Through Being Cool

Via Adrastos, here’s a prime example ofthe kind of crap that drove me out of daily journalism:

Reporting, though, is only part of the equation: The motto around the
Politico newsroom is to “win the morning, win the afternoon” — by which
editors mean that Politico’s stories need to be the most talked-about
and cited in that day’s news cycle. One measure of winning is getting
stories linked on sites like Drudge Report and The Huffington Post,
which leads to appearances on the cable shows. Politico employs three
publicists who routinely send out links to bloggers and producers.

Now I know why those slimy creeps are everywhere. I guess the drive to win the morning and the afternoon is what leads you to do things like opine that a deadly hurricane will be TOTALLY TEH ROXXORZ for the GOP, completely exonerating Bush and the entire federal government for any and all unnecessarily dead people in the previous dangerous storm. I guess that’s why they make the big bucks, being “provocative” and most of all accessible. I wouldn’t mind having three publicists. I wouldn’t mind having a half of one for a month or two. If First Draft had three publicists not only would Scout be on all the Sunday shows but Jude would be president.

But if the price of working someplace hip like Politico is to do nothing but obsess over who blew you at the virtual cocktail party, I’m sorry, fuck that. I lost patience with that crap four years ago. Being a professional jackass on TV has fuck-all to do with your journalism, and while it may bring attention to the stories you’re doing, more often than not it just brings attention to you. Which is nice, I mean, I’m an attention whore, I get it, but we have a limited amount of time on this planet, people. We can either spend it doing good work or we can spend it chasing after vapid preppy horseshit like winning the morning and the afternoon.

AsNew York Times executive editor Bill Keller points out
later in the article, however, the drawback to this circus of
meaningless scooplets is that no one can remember a single fucking
thingPolitico ever wrote. Then again, Politico may turn a profit in six months, at which time the NYT may not exist.

Ugh. And imagine having to work with Mike Allen everyday! His
“Playbook” is like the 4chan of political reporting, written for an
exhausted Washington press corps that — if it stopped working on the
latest nonsense for a few hours — would come to realize how much it
hates itself.

At the meeting, staffers received a memo written by
Allen explaining Politico’s journalism philosophy. “We are not the AP
or The New York Times. … If we ONLY do what those two great
organizations do, WE WILL NOT SURVIVE AND WE WON’T HAVE JOBS,” the memo
read, according to a copy provided to The New Republic. “THE REWARD for
cracking this code,” the memo concluded, “is that you’re part of an
enterprise … that is one of a tiny handful of news organizations in the
WORLD that is actually GROWING.”

The above makes me ashamed of myself for every time I’ve used ALL CAPS for EMPHASIS.



ps. Apologies for the lack of new posts today. What I HOPE is food poisoning — and not the especially nasty flu currently rampaging through my Grandma’s nursing home — put me out of commission for about 12 hours and is still kind of kicking my ass. In case anybody was wondering, being able to stomach only pretzels and Diet Coke is an extremely effective diet plan! I feel slimmer already!

12 thoughts on “Through Being Cool

  1. Ye gods, I hope the bug lets go of you soon, A!
    Of course, writing about Politico could be a factor, too, you know…

  2. Oh Noe teevee for me!
    As for this however— “Politico’s top writers …are rumored to make between $150,000 and $250,000 in salary”

  3. If First Draft had three publicists not only would Scout be on all the Sunday shows but Jude would be president.
    What would you be, A?
    Whip that bug…whip it good!

  4. Politico employs three publicists who routinely send out links to bloggers and producers.
    You know this is something that I don’t think a lot of people get, the role of PR people in pushing stories and getting “journalists” on the news shows.
    The right wing think tank people don’t just magically appear on those shows,someone is pushing them all the time to the cable news shows. And they are expected to be there at the drop of a hat. And they are and they blather.
    The reason Jane Hamsher moved to DC was so she could start getting on the cable shows. She knew that they don’t let you pop into the studio from LA.
    The Heritage Foundation has their own TV studio for the very serious people who were wrong about EVERYTHING.
    But, since they are TV ready and friendly they get the call. And when they have had some bloggers on the left on they have picked people who didn’t come across as “experts” the bloggers on the right are insane, but they were “lawyers” (Powerline, Instapundit) and so that is where they got their credibility from.
    You know I saw one of these smug Politico “journalists” attempt to take on Glenn Greenwald, I just wanted to reach into the computer and whip the stupid smug grin off his face.

  5. I had that this weekend. Of course, being as I wastoo sick to leave the house or really do much of anything, I didn’t find out that it was a bug and not some stray dairy I got into (or food poisoning) until this morning. Three days of hell, and I wound up drinking homemade rehydration solution (water, with honey and salt) for about 24h… I am back, but my stomach feels like someone was jumping up and down on it for several hours.

  6. Athenae,
    if it’s the same thing I’ve had since Monday night, Gatorade is your best friend.
    and when it wears off you’ll be ravenous. Start back slow.
    increasingly it appears to me that there’s a … clique … of highly-paid non-news-pros running the media.
    Short of shooting down a couple of Murdoch’s satellites, what would cure that, do you think?

  7. Feel better A…I mean…E. Flat ginger ale works too if your stomach is all kinds of freaky.

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