Andrew Breitbart, conservative blogger and journalist, died suddenly on Thursday morning at the age of 43, according to his website Big Journalism. The site announced that he died of "natural causes" shortly after midnight. His death was confirmed by Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak, and ABC News.
Breitbart founded Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Breitbart.tv. A darling of the conservative movement and pariah for liberals, he was no stranger to controversy over the course of his career. Here's a look back at the top 5 most controversial moments of Breitbart's storied career:
(1) ACORN. In 2009, Hannah Giles waged a hidden-camera sting on ACORN, in which she posed as a prostitute seeking assistance and secretly videotaped her meetings with ACORN staff. Breitbart provided a forum on BigGovrernment to air these videos, which show ACORN staffers purportedly offering advice on taxes and other issues to actors posing as a prostitute and pimp.
Subsequent criminal investigations by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office and the California Attorney General found the videos were heavily edited in an attempt to make ACORN's responses "appear more sinister and contributed to the group's demise." Breitbart was criticized for showing the videos, but defended his actions. Video here.
(2) Shirley Sherrod. Breitbart released an edited and out-of-context video that portrayed then Agricultural Department employee Shirley Sherrod as a racist who had antipathy toward white people.
The video led to Sherrod’s forced resignation. She later sued Breitbart for damaging her reputation. Breitbart defended his actions on ABC’s Good Morning America and refused to apologize.
(3) Anthony Weiner. Breitbart was the first to reveal the Weinergate sexting scandal. He caused a stir when he posted lewd photos of a man that appeared to be New York U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner on BigGovernment. Breitbart's move came after a photo of Weiner had been posted on his Twitter account. Then, Breitbart took over the room at a press conference that Weiner was scheduled to give and requested that Weiner apologize “for him being complicit in a blame-the-messenger strategy.” Weiner never showed up, but resigned from the House in disgrace. Here's the video of his press conference:
(4) GOProud. Breitbart served as a member of the board of GOProud, an LGBT Republican group, but he stepped down after the group outed a senior Rick perry aide. GOProud created controversy amongst Republicans over the participation of the group at CPAC, the largest annual conference of conservatives held in Washington, D.C. In 2011 he hosted a party that welcomed the "homocons" to the convention, even through social conservative groups staged a boycott that GOProud was included at the conference.
(5) CPAC. Breitbart lost control and began screaming at Occupy-affiliated protesters who were picketing at CPAC 2012. He yelled, “Behave yourself” repeatedly at the crowd and called them “filthy animals.” At one point he even said the protesters were “murderers.” Breitbart was referring to the sexual harassment charges that have cropped up at various OWS locations.
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