Steve Gilliard, RIP (1966-2007)
Progressive journalism has lost one of its best and brightest with the untimely passing of Steve Gilliard.
Steve was a blogging pioneer whose forceful and distinctive voice will be sorely missed.
Steve was also wonderful teacher, in print and in person--journalism, food, politics, you name it... Steve always had a lucid opinion and an illustrative anecdote to drive his point home.
I learned so much about real world politics from Steve--stuff you never learn in school. It was Steve who explained to me the role of that mysterious thing called "street money" that makes campaigns work. He was very patient with my naive questions.
People sometimes get nostalgic for the "good old days" of journalism when the craft was handed down. Steve kept that tradition alive by sharing his knowledge with newbies.
When I set out to interview Blackwater mercenaries in New Orleans, Steve was the only person whose advice I trusted about how to approach these twitchy heavily armed men in mirrored sunglasses.
Steve graduated from the NYU school of journalism and covered a lot of tough beats before he took up blogging. I knew he'd know what to do.
"Pretend like you don't know anything," he said, "And ask to see their guns."
Steve was a real team player who was unstintingly generous to other bloggers.
It seems impossible that someone so full of life could be taken from us so soon. He will be missed terribly.