Andrew Breitbart — a man famed for his untamed insults and uncensored political attacks — could not have known that his last public act would be to call a 29-year-old law student from Dallas a “putz.”
Less than an hour later, the brazen commentator and conservative activist collapsed outside his California home. The cause has not been announced, but he had a history of heart problems.
Today the “putz” in that final tweet said he wore Breitbart’s insult “as a badge of honor.”
“I profoundly disagree with him on a number of issues… but you can’t deny that Andrew Breitbart had verve and panache,” said Lamar White Jr., who is in his first year of law school at Southern Methodist University.
White and Breitbart’s two-day long exchange on Twitter was a “fluke,” White said, which began when Breitbart retweeted an off-the-cuff remark White sent to his Twitter followers Tuesday night.
“Andrew Breitbart’s speaking voice is like the love child of Owen Wilson and Dr. Evil,” White, aka @CenLamar, tweeted after watching Breitbart speak about the Arizona and Michigan Primary results on CNN.
After some feisty banter over whether James O’Keefe, Breitbart’s protege, who dressed up as a pimp to make hidden camera videos of ACORN employees, was akin to Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat persona, Breitbart sarcastically called White a “genius” and a “putz.”
“He called me a putz and I said his voice sounded like Dr. Evil and Owen Wilson,” White said, noting that in his book the two were even on the insult front.
“Twitter is just like banter,” White said. “I thought he was perfectly respectful and I thought it was just really cool he was talking to a law student in Dallas.”
White, a self-proclaimed progressive who was a guest blogger at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, had high praise for Breitbart, despite their opposite political views.
“This is a guy who engaged with supporters and critics alike,” he said. “He seemed like a pretty engaging character, somehow larger than life.”
The last person to tweet with Breitbart said he disagreed with the conspiracy theorists who flooded Twitter after his death, many accusing President Obama — whom Breitbart often criticized — of having him assassinated.
“It’s a shame,” said White, who added he sympathized with Breitbart’s family, having lost his own father in a car accident when his dad was only 41 years old. “I mean, the guy did contribute a lot. Not all of it I agree with… maybe that was the idea.”