Patterico's Pontifications


Coroner: Andrew Breitbart Died of a Heart Attack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:07 pm

The full autopsy report will be released next week. Meanwhile 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 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.

Sockpuppet Friday (Craigslist edition)

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:30 am

[Posted by Karl]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sockpuppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself.

Sockpuppet comments about the Republican primary race are strictly prohibited. If you wish to use sockpuppets for that purpose, confine your comments to this thread. Same goes for any discussion that is not funny where people want to get angry at each other. Offending comments will be summarily deleted and the violators flogged.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

Via John Podhoretz’s Twitter feed, a Craigslist personal ad. RTWT.

Update: The ad has been taken down but the main parts are excerpted by Twitchy.


Pictures Emerge of Colombian Escort/Prostitute at Center of Secret Service Scandal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am

The pictures come via the New York Daily News, and help answer several very Important Journalistic Questions.

To understand what those are, let’s first review the facts of the dispute that led to the scandal:

There was a language gap between the 24-year-old woman, who declined to give her full name, and the American man who sat beside her all night and eventually invited her back to his room. She agreed, stopped on the way to buy condoms but told him he would have to give her a gift. He asked how much. Not knowing he worked for Mr. Obama but figuring he was a well-heeled foreigner, she said she told him $800.

The price alone, she said, indicates that she is an escort, not a prostitute. “You have higher rank,” she said. “An escort is someone who a man can take out to dinner. She can dress nicely, wear nice makeup, speak and act like a lady. That’s me.”

By 6:30 the next morning, after being awoken by a telephone call from the hotel front desk reminding her that, under the hotel’s rules for prostitutes, she had to leave, whatever deal the two had agreed on had broken down. She recalled that the man told her he had been drunk when they discussed the price. He countered with an offer of 50,000 pesos, the equivalent of about $30…

A hotel security officer arrived. Eventually, she lowered her demand to $250, which she said was the amount she has to pay the man who helps find her customers. Eager to resolve the matter fast, the American men eventually gave her a combination of dollars and local currency worth about $225, and she left.

As Allahpundit put it, the dispute was perhaps “less a dispute about money than about status.”

Follow the link and note the lengths to which she goes to explain the difference between an escort and a prostitute in Colombian culture. The former, she says, is more like “a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone,” i.e. a high-end purchase. The agent may well have been telling the truth about being too drunk to remember the negotiated price and, not knowing the difference between an escort and a prostitute, offered her the going rate for a common streetwalker. Imagine the sense of insult when a “fine rum” was treated as cut-rate booze.

The pictures below will help shed light on these Issues which are prominent in this very Current News Story, and are offered in that vein. Don’t thank me, fans of Important Issues. Serious Journalism is what this blog is all about.


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