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Illustration by David Smith 

Andrew Breitbart's sudden death on March 1 at the age of 43 shocked North American observers. A social media pioneer, political pundit and Washington Times columnist, he was viewed as a beacon of light by some individuals — and a controversial spokesperson by others. Yet there was never any doubt that he cared deeply about his wife and family, politics, the US conservative movement, and the need to get President Barack Obama out of the White House in November.  

Glowing tributes were immediately posted on Facebook and Twitter. Prominent conservative publications such as the Weekly Standard and National Review published wonderful, heartwarming eulogies about their late friend and comrade-in-arms. Political stalwarts, from Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, were quick to acknowledge Breitbart's influential role. There were also scathing comments from the Left (Slate's Matt Yglesias: "The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBreitbart dead") and the Right (the Daily Beast's David Frum: "It's difficult for me to assess Breitbart's impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous.")   

Alas, news of the blogging giant's death in the UK resembled the sound of crickets.  A few articles dribbled in, and The Times eventually ran an obituary. Only the blogging community reacted quickly, such as Paul "Guido Fawkes" Staines's tribute describing Breitbart as "provocative and brave". That's a real shame, and it proves how underrated he was in this part of the world. He shouldn't have been. 

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wam31962
April 4th, 2012
7:04 PM
Breitbart really was a giant for good in American journalism. If awards like the Pulitzer Prize still had any real objectivity and worth, then Breitbart and James O'Keefe would easily have won them. This article does a good job, except that I would argue with placing David Frum on "the Right."

Therealguyfaux
March 28th, 2012
12:03 PM
Andrew Breitbart was a "Who's he?" in Britain because Britons probably felt he wouldn't have spoken to their concerns about the US, which are of the "Are we getting pulled into another war?" or "What will the US Government do that could jeopardise my dollar-denominated investments?" All well and fine he was an American Guido Fawkes, but I doubt that many Americans would find order-order.com compelling reading if they do not have business interests in the UK. The kind of gotcha journalism done by AB and GF, when about politicians with whom you are not familiar, tends in the main to elicit the reaction of, "So what else is new? We have our own versions of these crooks!"

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