Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Adieu to my favorite lone star lady

Whether you liked her or hated her, Molly Ivins was one of a dying breed of journalists - those who truly cared about the underdog and weren't afraid to raise hell.

She came up through the ranks at a time where journalism was, to quote my later professor Ed Diamond, "pale, male and horny" - and grew up in a state known for its sexism. (Trust me: I've lived there.) She must have been told many times to sit down and shut up.

Lucky for us, she didn't.

She hated the stuffiness of working at The New York Times, where she showed up in bare feet and blue jeans, bringing her dog (whose name was an expletive - I'd really like to know which one!) and once dared to refer to a cockfight as a gang pluck. A woman after my own heart!

In the true tradition of great journalism, she spared no one. While she went after Bush II in particular, she also wrote about lesser known public "servants", justifiably skewering former cabinet members such as Gale Norton and Ann Veneman for their industry connections and flagrant dismissal of public health concerns. She railed against corruption, whether it was the war in Iraq, the Bush presidency, or uncounted votes.

She bravely fought her own war with breast cancer for seven years.

There's no one to fill those shoes.

It's interesting to note that she was close friends with the late Ann Richards, another bright light we lost recently.

Richards, when asked what she would have done differently if she had known that she'd only have one term as the governor of Texas, replied, "I probably would have raised more hell."

Rest in peace, my heroines.

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