Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Now Obama's gone and pissed off Slashdot . ... 2:15 A.M.
Liberal Media Bias: Occasional Slate contributor Tom Geoghegan is running for Rahm Emanuel's congressional seat . He's a friend of mine, a terrific writer and a man of honor. I'm for him even though I'm sure he's for card check. ... P.S.: You can't call Geoghegan unthinkingl y left. In 1972, he wrote a justly famous analysis of the McGovern rebellion in the Democratic Party and its relationship with the student left--still one of the best pieces on the nervous breakdown of post-WWII liberalsim I've ever read. It's online. ... 1:28 A.M.
After giving in to a lazy inconclusive lede on whether Richardson's withdrawal might or might not hurt Obama's Southwest strategy (Answer: It might or might not!) NYT 's Adam Nagourney finally gets around to asking the obvious key question:
[W]hether the Obama administration’s eagerness to get Mr. Richardson into the Obama cabinet might have contributed to what appeared to be an uncharacteristic laxness ...
And, Nagourney might have added, if there was eagerness why the eagerness. Specifically, was there a pre-endorsement deal?. ... Nagourney doesn't seem to even make an attempt to find out the answer to his question. WaPo at least has some reporting on the vetting process -- and it doesn't reflect well on the expert Obama "team" that "scoured" Richardson's background. If there wasn't eagerness/laxness, it certainly looks like there was incompetence . After all, even if Richardson didn't fully disclose the scope of the investigation that scuppered his nomination, what kind of savvy Washingtonian would take Bill Richardson at his word? A scout for the Kansas City Athletics , maybe? ... P.S.: WaPo certainly didn't get to the bottom of the issue. We demand "tick-tock"--accounts of who said what to whom. And what they were eating. ... Backfill: Byron York notes that, if WaPo 's report is right, the FBI seems to have started its background check one (1) day before the appointment was formally announced. ... 1:17 A.M.
We'll all be working for Andrew Breitbart one day (if we aren't working for Arianna). In the meantime, he's launched Big Hollywood . ... I'm not sure he can succeed in his mission of getting conservative entertainment industry types to come out of the ideological closet --they're too worried about losing paying work. But that's kind of his point, no? ... 12:25 A.M.
Enjoyable anti-DiFi sniping by William Bradley. ... He notes that CIA nominee Leon Panetta is more than just a Clinton loyalist (for one thing, he hasn't been all that loyal ). ... But Bradley describes the Iraq Study Group, on which Panetta served, as
"widely excoriated on the right two years ago but whose blueprint is basically being followed today."
Really? I must have missed the part of the blueprint where the Iraq Study Group called for the Petraeus "surge" strategy. ... Update : Fred Kaplan joins the "Keep Kappes" choire , and has a suggestion for breaching the CIA's own internal wall to coordinate intelligence in specific problem areas. ... P.S.: We need a czar! ... Oh, wait. We already have a czar . ... 12:09 A.M.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Michael Hirschorn has seen the future , and it is ... Arianna.
In this scenario, nytimes.com would begin to resemble a bigger, better, and less partisan version of the Huffington Post , which, until someone smarter or more deep-pocketed comes along, is the prototype for the future of journalism : a healthy dose of aggregation, a wide range of contributors, and a growing offering of original reporting. This combination has allowed the HuffPo to digest the news that matters most to its readers at minimal cost, while it focuses resources in the highest-impact areas. [E.A.]
Hmm. OK! .... But I don't quite understand Hirschorn's argument that the proliferation of "lifestyle fluff" in the Times has "undermined the perceived value of serious newspaper journalism." That seems a bit like the argument that gay marriage undermines the perceived value of traditional marriage. How? I don't know anyone who doesn't read the news because of the presence of the fluff. And I know quite a few people who read the news and also love the fluff. ... My problem with the fluff is that the need to generate so much copy, coupled with the subliminal need not to piss off advertisers, leads to what my old collegaue H.R. called "hearty hack" writing. But it's not as if most of the serious Times national reporters are great writers who are tragically infected by the hearty-hack virus. They would be hearty hacks without "Thursday Styles." ... Anyway, HuffPo has started its own lifestyle-y sections--e.g., " Living ," and " Style "--for obvious commercial reasons not dissimilar from the Times ' reasons. ... 11:30 P.M.