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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




I was hired by the Edwards campaign for the skills and talents I bring to the table, and my willingness to work hard for what’s right. Unfortunately, Bill Donohue and his calvacade of right wing shills don’t respect that a mere woman like me could be hired for my skills, and pretended that John Edwards had to be held accountable for some of my personal, non-mainstream views on religious influence on politics (I’m anti-theocracy, for those who were keeping track). Bill Donohue—anti-Semite, right wing lackey whose entire job is to create non-controversies in order to derail liberal politics—has been running a scorched earth campaign to get me fired for my personal beliefs and my writings on this blog.

In fact, he’s made no bones about the fact that his intent is to “silence” me, as if he—a perfect stranger—should have a right to curtail my freedom of speech. Why? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not religious? All of the above, it seems.

Regardless, it was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign. No matter what you think about the campaign, I signed on to be a supporter and a tireless employee for them, and if I can’t do the job I was hired to do because Bill Donohue doesn’t have anything better to do with his time than harass me, then I won’t do it. I resigned my position today and they accepted.

There is good news. The main good news is that I don’t have a conflict of interest issue anymore that was preventing me from defending myself against these baseless accusations. So it’s on. The other good news is that the blogosphere has risen as one and protested, loudly, the influence a handful of well-financed right wing shills have on the public discourse.

Bill Donohue doesn’t speak for Catholics, he speaks for the right wing noise machine. You guys pointed this out, you made a stink, you refused to walk into the same stupid trap that is laid out for liberals and Democrats by the right wing noise machine and I think you made a difference. While loyalty played into the pushback some, the real story is that we liberals are not taking this crap any longer and we’re pushing back. And now that I’m attached to only myself again, I’m ready and eager to join in the pushing back with you. Like Lorraine say, Jesus did not say to shut your piehole.

Obviously, I’m scatterbrained right now. But I’ll be raring to go soon. In the meantime, I want to share this letter Evan got from Frances Kissling, the president of an organization I adore called Catholics for a Free Choice. She wrote a letter defending free discourse and her religion from being hijacked by the likes of Bill Donohue and other people who dress their reactionary politics up in faith’s clothing. She sent it to the NY Times, and for some reason they didn’t run it.

It’s come to my attention that Donohue’s attempts to separate the Edwards campaign from their employees that were chosen for our skills and talents may in fact be in violation of the tax laws.

Another thing—this has doubled my committment to reaching out and helping highlight when the religious left fights the right wingers who have falsely claimed to speak for all religious people.

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