I think I've read every bitcoin article in the mainstream press, just not this particular one. Sure, I'll give it a shot.
The article gets a few things wrong about the Mt Gox crash on June 19, wherein the most popular bitcoin exchange was hacked, and a lot of users' login information was posted on the web (mine included - you can even see my user name/email if you want). The important thing to note is that this was an example of bad security practices on behalf of mtgox, and not the bitcoin protocol itself. Anyway, the article says the bitcoin price plummeted to pennies. While this appeared to be the case, it was primarily due to an attacker gaining access to one or several Mt Gox accounts and attempting sell everything and cash out. However, all the trades were rolled back, and the USD price on all the other exchanges remained the same price throughout the crash. Many thought that surely everyone would dump their bitcoins as soon as Mt. Gox came back online; this didn't happen either; the price is still around pre-crash levels.
What made this hack relevant was that people woke up to the reality of what it means to value your own financial security: when you give up on banks and credit cards as the protectors of your wealth (and debt), you have to take on certain responsibilities. For example, you probably shouldn't be using "password" as your password, because no one will come to your rescue if/when you get hacked. Bitcoin is as good as cash - so once it's gone, there's no one to complain to but yourself. That being said, the less tech-savvy among us may wish to use an intermediary to secure their bitcoin; perhaps Google's wallet service may come into play here, but again this is another area where Kiva could step in.
"Bitcoin might survive as a currency if it can find a way to make consumers and merchants better off. But its limited use so far suggests that the most compelling application — as a way to pay anonymously for illegal drugs sold on Silk Road – is the one that has been referred to the U.S. Attorney General as a violation of money laundering statutes."
Actually, any currency can be used to buy drugs, which any drug test on US dollars can attest to (I actually looked that up on Snopes the other day). To me, that's not really a direct criticism of bitcoin. As a medium of exchange, it is amoral. As for it's "limited use", I refer you to the list of bitcoin merchants here https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade
You might wonder why merchants would be willing to accept bitcoin over credit cards. Ask your local barista how much VISA takes off the top in transaction fees compared to their profit margin and you have your answer. If anything, merchants should be offering you a discount if you use bitcoin. Getting discounts on coffee prices is a first-world problem. The fact that I can send a .00001 BTC to anyone in the world for free is what's relevant here. All we need are local exchangers.
With regards to the legality of bitcoin, check out This Week in Law episode 114 (Bitcoin discussion starts at 20:50)
The roundtable of lawyers conclude that while bitcoin is not illegal in the US, politicians could certainly make it difficult to do business there. Whether or not that happens is less important for countries that find the currency useful, especially in the developing world.