Monday, June 04, 2007

Steve, where he should have been for years...

With column inches in the New York Times

Steven Gilliard Jr., 42, Dies; Founder of Liberal Political Blog

Steven Gilliard Jr., a political journalist who found his calling as a combative and influential blogger on the left, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 42.

He died after having been hospitalized at Lenox Hill Hospital since February because of heart and kidney failure, said his cousin Francine Smith, a spokeswoman for the family.

From his perch at The News Blog, whose advertisements and donations paid for his modest living expenses, Mr. Gilliard offered his powerful readership a blunt and passionate take on the events of the day. He was one of fewer than a dozen liberal political bloggers to make a living from his blog, said Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, the founder of the Daily Kos Web site, to which Mr. Gilliard had been an early contributor.

Mr. Gilliard was born in Harlem and attended Hunter College Elementary School and Hunter College High School before graduating with a degree in journalism from New York University.

After working in print journalism, Mr. Gilliard migrated online, working for a Web site, Net Slaves, that chronicled the lot of the tech worker during the dot-com boom. His involvement in online political writing received a critical boost when Mr. Moulitsas chose Mr. Gilliard to help create material for the Daily Kos site at a time when it had 4,000 visitors a day; it now has 500,000 a day.

Mr. Gilliard eventually left Daily Kos to create The News Blog.

Mr. Gilliard’s survivors include his parents, Steven Gilliard Sr. and Evelyn Lillian Gilliard of Manhattan, and two sisters, Valerie Gilliard and Roberta Smalls, both of Massachusetts.

In what is a now-familiar story among Internet collaborators, many of the thousands who posted online reactions to Mr. Gilliard’s death wrote that they had known little about him, even the fact that he was black. Others, though, mourned the loss of an African-American voice in the liberal blogging world. Those closest to him offline similarly knew next to nothing about his life as blogger.

“Most of the family didn’t know what he was doing on the Web site,” said his cousin, Ms. Smith, who said his parents did not own computers.

Plus this graphic.

A B-58 "Hustler" with some modifications made by your's truly.

(click for larger)

Done for no reason other than writing seems like heavy lifting at the moment, and doing this just made me feel a little better.


Anonymous said...

I've been just a tad worried about you.

Glad to see this post and I hope it does make you feel better. I've been comforted by the outpouring - everyone has paid homage to Steve, and thats as it should be.

res ipsa loquitur said...

....where he should have been for years.

Yep. Wouldn't it have been fun to see Gilliard smack down this jackass, Michael Powell?

Anonymous said...

In a better world, yes -- I particularly like to imagine him smacking down liars like Judith Miller and Jayson Blair in the pages of their own paper back. That said, I'm glad the Internet afforded Steve a platform for the sort independent voice the MSM regularly buries in careerism and compromise. The Times couldn't have handled him.

Credit to Noam Cohen, though; it was a good obit, surprisingly free of the smug condecension the NYT habitually showers on independent bloggers. I'm especially glad to see that they acknowledged Steve as a journalist first and foremost, that they characterised him as a liberal rather than the usual "angry lefty," and that they noted that one could make a modest living (modest for NYC!) writing a challenging blog, In that, it contains a good message for those who fight on.

I hope Steve's folks, seeing this feature obit in America's newpaper of record, understand and can take pride in their son's accomplishments. And I hope his beloved niece and nephew (who, if mine are an indication, already outpace the grownups in surfing the 'Net) will be equally proud of their Uncle Steve when they run searches on him years from now.

Anonymous said...

I've been off-line for a week and just discovered this news here. All accolades apply to Steve, his is a voice that is already missed.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Drifty - thank you for posting this up.
(And, yeah, every time I read the news, I think "What would Gilly make of this?")

-Seitan Worshiper

Anonymous said...

Gilly woulda liked the graphic.


Nice work, drifty. Now we needja more than ever.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting the B-58. You are so right, "we fight on!!"

I can understand why writing is heavy lifting at the moment. Hell, reading is heavy lifting for me right now.

And nice thought, Gracchus, about Steve's neice and nephew. They'll be coming across their uncle's work and inspiration on the net for years to come. I hadn't thought about that at all.

Joe frantic

Anonymous said...

Another reason to keep those Newsblog archives around:

Gilliard on 28 Dec 2005

See, most of Kurdistan lies in....Turkey, and a fair portion in Iran.

So, the Turks, who burnt down 4,000 Kurdish villages and raped and slaughtered their way across southeast Turkey, might see the formation of a Kurdish state as a threat. And all those "compliant" Shia, especially Moqtada Sadr, might also object to Kurdistan. The Shia don't need to form a seperate state to run Iraq.


NYT, 06 June 2007

Turkey Says Troops Crossing Into Iraq


I don't claim the man was a seer -- he just acknowledged historical reality where the neoCons and their enablers in the MSM wouldn't. But writing like this should be preserved, if only to show that some Americans anticipated this debacle long before it happened.

Anonymous said...

Nice obit. Shame that his parents weren't more aware of his work, but I suppose it might be a generational thing.

Seems strange wandering around the net reading about Gilliard. Sort of a virtual, feverish delirium......., stumbling, not sure where to go.

Jenonymous said...

Drifty, thank you again.

I'm still laughing at the pic of Death with the Yankees cap.

And yes, I spent hours on the phone with Noam, giving him reasons that he could take to his editorial superiors as to why Gilly should get an obit.

Think about it.

First Blogger who was never printed on paper to get a Times obit.

And he's Black.

Hear that, MSM? That's the first little pebble of the media avalanche that will bury your bullshit wurlizer one day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Drifty... I read about Gilly here first when I logged in on Monday morning, since you are my #1 stop. I cried. I don't understand it myself, since I only knew him through his writing and his blog, but suffice to say, I felt the loss as if he were a close personal friend. He could do that. What a gift. What a loss.

Anonymous said...

Steve at the Times?


His integrity, honesty, and intelligence woud have sent the spineless publishers of that now-birdcage liner into a tailspin.

Could you imagine an op-ed by Steve on the same page as Brownback?

The universe would fall in on itself as the total diametric opposition rent space-time into a million pieces and everything as we know it would cease to exist.

Or something.

You are right.

Steve sould have been doing work for the Times.

Just not this Times.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I spent hours on the phone with Noam, giving him reasons that he could take to his editorial superiors as to why Gilly should get an obit.


I didn't think it was possible, but I'm even more impressed than before. I'm certain I speak for all of Steve's admirers when I say: thank you so much.

Hear that, MSM? That's the first little pebble of the media avalanche that will bury your bullshit wurlizer one day.


Anonymous said...

“Most of the family didn’t know what he was doing on the Web site,” said his cousin

They had such a treasure and didn't know it.
I've been so down that I haven't even wanted to sign on in the morning. Shit!
I hope Drifty doesn't mind me propping up my feet in here.

Fran / Blue Gal said...

Drifty this was lovely and I know Steve would be proud. Thanks much.

Anonymous said...

Thnx Drift. Man do I miss Steve G. Fuck!

Anonymous said...

Goddammit, Drift; I am flatass OUT of tears.

Which is good. It's what Steve would have wanted.

And to help stop it, here's an email from my dear friend and sweet clickpal,
MyrtleJune, out in Flagstaff:

"Hey, tanbark, Did you catch the "Lightning Moment" at the rebub debate last night? HAD to be Steve, fucking with Giuliani from the Great Beyond. It gives me hope."

Me, too, Myrtle! :o)

Anonymous said...

It was a really nice obit, wasn't it?

Damn, I miss him.

I keep going to the News Blog page, and hoping I see something different. Like it was all a bad dream.


Anonymous said...

Oh, that lightning bolt that hit right after Ghouliani spounted another lie was from Steve! That gives me hope as well as a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

I keep going to the News Blog page, and hoping I see something different. Like it was all a bad dream.

Yeah, I've done that too. Keeps coming up the same. He didn't even get to enjoy Man U. (aka Manure) winning the Premiership yet again (lost the FA Cup, though....... heh!).

For his sake, we'll have to hope that GW gets marched out of the WH before his time is up. Something of a long shot.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit!!! Steve was in my class at Hunter High??? OMFG! I left in eighth grade, HHS went 7-12, you had to test in at 7, so I had to have at least seen him around. I have to seriously memory search now.

Also, at least the Yankees had the courtesy to get stomped by the Red Sox last Saturday.

Stephen A said...

Working at the present day NYT would have been a massive step down for Steve. Only Paul Krugman's in his league. Other than somehow temporally commuting to the Chicago Daily News to share a page with Mike Royko in his prime, I really don't see a paper that he wouldn't have simply blown the doors off of. Although I'd have loved to seen the debate about Chicago Dogs those two would have had.

My only consolation is that he's probably sitting back with a perfectly cold beer, and great BBQ at a bar in the afterlife next to Molly Ivins, Hunter S. Thompson, Royko and Col. Hackworth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Driftie...

Anonymous said...

As an amateur military historian, Steve was practically unparalled.

So, in the spirit of Steve's commitment to proper military analysis, the following has to be said.

Decimation is a term that describes the Roman practice of officers killing every tenth soldier in their phalanx as a way of enforcing discipline.

Ask any general staff officer if 10% casualties is a good thing and they will emphatically agree.

How this term came to mean wholesale destruction is beyond any understanding of Latin and English language.

Also, dissection is pronounced dis-section, not die-section. If you dis-sect something, you carefully disassemble it and scientifically analyze its constituent parts.

If you die-sect something you kill it by cutting it in half.

Two huge pet peeves. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

DG: Thanks. I guess it's not so surprising that Gilly kept quiet about his blogging in his "real" life. That was a safer bet that allowed him to write... dangerously.

Like others we know in the blogosphere?

- mac

Anonymous said...

That's the Missing Man Formation, right? With the aircraft, I mean.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Driftglass.

For what was needed at just the right moment: "Many Rivers To Cross", Steve's faith and the shear anger at his loss, the lovely NYT obit and "We Fight On".

All perfect.

All straight to the heart.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, but it's "We fight back."

Anonymous said...

It's Friday and it still hurts. In fact it hurts more.

Thank you and G-d Bless


Anonymous said...

Drifty --

Any chance that we can keep the News Blog site up as an archive of Steve's huge body of work?

Losing him was tragic enough, but it would even further add to the waste if we let his writings get swept away in the electronic ether.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tanbark :o) Very kind you are ;-)