What Really Killed Andrew Breitbart?

I think this article is on to something.

I knew Andrew well. He was a big drinker. He was up on the drug habits of many people in our life. He talked about encountering journalists high on cocaine.

From The Fix: Breitbart lead a fairly privileged life. Adopted by a well-to-do Jewish couple in LA, he attended two of the city’s most exclusive schools before decamping to Tulane University in New Orleans. According to a 2010 profile in Salon, it was in college that he honed his drinking and journalism skills—as well as his contempt for cultural liberalism. “His first piece for the Tulane Hullaballoo was a field analysis of Tulane’s most notoriously debauched hookup bar, complete with annotated floor diagrams and submitted on 19 cocktail napkins,” reported Chris Beam. Breitbart recalled, “When I told my parents I was an American studies major, they were like, ‘That’s fantastic! Did you read Mark Twain?’ ‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘What did you read?’ ‘Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, Michel Foucault.’ ‘They don’t sound American!’ ‘They’re not.’” Luckily, said Breitbart, “I was too drunk to be completely indoctrinated by it.”
Last May, during an appearance on C-SPAN to promote the publication of his memoir/manifesto Righteous Indignation, host Peter Slen asked Breitbart what he had learned at college. “I learned to drink,” he quipped. Later, Slen asked Breitbart to describe his current relationship with alcohol. “Why do you ask?” said Breitbart. “You write in your book that you had an alcohol problem at Tulane,” Slen replied. Breitbart brushed off the question: “I didn’t have an alcohol problem.”

But as C-SPAN noted, Righteous Indignation suggests otherwise. “I thought I could drink when I came to Tulane,” Breitbart writes. “I had some hard-and-fast rules to prevent becoming an alcoholic, such as: don’t drink during sunlight hours. By the end of my time at Tulane, I was going to bed so early in the morning and waking up so late in the afternoon that this rule was almost impossible to break. Thank God I wasn’t developing a drinking problem.” Breitbart also mentions growing into his fraternity brothers’ Hollywood-native image of him as a “hard-living, cocaine-fueled man of a thousand lovers.”

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.” Other friends maintain that Breitbart regularly took high doses of Adderall and other stimulants to counteract his lifelong ADD. (Both cocaine and Adderall, an amphetamine, can increase the risk of a heart attack. The FDA even warns that Adderall can cause “sudden death in patients with heart problems or heart defects.”)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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