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Monday Open Thread


Marc Ambinder has grown too big for his britches:

I Am a Blogger No Longer

This is my final blog post for The Atlantic. Five years ago, as a way to boost the competitive metabolism of The Hotline, Chuck Todd hired me away from ABC News to create “Hotline On Call.” I was to be the first political reporter working for a mainstream news organization whose output would be exclusively online. “On Call” made its debut in early September, the same week that Chris Cillizza began “The Fix.” Back then, reporters didn’t blog. Newspapers and magazines hired curators to update their websites, and reporters would occasionally post online, but there was a strict separation based on platform. You were considered legitimate only if your byline appeared in print. You were considered a blogger if it didn’t. And you didn’t want to be a blogger, because bloggers back then were second-class citizens of the country of journalism. Bloggers were partisan activists, yellers, provocateurs and upstarts.

[…]

Really good print journalism is ego-free. By that I do not mean that the writer has no skin in the game, or that the writer lacks a perspective, or even that the writer does not write from a perspective. What I mean is that the writer is able to let the story and the reporting process, to the highest possible extent, unfold without a reporter’s insecurities or parochial concerns intervening. Blogging is an ego-intensive process. Even in straight news stories, the format always requires you to put yourself into narrative. You are expected to not only have a point of view and reveal it, but be confident that it is the correct point of view. There is nothing wrong with this. As much as a writer can fabricate a detachment, or a “view from nowhere,” as Jay Rosen has put it, the writer can also also fabricate a view from somewhere. You can’t really be a reporter without it. I don’t care whether people know how I feel about particular political issues; it’s no secret where I stand on gay marriage, or on the science of climate change, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What I hope I will find refreshing about the change of formats is that I will no longer be compelled to turn every piece of prose into a personal, conclusive argument, to try and fit it into a coherent framework that belongs to a web-based personality called “Marc Ambinder” that people read because it’s “Marc Ambinder,” rather than because it’s good or interesting.

[…]

I loved the freedom to write about whatever I wished, but I missed the discipline of learning to write about what needed to be written. I loved the light editorial touch of blogging , but I missed the heavy hand of an editor who tells you when something sucks and tells you to go back and rewrite it.

I love blogging because I have lots of opinions and an obsessive-compulsive need to inflict them on other people. Plus I love getting called names and being psychoanalyzed by total strangers.

As for that “light editorial touch,” bloggers have lots of volunteer editors more than willing to tell us what we’re doing wrong. Ironically, one person who has never told me I’m doing it wrong is the person whose blog I’ve been ruining for over two years now.

Go figure.

What’s up with you today?




67 Responses

  1. I expected some of this but not with a newbie Senator:

    Republicans are reportedly in the midst of drawing up an incentive package that could potentially convince West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin, currently the state’s conservative Democratic governor, to jump ship and place an “R” next to his name.

  2. Tilting at windmills:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would look to block a merger between NBC and Comcast, citing the decision last week by MSNBC to suspend liberal anchor Keith Olbermann.

    Sanders said Comcast’s attempt to acquire NBC from General Electric would result in “another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush.”

    How about breaking up ALL the media giants?

  3. This grosses me out ::

    Blue Texan: Obama Calls Tea Party “As American As Apple Pie”

    We have a long tradition in this country of a desire for limited government, the suspicion of the federal government, of a concern that government spends too much money. You know? I mean, that’s as American as apple pie. And although, you know, there’s a new label to this, I mean those sentiments are ones that a lot of people support and give voice to. Including a lot of Democrats.

    • What did you expect from a Reaganite?

      In 2012 Obama and Palin can hold debates on which one of them is the true follower of Ronnie.

      • Me? Stuff just like this.

        Still, I didn’t expect it to be so openly exposed.

      • Unlike BO, Even Palin has shown some irreverence toward Reagan:

        ‘On Sunday she hit back at Rove, saying tongue-in-cheek on Fox News Sunday: “You know, I agree with that, that those standards have to be high for someone who would ever want to run for president like, um, wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in Bedtimes for Bonzo, bozo or something? Ronald Reagan was an actor. …” ‘

    • F**k Blue Texan; IIRC he was one of the early and obnoxious Obots at FDL. The only reason that he is confused by Obama’s behavior is that he was to lazy to do the research during the primary or too stupid to understand what it meant.

  4. Susie : Health care kabuki

    Insurers are not waiting for all their new members of Congress to be sworn in to get what they want. They and their big-business allies are already pressuring the Obama administration to waive or delay the implementation of provisions they don’t like, all the while working behind the scenes not only to protect the individual mandate but to have the government enforce it with much greater gusto. The one thing the industry didn’t like about the mandate provision was that the penalties for not buying their overpriced products won’t inflict nearly enough financial pain.

  5. Think before you speak:

    U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., said former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin likely cost the Republican Party control of the U.S. Senate.

    Bachus made his remarks on Nov. 4 at the monthly luncheon meeting of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce, held at the Columbiana United Methodist Church.

    “The Senate would be Republican today except for states (in which Palin endorsed candidates) like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware,” Bachus said. “Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate.”

    So, Congressman, you admit that Sarah Palin’s endorsement carries so much weight that it was the deciding factor in several elections?

    • How does that math work there Senator? You get to keep the tally of the Senators she did support who won, but discount the ones who lost? Yeesh. Thinking before speaking would be so refreshing.

  6. I love blogging because I have lots of opinions and an obsessive-compulsive need to inflict them on other people. Plus I love getting called names and being psychoanalyzed by total strangers.

    This! Hey listen, myiq… don’t listen to people who hate on you just because they disagree every once in a while. Underneath your clowny exterior you are a swell guy and you’re part of what makes TC great. Who needs PC manners when you’re is around anyway?

  7. Bleh. Politics overload. It’s all depressing.

    I’m spending less time online or watching news this week, and more time doing what I’m doing today – roasting cubed butternut squash with gorgonzola and pecans, with Billie Holiday’s Love Songs CD blaring all over the house.

    *sings with her apron on, waving olive oil dispenser* – “the very thought of you….
    and i forget to dooo…..those little ooordinary things
    that eeeveryone ought to doooo………

    • Wow — that sounds fun! And delicious!!

      • I have a crockpot filled with fried pork steaks, sliced shrooms and cream of shroom soup. Dinner is three hours away and I still need to make some mashed spuds but my mouth is already watering.

        • We had a quick, easy to prepare dinner. Almost all ingredients can be bought from the supermarket already prepared.

          Green Pozole with Chicken

          1 rotisserie chicken
          1 32 oz box chicken broth
          1 jar mild or medium salsa verde
          1 can pozole

          Garnishes:
          Avocado slices or guacamole, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, shredded cheese, sour cream.

          Directions:
          Pour chicken broth into a large pot. Add entire jar of salsa verde. Heat over medium heat. Cut the meat off of half of the rotisserie chicken. Cut into bite sized pieces. Put the other half away for chicken sandwiches. Add chopped chicken and pozole to the pot. Heat ingredients until hot. Ladle into bowls. Top with garnishes of your choice. Serve with warm tortillas.
          Yum, yum.

    • Yu-hum! That sounds delicious, and nobody does it better than Billie.

    • Sounds cooool…………

      Funny thing, my little booklet of recipes I’ve used all these years fell into the dogs water dish……..I had to open it up, and put it in front of heater to dry out.

    • Have you ever heard David Sedaris do Billie Holiday? Hillarious.

  8. California: The Lindsay Lohan of States

    We’re lesbian drug addicts?

    Cool!

  9. WTF?:

    5th Circuit Rules That High School Cheerleader Is Required To Cheer For Her Alleged Rapist

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one of the most right-wing courts in the country, sanctioned a former high school cheerleader because she brought a lawsuit claiming that she shouldn’t be required to cheer for her alleged rapist:

    This decision is hardly the first time the right-wing Fifth Circuit has come under scrutiny for its harsh judgments. As the Wonk Room noted earlier this year, the overwhelming majority of Fifth Circuit judges are invested in the oil industry, and both of the judges who voted against reinstating a drilling moratorium during the Gulf oil disaster attended oil industry-funded junkets. In one case brought by Katrina victims against the energy industry, so many judges were required to recuse themselves that there weren’t enough judges left to hear an appeal.

    Yet, even in a circuit known for its knee-jerk ideology, the cheerleader rape case was heard by an unusually radical panel of three judges. Judges Emilio Garza and Edith Clement were both on President George W. Bush’s “short list” for potential Supreme Court nominees, and Clement serves on the board of the leading organization providing industry-funded junkets for judges. The third judge, Priscilla Owen, took thousands of dollars worth of campaign contributions from Enron and then wrote a key opinion reducing Enron’s taxes by $15 million when she sat on the Texas Supreme Court. The panel did not include the court’s chief judge, Edith Jones, who has her own history of ignoring the pleas of women who are sexually harassed or assaulted.

    This is a horrible decision but if you read the story at Think Progress you get the impression that it’s all the fault of the oil companies.

  10. Actually this hasn’t been that great a day.

  11. Ambinder:

    “Really good print journalism is ego-free. By that I do not mean that the writer has no skin in the game, or that the writer lacks a perspective, or even that the writer does not write from a perspective. What I mean is that the writer is able to let the story and the reporting process, to the highest possible extent, unfold without a reporter’s insecurities or parochial concerns intervening. Blogging is an ego-intensive process. Even in straight news stories, the format always requires you to put yourself into narrative. You are expected to not only have a point of view and reveal it, but be confident that it is the correct point of view. There is nothing wrong with this. As much as a writer can fabricate a detachment, or a “view from nowhere,” as Jay Rosen has put it, the writer can also also fabricate a view from somewhere. You can’t really be a reporter without it. “

    So…um…Mark…which is it: as a “real journalist” you don’t insert yourself into the narrative with your “insecurities and parochial concerns” [let’s all pause to get a good laugh out of that one!], or you do because “you can’t really be a reporter without it.”

    These incredibly self-important, self-indulgent, vain, and insular child-adults [a.k.a. media elites] are so nauseatingly clueless. Hey Mark–guess what? Nobody gives a damn if you are a blogger or journalist. We’re not paying that much attention to you, go figure. We’ll try to get along without you. How will we ever survive?

  12. I read some of the transcript of the Great One’s 60 Minutes gig. It took me quite a while as I had to keep running to the bathroom to throw up.

    Seriously, though, what is wrong with this guy? I used to think he was just your garden-variety narcissist. No way. I used to think he was just in love with himself. No more.

    I have come to the conclusion that he actually sees himself as the Messiah, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi rolled into one. I mean, really truly, not pretend. He was sent from above. That’s what he believes. That’s why he can’t fight the good fight, or any fight. He’s our leader, the leader of all men and women – and righteous god-like figures do not fight. (I wonder if they chain-smoke?)

    IMO, he honestly thinks he will go down in the history books as one of the greatest human beings of all times, if not the greatest, not appreciated by his times, of course, beset by petty fools, but transcendent in his glory.

    Oh my.

    Can anyone help me understand this?

    • He is the Chosen One who will bring bipartisanship to The Force

    • I hope you’re wrong because that’s just very disturbing. I would like to think he’s just a regular smooth-talking con man.

    • It’s the very essence of narcissism: delusions of grandeur.

      & the irony is: the people he equates himself with were the hardest working, most self-sacrificing people in history. He, on the other hand, whines if he doesn’t get in a good golf game and has to actually do a day’s work. I mean, MLK & Ghandi?! It’s embarrassing. He’s a legend in his own mind, without having actually done anything of significance.

      • & one more thing (I can’t stop myself): MLK & Ghandi literally DIED for their principles, their vision. This guy can’t even take on mean-spirited Republicans. It’s so insulting to the heroism and courage of those historic figures. He has no idea what that kind of character requires.

        • I know. I know. It’s driving me crazy. He’s nuts.

        • You’re so right on that fif. It is embarrassing, and he has no clue when it comes to the essence of character. Nor, for that matter, integrity, conviction, or principles.

  13. To me and many others, Obama is just a craphead. I am sick of him. I’m sick of politics and I agree with KatieBird….it’s like now what? Will we ever get Hillary in or won’t we?
    I made the mistake of watching Beck today out of boredom…well now I am really depressed. There are many snakes out there and you can’t tell one from the other. We are just screwed unless we can get Hillary in.
    BTW, don’t forget to watch Hillary’s State dept. on the Nat’l Geographic channel at 8 pm central time. The previews make it look soooo interesting.

    • I think we were screwed when we didn’t get Hillary in. I don’t know how we can avoid it at this point.

      I wish I could see her doing it but, I just don’t.

  14. fif, Now Obama did kill a fly on Nat’l TV!

  15. I’m bored. What is Obama doing in India again? Just meeting heads of state and Michelle playing dress-up to pass the time before the G-20? I feel like their foreign trips are nothing of substance that will help the US, just another publicity tour to get away from all the problems back home. The American people are suffering and we have a press more concerned with Michelle’s frocks than what Obama is doing to create jobs back home. It’s frustrating.

  16. Teleprompter Jeebus:

    President Obama used the electronic speech-displaying device Monday to deliver his 30-minute address to Indian lawmakers in the historic Central Hall of parliament, the same place where Britain relinquished power to a newly independent India in 1947. It was the first time a teleprompter had been used inside the chamber.

    “It looks like a podium”, said one mystified lawmaker. “Where do they place the paper?” asked another.

    In India, politicians generally speak extemporaneously or from notes or text written on paper. The common perception, explained lawmaker Sanjay Nirupam of Mumbai, is that the really good speakers don’t need to have text in front of them.

    • He could have read from notes or a few pieces of paper. I’ve given speeches to large audiences and have never used a teleprompter. I would be nervous without the text in front of me, but I usually practice enough beforehand that I only need to glance down once in a while to keep track. But then again, I actually write my own speeches so all the thoughts are my own. I think he is scared to have a Dubya-type of gaffe now that he has relied on the teleprompter for years. An ill-prepared empty suit who relies on someone else’s words will always need to rely on a teleprompter to get through a speech.

  17. The thing about Ambinder: he’s going to National review! One of the “journos” most obviously connected to Obama’s campaign is going to National Review!

  18. Hey what is going on in Alaska? Have they not figured the election out yet?

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