Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Infobox Person
name = Jane Hamsher

image_size = 200px
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birth_date = Birth date and age|1959|7|25|mf=y
birth_place = Massachusetts
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residence = Santa Monica, California
nationality = United States
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education = master's degree in film production from USC School of Cinema-Television
alma_mater = University of Southern California
employer = Firedoglake, various publishers
occupation = blogger, author, film producer
home_town = Seattle, Washington
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party = Democratic
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website = http://firedoglake.com/
footnotes =

Jane Hamsher (born July 25, 1959) is an American film producer, author, and liberal . She produced the major motion picture "Natural Born Killers" and founded the popular progressive blog "Firedoglake". She has also contributed to The Huffington Post.

Education and film career

Hamsher, born in Massachusetts but raised in Seattle, Washington, graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television with a master's degree in film production. At USC, she became friends with Don Murphy, and the two were able to secure an option, with a loan from Hamsher's mother, on "Natural Born Killers." "Killers" screenwriter Quentin Tarantino was still an unknown at the time. Hamsher had an uncredited cameo in the film as a female demon.

In 1997, Hamsher wrote "Killer Instinct", a tell-all book about her experiences making the film. "Killers" director Oliver Stone, in the Los Angeles Times, called the book "hurtful and insulting" and advised Hamsher to "keep (her) mouth shut and eyes open." Fact|date=February 2007 In the book, Hamsher details a fraud lawsuit against the filmmakers brought by a friend of Tarantino. The attorney who filed the fraud case, Thomas Ferlauto, unsuccessfully sued Hamsher for defamation. [cite web
title=Ferlauto v. Hamsher (1999) 74 CA4th 1394
publisher=Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hamsher and Murphy also produced "Apt Pupil", "Permanent Midnight", and "From Hell".


In December 2004, Hamsher started "Firedoglake" on Blogger.com's Blogspot service, and quickly gained a reputation for sharp commentary and unabashed partisanship. Firedoglake won a 2005 Koufax Award for "Best Series" for its detailed coverage of the Plame affair, while in close contention for "Best New Blog" and "Best Group Blog". [cite web
title=2005 Koufax Awards --The Winners

Hamsher graduated to her own hosting in late 2005, expanding into a group blog, with contributors ReddHedd Christy Hardin Smith, TRex, Pachacutec, and Siun. Hamsher and Smith have both made media appearances as a result of the blog. FDL is now published using WordPress and allows limited commenting capabilities, without the features found on more robust community sites such as Daily Kos. Volunteer moderators or an automatic spam filter may block comments. Almost all threads run to hundreds of comments.

The new format also allowed her to start the FDL Sunday Book Salon, which discusses recent books, usually non-fiction political books, with a standing invitation for the author. On September 4, 2006 the topic was "Conservatives Without Conscience", attended by author John W. Dean as well as blogger Glenn Greenwald and Ambassador Joe Wilson. [cite web
title=FDL Book Salon -- Conservatives Without Conscience, Week 2

Hamsher expresses her own views strongly in her blog entries, raising comments in support and comments opposed to such "free speech." For example, infuriated by caricatures on the cover of "Women Who Make the World Worse", in her entry of January 12, 2006, entitled "Why Kate O'Beirne Is a Dangerous Bitch," referring to the book's conservative author, Hamsher concludes: "The bitch is dead meat."cite web
title= Why Kate O'Beirne Is a Dangerous Bitch
date=January 12, 2006
] She also encouraged readers of Firedoglake to rate O'Beirne's book low at Amazon.com, wishing "that enough single star reviews are written to knock the overall rating down to an overall single star". Some of her readers did attempt to post what they say are legitimate negative reviews of the book on Amazon.com and found that they were not able to get them included on that site, speculating on the possible "censorship" effect of the commercial interests of that online bookseller (See "Comments"). In a later entry, she called O'Beirne a "sandpaper snatch".cite web
title=Tweety Outta Control
date=January 19 2006

FDL Books

On September 6, 2006, Firedoglake announced a book imprint called FDL Books (later to spawn Vaster Books, in collaboration with Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily Kos). The first release by Vaster Books is a volume by "Firedoglake" and Daily Kos contributor Marcy Wheeler, entitled "Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy". [Berkeley: Vaster Books (Dist. by Publishers Group West), 2007. ISBN 0-979-17610-7 (10). ISBN 978-0979-17610-4 (13).] [See [http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/9/5/145252/5300 Marcy Wheeler] , who posts as "emptywheel," at "Daily Kos" and "Firedoglake", on the Valerie Plame affair. To finance the publication of this book, she sought to raise $65,000 in donations from the internet; see Hamsher, [http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/09/06/announcing-cia-leak-investigation-book-by-marcy-wheeler-we-need-your-help/ "Announcing CIA Leak Investigation Book by Marcy Wheeler: We Need Your Help,"] at "Firedoglake".]

Libby trial coverage

Hamsher and others blogging for Firedoglake live-blogged the Scooter Libby trial, with Hamsher having been given a press pass for FDL to be in the actual courtroom. [http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/01/16/three-time-loser-winner/ "Three Time Loser-Winner."] "Firedoglake" January 16, 2007, accessed February 16, 2007.] The "New York Times" reporter Scott Shane observes: "With no audio or video feed permitted, the Firedoglake 'live blog' has offered the fullest, fastest public report available. Many mainstream journalists use it to check on the trial," and noted that "for blogs, the Libby trial marks a courthouse coming of age."cite web
title=For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder | publisher=New York Times |date=February 15, 2007
last=Shane | first=Scott
] Online donors paid for trial coverage costs, including travel expenses, and rent on a Washington apartment.

upport for Ned Lamont

Hamsher supported Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont in his successful run for the Democratic nomination, and failed bid for the U.S. Senate, against incumbent senator Joe Lieberman, whose support for the Iraq war and other Bush policies drew the ire of progressive Democrats. Although Hamsher was not on the campaign staff, she was among several bloggers who traveled with Lamont's campaign, and promoted Lamont's candidacy and helped raise money for him through her blog. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/02/AR2006080201655.html "Lieberman Assails Lamont Over Supporter's Blog Post,"] "The Washington Post" August 3, 2006: A9, accessed February 16, 2006.] Hamsher has stated that if Joe Liberman is chosen by John McCain for his running mate, she and other Lamont supporters would “wind up in Guantanamo Bay”. [Jane Hamsher. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/rush-limbaugh-fears-liebe_b_119944.html Rush Limbaugh Fears Lieberman for VP -- And So Do I] ]

Photoshop controversy

Hamsher came under fire from the Lieberman campaign after she posted a photoshopped picture of a blackfaced Lieberman embracing Bill Clinton in her blog and her column on the Huffington Post. The Lieberman campaign believed that the photo was racist and offensive. In a statement, Joe Lieberman called the photo "one of the most disgusting and hurtful images that has been used in American history, it's deeply offensive to people of all colors, and it has absolutely no place in the political arena today." Lieberman further demanded that Lamont prohibit Hamsher from traveling with his campaign and to refuse any money that Hamsher may have raised for him.

Questioned about the photo and his campaign's connections to Hamsher, Lamont responded "I don't know anything about the blogs. I'm not responsible for those. I have no comment on them." A spokesman for Lamont called the photo "offensive and inappropriate." Lamont was also questioned about the photo in an interview with George Stephanopolous on ABC's "This Week".

Hamsher took down the photo after receiving a request from the Lamont campaign, and later made a post on her blog apologizing "to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images," but attacked Lieberman for using the graphic to score political points. [Jane Hamsher, [http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/08/02/about-that-graphic/ "About that graphic,"] "Firedoglake" August 2, 2006, accessed February 16, 2007.]

Joe Klein Controversy

Hamsher determined that Time Magazine Deputy Managing Editor Priscilla Painton edited [http://firedoglake.com/2007/11/27/time-magazine-circles-the-wagons-around-joe-klein/ Time Magazine circles the wagons around Joe Klein] - Jane Hamsher, FireDogLake.com, November 27, 2007] [http://sacdcweb05.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/27/time/ Demand Answers from Time Magazine] - Glenn Greenwald, Salon, November 27, 2007] a controversial November 21, 2007 column [ [http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1686509,00.html The Tone-Deaf Democrats] - Joe Klein, TIME Magazine, November 21, 2007] by Joe Klein in which Klein published false information [ [http://sacdcweb05.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/21/klein/ Joe Klein: Both factually false and stuck in the 1980s] - Glenn Greenwald, Salon, November 21, 2007] [http://sacdcweb05.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/25/klein_fisa/ Time magazine's FISA fiasco shows how Beltway reporters mislead the country] - Glenn Greenwald, Salon, November 25, 2007] [ [http://sacdcweb05.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/11/27/the_correction/ Everything that is rancid and corrupt with modern journalism: The Nutshell] - Glenn Greenwald, Salon, November 27, 2007] [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/wednesday/chi-1128edit4nov28,0,4272704.story Corrections & Clarifications] - Chicago Tribune, November 29, 2007] regarding legislation that amends the F.I.S.A. law, based upon claims by a Republican operative who was an opponent of the bill (Pete Hoekstra) [ [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OGVlNzk2YmQ4NGZjNjFhZjU4NmE0OGYyOTBhYjNiNDA= Klein Kerfuffle, FISA Facts] - Pete Hoekstra, National Review, November 29, 2007] .

After Klein had backed away from the central allegations of his article, commenting "I may have made a mistake in my column this week about the FISA legislation passed by the House", Painton was contacted by Hamsher to ask "what the editing process was, and how a piece with so many errors made it into print." Painton reportedly replied "That assumes there are any errors" and immediately hung up on Hamsher prompting those reporting on the controversy to question Painton and Time Magazine's integrity.

See also Rick Stengel, Glenn Greenwald

Breast cancer diagnosis

Hamsher was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time in December 2006 at the age of 47. In January 2007 she successfully underwent surgery and then traveled from Santa Monica, California, to Washington, DC, to "live-blog" the Libby trial. [Arianna Huffington, [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/report-from-the-icu-jane_b_39107.html "Report from the ICU,"] "The Huffington Post" January 7, 2007, accessed February 16, 2007.]



*"Killer Instinct". Broadway, 1998. ISBN 0-7679-0074-X.


External links

* [http://www.firedoglake.com/ Firedoglake] weblog
* [http://bloggingheads.tv/search/?participant1=Hamsher,%20Jane Video interviews and conversations with Hamsher] on Bloggingheads.tv

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