NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who posted the infamous crotch shot and shirtless photos of former Rep. Anthony Weiner on his website, has died. He was 43-years-old.
Breitbart died shortly after midnight in Los Angeles. His website BigGovernment.com, released a statement saying “With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.”
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It goes on to say he “passed away unexpectedly from natural causes.”
Breitbart was an outspoken critic of mainstream media and was behind several controversial investigations that led to Weiner’s resignation as well as the resignation of one-time agriculture department official Shirley Sherrod.
Last summer, Breitbart claimed he had a graphic picture of Weiner and promised not to release it. But within a few days it hit the web after Breitbart showed it to a pair of radio show hosts, who uploaded the picture.
Weiner initially denied sending the salacious photo over Twitter, saying his account had been hacked. He then modified his story, calling it a prank before finally admitting to the inappropriate online behavior at a news conference in June.
It was while waiting for that news conference to begin when Breitbart took to the podium and lashed out at Weiner.
“I’m not doing this for nefarious purposes. I’d like an apology from him for allowing for his political protectors, this was his strategy, was to blame me for hacking,” Breitbart said. “‘Oh don’t worry, Breitbart is our regular whipping boy and we can accuse him of anything and the press will not hold those journalists to account to matter what they say’ and I’m here for some vindication.”
Breitbart appeared regularly on Fox News and recently wrote a new book called “Righteous Indignation.”
His father-in-law, Orson Bean, said Breitbart was walking near his house in Los Angeles Thursday when he collapsed.
Someone saw him fall and called paramedics, who tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, Bean said.
Breitbart had suffered heart problems a year earlier, but Bean said he could not pinpoint what happened.
He is survived by his wife Susannah Bean Breitbart, 41, and four children.
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