On this Sunday's Q&A on C-SPAN, journalist Matt Taibbi was asked about the untimely deaths of Andrew Breitbart and Michael Hastings, and quickly shot down the assertion by host Brian Lamb that there was any comparison between the two on what you'd call their "reporting."
LAMB: He was sitting in a bar one night in Los Angeles, chatting, got up from the bar, walked outside, dropped dead of a heart attack.
LAMB: Yeah, at a young age. He's all the way on the right, where Michael Hastings is on the left, so what's going on here? Are they living two facts of life?
TAIBBI: I don't think any of it, I think those two things are unrelated accidents. You know, it doesn't sound to me like there were any common factors there. I will say that I don't see a real correlation between what Andrew Breitbart did for a living and what Michael Hastings did for a living.
Obviously the reporting on the progressive or the left side certainly has things about it that are worthy of criticism, that are lamentable, that are sometimes ponderous, sometimes humorless, and sometimes overly focused on the misdeeds of the right, but the difference, the key difference that I see between somebody like Michael Hastings and somebody like Andrew Breitbart is that you would never see Michael Hastings knowingly putting something out there that he didn't know to be absolutely true. I don't think that's always true on the other side. I think there's an emphasis on message over accuracy with guys like him that I think it regrettable.
"Regrettable" is probably the kindest term you could use when describing Breitbart's tactics. Lamb went onto ask Taibbi about what led him to write his article on Andrew Breitbart's death and his decision to title it, The Death of a Douche.
Taibbi discussed the fact that Breitbart and his henchmen hacked into his private emails and turned them over to the FBI in an attempt to get them to start an investigation into the Occupy movement, which Taibbi and his cohorts were looking into and discussing at the time the movement took off.
Taibbi did not express any regrets over his reporting on Breitbart's death and I don't blame him. What Breitbart did was not journalism and doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with Michael Hastings' name.
You can watch the rest of Taibbi's interview on Q&A here: Q&A with Matt Taibbi:
Matt Taibbi talked about his book, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. He detailed many of the problems surrounding Wall Street, including the questionable acts of some of the notable banking CEOs such as Richard Fuld, formerly of Lehman Brothers, and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase. He contrasted the lack of prosecution and jail time they and others in their income bracket face in comparison to those who cannot afford the high-priced legal teams those people hire. He also talked about the controversial situations he has gotten himself into, like throwing a pie spiked with horse semen into a New York Times editor’s face; writing “The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope” in 2005; and his article “Death of a Douche” on the day of conservative reporter Andrew Breitbart’s death in 2012. He described his career as a Rolling Stone journalist and his new venture as an editor and writer for a startup online publication by First Look Media.