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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


The game we can all play

Jonah Goldberg Day!

Two years ago today, Jonah Goldberg threw down the following challenge to Juan Cole:

Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I'll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. If there's another reasonable wager Cole wants to offer which would measure our judgment, I'm all ears. Money where your mouth is, doc.

Since Goldberg enjoys throwing a little smear-job in with his punditry, he also offered this:

One caveat: Because I don't think it's right to bet on such serious matters for personal gain, if I win, I'll donate the money to the USO. He can give it to the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade or whatever his favorite charity is.

Got it. So we have a prediction, along with the insinuation that Professor Cole is a terrorist whereas Goldberg is a patriot. Obviously, Goldberg's prediction was incredibly wrong. The prediction, of course, came in the context of a larger argument about credibility and Goldberg's wildly off-base prediction tends to confirm precisely Cole's position in this argument -- Goldberg, while certainly a clever rhetoritician, basically has no idea what he's talking about. Meanwhile, somewhat hilariously, Goldberg thinks that pointing out that Cole turned his wager down should somehow spare him from mockery. The point, however, is still about the very, very poor prediction, not about Cole's skills as a gambler.

Cole refused to dignify this nonsense.

But if you wanted to send a donation to the USO in honor of Goldberg, that might not be a bad thing

His e-mail is:

Let's shame the fat fuck, who is hoping Edwards does fire his staffers.

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