The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Noel Sheppard, R.I.P.

Posted on | March 30, 2014 | 11 Comments

In announcing the death of Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard, Brent Bozell III uses the word “prolific,” and he was famously so. The dude could really crank it out, and some MRC staffers would joke sarcastically how Noel was capable of taking whatever was in the headlines and turning it into a media bias story. This is really the challenge of blogging — finding a niche, digging in and cranking it out day after day, which Noel Sheppardl had been doing since 2005.

Sure I’m not the only one who reads that and says, “Wow, nine years! Has it really been that long?” Tempus fugits, and Noel was one of the guys who became a reliable fixture in the blogosphere when it was a new force, viewed with suspicion by many.

When he suddenly fell ill in January, Noel live-tweeted his hospitalization which culminated in the dreadful news:

Noel blogged about his illness, noting the evident unfairness:

I’m an exercise and health nut. . . . I reworked my entire diet and fitness program in 2012 to get me back to the kind of body I had when I was in my 30s. Since then, I’ve largely lived my life to improve my fitness and find healthier foods that would further that goal.
But the Big C didn’t care about my diet or fitness level when he knocked on my door recently, for quite obviously healthy living doesn’t prevent you from acquiring this disease, and that doesn’t seem very fair, does it?
A former business partner and long-time friend has smoked between two and three packs of cigarettes a day since he was 15. In the earlier years, his poison was unfiltered Camels. He’s never exercised as long as I’ve known him, and he loves his meat and potatoes. Yet he’s twelve years my senior living a far less healthy life than I currently do all of it free from the Big C.

It’s like when Andrew Breitbart, who never smoked at all, suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack at 43. Being a 54-year-old smoker, I live with a constant sense that I’m on borrowed time, as younger and seemingly healthier friends keep dying.

So much for the morbid contemplations. Tim Graham has a video compilation of Noel’s TV appearances, you can go through Noel’s archive at Newsbusters to see his greatest hits, and Twitchy has compiled RIP notices from a host of online friends.


— 30 —



11 Responses to “Noel Sheppard, R.I.P.”

  1. Political Rift » Noel Sheppard, R.I.P.
    March 30th, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    […] Robert Stacy McCain In announcing the death of Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard, Brent Bozell III uses the word […]

  2. dwduck
    March 30th, 2014 @ 11:06 am

    Well, that sucks.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

  3. TC_LeatherPenguin
    March 30th, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    He was a Happy Warrior in the media wars. God’s Speed, RIP, Noel.

  4. McGehee
    March 30th, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    R.I.P. Noel, and condolences to all suffering from his loss.

    As for smoking, the settled-science consensus has led people to the impression that smoking “causes cancer.” The actual science more modestly holds that smoking increases risk — a lot — where other factors (including sheer, rotten luck) are also present.

    In some cases, sadly, the other factors find help for their lethal work elsewhere.

  5. Zohydro
    March 30th, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

    Less than 10% of smokers will get lung cancer and even if no one smoked, lung cancer would still remain a very common cause of cancer death…

    In the on-going Nurses’ Health Study, two-thirds of the smokers died of smoking-related diseases, but, given that “smoking-related diseases” are also major causes of disease and death in non-smokers, the actual rates of morbidity and mortality solely attributable to smoking must be (significantly) lower… Somewhere between half to two-thirds of smokers will have normal health and life spans!

    Jeanne Louise Calment, the longest lived human of all time (122 years, and the only known person to have lived longer than 120 years) didn’t quit smoking until she was 117—though by then she had cut down to two smokes a day… She was also a drinker!

    Quit anyway, Mr. McCain!

  6. Bob Belvedere
    March 30th, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    ‘– 30 –’ – very fitting, Stacy.

  7. Bob Belvedere
    March 30th, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

    You never know.

    The rectal cancer I got back in 2006 was not explained by any genetic factors – I was tested by a leading research hospital and they found no genetic reason, and no one on either side of my family ever had my kind of cancer.

    I had never been exposed to any toxic chemicals, although I was exposed to asbestos [which is not a cause of rectal cancer].

    Dana-Farber and my oncologist both concluded it was that modern catch-all: Stress and not my twenty years of smoking four packs-a-day. Interesting, to say the least.

    As for my lungs: since I quite smoking in July or 2001, the doctors are all surprised at how much they’ve repaired themselves. Interesting.

    Just goes to show that old Billy Shakes was a very wise man:
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  8. McGehee
    March 30th, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

    My mother once told me she doubted she’d live long enough to retire because of her family history of heart trouble and her having smoked until her 50s. She died at 75.

    My nearly-lifelong smoker dad (he quit in his 70s, IIRC) succumbed to the effects of COPD at the age of 81 — though in fairness that was on the young side for his side of the family; his mother lived to 93.

  9. texlovera
    March 31st, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    This is terribly sad. My prayers to Noel and his family.

    It sucks, but whenever somebody (or myself) asks, “Why did this terrible thing happen to me?”, the answer is usually “Why not?”….

  10. Quartermaster
    March 31st, 2014 @ 8:46 am

    You put that in to rile me, didn’t you? You ain’t foolin’ me.

  11. BizzyBlog
    April 1st, 2014 @ 12:49 am

    […] Stacy McCain — “Noel was one of the guys who became a reliable fixture in the blogosphere when it was a new force …” […]