Posted by Charity on February 27th, 2007

Okay, chances are you already read this somewhere else because either She’s Right is not your first stop on the VT Blogosphere, or She’s Right is your first stop, but you already came and went to another blog, since it is already after 9:00 am.

I’m sorry; I have kids to feed and stuff like that in the morning.

The news sending shock waves through the Vermont political blogging world this morning is that the much loved, and much hated, John Odum of Green Mountain Daily has left blogging.

Odum is the founder of Green Mountain Daily, Vermont’s answer to the Daily Kos. (Funny thing about that, I had never read the Daily Kos when I found GMD, and still only read it when it is linked – usually by a GMDer.)

Odum – and GMD – has been a driving force behind the political blogging explosion in Vermont over the last year.

I met Odum at the blogger BBQ at Burlington’s North Beach last summer, which he and popular VT blogger Philip Baruth of Vermont Daily Briefing co-hosted. Odum is a very personable guy, who did not deserve to be put in the position of having to choose his job (and by extension the welfare of his family) over his passion for political blogging. Not that anyone deserves that.

This is a great loss for political blogging. Odum’s thoughtful posts and comments kept GMD in the realm of sensible discussion. He was an anchor, a rock, keeping the blog focused on remaining relevant and holding it back from slipping into the realm of radicalism.

Surely, GMD will continue to remain relevant in Vermont political discourse, but with out Odum, it will never be the same.

Today, the blogosphere weeps.

Related links:
Odum’s goodbye post at GMD
Vermont Daily Briefing’s reaction
Reason and Brimstone’s reaction
Five Before Chaos’ reaction
802 Online’s linkdump-style reaction
Rip and Read’s reaction

(Links will be added as they come in)

17 Responses to “Odum Says Goodbye to Blogging (opts to keep job, feed family)”

  1. You wrote, “Odum is a very personable guy, who did not deserve to be put in the position of having to choose his job (and by extension the welfare of his family) over his passion for political blogging.”

    Who said he had to make that choice?

  2. Very nice post, Charity.

    I think that this is a very important story in it’s own way. No one’s job should be placed in jeopardy by their life as a citizen, expressing, and battling for their political opinions.

    I don’t know you, or Odum, I just know OF you both…and I think it’s a testament to his work (and yours) that such a dialog (and even respect) can cross ideological lines. That’s the way politics in America should be.

    Yesterday’s events place that in jeopardy.

  3. “Who said he had to make that choice?”

    Anonymous, it was implied in his post and, in some of the posts by other bloggers, it was stated.

  4. Thanks, Alex.

    I am lucky that I don’t have to worry about putting my job in jeopardy (I am a stay-at-home mom), but it is really unnerving that someone can be silenced like that.

    I look forward to meeting you on Saturday.

  5. “Odum… did not deserve to be put in the position of having to choose his job (and by extension the welfare of his family) over his passion for political blogging.”

    Are you serious? Of course he did. He put himself out on a limb by blogging publicly like he did. The fact that he posts day and night each and every day contributes to an apparent conflict of interest in light of his non-profit work. And when there is even a question about conflict of interest, the choice must be made: work or blog.

    Would you want such a controversial figure on your staff if you were the boss? Corporations around the country have policies limiting the very activity in which Odum was engaged. His employer should be no different.

    You could argue that he didn’t deserve it (you already have, in fact). But when I see a guy spend countless hours battling a group that doesn’t matter (SVR), when I see a guy react to comments like a high schooler discovering a taped note to his back, and when I put that in the same light as his kids who presumably are left playing with matches behind his swivel chair while he battles the evils of SVR on his keyboard, methinks there is nobody more deserving of a reality check than Odum.

    Other blog hosts have a chance to discover important lessons in Odum’s circumstance.

  6. Hey givetexasback, good to see I’m not the only blogger you can’t stand!

    I agree that an employer has the right to limit outspoken political activism when it has the potential to harm the place of business.

    I agree that there is a risk taken when one chooses to voice one’s opinion publicly.

    What I meant was that no one deserves to be subjected to a targeted effort to make trouble for one’s employment.

    Regardless of whether or not one should expect that possibility, it is not right that people respond in such a juvenile way.

    Maybe I just feel bad for Odum because a certain spiteful Democratic Party officer once campaigned ruthlessly to try and convince the Free Press to cut me from the Writers Group, back when I was the Chair of the Burlington GOP.

    Of course, I wasn’t calling said official a racist. In fact, I did nothing to provoke the attack. (And, just so there’s no confusion, that is not why I left the Writers Group – that was months later and for a different reason.)

    Whether or not you like Odum, it was pretty low to go after his employment.

  7. Are you serious? Of course he did. He put himself out on a limb by blogging publicly like he did.

    Don’t you mean “blogging under his own name as he did?”

    Easy for you to say from over there in “Texas,” but you might have a point. Sometimes I wonder if I should hide my identity.

  8. You mean your name really is HAIK ??!!

  9. Charity said, “it was implied in his post and, in some of the posts by other bloggers, it was stated.”

    I guess I need more. Afterall, this is the guy who falsely accused another blogger of stealing stuff out of his car.

    Odum’s a good guy and all that … but he had a tendency to be rather dramatic.

  10. Anonymous said:
    Afterall, this is the guy who falsely accused another blogger of stealing stuff out of his car.
    No, Odum never said that. Or anything like it. What I said – and it was me – was that in the middle of the dustup with Snarky boy, his car was broken into. No direct accusation of any sort was ever made.
    So if you’re going to sling mud, it helps to know what you are talking about.
    Which you obviously don’t.
    Thank you, Mike. If you’re going to make assertions like that, you shouldn’t post as, “Anonymous.”
    But you’re good like that, arne’t you?

  11. Actually Odum did make that accusation.

    Yours Very Truly,
    “Mike”

  12. Actually, prove it. Or STFU.

  13. You are almost as articulate as a third grader.

    Everyone knows that he made that accusation repeatedly. On his blog, in conversation … whenever he could.

    By the way … your blog posts never make sense. Keep up the good work.

  14. Hopefully, this makes sense:
    “Everyone knows” carries about as much weight as a soap bubble.
    Back your allegations up with links or again, stfu.
    I find it interesting that the first and third lines of your post contain snippy little jabs unworthy of that third grader you were talking about, while the second simply repeats your unsubstantiated allegation.
    You’ll have to do better than that…whoever you are.

  15. and you matter why??

  16. I’m with Anonymous on the car-theft thing. Whether it was stated clearly or not, Odum certainly implied the conclusion put forth by Anon. His draw to the dramatic is the emphasis, though. On that, there is no doubt.

    Charity, despite my vehement opposition to… well, just about every viewpoint you have, there’s a modicum of admiration I have for you and Odum and Baruth for putting yourselves on the line for very little ROI. It’s not unlike that of a politician. I mean, rather than simply flipping someone off for driving like a jerk, you folks in the public eye need to think twice about where to direct that middle finger.

    Here in Anonymous Texas-land, I can honk and flip with abandon. Yeehaw!

  17. Anonymous Texas land? Funny, your IP address comes from Williston. And I don’t mean Williston, TX.