I didn’t know Dean Barnett that well. We had only met once in person last year at BlogWorld, had one phone conversation and a few email exchanges. What I do know is that he was a brilliant man and among his many other accomplishments a great blogger, writer,radio host, avid golfer and rabid Red Sox fan.
He was always kind to me and if you read the remembrances on both the left and right side of the political blogosphere you will see this is the kind of person Dean Barnett was. A staunch conservative who definitely fit the description of a Happy Warrior, Dean had many friends an admirers on the left including Andrew Sullivan, and Glenn Greenwald (scroll to the bottom of Greenwald’s post for his comments about Dean). Dean would host Greenwald as a guest on the Hugh Hewitt Show when he was sitting in for Hugh. Here is Dean’s review of one of Greenwald’s most recent book:
I KNOW THIS WON’T endear me to many of my fellow conservatives, but I like Glenn Greenwald. I’ve spoken to him a few times on the radio and have enjoyed our jousts. Mind you, I agree with virtually nothing Greenwald says or writes and recognize his unbecoming fondness for the personal insult, but I consider him a worthy adversary.
Like most things that spring from Glenn Greenwald’s keyboard, Great American Hypocrites is a combination of literate insights, occasional distortions, and forays into ugliness that are difficult to understand given Greenwald’s obvious intelligence. In other words, the book is filled with the Good, the Bad, and the distinctly Greenwald.
UPDATE: Really sad, horrendous news: Dean Barnett has died, at the age of 41, of cystic fibrosis. I wrote about Dean here a couple of weeks ago, in the bottom section of the post. Here’s a 2006 article by Dean, bravely writing about his battle with that horrific disease. And here’s a very recent interview he gave about many things, including the times he invited me to appear with him when he guest-hosted The Hugh Hewitt Show. Condolences to his family and friends.Dean could find common ground and goodness in people with whom he had nothing in common. Dean Barnett made the blogosphere as a whole a better place.
My friend and colleague Dean Barnett died today, and the world is a much poorer place for it. As anyone who listened to him on my radio show or read his work at Soxblog, here or at the Weekly Standard knows, and as everyone who had the great, great pleasure of knowing Dean will attest, Dean’s combination of sparking intelligence and enormous good humor made him one of the most memorable of friends. What too few people know, though, is what a kind, extraordinarily giving and compassionate man he was. Dean loved people and he loved this country and threw himself into every cause.
You can tell much about a man by what his adversaries as well as his friends have to say about him when he is gone. By all accounts Dean Barnett was just a decent man.
Please pray for his family and loved ones tonight and join me in mourning the loss of a great blogger. Thank you for all you gave us and rest in peace Dean Barnett.
Gateway Pundit has a photo of Dean at last year’s BlogWorld. That is exatly how I remember him. Always smiling.