I.F. Stone was one of my heroes. I didn’t know his writing much first-hand, since he published mostly in his I.F. Stone’s Weekly, to which I didn’t subscribe. But what I read and heard of him made me feel deep admiration for his iconoclasm, his struggle to write the truth at all cost, his fearless quest for political knowledge. He was uncompromising in a world in which politicians did nothing but compromise to the detriment of whatever their political program might be.
He was the very model of what an investigative reporter should be. In fact, I doubt much there would be a Sy Hersh or Bill Moyers or Chris Hedges or Noam Chomsky had there not been an I.F. Stone to pioneer that path. David Carr, in his review of the new biography, American Radical: The Life and Times of I. F. Stone, also makes another astute connection between Stone and political blogging:
After reading Mr. Guttenplan’s extensive, loving reconstruction of Stone’s outside-in approach to journalism, it might be tempting to suggest that Stone was a protoblogger, a postmodern journalist who hacked his own route to an audience long before there was something called the Internet. But his insistence on shoe leather over rhetoric has yet to be replicated in digital realms.
I think what many of us progressive bloggers are trying to do is be another I.F. Stone in whichever political niche we’ve chosen.