Day By Day by Chris Muir
Can you have Breitbart.com without Andrew Breitbart? The death Thursday of the combative online blogger and publisher leaves open the question of what will become of a thriving colony of conservative websites for which he was owner, prolific contributor and relentless salesman. Always the provocateur, Breitbart recently dangled the possibility that he had politically damaging videos of President Barack Obama from his early days. He used his websites to promote a hidden-camera video with actors posing as customers that led the downfall of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. He posted explicit photos of former Rep. Anthony Weiner that caused the New York congressman eventually to resign, but an edited video caused former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod to resign over since-reversed perceptions she was a racist.
Breitbart was known for his showman instincts and waging war with liberals “but he really had a vision of the multimedia future that a lot of us do not possess,” said Republican strategist Jonathan Wilcox, who knew Breitbart and also teaches a course on politics and celebrity at the University of Southern California. The technology and staff are in place for websites, including Big Government and Big Journalism, to continue but “the superstar is not there … and that’s going to be the challenge going forward,” Wilcox said. Joel Pollak, a Breitbart editor, said a retooled website was in the works and would go forward. It wasn’t immediately clear who would take over the company, which once ran out of Breitbart’s basement and now employs about a dozen people. Pollak didn’t respond immediately to an email inquiring about the Obama videos.
My bet is that Breitbart had a succession plan and his sites will move on forward. As for Andrew, he will be hard to replace – ever!