Despite conspiracy theories that circulated after the March 1 death of conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart, the Los Angeles coroner’s office issued a preliminary report Friday that found he died of heart failure.
The coroner described Breitbart’s cause of death as “heart failure” and “hypertropic cardiomyopathy with focal coronary atherosclerosis,” a technical term for hardened arteries.
Breitbart, who is survived by his wife and four children, built his reputation on the strength of flame-throwing tactics that put him in direct confrontation with liberal activists.
Shortly after his death, Twitter and YouTube were flush with tributes that suggested Breitbart was killed to silence him. A Washington Times writer ran an entire column devoted to the reader mail he had received about Breitbert-death conspiracy theories.
Radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller tweeted his belief in foul play less than an hour after the news of Breitbart’s death was confirmed. “He told me RECENTLY he had big dirt on Obama… MANY believe it’s murder!” Muller wrote.
During an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference less than three weeks before he died, Breitbart had promised the release of video footage from Barack Obama’s college years which, he said, would embarrass the president amid re-election season.
That video footage, which Breitbart’s colleagues released a week after his death, was met with a combination of shock and yawns. It showed Obama embracing Derrick Bell, the controversial Harvard Law School professor who founded a school of sociological thought called “critical race theory.” That theory holds that America is rife with white supremacist institutions that must be countered by promoting African-American interests. (MATT LABASH: How to help Breitbart’s children, especially if you think you’re better than he was)
Breitbart.com subsequently released video of another Harvard Law School faculty member, Charles Ogletree, telling an audience, “We hid this during the election.” Ogletree will lead a Harvard law reading group about Obama in 2013.
During the week between Breitbart’s death and the release of the Harvard footage, some conservatives believed the video would be incendiary enough to have the Breitbart.com founder killed.
Writing on Infowars.com, Paul Joseph Watson called Breitbart’s death “a stunning coincidence.”
“It appears Andrew Breitbart suffered his untimely death just hours before he was set to release damning video footage that could have sunk Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign,” Watson wrote.
Radio host Alex Jones, noted for his conspiracy theories, addressed Breitbart’s death on his March 1 show. “Everybody I know says this stinks to high heaven,” Jones said.
“They are all in danger. If they did kill him over this video … I don’t know what he was thinking, having that, and going, ‘y’know, we can bring down Obama, I’m going to release it.’ I mean, I get hyping it, but … I guess he thought he was bullet-proof.”
Later that day, Jones published an article on his Infowars.com website titled “Did Obama Crime Machine Kill Andrew Breitbart?”
The coroner’s preliminary report, released Friday, concluded, “No significant trauma was present and foul play is not suspected.”