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Andrew Breitbart: Critiques Slip in Among the Tributes

The death of the conservative blogger and pundit elicits rare praise for him from the left

Andrew Breitbart made a career out of savaging the liberal media, but journalists on both sides of the political aisle honored the conservative firebrand upon news of his death Thursday.

First there was Matt Drudge, his former boss and founder of The conservative-leaning Drudge Report, who wrote at the top of his site:

“In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. […] I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20′s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today… MDRUDGE”

But liberals like Arianna Huffington, Salon's Joan Walsh and Slate's Dave Weigel joined in as well.

Also Read: Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Firebrand, Dead at 43

Walsh tweeted, ""Rest in peace' sometimes feels like a cliche, but it's an entirely fitting wish for Andrew Breitbart. My prayers go out to his family."

The former editor of Salon was a regular critic of Breitbart, and once wrote that he wasn’t "fit to spit-shine the shoes of civil rights hero and Congressman John Lewis," whom Breitbart had criticized.

Huffington, also a former employer of Breitbart's, tweeted, "My thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew Breitbart's family and friends, especially his wife Susie and their 4 beautiful children."

Dave Weigel, a liberal political writer for Slate, has already posted his brief tribute and obituary, saying Breitbart was "completely unafraid, confident that he was on the side of truth and justice."

He also tweeted that "Breitbart was a friend who was good to me when he didn't need to be, like when I resigned" from the Washington Post.

A few critiques made their way into the remembrances.

Alyssa Rosenberg, writing for the left-leaning blog Think Progress, wrote, "there’s no question that Breitbart could be a captivating presence." She added that his "penchant for the dramatic and boundary-pushing also led Breitbart into places no credible journalist would tread."

Breitbart also earned criticism from commenters on this website and on Twitter.

Curtis Andrews tweeted: "What's with this love for Andrew Breitbart? He was a bad person, don't celebrate his death but don't celebrate his life either."

Nick Rafter posted: "Dear journalists, how about you stop referring to AndrewBreitbart as a journalist, it cheapens your careers."

The cable news stations ascribed varying degress of significance to his life and death. Fox News, widely perceived as conservative-leaning, covered it early and often, talking with Tucker Carlson, Greg Gutfeld, Sean Hannity and others.

CNN similarly devoted a large chunk of its morning to Breitbart’s passing, and Piers Morgan will talk with Dana Loesch about it tonight.

MSNBC, known for its left-leaning commentators, mentioned it only during a few news breaks.

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