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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

My brief encounter with Andrew Breitbart

I was stunned to learn today that Andrew Breitbart had died at the age of 43. He had a big influence on me as a blogger and the conservative movement has lost one of its most influential voices.

Like many people, I had a political epiphany after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I suddenly saw the world in a whole new light, and until that event the vacuous politics of the left flew largely under my radar when they didn't have a direct impact on my life. Three years later, during the 2004 US presidential election, I saw the establishment media in a full court press to elect John Kerry and the loathsome John Edwards and to discredit Bush and the Republican Party. For the first time I felt that the media were not only filtering events related to the election, but were out and out lying about it to get Kerry elected. I turned to blogs to try to find another perspective; that was when I discovered sites like the Drudge Report, Instapundit, Powerline and of course Breitbart.com. They inspired me to get involved and start my own blog to add to the conversation, which I did in 2006.

In one of my early posts (I think it was about gay marriage but I can't remember) I linked to an article of his. On a good day I get maybe 200 hits on a post - I'm really in the lower echelon of bloggers (which is fine with me). So, it came as a complete shock to get a brief email from none other than Andrew Breitbart himself! My God, one of the blogging titans had read something I had written and taken the time to send me a note! Here's what he said:
just scanned your work. great stuff.

gay canadian libertarian conservative? how many do you think there are?

best,
andrew
That's it - two short lines - but what an effect it had. It was like a master chef arriving at your backyard barbecue and saying "nice hamburger". He had that affect on conservative bloggers. We're going to miss him.

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