RIP, Jon Swift

posted at 10:20 pm on March 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It’s with great sadness that I hear of the death of one of the most original bloggers I’ve ever encountered, Jon Swift, whose actual name was Al Weisel.  Jon was part of a small, talented group of satirical bloggers that became prolific a few years back.  Our own Allahpundit was, in my opinion, the best of the class, but Stephen “The Commissar” Sherman at the Politburo Diktat and Jon Swift were in the same league.  Both AP and Stephen found the demands of long-term satire a little too draining, but Jon kept going for years before slowing down and eventually stopping a year ago or so.

Even though I was occasionally the target of Jon’s barbs, I enjoyed his writing – so much so that I convinced him to appear on my old BlogTalkRadio show with Rick Moran.  Unfortunately, the archived show is no longer available, but I had a great time interviewing Jon.  No matter how hard I tried, he steadfastly refused to break character, and instead I got into his schtick instead.  He was a Stephen Colbert of the blogosphere, but with more wit and a better sense of language.  We exchanged some friendly e-mails from time to time, but I hadn’t heard from him in a long while.

His mother posted a comment at the blog, unable to get the word out any other way:

I don’t know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining star who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join “Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!” It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)

Most of Jon’s friends are on the other end of the political spectrum, but I’d like to offer them my condolences.  Jon was always a class act with me, and a credit to the blogosphere.  His family and friends will be in my prayers tonight.  Rest in peace, Jon.

Instapundit and Ann Althouse have more thoughts.

Update: I found the episode at BTR after all, from December 18, 2007.

Update II: For some reason, the player didn’t embed properly; I added the link to the BTR page, and I’m going to try again. I listened to this last night and I’m glad I did.

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R.I.P., Jon. God bless you and watch over you.

honsy on March 3, 2010 at 10:23 PM

He will be missed. I was fortunate enough to be one of his targets a few years back.

Free Constitution on March 3, 2010 at 10:24 PM

RIP, Jon Swift…

Introduce to the Angels in Heaven what a ‘Blog’ is all about.

Seven Percent Solution on March 3, 2010 at 10:27 PM

RIP

txag92 on March 3, 2010 at 10:28 PM

May he rest in peace.

May God’s comfort surround all of his loved ones.

newton on March 3, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I never read him but a passing soul is a good reason to stop and show some respect IMO.

F15Mech on March 3, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Sending up prayers for his grieving family.

pugwriter on March 3, 2010 at 10:38 PM

My condolences, and prayers to all of Jons friends, and family. God Bless. What a horrible thing to happen, as he travels to his fathers funeral. That poor family. May they all find comfort, and peace.

capejasmine on March 3, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Very sad news indeed. My thoughts and prayers will be with his family. The blogosphere lost one of the best.

simkeith on March 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Wow. Just wow. RIP.

TheBigOldDog on March 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Souls and Spirits never die. Al a/k/a Jon lives on.

Hugs to your mom and survivors, Jon.

Key West Reader on March 3, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
And let Perpetual Light shine upon him.
May his Soul
And the Souls of all the faithful departed
Through the Mercy of God
Rest in Peace.
Amen.

Zorro on March 3, 2010 at 10:47 PM

It’s with great sadness that I hear of the death of one of the most original bloggers I’ve ever encountered, Jon Swift, whose actual name was Al Weisel.

I hated his blog… with a passion…

ninjapirate on March 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM

God Speed happy warrior!

daesleeper on March 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM

RIP Jon. I am so sorry to his family. I have not read his blog in a while, but I did enjoy it when he was doing it.

Mr. Joe on March 3, 2010 at 11:04 PM

The night is cool
The wind is high
A wave of light
Breaks through the sky

I will be warm
When I am there
In golden fields
And easy air

PercyB on March 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Jon Swift:

Some, like Pia Zadora and Milli Vanilli, achieve recognition in their lifetimes, while others, like President Bush and, apparently, this modest blogger, will only be judged by history when “we’ll all be dead.”

Mr. Joe on March 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM

What a punch in the gut to his family. I wish them well.

boomer on March 3, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Ding dang dong. The very best to his grieving family.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2010 at 11:22 PM

Very sad — rest well, Jon.

Richard Romano on March 3, 2010 at 11:26 PM

i can’t rate his work very highly. i honestly found his satires obvious and derived from the echo chamber and lacking in the sort of truth which elicits genuine laughs.

but if the word is that he was a decent guy in his personal life, that’s all that matters on your spin around on this crazy ball of dirt.

eh on March 3, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Rest in peace Jon – I hope that your family will take comfort in your insightful writing and your impression on those of us who never knew you personally.

bbh on March 3, 2010 at 11:42 PM

I hated his blog… with a passion…

ninjapirate on March 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM

You’re a jackass. Familiar with the phrase “time and place”?

dakine on March 3, 2010 at 11:42 PM

=(

Too many, too young lately

Ugly on March 3, 2010 at 11:47 PM

So sad that his life-ending medical traumas happened on the way to his father’s funeral. That must have been an awful emotional burden to his family.

To the family of Al Weisel – my deepest condolences and prayers for you in this time of your loss. May God’s comfort surround you during this time.

Intrepid on March 3, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Wow, Ed- the Blog Talk Radio intro really brings back memories.Ever think about having Hugh\’s intro on UStream? Also, remember, I was your second caller on your inaugural show. Sorry to hear about Jon\’s passing.

Amendment X on March 3, 2010 at 11:58 PM

I hated his blog… with a passion…

ninjapirate on March 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM

You’re a jackass. Familiar with the phrase “time and place”?

dakine on March 3, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Second.

Hey, jackass: didn’t you read that he was on his way to his father’s funeral when the Grim Reaper appeared to him? That’s a double whammy for that family – one of which a long time will pass before they have any semblance of recovery, if at all.

But again, you don’t give a rat.

newton on March 4, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Good rest Al.

juanito on March 4, 2010 at 12:22 AM

rip

:/

blatantblue on March 4, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Rest in Peace.

nyx on March 4, 2010 at 1:06 AM

RIP Jon.

Helloyawl on March 4, 2010 at 2:55 AM

I’m so sorry for the family to have to go through this terrific loss…and for the blogging world, it is a hole in universe…

lovingmyUSA on March 4, 2010 at 3:54 AM

RIP, Al. He used to take some swipes at me but was never vicious like others on the left.

My condolences to his family.

JammieWearingFool on March 4, 2010 at 7:23 AM

Bummer. I had stopped checking in because his blog hadn’t been updated in so long. My condolences to his friends and family.

Physics Geek on March 4, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Dissection is when the walls of the artery-different layers. Its so weak – affects different walls- cause of the tear pushes against the walls, dilates and theres a pocket of blood-when it stretches blood does not have any blood – body pushes blood in wrong tube. Youre gonna bleed to your belly.

Brain gets 4 liters of blood normal, and 4 to the bottom…in this instance, the 4 liters to the head were ok, but the conduit to the bottom part of the body was way less.

Aortic valve, when it opens and closes normal (like we’ve seen in documentaries) on this occasion it got affected and with all the pressure “parachuted” and stayed close.

Guys it’s so complicated but in a nutshell, Mr. PPF explained to me in 8-10 mins. all that happened with this gentleman’s situation. He believes that it could be a genetic problem (weaker tissue) and that made things worse.

Having all this heart and cardiac problems, they’re connected and there’s a chance, (making numbers up) from 2 to 10% of having a stroke while on surgery. He saw clinically all the problems, drew on paper and pencil what happened with him.

ProudPalinFan on March 4, 2010 at 8:14 AM

I apologize with all that explaining, and forgot -mom duty- that we were working the kids out to the bus. Of course, may he rest in peace, that the Lord looks at this family and give all them peace and love.

I didn’t see his blog ever, so I don’t know about him. My heart and prayers are sent from here too.

ProudPalinFan on March 4, 2010 at 8:21 AM

My condolences to his friends and family. May he rest in peace.

DrAllecon on March 4, 2010 at 10:34 AM