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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


Queequeg: "Broken Gaydar"

Um...I'd call a tech about that

Thanks to Queequeg for this cool inside look at the Coulter - well, not THAT inside...THANKS Q!

Ann Coulter needs to go into rehab.

She says so herself. Friday, in a speech at the right wing's big
annual bash, the conference for the American Conservative Union's PAC,
she called John Edwards a faggot.

"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic
presidential candidate, John Edwards, " Coulter
, "but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use
the word 'faggot,' so …" she paused as the audience's collective gasp
turned into laughter and applause, then she continued: "so I'm kind of
at an impasse."

Ann has anger issues as well as sexual identity issues.

I won't psychoanalyze her weird fixation on sexuality. Her fellow
conservatives, many of whom are obsessed with the sexuality of others,
might be a better choice for explaining Coulter's homophobia and her
malfunctioning gaydar. (John Edwards? I mean, I can see someone
calling out Lindsey Graham. But Edwards?)

As far as Ann's anger, we liberal bloggers bear some responsibility
for it. Who among us has not called her Mann Coulter? Which of us has
not noted that she has a horse face? Raise your hand if you have
not commented, online or in person, upon Coulter's own dubious
sexuality? Called her Coultergeist? Remarked upon her prominent Adam's

We've been mean to her, folks, and so she struck at the best-looking
presidential candidate she could find. Maybe she has a man-crush on
Edwards. Hard to tell what's going on in Ann's mind. She makes her
patented outrageous statements with so little conviction that it makes
you wonder who the joke is on -- her supposed targets, or her
conservative audience.

By the way, she endorsed Mitt Romney.

I find it odd that this hasn't gotten much coverage by the mainstream
press. Atrios notes that "there's nothing a conservative can say which would cause the
'liberal media' to decide that she wasn't an appropriate person to
promote." Over at Tapped, Ben Adler notes: "Charming. When the right lets out its hate-mongering id, it's a really pretty sight."

I met Ann Coulter last summer in a greenroom, when I was waiting to do
a brief interview on Fox News out of a dingy studio in West Palm
Beach. She walked in, doffed her chiffon cape and threw it on a couch,
and made a beeline for the makeup chair. She told the makeup artist,
Christine, that she had awakened with a red eye. Christine had Visine.
I was relieved that Ann apparently didn't notice me, because I felt
like the manly, Queequegish thing to do would be to say something
nasty to her. But since I didn't exist in her world, I didn't have to
discharge my responsibility.

I thought, what the heck, I'm not going to be an asshole unless she's
an asshole to me.

After my interview, I walked out of the studio and into the greenroom.
Ann was sitting on the couch, waiting for her time before the camera.
She was wearing blue jeans (it was 90 degrees outside and humid) with
a big hole ripped in the right knee. I smiled wimpily and mumbled
hello as I lifted her chiffon cape to see if I had left anything on
the couch.

Her car was parked next to mine. Empty. Engine running, air
conditioning turned on full blast.

I asked myself if I had done the moral thing by not saying something
belittling to her. My friends, I admit that I was afraid of
confrontation. I sense that she's muy smart and she could have
eviscerated me with a nasty comeback.

But perhaps the best she could have done would have been to call me a faggot.

- posted by Queequeg

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