Why does a seemingly healthy man die of natural causes at the age of 43? The sudden death of Andrew Breitbart earlier this week remains a medical mystery. But the moment we heard the news, we thought back to this portion of GQ correspondent Lisa DePaulo’s lengthy, free-wheeling interview with Breitbart almost exactly a year ago. It captures a man who seems to thrive off a constant state of information overload, who’s happiest when his engine is revving into the red. For many readers, the Breitbart who reveals himself in this interview is a maddening figure—but he sure was entertaining. That brief exchange is below. The full interview is here.
You write about having had ADD all your life. Do you take anything for it?
No. The Internet was the thing that focused me. It was not Ritalin.
I would imagine having ADD is not a negative thing for an Internet entrepreneur.
No, it’s not a negative thing. It’s a huge, huge net positive.
What does ADD feels like when you’re in front of your computer?
I’ve got maybe 4 or 5 instant messenger conversations going on at the same time. I’ve got about 5 or 6 apps in Firefox going on. I’m probably talking on my cell phone while I’m monitoring my fantasy baseball team, knowing the pitch count of the Milwaukee Brewers-Cincinnati Reds game. But I’m also on my iPad when I’m on a plane. And there is no level of disappointment in my life greater than getting to the jack and not seeing the wireless sign. I would rather be in steerage with wireless. In the middle seat. Than in first class with the Air Singapore stewardess massaging my toes.
Where do you think you would be today if there wasn’t an Internet?
Boy. That’s the scariest thought in the world.