Unbranded; without a registered trademark.

 

I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being non-doctrinaire, non-dogmatic, non-committed to a cause―but examining each case on its merits. Being left-of-center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they’re preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can’t be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism.

Walter Cronkite

Everyone Thinks I'm Gay (But I'm Not)

God bless our political journalists. Here is the non-partisan list of first term accomplishments.
Reformed Healthcare
Two Supreme Court seats
Ended the Iraq War
Ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
Saved the American Auto Industry
KILLED BIN LADEN
And plenty in the negative column, too.
So by all means, let’s pen that obit now, mid-term election results be damned.

God bless our political journalists. Here is the non-partisan list of first term accomplishments.

  • Reformed Healthcare
  • Two Supreme Court seats
  • Ended the Iraq War
  • Ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • Saved the American Auto Industry
  • KILLED BIN LADEN

And plenty in the negative column, too.

So by all means, let’s pen that obit now, mid-term election results be damned.

Ask Ackerman Anything: What Do You Hate About Beltway Culture?

I hate everything.
I hate everything about this place that isn’t directly related to the friends that I’ve made here, the family that I’ve started here.
D.C. itself is a wonderful place.
The culture of this business we’re in [journalism] is just soul-crushing.
The self-importance, the humorlessness, the bad sense of humor, the fact that people deliberately take things out of context, the feigned outrage, the dedicated lack of real-keeping, the almost aggressive insulting of one’s intelligence that marks successful political discourse and combat and media discourse…. the relentless self-importance.
The unhealthy offense taken at basic profanity.
The decided lack of creativity.
The class politics that never get acknowledged as class politics.
The disdain for poor people.
The aggressive refusal to recognize that there’s such a thing as white privilege.
The aggressive refusal to recognize that the media in Washington is relentlessly just white and rich and unchanging and self-satisfied about all of these things.
The traffic.
The inability to know how to operate on a subway. The inability to call the Metro a subway. The aggressiveness with which people take offense when you call the Metro a subway because you grew up in a real city with a mother fucking subway.
The restaurant culture is good. You know, people do like to cook here.

Ask Ackerman Anything: What Do You Hate About Beltway Culture?

I hate everything.

I hate everything about this place that isn’t directly related to the friends that I’ve made here, the family that I’ve started here.

D.C. itself is a wonderful place.

The culture of this business we’re in [journalism] is just soul-crushing.

The self-importance, the humorlessness, the bad sense of humor, the fact that people deliberately take things out of context, the feigned outrage, the dedicated lack of real-keeping, the almost aggressive insulting of one’s intelligence that marks successful political discourse and combat and media discourse…. the relentless self-importance.

The unhealthy offense taken at basic profanity.

The decided lack of creativity.

The class politics that never get acknowledged as class politics.

The disdain for poor people.

The aggressive refusal to recognize that there’s such a thing as white privilege.

The aggressive refusal to recognize that the media in Washington is relentlessly just white and rich and unchanging and self-satisfied about all of these things.

The traffic.

The inability to know how to operate on a subway. The inability to call the Metro a subway. The aggressiveness with which people take offense when you call the Metro a subway because you grew up in a real city with a mother fucking subway.

The restaurant culture is good. You know, people do like to cook here.

"A very wise person one said, the essence of journalism is the process of selection."
-Pete Williams

"A very wise person one said, the essence of journalism is the process of selection."

-Pete Williams


We May Never Know Why The Pope Resigned 
Today the speculations will swirl, but it’ll eventually peter out when the race for the next Pope takes over the news. The Vatican is simply too opaque to make even intelligent guesses. You know how opaque the Vatican is? The journalist who broke the story heard the Pope giving his announcement to the Cardinals in Latin, and understood it, and then ran with the story. (Let nobody doubt the value of a classical education again.)

We May Never Know Why The Pope Resigned

Today the speculations will swirl, but it’ll eventually peter out when the race for the next Pope takes over the news. The Vatican is simply too opaque to make even intelligent guesses. You know how opaque the Vatican is? The journalist who broke the story heard the Pope giving his announcement to the Cardinals in Latin, and understood it, and then ran with the story. (Let nobody doubt the value of a classical education again.)

(Source: We May Never Know Why The Pope Resigned)

Local politics has been boring the shit out of me lately, so I appreciate The Examiner’s tabloid instincts at trying to tart things up around here.

Local politics has been boring the shit out of me lately, so I appreciate The Examiner’s tabloid instincts at trying to tart things up around here.

What Journalism Is Like Now: Working With 2,000 Sources

soupsoup:

Although it looks and feels like a new kind of journalism, what Carvin and Mann are doing really isn’t that different from what reporters have always done — but the scale of what they are doing now has changed. Instead of one or two sources, now there are hundreds or even thousands, most of whom are unknown or even anonymous. One of the biggest challenges for this kind of reporting is the simple verification of facts and assessments of who is credible and who is not.

Bolded emphasis mine.

Am I the only one bothered by this headline?
San Francisco Chronicle, I feel like your online editors need a visit from Captain Obvious.

Am I the only one bothered by this headline?

San Francisco Chronicle, I feel like your online editors need a visit from Captain Obvious.

… let’s be clear here. This story was blown out of proportion. Does the iPhone 4 have a spot that, when blocked, causes signal attenuation? Yes, as do all modern smartphones. Is this situation acerbated by the fact that the iPhone 4′s antenna is placed outside of the casing? Yes, but that decision demonstrably improves reception in the vast majority of situations. The bottom line is, this was a “debacle” almost entirely created by the press.

 
What if political scientists covered the news?
By Christopher Beam
 Posted Friday, June 4, 2010, at 6:11 PM ET
Obama now faces some of the most difficult challenges of his young presidency: the ongoing oil spill, the Gaza flotilla disaster, and revelations about possibly inappropriate conversations between the White House and candidates for federal office. But while these narratives may affect fleeting public perceptions, Americans will ultimately judge Obama on the crude economic fundamentals of jobs numbers and GDP.A powerful thunderstorm forced President Obama to cancel his Memorial Day speech near Chicago on Monday—an arbitrary event that had no affect on the trajectory of American politics.
Chief among the criticisms of Obama was his response to the spill. Pundits argued that he needed to show more emotion. Their analysis, however, should be viewed in light of the economic pressures on the journalism industry combined with a 24-hour news environment and a lack of new information about the spill itself.
Republicans, meanwhile, complained that the administration has not been sufficiently involved in the day-to-day cleanup. Their analysis, of course, is colored by their minority status in America’s two-party system, which creates a strong structural incentive to criticize the party in power, whatever the merits.
At the same time, Obama’s job approval rating fell to 48 percent. This isn’t really news, though. Studies have shown that the biggest factor in a president’s rating is economic performance. Connecting the minute blip in the polls with Obama’s reluctance to emote or alleged failure to send enough boom to the Gulf is, frankly, absurd.
Democrats have also slipped in their standing among “independent voters.” That phrase, by the way, is meaningless. Voters may self-identify as “independent” but in almost all cases they lean toward one party.
Poll numbers also confirmed that Americans are in an anti-incumbent mood. … Ha! Just kidding. The anti-Washington narrative was concocted by dominant media outlets based on the outcomes of a statistically insignificant handful of largely unrelated races. Sorry.
Still, Democrats hope that passing health care and financial regulatory reform will give them enough momentum to win in November. Unfortunately, there’s little relationship between legislative victories and electoral victories. Also, what the hell is “momentum”?
Prospects for an energy bill, meanwhile, are looking grim, since Obama has spent all his political capital. He used to have a lot. Now it’s gone. Why winning legislative battles builds momentum but saps political capital, I have no idea. Just go with it.
Possible “game changers” for Obama include plugging the oil leak, peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, and World War III, although these events would be almost entirely outside Obama’s control.
Looking ahead to 2012, Republicans need a candidate who can shake up the electoral map, which currently consists of “red states” and “blue states,” even though there’s not much difference.
The GOP—a stupid acronym we use only so we don’t have to keep repeating the word Republican—will have to decide between a moderate “establishment” pick and a more conservative Tea Party favorite. In reality, both candidates would embrace similar policies in the general election.
That candidate will then face off against Obama, whose charisma, compelling personal story, and professional political operation will prove formidable. Actually, Obama will probably win because he’s the incumbent. And because voters always go with the guy who’s taller.

What if political scientists covered the news?

Obama now faces some of the most difficult challenges of his young presidency: the ongoing oil spill, the Gaza flotilla disaster, and revelations about possibly inappropriate conversations between the White House and candidates for federal office. But while these narratives may affect fleeting public perceptions, Americans will ultimately judge Obama on the crude economic fundamentals of jobs numbers and GDP.A powerful thunderstorm forced President Obama to cancel his Memorial Day speech near Chicago on Monday—an arbitrary event that had no affect on the trajectory of American politics.

Chief among the criticisms of Obama was his response to the spill. Pundits argued that he needed to show more emotion. Their analysis, however, should be viewed in light of the economic pressures on the journalism industry combined with a 24-hour news environment and a lack of new information about the spill itself.

Republicans, meanwhile, complained that the administration has not been sufficiently involved in the day-to-day cleanup. Their analysis, of course, is colored by their minority status in America’s two-party system, which creates a strong structural incentive to criticize the party in power, whatever the merits.

At the same time, Obama’s job approval rating fell to 48 percent. This isn’t really news, though. Studies have shown that the biggest factor in a president’s rating is economic performance. Connecting the minute blip in the polls with Obama’s reluctance to emote or alleged failure to send enough boom to the Gulf is, frankly, absurd.

Democrats have also slipped in their standing among “independent voters.” That phrase, by the way, is meaningless. Voters may self-identify as “independent” but in almost all cases they lean toward one party.

Poll numbers also confirmed that Americans are in an anti-incumbent mood. … Ha! Just kidding. The anti-Washington narrative was concocted by dominant media outlets based on the outcomes of a statistically insignificant handful of largely unrelated races. Sorry.

Still, Democrats hope that passing health care and financial regulatory reform will give them enough momentum to win in November. Unfortunately, there’s little relationship between legislative victories and electoral victories. Also, what the hell is “momentum”?

Prospects for an energy bill, meanwhile, are looking grim, since Obama has spent all his political capital. He used to have a lot. Now it’s gone. Why winning legislative battles builds momentum but saps political capital, I have no idea. Just go with it.

Possible “game changers” for Obama include plugging the oil leak, peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, and World War III, although these events would be almost entirely outside Obama’s control.

Looking ahead to 2012, Republicans need a candidate who can shake up the electoral map, which currently consists of “red states” and “blue states,” even though there’s not much difference.

The GOP—a stupid acronym we use only so we don’t have to keep repeating the word Republican—will have to decide between a moderate “establishment” pick and a more conservative Tea Party favorite. In reality, both candidates would embrace similar policies in the general election.

That candidate will then face off against Obama, whose charisma, compelling personal story, and professional political operation will prove formidable. Actually, Obama will probably win because he’s the incumbent. And because voters always go with the guy who’s taller.