Back in March of 2012, arch-conservative media personality Andrew Breitbart passed away at the age of 43.
The unexpected nature of his death, coupled with his reputation for leveling wild accusations at high-ranking Democrats made for fertile ground for the sort of conspiracy theories that Breitbart so often espoused and propagated during his life.
The most common, of course, was that Breitbart was killed in an assassination ordered by a coterie of the politicians he’d spent his life antagonizing.
When an autopsy revealed Breitbart passed away as a result of heart failure and no evidence of foul play emerged, the theorists mostly quieted down.
However, Breitbart’s name is again in the news this week, as a result of Steve Bannon’s appointment as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, so perhaps it was inevitable that allegations of a cover-up surrounding his death would once again begin to circulate on social media.
For several years, Bannon served as the executive chair for Breitbart’s eponymous far-right news website.
His controversial appointment by Trump (Bannon has ties to both the white nationalist and “alt-right” movements.) came on the heels of the Wikilieaks release of thousands of emails sent by Hillary Clinton top advisor John Podesta.
In the minds of conspiracy theorists, Breitbart and Podesta’s names are forever linked, and the fact that they’ve both been in the news in recent weeks has revived interest in a tweet that Breitbart posted shortly before his death:
“How prog-guru John Podesta isn’t household name as world class underage sex slave op cover-upperer defending unspeakable dregs escapes me,” Breitbart wrote in February of 2011.
Sunday night saw an increase in Google searches and social media mentions pertaining to Breitbart, particularly on the micro-blogging site Gab, which was recently described as “the alt-right’s own Twitter” by Wired magazine.
“One of America’s best an most respected independent journalists at the time; he is making a very bold claim about John Podesta — back then — based on his own research,” former Huffington Post contributor David Seaman wrote on Gab.
“This is years before WikiLeaks came out.”
Seaman and others allege that Podesta helped cover up a child sex ring organized by billionaire and convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein, who also had close ties to Donald Trump.
There is no evidence of a link between Podesta and Epstein, but Trump has praised the admitted pedophile as a close friend, stating on at least one occasion that he and Epstein bonded over their shared love of “beautiful women.”
A child rape case against Trump was dropped for unknown reasons earlier this month.
Many Breitbart assassination theorists believe the journalist was close to exposing Epstein’s connections to several major political figures, a scandal that they’ve dubbed “Pizzagate,” in reference to Podesta’s alleged use of code words in leaked emails.