Opening Act: Fundamentally Profound

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 28 2012 8:19 AM

Opening Act: Fundamentally Profound

Ginger Gibson, newly freed from the Gingrich beat, drops the neutron bomb.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

[Spokesman Joe] DeSantis said the former speaker will continue to visit states with primaries, but will have a less intense campaign schedule. DeSantis promised that the campaign will be “more positive and ideas-focused,” eschewing attacks on Republican rivals. The aide said the campaign will be more digital, focusing on low-cost communications tools, including informational videos, social media and the Web.
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Lauren Collins profiles the Daily Mail.

Dacre is a divining rod for stories, detecting journalistic gold on ground that others have bypassed or hurried over. Simon Kelner, a former editor of the Independent and the chief executive of the Journalism Foundation, said, “What the Mail does so well is to shamelessly borrow from other media. Even if a story has been somewhere else, you’ll find it the next day in the Mail, done bigger, very often done better, with a real sense they have that the people who read the Mail only read the Mail.” A reporter on a rival paper told me, “Dacre has this sense for what’s really going to get the average punter wound up.”

Jeffrey Lord discovers that a rote history of Media Matters can be made exciting. How? Short sentences. Like Hemingway. Short sentences. For effect.

This is the 21st century Americanization of a very old leftist tactic. It is described thusly in The Black Book of Communism, revealing how Stalin's "State Political Directorate" Commissars kept precise lists of exactly who among "enemy" social classes had been arrested, deported, or shot. Or, ominously, who needed to be.

And publicizing something that makes a sponsor queasy is just like shooting a guy.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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