Andrew Breitbart died overnight, a fact first reported a little before 9 a.m. this morning at his site, Big Journalism, and confirmed to Metro Weekly by Breitbart.com, LLC, editor-in-chief and in-house counsel Joel Pollak and, externally, by ABC News.
Breitbart was 43 years old and, up to his last tweet, was constantly poking and prodding at those who opposed him -- often ignoring the lines of propriety and fact (a characterization he would strongly dispute).
Breitbart, who had joined the advisory board of GOProud in January 2011, hosted a party for the organization at CPAC that year.
When the presence of GOProud at CPAC in 2011 was questioned by some on the right, it was Breitbart who told Metro Weekly, "If being conservative means rejecting gay conservatives because they are gay, then fine, I’m not a conservative."
Although he left the advisory board recently over questions about whether the leaders of the organization, Christopher Barron and Jimmy LaSalvia, had outed an official working with the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), he said at the time that he held no ill will toward GOProud and hoped that they could move beyond the incident to advance the role of gay conservatives in the conservative movement.
Barron and LaSalvia certainly hold no ill will toward him. The pair issued a joint statement today, saying, "We are stunned and saddened at the passing of Andrew Breitbart – a real hero of the conservative movement. Andrew was an amazing friend and ally to this organization. When we faced some of our toughest days, it was Andrew who was willing to come to our aide and fight for us and for what was right. We wouldn't be the organization we are today without the help of Andrew Breitbart."
They added: "On a personal level, we want to express our deepest condolences to Andrew’s family and friends. They are in our thoughts and in our prayers."
In an extended, previously unpublished portion of Metro Weekly's Feb. 4, 2011, interview with Breitbart, he laid out his thoughts on equality.
"I've seen gay groups estimate the percentage of gay people in our country as high as 10 percent, and I’ve seen groups that aren't amenable to gay rights or whatever say, "No, no, it’s closer to 2-3 percent." Well, when those people minimize the amount of people there are – two to three percent – what is their fear of that two to three percent coming into the Big Tent and disagreeing with you on three percent of the issues?" he said. "None of it makes sense to me.
"I just don't get it. I go into middle America, and I don't see people hating gay people as a part of their agenda. Are there anomalies? ... Yes," he continued. "The majority agrees on the humanity of gay people – and to treat gay people like you treat all people. It doesn't make sense that the political polarities represent such a small percentage. It's a two percent versus a two percent versus the rest of the 96 percent of the country that is living our lives integrated."