Word comes from Texas that columnist Molly Ivins has died, presumably of the cancer she's been fighting for a long time. I can't think of any journalist in my lifetime who I've disagreed with as much or enjoyed reading more. Her populist brain and her heart's love for Texas' larger-than-life characters were perpetually at odds, but I think her heart always kept the upper hand. Even when she was eviscerating a guy like Clayton Williams, the oilman who ran for governor a few years back, she couldn't help but cherish his wildcatter honesty. When other reporters were kicking the crud out of Williams for admitting that he lost his virginity as a young teenager to a whore who "serviced" him, Ivins called him up to ask why he'd used a dumb word like "service." Williams, Ivins laughingly reported, replied: "Well, Molly, I thought it was more polite than 'f---in'.'" It was writing stuff like that, by the way, that lost her a job at the New York Times. And that's why I'd gladly trade the New York Times and its whole newsroom of blow-dried twits to have Molly back at a typewriter tomorrow. Anybody who read anything she wrote, ever, is going to miss her something fierce.
Update: Here's an obit from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I think Molly would have been delighted to see she got "whomper-jawed" into the paper again.