one of those times when your anger is a sign that you should take some action. Better to distract yourself from your angry feelings and get on with your day.

If you answer “yes” to each question, you have a legitimate beef and should take action (but spend some time brainstorming possible responses before doing anything). Often the best approach is to speak not aggressively but assertively -- not to swallow your ire but not to spit it out either. Explain your feelings as impassively as possible, and request a specific change in the other person’s behavior.


Fuck off, Bob, you schmuck.

rhhardin said...

If everybody lit just one little candle, somebody would probably light two.

- Roger Price

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Instapundit is usually very calm, rational and moderate in his language. So when someone like him rails you should think there is a good reason.

In this case I suggest you look at the paragraphs you did not copy. Those paragraphs explain Insty's anger.

Jacques Cuze said...

As a lefty, I was very offended with Robert Wright's piece.

Wright was not saying Brietbart died doing something he loved, he said Brietbart's nasty evil soul killed him.

Moreover, Wright's not an MD, shrink, biologist. Wright never met Breitbart. Wright doesn't have a single clue and is completely unqualified to speculate as to the cause of Brietbart's death.

Think of the justified criticism of Dr. Bill Frist from the left for diagnosing Terri Schiavo without ever meeting her.

And also this. I do have heart issues, and it's from a congenital birth defect. I do worry I will die and before my daughters, alienated from me by my ex, have a chance to go to college, grow, and reconcile with me.

So I die because of a heart issue, and Robert Wright says,

"Oh, that guy died because his own hostility killed him."

No, I died because of birth defect, but thank you for the defamation when I am clearly not able to defend myself.

Darcy said...

"He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans."

Darcy said...

Conservatives are always "hostile". Liberals are just "passionate".

What is so wrong about saying that?

bagoh20 said...

If Wright is correct, he better keep his MedAlert pendant close by, because he strikes me as a much less happy person than Breitbart was. And his much smaller relevance by comparison is obviously hard on him too.

I think that regardless of their political opinion, every pundit and journalist envies what Breitbart did and was. Unfortunately, there probably isn't a single one among them that will be able to fill the much needed service his death left void.

Anyone wanting to be relevant, famous and rich should give it try though. I certainly want that job filled.

edutcher said...

Note, please, all the trolls who jammed all the Fluke threads yesterday defending her honor, are conspicuous for their absence in defending the deceased Breitbart for similar attack.

bagoh20 said...

I can pretty much guarantee I will die of my bliss, and not my anger. Everything that makes me happy is dangerous...except the Althouse blog, which is why I'm here - self preservation.

Darcy said...

Maybe Andrew died of bliss, bagoh20. Happy warrior.

rhhardin said...

Handy rule for spotting con jobs.

A con job has two steps:

1. They tell you a lie.

2. They take your money.

Check for step 2. That warns you about step 1.

Chef Mojo said...

Is that a schmucky thing to say?

Yeah, it is. Not nearly as schmucky as what Robert Wright wrote, but schmucky nonetheless.

Making Breitbart out to be some Lear-like figure lashing away at the hurricanoes, raging, raging, RAGING is a presumptuous and cartoonish presentation of a man you know very little about, personally. Even if you do use "rage" admiringly.

Rage also denotes a lack of control, and that wasn't Breitbart, either. Everything he did was thought out and calculated for maximum impact and publicity. That's certainly not "rage," Althouse.

Look, the guy was taking a late night walk in his neighborhood and heart finally gave out. Trying to weave dark threads through the "narrative" just makes people like you and Wright look silly.

And schmucky.

John Lynch said...

Darcy-

I've also noticed the liberal's substitution of the word "passionate" for "angry."

After eight years of Bush-hatred there's no credibility left for lectures about civility.

Darcy said...

No, but they will continue to do substitute, John Lynch. And some will continue to provide them cover.

Mr. D said...

I'd guess two things set Reynolds off:

1) That Wright didn't know Breitbart and still felt compelled to offer analysis that was, from beginning to end, baked wind; and

2) That Wright cited David Frum as an authority on the matter.

Darcy said...

Bleh. Remove the "do".

And I am finding it harder to read these puzzles we are to solve to post.

Paco Wové said...

In the handy little sorting bins in my mind, Wright made the transition from "pathetic" to "vile" a few weeks ago when he started ginning up an Israel is evil! program. Apparently he's doubling down now.

dbp said...

"...some of these questions capture a part of a person's makeup that goes beyond hostility in the broad sense; they measure a kind of cynicism--"a contemptuous distrust of human nature and motives," as Williams put it.

In other words, these questions measure the kind of inclination that could lead you to see pervasive and calculated media bias."

Really? I would say that anyone who can't see the rather obvious media bias shouldn't be taken seriously on any subject requiring good judgement.

virgil xenophon said...

"That Wright cited David Frum..."

What exactly DID happen to Frum? Was he taken over by the Pod People? Almost unrecognizable from a few decades ago..

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I have read many articles about Breitbart and his tireless pursuits.

I don't think its outside the bounds of taste to wonder if the stress he brought upon himself contributed to heart problems.

I admire his penchant for using leftist tactics against the left - he rather relished doing that and challenged what he felt was wrong.

His passion, perhaps, was his undoing.

Mark O said...

"Is that a schmucky thing to say?"

Yes.

Likely he died from bad genes. Probably his heart stopped and he died peacefully. If any rage contributed, it was the lefty hate and the smirking innuendo from the likes of Wright.

Wright is delivering the Obama theme that conservatives are angry, so angry that they kill themselves with their rage. And, Ann, you are spreading the news.

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
write_effort said...

Wright will probably soon, if not already, see it as a column he should not have written. It served no purpose, the thinking was weak, and his subject is dead at a young age with a young family. Who knows AB might have eventually matured in his views like Arianna Huffington.

Darcy said...

His passion, Don't Tread, or his hostility.

And Mark O, having read the hate and death wishes spewed his way for the past year on Twitter, I wondered about that myself. The hostility aimed at him was something to behold. Painful to be reminded of at this point, as well.

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, are the Manners Police back out on patrol? Here to instruct us inferior mortals one when we should shut up (criticizing a winger) or not (praising a liberal)?

A man died who made himself famous and wealthy through lying, spreading hate, publishing false propaganda and generally being a complete asshole deserves respect?

Andrew Breitbart would laugh at this nonsense. He was an asshole, and proud of it.

Meanwhile, people like Ann Althouse who had no criticism of Breitbart's actions in his life criticize his critics in his death. (Althouse admired Breitbart? There's no accounting for taste).

Taibbi does a good job calling "bullshit" on the bullshit.

John Lynch said...

Why Breitbart was hated-

He simply did to liberals what they'd been doing to conservatives for decades. He managed to get liberals to complain about taking quotes out of context (the Sherrod tape was priceless,) using selective editing, and gotcha journalism.

In other words, what liberals do on a daily basis.

I loved it. Breitbart made them denounce their own methods. He did nothing that you don't see on the Daily Show or MSNBC every night.

Turnabout is fair play.

Meade said...

"A man died who made himself [...] through lying, spreading hate, publishing false propaganda and generally being a complete asshole deserves respect? "

Yes, Alpha, even you deserve some basic human respect and dignity.

Ron said...

If anger and hostility gave people heart attacks so directly, Sarah Palin would have gakked off at least a 1/3 of the Dems by now!

AJ Lynch said...

Maybe I shouldn't be so tough on Wright. Without his Blogginheads dumbass suckfests, we never would have heard of Trooper's genius when he re-named it "Boringheads".

dreams said...

Andrew Breitbart died way too young but it seems to me that he had a great life right up to the end. He died without having to suffer. It is worse for his grieving family who will have to suffer their sudden loss of a loved one and go on living without him.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Darcy

Passion.

Its a matter of perspective.

Darcy said...

@Don't Tread:

And respect. Maybe with a little grace mixed in.

But, eh, what's in a word?

The Crack Emcee said...

Glenn just got back from a memorial to Breitbart, so the criticism - leveled by someone who admits they didn't know the man - probably stung more than usual.

Droopy's wrong about everything, anyway,...

rcommal said...

Where are the autopsy results anyway?

They are expected to take a few weeks, which is typical.

Why do people have to speculate?

The mind wanders (/wonders) as it will, but this doesn't mean the mouth must follow.

Alas, it seems many don't subscribe to this notion.

rcommal said...

.

dreams said...

It looks like Breitbart was working way too hard and probably not getting enough rest, he had a lot of irons in the fire. Maybe a lot of people can get away with that if they don't have heart disease.

Paco Wové said...

Took the thoughts right out of my head, Meade.

edutcher said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, are the Manners Police back out on patrol? Here to instruct us inferior mortals one when we should shut up (criticizing a winger) or not (praising a liberal)?

Recognizing the problem is the first step.

Now repeat, "Sarah Palin is a really nice lady and I shouldn't say mean things about her simply because we disagree and she is tons smarter and more successful than I am", about a hundred times.

Chip S. said...

AlphaLiberal said...

A man died who made himself famous and wealthy through lying, spreading hate, publishing false propaganda and generally being a complete asshole deserves respect?

Aside from the dying famous and wealthy part, I'd say this is the best example of projection I've yet to see around here--which is quite an accomplishment.

MikeR said...

Mickey Kaus had a pretty harsh criticism of David Frum's post,
http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/02/andrew-breitbart-r-i-p-2/
His criticism is that everything Frum wrote was dead wrong.
Seems like a lot of people didn't know him and feel comfortable drawing conclusions about him.

I ♥ Willard said...

What is making Glenn so angry?

No idea, but he should try to calm down, especially since there's evidence that men with a hostile disposition are more likely to develop irregular heartbeats and die young.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If you want a more precise (i.e. biochemical) explanation, the link would probably be through cortisol (stress hormone) and catecholamines (flight or fight system) - which are not routinely used in a diagnostic prognostic sense, but are widely accepted from a research and clinical standpoint.

But why bother? I'm here in a crowd of people who think that the concept of a compound-specific heat-capacity is a conspiratorial hoax and who probably don't accept that the mind and body are related, either.

Yes, science is a problem for Republicans. But when it provides an explanation for what just claimed one of your own... If now is not the time to listen, then I guess you'll just keep digging indefinitely.

Penny said...

Instapundit, into the breach!

Chip S. said...

@Ritmo and the rest of the people pushing the same loathsome meme:

A man becomes outraged at outrageous things, and you blame the man.

It seems that no one who actually knew the private Breitbart disliked him. That's why they are so annoyed by ignorant dipshits offering up half-baked diagnoses from afar.

Zac said...

I'm not so certain that it was Breitbart's rage that did him in, specifically, as it was the enormous amount of activity he put into each and every day. From the multiple accounts I've read about him, he was a whirling dervish of activity, multi-tasking, and trying to stuff as much life into one day as any human being possibly could. The stress from his combative nature may have been a factor but I think he may have overtaxed his heart with too much activity, overall, and not just his hostility.

As an aside, I really liked Breitbart, too. He gave conservatism an edginess and hipness that it largely lacks as a whole, pointing satirical barbs at lofty lefty institutions. The left has always prided itself on being the edgy, hip side, so many of them saw Breitbart as a threat. He put them under the spotlight and made them the subject of ridicule across the media landscape, making them appear stodgy and intractable.

It was a rare talent, indeed, and one that will be sorely missed.

dreams said...

Most of us can remember when it was thought that stress caused stomach ulcers and then we found out that they are caused by a bacteria. We still don't know what causes heart disease.

chickenlittle said...

rcommal wrote: They are expected to take a few weeks, which is typical.


Typical for whom, rcommal? When I was comatose a couple years ago and no one knew why, a full tox screen was done in days. I am not a celebrity, just a normal insurance-paying guy.

We knew the cause of death of Whitney Houston after a few days.

Ruling death from coronary involves post mortem surgery which of course has to be done before burial or cremation. But the latter events can't be delayed too long.

MayBee said...

If you criticize Breitbart, you are criticizing all men.

chickenlittle said...

@Ritmo wrote:

Yes, science is a problem for Republicans. But when it provides an explanation for what just claimed one of your own... If now is not the time to listen, then I guess you'll just keep digging indefinitely.

Oh bullshit, Ritmo.

I ♥ Willard said...

I am not a celebrity, just a normal insurance-paying guy.

Oh Mr. Little, please don't be so modest. Many of us think of you as a celebrity.

meep said...

My thoughts:
http://meep.livejournal.com/1898961.html

I tried to post this elsewhere, but the bottomline: I'm guessing that there is a genetic link, not just Breitbart's lifestyle/personality. I have had many family members felled by early heart attacks, and they definitely were no dynamos akin to Breitbart.

My father died at 38 of a heart attack (no warning). He was a very gentle man. A total geek, too. The connection to Breitbart is that my dad looked =a=lot= older than his actual age, and I think Breitbart did, too. I think that was the real "tell" that he was an ill man.

The thing that gets me is that people think that one can stay this sort of ill health. Maybe he could have lived to his 50s, but think of Jim Fixx. People would like to think they can control when they die, but there's only so much you can do.

Michael said...

Bullshit. Sue that guy for practicing "medicine" without a license.

dreams said...

If an average man collapsed and died, it is unlikely that there would be an autopsy. Autopsies are expensive. I've known middle age men 48 to 50 years old who died in their sleep and cause of death was determined without an autopsy.

Donald Douglas said...

Ann, if you've watched Bill Whittle's video tribute, he mentions that Breitbart had already had a heart attack. And some of the media reports mentioned that he'd already had "treatment." Meaning he'd been hospitalized already. So, when Orson Bean, his father in law, said he'd expected Andrew died of a heart attack, that's with knowing Andrew's health history in mind.

TreeJoe said...

This speculation is horribly taken out of context - against breitbart.

Let's evaluate a few things: people who have cardiovascular issues due to anger tend to express it in a few ways:

1. They tend to have an attack during an angry outburst

2. They tend to exhibit physical symptoms of anger causing them problems (both beforehand and during, some acute that were not being reported by those with him and some chronic which will show up on an autopsy)

...

Anger is also just another word for stress. A harmful stress on the body, like so many other stresses. It's not the act of expressing anger, it's the state of anger or stress. The cumulative effect on the body of being stressed chronically. By all accounts, Breitbart was not chronically stressed as angry, but instead perhaps as a workaholic. But that usually won't knock ya down at 43.

Then, since people are conjecturing about the cause of his death itself, let's examine what we know:

1. He was having a relaxed and enjoyable conversation for ~1.5-2 hours over ~2 glasses of wine. The wine would actually be helpful at avoiding a heart attack in the moment, as well as a stroke. The amount he consumed acts as a depressant, a blood thinner, and has other positive effects.

2. He exhibited no physical symptoms during his conversation observed by others. This is unusual, especially for a male who experiences a heart attack.

...

What of this speaks to him dying from anger? Having prolonged chronic stress? Being in a condition promoting dying young?

What of this promotes people to offer up that his lifestyle contributed to a SUDDEN cardiovascular death at 43 years of age?

Anyone who is willing to go beyond conjecture and actively promote that his anger was what led to this is....

Mark of a schmuck. Nothing to do with political leaning.

Tom Spaulding said...

Got any video of Bob Wright's speech at the Rotunda? No?

What...you say he stayed home for health reasons?

Well, as the saying goes, that's what Liberal ships are for.

Alex said...

Ah yes all is well in the world now that Ritmo has weighed in that Republicans are "science challenged". Gotta love the endless regurgitation of leftist memes!

damikesc said...

So, Progressives are admitting that their "righteous indignation" is ALWAYS an act and they have no core beliefs whatsoever.

Never thought they'd admit it so publicly, but if Breitbart is the only guy whose "hate" caused him to die (after all, the Left's behavior towards Bush was psychotic to an extreme and none of them died "because of it"), it means that ALL they do is act.

There is no there there when it comes to Progressivism.

amenjohnson said...

Why wouldn't some history of heart problems be the first speculation? Hostility is a false cause and someone playing amateur psychoMD is revealing. If hostility could be a cause of death the entire left would croak.

Joe said...

Robert Wright's article is self-righteous gibberish. Then again, what's new?

Roger J. said...

I am impressed by the number of qualified cardiologists who are posting on this thread! They must have stayed at a holiday inn express last nite.

And, for my personal information, who the hell is Bob Wright and what does he do? never heard of him and only saw him as the ugly fucker on blogging heads. The man needs to get laid--Perhaps---nahhh I am not going to say it.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Happy Warriors are still warriors. There's a lot of adrenaline pumping when one jumps into the fray, even if there is joy in the thrashing of one's opponents.

Better to burn out than to rust out.

How brightly you burned, Mr. Breitbart! The rest of us can only hope to carry on in the afterglow of your brilliance.

Peano said...

What is making Glenn so angry?

If you have to ask ...

Locomotive Breath said...

I look forward to pissing on Wright's grave the same way he pissed on Breitbart's. May I have that opportunity soon.

Astro said...

I didn't know Vince Foster or Bill Clinton, but I think Clinton shot Foster at point-blank range.
Oh, and I'm not a coroner.
Want to hear my theories about the faked moon landings or how the World Trade Towers were blown up on the inside?
Yes, I'm being facetious.

The 73rd Virgin said...

Breitbart had a bad heart. Rage or not. Everyone who knew him knew it. If he had only internalized the "rage" maybe he would have lived longer.

Jesus Ann, is everyone's a doctor? Even the law professors? I expect this stupidity from Wright.

Roger J. said...

Breibart had a great sense of timing--not unlike Jack Bennie--he would publish his first story, wait till the idiots glommed on to it, and the published, as the late paul harvey would say, the rest of the story. Great timing IMO

traditionalguy said...

Glenn is always nice, with a little zinger for wit.

But Glenn has now revealed that he still has the heart of a warrior from east Tennessee.

Bob Wright made the same mistake that British General Patrick Ferguson made when he took cheap shots about east Tennessee men in 1780. They then tracked him and his Army down and killed them for it at King's Mountain, and then they started in executing the few British that surrendered, until they cooled down a little.

Breitbart was a blood brother to warriors for the cause of truth. Wright is lucky to have gotten off with what Glenn said.

Roger J. said...

Damn--Jack Benny--apologies to Jack, Mary Livingston, Rochester, and Mel Blanc

Jim Treacher said...

Ann, do you think Wright would give this sort of virtual autopsy to, say, Keith Olbermann? Or Ed Schultz? Or Chris Matthews? Or any of the other angry guys on his side?

Mutnodjmet said...

If Andrew died of hostility, it was the result of the stress of the hostility directed toward him. Our opponents will continue to spew out the derisions to silence us. We need to continue to speak out.As an example of Andrew’s legacy, a small Catholic woman confronts 3 young black hipsters who crashed a CA Tea Party conference yesterday. They did so to harass Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, who is fighting the victicrat mentality and racism taught in the inner city. She asks who they are and why they are there, and gets some illuminating answers and pictures.

Brian Macker said...

Well Anne I guess you'd have no problem with people speculating that you committed suicide without knowing the cause of death, and attributing it to your eventual recognition of exactly how wrong you are on this issue.

Since every lefty commentator is also quite apparently aggressive and hostile to the arguments of others I hope you speculate that each and every one of them has died of a heart attack before you know the situtation, and not a heart attack due to plague build up either, the kind caused by inner hatred.

chickenlittle said...

I wonder if Downtown Lad died of a heart attack? That guy made Andy R look like a yoga instructor.

Jack Lifton said...

I would have never even thought about Bob Wright again if this thread hadn't occurred. I enjoyed Bloggingheads when it originated; it had some very good duos such as Wright/Kaus. Lowry/McWhorter, and Horgan/Johnson. I looked forward to those conversations. But after a while as the rationality departed along with the regulars it started to become the Bob Wright show, and he is incredibly boring. In fact he is the anti-Breitbart. Bob Wright seesm to think that he is morally incorruptible and always right. Unfortunately he is just Wright all of the time.

shiloh said...

Althouse, re: Breirbart feel free to move on at any time, as he's already forgotten in the blogosphere, except extreme conservative sites like yours.

Indeed, you heartthrob Limbo stubbin' his toe recently has put Breitbart on the back page, not that he was ever on the political front page.

Indeed, dying at 43 means he probably never recovered from his notorious personal attack on Shirley Sherrod.

and so it goes ...

Unknown said...

Shilo--apparently you stayed at a holiday in last nite--please flesh out your medical diagnosis for the rest of us.

docweasel said...

@virgil xenophon

Frum joined the washington cocktail circuit after leaving public service. There is only one way to "grow" and to have those people love you, in their opinion, and that is not only to move to the left, but to attack and betray those who gave you your livelihood when you started. Like Jennifer Rubin or Peggy Noonan or any of those idiots the left calls "conservatives" just so they can hold them up and say "look, even CONSERVATIVES think the GOP is extremist and crazy". It never goes the other way. There is a leftward ratchet.

Chip Ahoy said...

He honestly couldn't think of one single decent thing to say, funeral-wise, obituary-wise so he went concern troll. I've seen this at other funerals. Bad form. Bad. Breitbart himself would have retweeted it, I know now, if it were possible to condense.

My deaf friends do something. They make a C and jerk it from down to up and aimed at you, and I asked Jeff what that means. He put his hand to his chin and thought then spelled 'burp on you'.

Aaron said...

Breitbart was one of the big lights in the public sphere, but that doesn't mean we saw most of Andrew's life. His politics, regardless of how passionate he was about them, was not the totality of the man.

By every account of those who knew him, Andrew was a pretty happy, if excitable, fellow.

Perhaps most of all, if you preface a piece with "I didn't know him" refrain from making comments about his heart as a physical organ.

Tom said...

@ Shiloh

One might almost be moved to believe that you harbor some resentment toward someone who made an enduring name for himself by the age of 43 while your claim to fame is that you spend a lot of time commenting on a blog where most of the other commentors disagree with you. Perhaps some introspection is called for. Lives of quite desperation indeed.

Allan said...

@virgil xenephhon, docweasel

If my memory is correct
Frum was dropped as a speechwriter
after he went around bragging
about the lines he had written
('Axis of Evil', etc.)

This may account for his subsequent behaviour.

shiloh said...

"Lives of quite desperation ...

Quiet desperation Indeed !!! as Breitbart (((may))) have been wound a tad too tight!

Joe Schmoe said...

Breitbart shone a big fucking mirror in the face of the left. They will never, ever forgive him for it, so all they can do is try to discredit him for it, even in death. Especially in death.

Wright's story isn't grounded in any science; it's pure wish-list. It's no different than a religious zealot thinking a person was being punished by God for their bad behavior. It's all specious and simply twists an event to conform to a world view their weak little mind can handle.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yeah, I saw Alpha Liberal. No. I saw him there but we didn't say anything to each other.

Rabel said...

chickenlittle wrote:

"rcommal wrote: They are expected to take a few weeks, which is typical.
Typical for whom, rcommal?"

Good point and thanks for asking as I learned something by googling "Why do forensic toxicology tests take so long"

Clinical tox is not the same same as forensic tox.

I also learned today that Bob Wright is a schmuck. I thought he was just a dick.

So I learned two things. Good day.

ZZMike said...

Breitbart announces he;s going to release a video quite damaging to Obama on March 1.

Breitbart dies of a heart attack on March 1, before releasing the tape.

Anyone remember Vince Foster?

tom swift said...

I had my first heart attack at 43. Medical science never figured out why. I didn't fit any of the "at risk" categories. Nevertheless, a heart attack it was.

No need to look for a "cause." Sometimes these things just happen.

Ambrose said...

Now that Andrew is gone, it is only a matter of time before some new conservative blogger will get under the left's skin and someone will write something like: [New blogger] is truly evil. Unlike Andrew Breitbart who at least [something good], [new blogger] has no redeeming quality.

The left loves the dead conservatives.

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"Bob Wright seems to think that he is morally incorruptible and always right."

It's like if Jimmy Carter and Joe Lieberman had babies.

Paco Wové said...

FWIW, a co-worker's brother, also mid-40's, had a fatal heart attack while mowing his lawn (a riding mower, at that). Autopsy was performed, but it took weeks. Results inconclusive.

Rusty said...

The left loves the dead conservatives.

The left loves dead everything. They work hard to get dead babies, soldiers, whales, just about everything to work for them.
My favorite are baby Harp Seals.

Crimso said...

"If you want a more precise (i.e. biochemical) explanation, the link would probably be through cortisol (stress hormone) and catecholamines (flight or fight system) - which are not routinely used in a diagnostic prognostic sense, but are widely accepted from a research and clinical standpoint."

You might want to steer clear of both thermodynamics and biochemistry. Some of the anti-science people here are very well-versed in both.

If you want a more correct (i.e., from a biochemist) explanation, most heart attacks (even in young people) result from coronary artery disease. The exact causes of that are probably a combination of factors (stress and "type A" are considered risk factors, but a hyperlipidemic phenotype is more likely). I'm not privy to his medical records (obviously), but I would be very surprised if the true underlying cause was endocrine-induced.

Rusty said...

He never looked angry to me. he probably had a type A personality. Those types either burn out or die young.

The guy obviously had an impact. Look at all those who vilified/are vilifying him.
It's a shame his enemies aren't of the same stature he was.

Writ Small said...

Althouse said. . .

"I meant 'He raged!' as a big compliment."

I don't think "I meant 'I'd like to see her porn video' as a big compliment" would have worked with Rush's biggest advertiser.

Michael K said...

Breitbart doesn't fit that theory because another, better theory points out that frustration us a better indicator for heart attacks. According to this theory, which is about 20 years old and pretty well documented, the CEO of Megacorporation doesn't die of a heart attack but the middle manager, who can't get his ideas adopted even though he is sure they are better than those currently in force, is the one who dies. Frustration, not power, damages the heart.

That theory doesn't apply to family history situations. A close friend of mine died in her sleep at 46 and her older brother, a big athletic guy who was a world famous sailing "rock star" dropped dead before 50. After his death, the whole family got worker up with no result. Two years later, her husband found her lying on the couch one morning with the TV on. Negative autopsies. Rhythm disturbances often don't leave traces because there is no time.

If he'd had a cerebral hemorrhage, I think we'd have heard by now. They are obvious.

You friend is at more risk probably. He sounds frustrated.

damikesc said...

Althouse, re: Breirbart feel free to move on at any time, as he's already forgotten in the blogosphere

In your echo chamber, sure. You can only last so long before blaming Jews for all of the world's problems.

Now that Andrew is gone, it is only a matter of time before some new conservative blogger will get under the left's skin and someone will write something like: [New blogger] is truly evil. Unlike Andrew Breitbart who at least [something good], [new blogger] has no redeeming quality.

The left loves the dead conservatives.


Truer words have never been spoken. I remember the Left's rehab of John Ashcroft's role as AG when Gonzales was AG instead.

Em said...

II am a conservative who likes Robert Wright. True, he is a knee jerk liberal. True he repeatedly lies about the inspections prior to the Iraq war. Truehe is obsessed with blaming Bush for everything. BUT, the man writes good books. I have enjoyed ever one of them. He also a very good interviewer. The man is a jerk. I like him.

I ♥ Willard said...

Robert Wright: You should apologize to your readers...

Glenn Reynolds: You should apologize to your readers for writing such a crappy blog post.

I ♥ Willard said...

The left loves the dead conservatives.

Truer words have never been spoken. I remember the Left's rehab of John Ashcroft's role as AG when Gonzales was AG instead.


John Ashcroft isn't dead. Otherwise, what a great example!

Peano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allan said...

What I dislike about Robert Wright apart from the fact that his political 'analysis' consists of repeating unedited the Democrat party talking points is his consistent hatred of free speech.

Remember how he applauded the press for not printing the Mohammed cartoons.

Ralph L said...

Dang it, Peano, now I'm sorry I never watched one.

Kansas City said...

Below is a link to one of the smartest assessments of Breitbart comparing him to the lengendary James Q. Wilson. Nothing personal, but a realistic and insightful assessment of what Mr. Breitbart accomplished. If interested, you need to read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-scholar-and-the-rascal.html?ref=opinion

Penny said...

There are bad people in this world.

Painting Bob Wright as one of them is laughable.

I ♥ Willard said...

There are bad people in this world.

Painting Bob Wright as one of them is laughable.


I'm sorry you disapprove, Penny, but this is what we do at Althouse. It's a calling for many of us.

traditionalguy said...

Penney Wright wasdoing what he does best. He postulated ideas based on rumors that his in-group of Athiest fools usually gets kudos from each other for doing with no push back.

The point is that Wright picked the wrong target this time. Breitbart had real friends.

In the words of Clint Eastwood's Will Money said about Greely the bar owner in The Unforgiven, " If he was going to do that to my dead friend's body...then he should have armed himself."

Peano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil said...

Moe Lane pretty much has the last word on this. You can easily tell what it is from the URL: http://moelane.com/2012/03/04/robert-right-inadvertently-confesses-that-blogginghead-tv-is-meaningless/#more-36291

Everybody in media knew Breitbart. Wright is a non-entity.

DADvocate said...

Wright makes an assumption, with no evidence whatsoever, that suits the liberal narrative. Breitbart was full of hostility and it killed him.

A friend of mine died unexpectedly at the age ot 28 at a church picnic 10 years ago. His aorta burst from a congenital defect. Another guy died at age 31 while playing touch football. He walked over to pick up a football after an incomplete pass and fell over dead. He was a high school coach and in terrific shape, it seemed. But, he had undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Breitbart seemed a Type A personality that is more susceptible to heart attack, but unless you actually know someone, you only know a public persona, often heavily tinted by the media, such as Obama actually being intelligent.

Wright jumps in with the hostility charges because it fits the liberal narrative and nothing else. He doesn't care about Breitbart, his family, or anything else, just twisting Breitbart's death to further the left wing narrative.

Penny said...

Here's something I noticed with Breitbart's passing.

Liberal lights, not lites, like Charles Johnson, of "Little Green Footballs" and Ariana Huffington of the "Huffington Post", were both able to appreciate Andrew Breitbart, the man. Heard tell that Kos did the same thing.

I have hope.

Some day, people will not have to die in order to get respect from those with different political views.

In the meantime, a tip of the hat to all those mentioned above.

big dave said...

Heart Attack -- the starvation of heart muscle due to lack of oxygen, caused when cholesterol flakes off from deposits in arteries and travels down the narrowing coronary arteries until it blocks one or more of them. Insofar as stress can increase the 'stickiness' of the walls of arteries, collecting more cholesterol in them, it can add to the likelihood of heart attacks. But hostility is not at all a certainty of stress. Sometimes it's stressful just to try to keep everyone happy, out of a genuine desire to do so. Stress is stress. It is genuinely stupid to credit 'hostility' as a factor, especially anecdotally in a conversation that could just as well be credited to HONESTY.

Penny said...

Dave, we all die, and it's always a sad day for somebody somewhere.

Is that a big deal?

Yeah, it really is.

bgates said...

Too much of that could be bad for a person's heart.

I wonder if Wright thinks Martin Luther King was headed for a heart attack when he was assassinated, what with all the Breitbartesque hostility he directed at what Democrats of his day were doing to the country. I'm pretty sure that deep down King actually did dislike the people like Bull Connor and the organizations like the Klan whose reputations he tried to ruin.

Writ Small said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

Glad you mentioned Martin Luther King, bgates.

He came to my mind too.

"Content of Character"

Writ Small said...

Insty apologizes.

Glenn Reynolds said. . .

But on reflection, one schmucky post doesn’t a schmuck make. Sooner or later, every blogger will make a schmucky post, so taking a contrary view would make us all schmucks or schmucks-to-be. But I’ve known Wright for years and in truth have not found him to be a schmuck. So I’ll retract my characterization of Wright, which on sober reflection seems unfair, though not my views on the post, which really was a stinker.

Nora said...

"Did Andrew Breitbart Die of Hostility?"

If people were dieing of hostility, most of the MSM lefty comentators would be in drerd long before Braitbart.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Heh.

http://moelane.com/2012/03/04/robert-right-inadvertently-confesses-that-blogginghead-tv-is-meaningless/

John Lynch said...

Glenn Reynolds is bothered by death. "Faster, Please" is his mantra when he blogs about any medical advance that would extend our lives. His wife almost died of a heart condition, the same general thing that apparently killed Andrew Breitbart.

I think Breitbart dying at such a young age (younger than Reynolds himself) really got to him. Since Reynolds is in the same business as Breitbart, a new media critic of old media, Glenn took Wright's implication that Brietbart's career led to his death very personally. I haven't seen instapundit spend so much time on one person's death, ever.

Just a guess, but I've been reading instapundit for ten years- I don't think he's quite so afraid of dying himself than of watching other people die, which he's blogged about since the very early days of instapundit. He links to many obits.

Kansas City said...

Reynolds seems like a great guy. It may be a technicality, but he "retracted" rather than apologized. I'm not sure it makes a difference, or if Reynolds intended the distinction, but since he is such a smart guy, probably so.

Unknown said...

Kansas, it was more a switch from conviction to probation than an apology. I retracted nothing about the post, which as I said was a real stinker, and totally unworthy of him. I just thought that maybe it was unfair to judge him entirely on the basis of that one post.

Kansas City said...

I agree the Wright post was a stinker, both unsupported and really unnecessary. I guess it was a potentially interesting subject - whether intensity makes one vulnerable to heart attacks - but Wright did not really know anything of substance about it and he did not know Breitbart.

But I used to watch bloggingheads and Wright seemed to be an okay guy. He was stuck in the liberal mindset on virtually all issues, but at some level he seemed to know he was stuck there and he was respectful of other points of view - even funny sometimes with Kaus.