The full autopsy report will be released next week. Meanwhile Breitbart.com tells us the coroner has said the cause of death was what was suspected . . . a heart attack:
Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told Breitbart News that the final autopsy report would be released next week.
A press release issued by the Department of Coroner (below) notes: “No prescription or illicit drugs were detected. The blood alcohol was .04%,” a negligible amount.
Those who suggested that he was on some kind of illicit drugs should apologize, but of course they won’t.
UPDATE: Commenter Dana links the piece I had been thinking about. It is on AlterNet and is by Maer Roshan and Hunter R. Slayton, and is titled What Really Killed Andrew Breitbart? The Likely Cause of Death The Mainstream Media Ignored.
Nonetheless, soon after his death was announced, blogosphere back channels—and numerous emails to The Fix—began buzzing with speculation that drugs or alcohol had played a role in his passing. But despite their private discussions of the topic, not a single mainstream media outlet or website dared to publicly raise the question of substances.
None but these Courageous Journalists, who raised it, and then doubled down.
“Andrew Breitbart is dead at 43 from ‘natural causes,’” read a tweet that echoed hundreds of others posted after his death. “Yes I suppose wine is pretty natural.” A commenter on an addiction site noted that Breitbart’s enraged appearances reminded him of his own behavior after an extended cocaine binge. “You can’t summon up that kind of insane rage naturally,” he said. “No one can be so angry all the time.”
There is no more reliable source for solid facts than random hateful Internet commenters.
But there has been some public speculation that Breitbart’s drug use didn’t end in college. A source close to the blogger told The Fix on condition of anonymity that he’d done cocaine with Breitbart as recently as last October. On the day after his death, Anthony Cumia, of the radio show “Opie and Anthony,” said of Breitbart, “I went out drinking with him, and boy, can he party.” “He liked to stay awake,” added Anthony. “That’s all I’ll say.”
A source close to Maer Roshan and Hunter R. Slayton told Patterico.com on condition of anonymity that they made up the above quote. Well, not really — but that assertion has the same credibility (especially now that I have admitted it’s not true).
Given his erratic behavior, it’s curious that the mainstream media Breitbart so derided has been more willing to report on charges that he was killed by the White House than that he may have had a problem with alcohol or drugs. Consider the reaction to the death of Whitney Houston, whose body was not even in the ambulance before blogs and news outlets—including Breitbart’s own BigHollywood—began speculating that her death was alcohol- or drug-related. Given the endless coverage of celebrity addictions, we’ve almost come to expect pop stars to be battling something or other. But politicians, businessmen and reporters generally get a pass. “Drugs,” one editor noted, “didn’t really go with the Breitbart brand.”
What explains this apparent double standard? Fear certainly has something to do with it—in this instance, fear on the part of an embattled mainstream media of conforming to right-wing allegations of liberal bias.
Maybe what explains it is that there was a basis to suspect it with Houston — and it turned out to be true. There was no basis to suspect it with Andrew — and it turned out to be false.
But these jerks won’t apologize. Go ahead, ask them. Then repeatedly bang your head against a brick wall. The latter will ultimately be more satisfying.