The perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr., former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, has drawn every major news organization in the country to the federal courthouse in Washington. But none has fielded a bigger team - or was more openly crushed by the defense decision this week not to put Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby on the stand - than Firedoglake.com.
Even the Web-savvy may ask, Fire dog what? A collective of liberal bloggers, fueled by online donations and a fanatical devotion to the intricacies of the Libby case, Firedoglake has offered intensive trial coverage, using some six contributors in rotation. They include a former prosecutor, a current defense lawyer, a Ph.D. business consultant and a movie producer, all of whom lodge at a Washington apartment rented for the duration of the trial.
With a yeasty mix of commentary, invective and inside jokes, Firedoglake has seen its audience grow steadily during the trial, reaching 200,000 visitors and requiring an additional computer server on its busiest days - like Tuesday, with the revelation that Mr. Cheney would not appear.
"After all that, Shooter lets me down," wrote Jane Hamsher, creator of Firedoglake and organizer of its trial team. Mr. Cheney is nicknamed on the blog for his infamous hunting accident, which handily rhymes with the nickname for his former aide, Scooter.
At Firedoglake and other sites on the left, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, comes across as a righteous avenger, exposing the perfidy of Mr. Libby in particular and the Bush White House in general.
Go read the rest. They give away her age. She damn sure don't look it, even with her recent medical problems. Hey, that's just cheap gossip, but if it makes ya go read...
Jane and her gang show what a lot of work, smarts, and a fire in the belly for truth, justice, and the American Way can do. Props (this time) to the NYT for recognizing it.
Jane's our pal, and I hope she thinks the same of us. I think I can speak for the rest of the Brainiacs (in my case, the Old BrainFart) that we're very proud of her.