Noel Sheppard, R.I.P.

The conservative blogosphere has lost a star and I have lost a friend.  Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters died far too young, at the age of 53, on Friday. Noel had a great talent at spotting mainstream media foibles and highlighting them at Newsbusters. In real life, Noel was force of nature sort of man, a vivid personality just bursting with energy and enthusiasm for politics, his work, and the struggle to bring sense to America’s media.

Because we both lived in the East Bay region of greater San Francisco, Noel and I had lunch together on an irregular basis, and I always enjoyed his company, walking away with more energy than I came with. Noel was like that. People speak of someone who lights up a room when he enters, and Noel was just such a person. Just before his diagnosis, we were about to institute a monthly schedule of lunch dates, and I was looking forward to it.

Noel informed his friends only a couple of months ago of the onset of the cancer which killed him, chronicling his chemotherapy as it took place. I always assumed that modern medicine would save him, as it has saved other friends of mine, and that we would not lose him so suddenly.

Noel leaves behind a wife and children, and they have my deep sympathy for their incalculable loss.

At Newsbusters, he leaves a legacy of fine work. His boss there, Brent Bozell acknowledged Noel's status as the star of the sire when he wrote, "It must be said that no blogger here was more prolific and more popular." Noel had a gift for understanding the sorts of things that would attract people's attention, what could be called digital showmanship, and he loved sharing thoughts on the ins and outs of viral distribution and linkage poltics. He was an artist and craftsman of the blogosphere, and he will be missed.

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