The Washington Times - March 1, 2012, 05:24PM

This morning’s news of Andrew Breitbart’s untimely passing becomes no less shocking as the day wears on. He was a valuable and important ally in the fight to make sure conservative ideas are addressed and represented fairly in the public sphere. Mr. Breitbart’s passion about his work was infectious and motivated many to speak out, even those who didn’t agree with him. Encouraging discourse and the pursuit of truth was one of many crucial contributions to the preservation and perpetuation of our national values. 

Several people have publicly expressed regret at not taking advantage of opportunities to meet Mr. Breitbart at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) when they had the chance three weeks ago. I’m grateful to not be in that category. I got to meet Mr. Breitbart that weekend when he stopped by the media filing room to say hello (and possibly dig up trouble). He answered reporters’ questions about topics ranging from the presidential election and Occupy Wall Street to which band he was going to see at Coachella (answer: Madness). This was, incidentally, about an hour before he went outside to counter-protest Occupy Wall Street.   


His lack of self-importance as he talked in the filing room was evident. Andrew Breitbart was a big deal. The size of the audience attending his speech at CPAC rivaled some former presidential candidates. Yet he was up for talking to anyone who approached him in the halls at the Marriott Wardman hotel, whether groupies or the star-struck father of this reporter. 

When I asked Mr. Breitbart whether he considered getting Anthony Weiner to resign his greatest career accomplishment or if he was tired of being affiliated with it, he turned the tables. “Why would I be tired of being affiliated with that, that’s fun,” he asked rhetorically. “It’s totally a scalp.” He went on to castigate the mainstream media and organizations that protect its always considering “any story coming from the right [as] illegitimate.” 

He also talked about the coming year. It was apparent that Andrew Breitbart was having a ball. 

Green: “What are you looking forward to for this year?” 

Brietbart: “Shedding a few pounds, I’ve been on Atkins for about a month. I’ve lost about eight pounds. I like that I get to drink red wine during this diet. Let’s see. I bought a Vespa, I’m forty-three, I’m having a midlife crisis.”

Green: “You need a motorcycle.”

Brietbart: “No, I have a Vespa. I go ‘wheeeeee!’ around LA. It’s fun. And that’s what I look forward to. I’m so excited. And I’m going to Coachella. All three days. I’m very excited about that. With my Vespa. So my midlife crisis is happening right now.”

At the end of our interview, he gamely slapped on a Washington Times button for a picture. And posed for a snap with my dad.

Rest in peace, Mr. Breitbart, courageous and happy warrior who found “comfort in himself and in his cause.” Thank you for your relentless, energetic defense of conservative ideals. Wish we’d had a little more time with you in the trenches.