Can’t begin to express my sense of loss at Alex Cockburn’s premature departure. A towering figure in radical journalism, no one on the real left could skewer a media hack, poltroon or sacred cow with more savage wit, humor, and elegance than Alex. His assault on the grotesquely overrated McNeil-Lehrer Report (The Political Function of PBS: When Tedium is Totalizing), American liberals’ favorite news oracle, remains the stuff of legend for those who despise self-impressed pseudo journalism—and the faux choice of liberalism itself.
But Alex also deserves our gratitude for being among the first in the postwar left to realize the strategic importance of building a full-fledged critique of corporate media as well as a robust network of radical communications, a task that grows in importance as the darkness closes around us.
His humanity, love of justice, and visceral hatred for hypocrisy and corruption made him an indispensable point of reference on innumerable issues, and while some of us may have disagreed with him on some important subjects, he never lost our respect and affection, which was his unalterable due.
The world feels smaller without him.