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Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Andrew Breitbart Changed the News

Andrew Breitbart was brash, fearless and he loved controversy.  His brand of journalism was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise boring media world.  
Love him or hate him, he demonstrated how to build your own media outlet. To get a sense of just how polarizing a figure new media innovator Andrew Breitbart was, get a load of this tweet from Slate's Matt Yglesias that went out mere hours after the news of Breitbart's unexpected death at age 43 broke: "The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBrietbart dead." Breitbart would relish that sort of venomous barb, not least because it meant that liberals with an uncomplicated mainstream media perspective were taking notice of him and his point of view.... Anyone who tries to reduce his importance to that of a fire-breathing, ax-wielding right-wing hatchet man -- a sort of Sean Hannity Jr. - is going to miss entirely his enduring legacy to the current and future mediascape. For years, his job was to be "Matt Drudge's bitch" (his term, which he used in a 2007 Reason interview), to prowl the Web for links both banal and profound and edit the site that more than any other showed how the Internet could be used to route around information bottlenecks imposed by official spokesmen and legacy news outlets.
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