Columnist Molly Ivins’ death was felt with particular grief in the alternative media that embraced her with more enthusiasm than the mainstream media did.
Reno News & Review contributor Deidre Pike, who saw Ivins at a journalism educators’ conference in August, said Ivins was not in the good spirits that her column so often suggested. “She seemed awfully depressed and pissed off,” Pike said.
Pike, a journalism instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno, says, “She was mad. She told us to be missionaries for the First Amendment. That was the thing. She was pissed off because all of the Constitution seemed to be going away. She said that we need to stand up for the First Amendment, and we’ll have nothing left of freedom if the First Amendment goes.”
At that conference, Ivins said of the First Amendment, “They stuffed all the important stuff into the first one. The Fourth is gone, and parts of several others are missing. … We will have nothing left of freedom if the First goes.”
In her column, Ivins occasionally touched on Nevada subjects, such as the proposed dump for high level nuclear wastes that the feds want to put in the state. “Another bad idea,” she wrote in 2002. “What are they, cheaper by the dozen?”