Tuesday, May 20, 2008
My favorite bit of analysis from CNN's Indiana/N.C. primary election coverage two weeks ago:
GLORIA BORGER: One thing, Anderson, in looking, again, through these exit polls, there is a clear correlation between which candidate a voter believed was better on the economy and the candidate they voted for.
We'll see if they can top that tonight. ... 5:29 P.M.
Model Two Isn't Everything: I've become sensitive to compliments that have the effect of putting you in your place. ( "I love your writing about cars!") My friend Jon Alter pulled this trick a couple of weeks ago while berating me for not weighing in against Hillary Clinton's proposed gas-tax holiday:
"There were not all of these pundits and bloggers and everything who were all over it. I had to do reporting to find out what was wrong with it. ... If you had last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday even Thursday, if you had written about it you know you could have gotten maybe the thing rolling sooner. ... I wanted you to be ahead of me. You would have saved me some work. I would have linked off your site. .... I wanted you to be ahead of me.
Translation:, "You bloggers do a great job digging up stories for us in the MSM. Keep it up." Grrr.
There's an implicit model underneath Alter's comments--blogs as the minor leagues, Off Off-Broadway, trying out storylines and scoops that may or may not make it to the Big Show. I have to admit I've embraced this model myself, as "Model Two." I think blogs are (for the moment***) particularly suited to functioning as a sort of intermediate tryout area for burgeoning scandals ("undernews").
But Alter adds a revealing bit of the newsweekly reporter's traditional self-loathing:
Look I write for Newsweek. It doesn't matter if I'm behind you. I rely on you and other great bloggers--you know, Josh Marshall and other people like that to give me links cause you see all kinds of stuff, you're much better at you know being on top of this early.,And it's not a problem for me , because I writer for the MSM, you know, or on television and I can come to it a little later.