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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


How they kept their jobs

Edwards campaign rehires bloggers Marcotte and McEwen

After a day of infighting, the Edwards campaign reverses a decision to fire two controversial bloggers.

Alex Koppelman and Rebecca Traister

Feb. 8, 2007 | After personal phone calls to the bloggers from the candidate, the Edwards campaign has rehired the bloggers who were fired yesterday, according to sources inside and close to the campaign.

Salon reported yesterday that on Wednesday morning the Edwards camp fired Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen, the two bloggers whose hiring had sparked an uproar by conservatives. That information was confirmed by sources in and close to the campaign. But almost as soon as the decision had been communicated to the bloggers, a struggle arose within the campaign about possibly reversing it, the sources said, as the liberal blogosphere exploded.

The campaign remained silent all day about the status of Marcotte and McEwen, and neither woman posted to the John Edwards blog yesterday. There was also radio silence from the campaign for the hours following Salon's report of their initial dismissal, after a promise from a campaign spokeswoman that there would be more information later.

Sources told Salon that much of Wednesday was spent in a series of conference calls among campaign members trying to hash out a solution to the very difficult problem of what to do with the bloggers, debating the details of their departures or the possibility of their swift reinstatement. These discussions culminated, according to sources inside and close to the campaign, in calls last night from Edwards to the bloggers, in which he asked them to come back to the campaign.

In a statement released today, with individual comments from Edwards and the two bloggers, Edwards said, "I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word." The statements did not address Salon's earlier report.

Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for Edwards, denied to Salon that the bloggers had been fired. However, asked if the bloggers were ever given the impression they were no longer with the campaign, Palmieri responded, "We had discussions going on for about 36 hours about how to handle this, and Edwards -- he himself had never met either one of them and felt it was important to give them time to decide how they wanted to respond, if at all."

To the Edwards Campaign: We are quite happy at your current decision. But if this kicks up again and minds change, all bets are off.

To the other campaigns: use the rantings of an anti-semite at your peril.

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