The old saying about the weather—everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it—used to also apply to the problem of liberal bias in the establishment media. Lots of conservatives complain about it, many of them even seem to enjoy doing so, but few actually do anything about it.
Andrew Breitbart, who left us early Thursday morning unexpectedly and far too soon, was different. Rather than simply complain, he established something approximating an electronic and social media empire on the Internet that, it needs to be said, changed journalism in America.
It's not just that Breitbart did it well. He did it with an energy and passion and determination that made him the equal of the left, which even in his death continues to express its hate for him with a passion. As former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—himself no stranger to controversy—tweeted, "Andrew Breitbart never shied from controversy. He was one of conservatism's most forceful spokesmen and will be greatly missed."
Through his various websites and media appearances, Breitbart broke stories. Without him, for example, former Rep. Anthony Weiner might still today be in Congress and on the way to being mayor of New York City. He was ruthless in his pursuit of truth, a rare quality among the left-leaning establishment press, which more often carries the agenda of bigger government forward rather than questioning it.
There are others who knew him better, worked with him more closely, and are in a better position to comment on him as a person. His accomplishments as a journalist pioneer, however, are evident for everyone to see. He paved the way for a new generation of conservative writers and pundits, taught many of us how to use social media as an effective communications tool, and, in the end, made a difference. Few of us can probably think of a better epitaph.