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