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July 29, 2006

The old "Wonkette" as Time.com Washington Editor?

Link: COX IN THE HEN HOUSE.

OK, what's wrong with this picture? I get that Ana Marie Cox was a serious journalist before becoming Wonkette, as the article says below, working at Mother Jones and the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Fine. But Washington Editor?! Replacing Matt Cooper? WTF?

And I'm all for bloggers making an end run around the traditional journalistic pecking order gauntlet, where usually it means you came from a prep school and went to Harvard or a famous journalism program, then bought your famous media internship. Generally, the idea that the only way to the top in the Washington press corp was through an impossible labyrinth of trenches and who-you-know (right up there with K-Street? Do you get hired for your Rollodex? That reinforces the prep-school feeling about it all.) galls me greatly.

But a thousand political blogs are blooming in a reborn social commons, and there are some REALLY FINE voices out there, WOMEN, people I can respect a hell of a lot more than "Wonkette." You gotta be kidding me if you think she's the cream of the crop with all the heavy snark and sex talk. Time.com should be at Blogher Conference right now, like I wish I were.

And I LOVE that they picked a woman, but good god, why THAT woman? Please note, I don't know Ana Marie Cox from Eve, and while I'd probably immensely enjoy going out for beers with her, I take my opinion only from the tone and scope of the old "Wonkette" blog, which I'd call fun, but not exactly Washington editor material.

If they wanted someone who has taken a blog leadership role and rejuvinated a sense of holding government accountable, why not go after Arianna Huffington? (she probably wouldn't take it anyway, heh) She has accomplished something substantial in the blogosphere, creating a powerful stable of bloggers who are actively holding government far more accountable than Time.com is. (Maybe Time.com accurately realizes that Huffington Post is becoming its competition, something Wonkette NEVER was.)

I dunno, maybe Time.com was doing one of those GOP-token women things, where the women Republicans put in prominent positions are PR flash, fake placeholder fronts for the MEN who get the real responsibility (like Christine Todd Whitman, who didn't like being a fake woman figurehead all that much, or like our current president, who doesn't seem to mind being a fake figurehead leader at all), just so they can be seen to be publicly promoting women for the PR value of it, even though the good ol' boys in the smoke-filled rooms are deeply loathe to share any REAL power.

I sure would hope Cox would take 'em on, if that is the case, and I'm betting if they expect her to act properly de-fanged, she'd tell them precisely where they could stick it. I mean, of course I'd take the offer if I were in her shoes, but damn if I wouldn't be on the lookout for some other shoe to drop.

I'm just projecting, making all that up, but this just chaps my hide. Does Time.com expect to hold any crediblity with this? Or is that somehow the point? Perhaps Time is just delightedly certain that Cox will never be subpoenaed for her sources by the government, the way Cooper was.

I mean, would Time pick someone from a supermarket gossip tabloid to run other major coverage efforts?

Ana_marie_cox Is it a bald-faced play for that coveted youth-babe-loving male demographic with advertising buying power? Strictly a PR hire to "buy cred" in the blogosphere?

Does it reflect the male assumption that mature, experienced, competent women have no place in this newly-reborn out-of-the-closet 2000s sexism, where women are tolerated so long as they don't look like they know what they're doing or threaten the male power establishment? In other words, mouthy Ann Coulter clones, of any political stripe?

Would they have given this same job to Cox if she had the same writing "voice" and looked like, say, Madeline Albright or Donna Shalala or even Arianna Huffington?

Or is the Washington editor just a nothing job? (I bet there's a fair number of folks inside Time.com who'd been bucking for the job, working their way up, who just got leap-frogged.)

Maybe government sources are rejoicing at the potentially free-er ride they'll get from at least one major newsweekly, so long as they obfuscate with juicy sex and gossip bits to hide pork, kickbacks, incompetence, or other corruptions.

Or maybe Time.com actually strategized that the Ann Coulter-loving GOP power-brokers who don't take women seriously will let their guard down more with the likes of Cox. You know, the kind who let the "girls" froth and foam, take a puff from a stinky cigar, pat them on the head, and say, "There there, honey. You tell 'em, all right. Are you sure you won't fuck me now? I just love it when you get all worked up."

Cox in the Henhouse?

Former Wonkette Ana Maria Cox's transformation from blogger cover girl to Old Media's new hope is almost complete. Cox on Thursday was named Washington editor of Time.com, where she will coordinate political coverage and continue to contribute articles. "I've been trying to sell out for a very long time," Cox wrote in an e-mail to WWD. "I'm proud to say I finally have."

Cox will succeed Matt Cooper, who jumped ship for Condé Nast's upcoming business magazine Portfolio, and who often served as blog fodder in Cox's Wonkette days. Said Cox, "Matt asked me to inscribe his copy of my book with, ‘Thanks for all the material.'" She expects to write more often than Cooper did in the role, as well as amp up the magazine's quotient of "satirical, biting D.C. commentary."

Time, suffering like all newsweeklies to maintain its relevance in a 24-hour news cycle, is evidently pinning its hopes on Cox to bring buzz to its Web site. For those who remember her mostly for her bawdiness and outing of Capitol Hill indiscretions and who doubt her prowess on subjects such as the midterm elections, Cox cited her years as a serious journalist for publications like Mother Jones and The Chronicle of Higher Education. But that doesn't mean the new gig signals a new, soberer Cox. "I won't change much about what I write about or the way I write it," she said, "because that's how I got here." — Irin Carmon

July 29, 2006 at 11:35 AM in Best Essays, Cyberculture, Democracy, Favorite Links, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Rhetoric, Satire, Singing the Bite Me Song, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

Freeway Blogging for fun and profit...

What do you want for nothing... Burmashave?

Contest: Blog Your Campus

I've written about freeway blogging on this site before, but I thought a picture or two would be nice.

Also, college students make note: a contest to "freeway blog" your campus with prizes at Operation Yellow Elephant.

Link: FREEWAYBLOGGER.com - Free Speech: Use It or Lose It.

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Link: Operation Yellow Elephant: Contest: Blog Your Campus.

Many of you may be familiar with the Freeway Blogger's brilliant work. We'd like to see something similar happening at or near college campuses. To that end, Operation Yellow Elephant is holding a "Blog Your Campus" contest.

Description

Create signs relating to Operation Elephant's mission to expose the hypocrisy of hawkish College Republicans and other young conservatives who are too cowardly to fight in the war they demanded. Post these signs near roadways and pedestrian pathways on or near college campuses. Photograph your work and send it to OYE@charter.net. I'll post them here. In early October, the OYE contributing Writers and the Freeway Blogger will pick a winner.

How to Make Your Sign

It's always a good idea to learn from the masters.

How to Win

Send us a photo featuring a sign with a great message and lots of people or cars traveling past it. If it generates press, it wouldn't hurt to send us a url or a clipping.

[...]

Rules

1. Signs must be placed near roadways or pedestrian pathways on or near campus.

2. Photos of the signs must demonstrate that the sign can be viewed by many people (people or cars in the foreground)

3. Submit your entries here [OYE@charter.net] no later than September 30, 2005.

4. Vaughn adds this:

Make sure the sign really kicks ass, it's easy to see, and it's clear that it is not a fake. I'm a Photoshop master, so don't f&*k with me and you will get your musical device -- grasshopper. Perhaps take photos of the sign making process including the hanging of it?

August 27, 2005 at 01:49 AM in Cyberculture, Favorite Links, Interactivity, Media & Journalism, Photography, Privacy & Free Speech, Rhetoric, Singing the Bite Me Song, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Video - Orwell Rolls In His Grave - Parts I & II

It's long, but go watch the whole thing! Requires RealPlayer.

Link: Video - Orwell Rolls In His Grave - Part I .

Link: Video - Orwell Rolls In His Grave Part II .

When Lies Become Truth

Video - Orwell Rolls In His Grave

A Must Watch Documentary
"Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to turn lies into truth?..."

Director Robert Kane Pappas’ "Orwell Rolls In His Grave" is the consummate critical examination of the Fourth Estate, once the bastion of American democracy. Asking whether America has entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth, Pappas explores what the media doesn’t like to talk about: itself.



August 7, 2005 at 11:15 AM in Cyberculture, Democracy, Favorite Links, Intellectual Property, Interactivity, Media & Journalism, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Rhetoric, Singing the Bite Me Song, War/Terrorism, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2005

Bloggers are SOOOOO cool!

Link: Boing Boing: US Secrets revealed with cut'n'paste.

US Secrets revealed with cut'n'paste
Simon says: "Seems that the US report on the killing of Italian agent Calipari in Baghdad by US forces was redacted by a PDF novice who didn't understand how to operate the DRM. Consequently all the names, numbers and details carefully redacted by the military are available with just a simple cut-and-paste. Does this make the clipboard a DMCA violation mechanism?"

This morning Gianluca Neri, an Italian blogger from Milano, had a look at the document which was published on the net and ridiculized the whole American secret services. With a simple cut and paste from the Acrobat document into a word processor, he was able to disclose all details to the public: names, places, the name of the soldier who fired, everything...

It is actually pretty simple to recover that information. Open this PDF, select all text, copy to clipboard and paste into a regular text editor. if your version of Arcobot does not let you select the text, find the Microsoft Word document here.

Link

May 2, 2005 at 01:41 PM in Favorite Links, News to Note, Politics, Singing the Bite Me Song, War/Terrorism, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2005

Why Dave Weinberger is still my hero

It has suddenly become fashionable for cable news to cover the "blog beat," but in a typical shoehorn move, blog voices must be forced into the pre-existing TV news template: every issue has exactly two and no more barely distinguishable sides with about a teaspoonful intellectual depth or complexity. Plug in X and Y, let them bristle at each other for about two minutes (any longer and the story count drops, and whoops! there goes that 18-35 demographic), and then move on.

I get a good laugh at one method of covering blogs... sticking a couple of "blog babes" in front of two computers to talk about the text, highlight unreadable text, and just generally gesture at the screen.

Since when is waving your hands in front of an illegible screen a good use of the video medium? Is that an acceptable method to translate the ethos of cyberspace and geek chic to the couch potato sonambulists? At least when news programs answer or report on email responses on the air, they make a screen graphic of the quoted email, instead of displaying little gray lines of highlighted hieroglyphs.

I shouldn't be surprised. After all, this is a medium that turned every tech story into a PR-driven "nifty gadget of the week to fill the segment hole."

Dave tells the story best. Here are my favorite bits.

Link: Joho the Blog: The spit fight that ended my career at MSNBC.

The spit fight that ended my career at MSNBC

[...]

They want reports on what moderate left and right wing bloggers — "Nothing out of the mainstream," the producer told me yesterday — say about a "major" topic. What the hell does that have to do with blogging? And when two of the producers yesterday independently suggested that I report on the blogosphere's reaction to a Vietnam veteran spitting on Jane Fonda, I blurted out — because the flu had lowered my normal Walls of Timidity — that this wasn't a job I'm comfortable with.

What makes the blogosphere interesting to me is not that there are moderate left and right voices talking about mainstream topics. Mainstream major stories are about issues such as freakish celebrity pedophiles, a spit match over a fight from 30 years ago that the press is hoping to revive, and whatever unfortunate child has been reported missing and presumed (better for the story) murdered. I'm in the blogosphere to escape from this degradation of values.

In the ninety seconds MSNBC gives over to blogging, they want to pair A-Listers into a he-said/she-said report on a Major Topic. Yippee for the A-Team! You do two of those and the last of the three segments should be something "fun," i.e., humorous and trivial because the news no longer knows how to operate without a closing joke. It's downright pathological.

[...]

The odd thing is that the two I did for them (1 2) didn't follow the pattern they want, but they were happy with them nonetheless, so I probably could have kept on if I hadn't raised the issue. But I just couldn't face implicitly confirming the idea that the blogosphere consists of big voices arguing with one another — spit fights! — instead of 10 million real voices engaged in every variety of human conversation and delight.

So, fuck it. I quit.

April 23, 2005 at 12:16 AM in Favorite Links, Interactivity, Media & Journalism, Television, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack