A few weeks ago I wrote about Kossack and blogger extraordinaire Marcy Wheeler:
There is probably nobody who writes about American government and politics who is a more prodigiously talented and devoted reader than Marcy. Her ability to read voluminous amounts of material and "connect the dots" to come up with an explanation and a narrative of what happened is beyond compare. It's a gift, but one that she's refined. She's a virtuoso of reading.
If you know much about what Marcy's written in the last few years, you probably know that long before it became public, she had essentially figure out almost the entire chronology of the Plame outing. To read her pieces at The Next Hurrah was to read the future, as almost everything she figured out by reading the public documents—government documents and news releases and trial transcripts and newspaper articles and interviews, all of which were available not only to the general public, but to the legions of reporters who she routinely scooped without recourse to a single unnamed source—came out later in the Scooter Libby trial.
Marcy's ability to burrow down and concentrate and make connections is extraordinary. But she's also excellent at thinking on her feet, as was seen by her live blogging of that trial. She went on TV and repeatedly made cogent points, without recourse to much arcanum—not that she can't bring the arcanum—and in a manner that was understandable to casual followers of the case.
Marcy also has sound instincts about people, works like a dog, and possesses something too few political reporters have—a sense of progressive purpose behind what she's doing. She's committed to the truth, but also to a progressive view of politics.
She's a friend for a lot of reasons; she's funny, I respect the vigor and practicality she showed when she dove in to local Democratic politics a few years ago and became an officer in her county Democratic party, she knows way more about football than I'll ever care about, and it's amusing how quickly her short-term memory goes on hiatus after two stouts.
But more importantly, I respect and value what she's done for the blogosphere, and the country in general. Just last week, she made the discovery that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times. It's the kind of discovery she's made before, and given the resources, will make again and again.
Many of you know how great Marcy is, and what she's done as a blogger for the blogosphere, but also, in her ferreting out of hidden deceptions and uncomfortable truths, what she's done for the nation.
Well, it's not just us that know that as her, as today she was honored by the prestigious Hillman Foundation:
Just last month, Marcy Wheeler made the front page of the New York Times after she became the first person to notice that a newly-released Justice Department memo revealed that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times in one month. Last year, Wheeler’s groundbreaking investigative work on the CIA leak case also made the front page of the Times. Her early and powerful reporting about malfeasance by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales helped to propel him out of the Bush administration. And her live blogging from the Scooter Libby trial in 2007 is widely regarded as one of the seminal moments in online journalism. Wheeler also produced outstanding coverage of the American auto industry crisis. Combining her background in the industry with a deep commitment to American workers, her depth of analysis was unrivaled.
Though she's still an active diarist and commenter here at Daily Kos as emptywheel, she's got her own place, which you should make a regular stop in your daily reading.
You should also consider supporting the effort to increase Marcy's ability to be a great blogger. The folks at FDL are trying to raise enough money to support the efforts of Marcy and to give her a team that would include a researcher and another blogger. They're halfway to their goal. Times are tough for a lot of people—and Marcy's written about it, with some outstanding pieces on the economic devastation of our home state of Michigan—but if you can spare a little coin and care about progressive blogging and journalism, contributing here would be a great act in support of the blogosphere.
Finally, Marcy Wheeler is now an established presence in the blogosphere. But let's not shut the door on creating opportunities for new progressive talent. Please read about the Daily Kos Fellows program, and if you're able to, make a contribution here.
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