By Jack Jodell, Mar. 2, 2012
Two prominent men died of heart attacks within hours of each other on Wednesday, on separate coasts of this country. Their lives and legacies were in stark contrast with each other.
The first was former Monkees singer and TV star DAVY JONES, 66, who left behind a grieving wife and four daughters, plus millions of fans who had grown to love him over a span of more than 5 decades. From their first appearance in the fall of 1966, English-born David Jones had immediately become that band’s number 1 heartthrob among the females, and was named the top all-time teen idol by Yahoo Music as recently as 2008.
Jones, who had previously enjoyed success as a horse jockey, an actor in theatrical prosuctions, and a pop singer before even joining the Monkees in 1965 at the tender age of 20, really hit his stride as a member of that group. He sang lead on a number of their best-selling records, and provided endearing, Paul McCartney-like light and good-natured banter in their TV show. I will never forget one episode when Jones and fellow band member Mike Nesmith sat down with a well-known black producer to learn and discuss the difference in beat structure between black, “soul” music, and pop/rock music of the time. It was respectful, accepting, and enlightening, and representative of the genuine love Davy Jones felt for all people. He sang of love, and worked for understanding between peoples.
The second was inflammatory and argumentative internet columnist and Tea Party speaker ANDREW BREITBART, 43, who likreise left behind a grieving wife and four children. He will be missed only by misguided far-right conservative Republicans like Rick Santorum, who claimed he was “crestfallen” at the news. Ever combative with his opponents, Breitbart once wrote, “I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. . . I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and-famously-I enjoy making enemies…I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands — who knows? — of allies.”
He also destroyed the careers of some he focused his sights on. One, a public servant who courageously fought for thr poor but had a nasty habit of exposing himself to young women over the internet and who was revilved by Breitbart, was former New York congressman Anthony Weiner. Breitbart reveled in making the fetish charges against Weiner public. He also lent support to the notorious right wing “filmmaker” James O’ Keefe, who had fraudulently tried to tie the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN in with prostitution as a successful effort to discredit them. But, worst of all, his tendency to de;iberately chop and edit films to discredit others was what cost longtime Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod her job, and she filed a lawsuit against him as a result. A later-released tape of the full incident showed how Breitbart’s selective editing had actually put false words into her mouth and completely distorted her comments.
Davy Jones, – I, along with millions of others, will sincerely grieve your loss.
Andrew Breitbart – I will not.