Conservative blogger and activist Andrew Breitbart had many supporters and perhaps as many critics during his career. When he died suddenly on March 1 at the age of 43, however, the online response consisted of far more praise than criticism.
Breitbart himself used the new media landscape to spread his brand of combative conservatism, creating sites such as Big Government and Big Journalism and maintaining a very active Twitter presence. He was perhaps best known for his role in two controversies-posting the lewd tweeted photos that led to the resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner and publishing misleadingly edited remarks by a black USDA worker that led to her departure.
From February 27-March 2, Breitbart's passing was the No. 5 subject on blogs, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. (Since his death occurred late in the week, that ranking is not fully indicative of the interest online.) To further gauge the social media reaction, PEJ used computer technology from the media monitoring firm Crimson Hexagon to identify the tone and themes of the conversation about Breitbart on both Twitter and blogs from March 1-March 4.
Read the full report, Breitbart Remembered Fondly by Most on Social Media, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.