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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.

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photo by lindsay beyerstein


What the hell?

Salon: Obama Used to Be "Uppity"

Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 07:50:54 PM PST

The answer is no, the article, which focuses on Obama's transformation since his 2000 House campaign, doesn't get any less nasty, although it doesn't explicitly repeat the racially loaded term "uppity" (that choice, apparently, belongs to whoever does the front page of Salon).

Obama just couldn't -- or wouldn't -- loosen up. The dignified demeanor that had won him a state Senate seat in the university community of Hyde Park did not translate to the district's inner-city precincts. His internal rhythm was set to "Pomp and Circumstance." "Arrogant," scoffed a South Side radio host. Even his body language signaled he was slumming. During a debate with Trotter, in the dank basement of a park field house, he sat with his lanky legs crossed, chin cocked at a heroic angle. He wasn't even trying to conceal his impatience with a mere state Senate peer, or with this grungy necessity of campaigning.


I'd thought Obama had campaigned like an ass, but I expected him to run for the U.S. Senate. And I expected him to win. His white upbringing would appeal to suburbanites, while South Siders might figure that Obama was as black a senator as they were going to get, after the Carol Moseley Braun debacle. His braininess, his haughtiness, his sense of entitlement -- they could only be pluses in a Senate campaign. They don't call that place Ego Mountain for nothing.

Ouch. Just, ouch. It's an incredibly negative article, and one that directly engages Obama's race and concludes that he became an effective politician when he embraced his whiteness. But it's difficult to tell how the racial politics of the article would read without "uppity" right there up front.

Update: Well, that was fast. "Uppity" has become "smug." Thanks, by the way, to clonecone for the screenshot of the original.

I'll be honest, I've never had much respect for Joan Walsh, even though she's hired some people I respect, as an editor But this should cost someone their job.

Uppity? Why not get it over with and call him a nigger. It's bad enough we have to deal with Debra Dickenson's issues, but shit, this is beyond the fucking pale.

I'm neutral in the 2008 race, but come on. His church has been attacked, his name. What else is coming?

It's time to write to Salon about this.
Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Hambrecht
Chris Neimeth
Editor in Chief
Joan Walsh
Write to Walsh and CC the other two

Ms Walsh

How can an editor approve the word uppity when discussing a United States Senator and Presidental Candidate? Is there no concept of racial tolerance on
your staff. How can your editors allow such and offensive word to slip through to publication. Changing it doesn't obliterate the original sin.

It should have never left copy, but to make it all the way to the site is outrageous.

Salon needs a full explanation and apology for this unacceptable action

Steve Gilliard

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