Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Greatest Texas Liberal is Gone

Journalist, political author and the mother-of-all-gadfly-writers, Molly Ivins, passed on today after her bout with breast cancer and at the young age of 62. This is a shattering loss, since nobody can take her place or bear her stature. To paraphrase a comment in her October 2006 Texas Observer epitaph to Ann Richards: "A-men. A-Molly."

UPDATE: The entire front of the Texas Observer webpage is currently dedicated to Molly Ivins. The editor of Creators Syndicate has a moving tribute. Here's a video remembrance from an Austin TV station.

UPDATE II: Here are a couple of great Ivins-anecdotes from this morning's New York Times to add to her lore:

In 1976, her writing, which she said was often fueled by “truly impressive amounts of beer,” landed her a job at The New York Times. She cut an unusual figure in The Times newsroom, wearing blue jeans, going barefoot and bringing in her dog, whose name was an expletive.
She quit The Times in 1982 after The Dallas Times Herald offered to make her a columnist. She took the job even though she loathed Dallas, once describing it as the kind of town “that would have rooted for Goliath to beat David.”

But the newspaper, she said, promised to let her write whatever she wanted. When she declared of a congressman, “If his I.Q. slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day,” many readers were appalled, and several advertisers boycotted the paper.

UPDATE III: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the one tribute to Molly that everyone should read: the trials, tribulations, and fond feelings of her old editor. I'm still laughing.

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