Time Magazine on The Washington Note

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TWN Best Blogs Time Magazine.jpg
Wow. Thanks to Dan Fletcher and the team at Time who picked The Washington Note as one of their favorite blogs of the year.
We are really honored — and caught off guard by the salute from Time.
Blogs are interesting enterprises and with TWN, I try to keep learning and thinking about political, economic and foreign policy topics that I find interesting and which we hope matter to many of you.
Thanks so much to all of you for spending part of your days and weeks here with us.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

39 comments on “Time Magazine on The Washington Note

  1. David says:

    “It really puts the insignificance of human beings into a proper perspective. Perhaps a four week survival immersion into the wilds of Alaska

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  2. The Pessimist says:

    I prefer the works of Robert Service myself as I have spent the best part of the past two decades living, working and travelling in the far north.
    Poetry recalls most effectively sentimental and nostalgic reflections of past experiences. It helps to have a visual reference to the scenes being described, and Services’ descriptions are imprinted on my brain from personal travels.
    The Arctic is a truly magical place in the dead of winter. Yes, it is cold, but that discomfort can be somewhat diminished by its overwhelming and indescribable natural beauty. A rising full moon over the Yukon or Tanana Rivers can literally stop you in your tracks. Everyone should experience it.
    It really puts the insignificance of human beings into a proper perspective. Perhaps a four week survival immersion into the wilds of Alaska

    Reply

  3. Mr.Murder says:

    The luster of Joe Klein’s baldness will soon bask in enlightenment, were he to read these pages and reflect upon Clemons, and illuminate so similar a world view.

    Reply

  4. David says:

    Do not apologize for that sort of rambling, WigWag.
    I’ve got to go back to Frost the swinger of birches for a moment. We had a large stand of Australian pines in our yard when I was a child (as a Floridian, you might be familiar with them, WigWag). They are slender, very flexible trees with short branches and soft needles. Ours reached heights of 30 or more feet without developing thick trunks, so they would readily bend. We would climb to the top, swing out, and ride them to the ground, Mother shouting she would kill us if we hurt ourselves and Dad kind of chuckling to himself. When I first encountered Frost’s poem, I had been swinging Australian pines for at least ten years. It was my introduction to the world of Frost’s poetry, a world I cheerfully entered. And on picking apples, for us it was picking oranges, but the experience was the same.
    I was never able to relate to the idea that good fences make good neighbors. Good fences hold in livestock. Good neighbors freely enter into each others spaces. Maybe that is the Southerner in me. We don’t do reserved worth a damn.
    I love TWN.

    Reply

  5. WigWag says:

    Thank you Dan Kervick for “Nothing Gold Can Stay;” that was always my favorite Frost poem.
    I find it interesting that Frost had his farm in New Hampshire and summered in Vermont. I don’t know much about New England, but it was always my impression that the Connecticut River provided more than a geographic boundary but that it provided a cultural boundary of sorts as well.
    But then again, the Vermont State motto, “Freedom and Unity” and New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” aren’t totally dissimilar. Perhaps the “free spiritedness” Frost might have experienced during the 40 summers he spent at Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont was an antidote to the more austere life he experienced during those cold New Hampshire winters.
    I always thought it was funny that America’s quintessential “modern” New England poet was actually born in San Francisco. I say “modern” poet because Emerson and Thoreau were 71 and 57 years older than Frost respectively (although Frost’s and Emerson’s lives did overlap; Emerson died when Frost was 8).
    I also find it puzzling that while Frost, Emerson and Thoreau were all born in the 19th century and lived in New England, every school child knows something about Frost (especially “The Road Not Taken” and “Mending Wall”)while few know anything about Emerson even though he was in many ways a key architect of American intellectual life.
    I’ve also always found it interesting that while American literature can’t, for the most part, stand up to European literature (of course there are exceptions) American poetry holds its own compared to European poetry just fine. Emily Dickenson (also a New Englander; from Amherst, MA), Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop are all as good as the best that Europe has to offer. The only European rival to Walt Whitman is Dante (and of course, Shakespeare).
    Anyway, I’m rambling again; please forgive me. My thanks to Don Bacon and Dan Kervick for putting me in mind of all of this.

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Don’t worry, spiders,
    I keep house
    casually.
    Translated by Robert Hass
    Kobayashi Issa
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/don-t-worry-spiders/

    Reply

  7. Paul Norheim says:

    Blogs will never and should never replace
    newspapers. Personally, I would like to see more
    slow commenting.
    Plato writes a paragraph, and decades later,
    Aristotle writes a comment. Centuries later,
    Plotin or Cusanus respond. Thousands of years
    later, Nietzsche criticizes Plato`s paragraph; and
    suddenly Wittgenstein or Adorno may add a comment,
    only a few decades after Nietzsche.
    Is this kind of conversation through the centuries
    dying, or will we see a revival in cyberspace?
    I hope so. And in those interim periods when we
    have nothing to say that has not been said a
    million times, we could always quote Robert Frost,
    Baudelaire, Rilke, or Tu Fu.

    Reply

  8. Dan Kervick says:

    Three of my favorite Frost poems:
    Never Again Would Bird’s Song Be the Same
    He would declare and could himself believe
    That the birds there in all the garden round
    From having heard the daylong voice of Eve
    Had added to their own an oversound,
    Her tone of meaning but without the words.
    Admittedly an eloquence so soft
    Could only have had an influence on birds
    When call or laughter carried it aloft.
    Be that as may be, she was in their song.
    Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed
    Had now persisted in the woods so long
    That probably it never would be lost.
    Never again would birds’ song be the same.
    And to do that to birds was why she came.
    Gathering Leaves
    Spades take up leaves
    No better than spoons,
    And bags full of leaves
    Are light as balloons.
    I make a great noise
    Of rustling all day
    Like rabbit and deer
    Running away.
    But the mountains I raise
    Elude my embrace,
    Flowing over my arms
    And into my face.
    I may load and unload
    Again and again
    Till I fill the whole shed,
    And what have I then?
    Next to nothing for weight,
    And since they grew duller
    From contact with earth,
    Next to nothing for color.
    Next to nothing for use.
    But a crop is a crop,
    And who’s to say where
    The harvest shall stop?
    Nothing Gold Can Stay
    Nature’s first green is gold
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

    Reply

  9. ... says:

    glenn greenwald is a very good blogger who hasn`t lost it.. maybe it is because he lives in brazil half the year and is able to get his head outside into the real world more often… this seems to be the case with steve as well.. not sure about the josh marshall fellow…greenwald is my fav..i doubt he will get the recognition as he is too strong minded and worded for many…

    Reply

  10. Dan Kervick says:

    Robert Frost’s farm in Derry, New Hampshire is not far from my house. If you visit the farm and house, you can see the staircase that is the setting of this poem:
    Home Burial
    He saw her from the bottom of the stairs
    Before she saw him. She was starting down,
    Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.
    She took a doubtful step and then undid it
    To raise herself and look again. He spoke
    Advancing toward her: “What is it you see
    From up there always?

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  11. Don Bacon says:

    WigWag,
    And now back to the trenches! Or walls. “Good fences make good neighbours.”
    But my life has just been re-enriched by a strong dose of Robert Frost and I thank you again for that.
    “And on a day we meet to walk the line
    and set the wall between us once again.”
    –Robert Frost, Mending Wall

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    Thank you, Don Bacon, that really is lovely!

    Reply

  13. Don Bacon says:

    WigWag,
    Thank you.
    I must say, reading the 1961 poem, that I prefer a less pretentious Frost, perhaps a swinger of birches.
    the poem Birches ends thus:
    I’d like to get away from earth awhile
    And then come back to it and begin over.
    May no fate willfully misunderstand me
    And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
    Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
    I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
    I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.//
    –Robert Frost
    For a brief moment here we have set Robert Frost down again.

    Reply

  14. WigWag says:

    Don Bacon, for your listening pleasure I was able to find a website with a recording of Robert Frost himself, reciting his poem “The Road Not Taken.” As you will hear in the recording, in the first line of the poem, Frost himself refers to a “yellow wood.”
    When you get to the website, there are two audio recordings of the poem; one by an actor and the other by the poet. You want to click on the recording just above the photograph of the New England barn. It is labeled, “Robert Frost at Bread Loaf.” By the way, “Bread Loaf” is the name of the name of the English Department at Middlebury College in Vermont where Frost spent most of his summers teaching and writing.
    I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the link,
    http://robertfrostoutloud.com/TheRoadNotTaken.html
    As I’m sure you also know, Frost was JFK’s favorite poet. He wrote the following poem for JFK’s inauguration but he never read it because Washington, D.C. was snowy the day of the inauguration and by then Frost had bad eyes. He couldn’t read the poem he had written for the occassion because his vision was disturbed by the sunlight shining off the snow drifts and instead he recited his poem “The Gift Outright” from memory. Having bad eyes myself, I can sympathize with what Frost experienced that day.
    This is the poem that Frost intended to read on January 20, 1961.
    Summoning artists to participate
    In the august occasions of the state
    Seems something artists ought to celebrate.
    Today is for my cause a day of days.
    And his be poetry’s old-fashioned praise
    Who was the first to think of such a thing.
    This verse that in acknowledgement I bring
    Goes back to the beginning of the end
    Of what had been for centuries the trend;
    A turning point in modern history.
    Colonial had been the thing to be
    As long as the great issue was to see
    What country’d be the one to dominate
    By character, by tongue, by native trait,
    The new world Christopher Columbus found.
    The French, the Spanish, and the Dutch were downed
    And counted out. Heroic deeds were done.
    Elizabeth the First and England won.
    Now came on a new order of the ages
    That in the Latin of our founding sages
    (Is it not written on the dollar bill
    We carry in our purse and pocket still?)
    God nodded his approval of as good.
    So much those heroes knew and understood,
    I mean the great four, Washington,
    John Adams, Jefferson, and Madison
    So much they saw as consecrated seers
    They must have seen ahead what not appears,
    They would bring empires down about our ears
    And by the example of our Declaration
    Make everybody want to be a nation.
    And this is no aristocratic joke
    At the expense of negligible folk.
    We see how seriously the races swarm
    In their attempts at sovereignty and form.
    They are our wards we think to some extent
    For the time being and with their consent,
    To teach them how Democracy is meant.
    “New order of the ages” did they say?
    If it looks none too orderly today,
    ‘Tis a confusion it was ours to start
    So in it have to take courageous part.
    No one of honest feeling would approve
    A ruler who pretended not to love
    A turbulence he had the better of.
    Everyone knows the glory of the twain
    Who gave America the aeroplane
    To ride the whirlwind and the hurricane.
    Some poor fool has been saying in his heart
    Glory is out of date in life and art.
    Our venture in revolution and outlawry
    Has justified itself in freedom’s story
    Right down to now in glory upon glory.
    Come fresh from an election like the last,
    The greatest vote a people ever cast,
    So close yet sure to be abided by,
    It is no miracle our mood is high.
    Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs
    Better than all the stalemate an’s and ifs.
    There was the book of profile tales declaring
    For the emboldened politicians daring
    To break with followers when in the wrong,
    A healthy independence of the throng,
    A democratic form of right devine
    To rule first answerable to high design.
    There is a call to life a little sterner,
    And braver for the earner, learner, yearner.
    Less criticism of the field and court
    And more preoccupation with the sport.
    It makes the prophet in us all presage
    The glory of a next Augustan age
    Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
    Of young amibition eager to be tried,
    Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
    In any game the nations want to play.
    A golden age of poetry and power
    Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.

    Reply

  15. Don Bacon says:

    Why all this bloviating about TWN’s mention in TIME? This weekly rag is simple trying to ride a wave. Now if Steve suggested that TIME is a must-read then THAT would be news.
    Turning WigWag’s “two roads” point just a bit, there is application to TWN in what Joseph Ugoretz calls “asynchronous discussion” where different roads are taken in discussion. “It is possible to diverge, to digress, and to acknowledge all the different kinds of ‘traveling’ that are involved in learning.
    I think this is the main quality of Steve Clemons, that is besides his wide range of interests and expertise. He totally recognizes that while roads can diverge, and thoughtful people can differ, asynchronous discussion is in fact a feature of effective learning.
    PS: h/t to WigWag with the Robert Frost quotation which in its first line refers to a yellow wood. I thought I knew my Frost and I didn’t recall the wood being yellow so I spent a few minutes on it (taking the road less traveled). It didn’t help — I see both “wood” and “yellow wood” in various quotation references. My Frost anthology does have the wood being yellow.

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    My two cents….
    The beauty of this blog is that the commenting culture hasn’t devolved to the quip and the dumb (for the most part).
    I think some of the analysis is weaker than it should be, and it would be really really nice to get some expertise and even the occasional deep background long pieces that run through the history of a conflict or nation, or the history of the academic discourse of some field.
    In short, some lengthy pieces that are just a click away….
    The very light hand of the censors’ “delete” is good even if I cringe at a substantial number of comments and some posts at this point and even if I can’t bring myself even to comment sometimes, I also can’t quite bring myself to quit completely, try as I may.
    I like the push on less than the most hot button issues, the awareness of non-headline news, but would definitely like more on, say, African issues as I think that there are some really important if currently low-lying things to discuss.
    So bring on a congressional scholar, bring on a few former aides, bring on an Africanist, set up some guest posts on things we don’t normally see, do a little IR history, and I will smile.

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same… (Robert Frost)
    As the increasingly famous and influential proprietor of this blog continues to make his mark on the world, the stories of two equally intelligent and eloquent Washington figures, Michael Kinsley and James Fallows might be informative. Kinsley and Fallows are 11 and 13 years older than Steve respectively.
    In the mid 1980s these two clever writers were young and enterprising reporters just beginning to make their marks on the world of journalism. Kinsley wrote the famous TRB Column for the New Republic (his successors included Andrew Sullivan, Peter Beinart and Jonathan Chait) and Fallows was the “national correspondent” for the Atlantic, a storied and highly respected magazine of literature and ideas.
    It was during this period that journalist Martin Agronsky invented the idea of a television news show where reporters spent most of their time talking to each other about what they thought about issues of the day; TV networks loved the idea because it represented inexpensive programming that helped them meet their obligation to the FCC to broadcast public affairs shows.
    The program was a big hit and soon inspired imitators; young, smart, eloquent and good looking journalists like Kinsley and Fallows were just what the networks were looking for in their guests. Offers for guest appearances must have flowed in to both Kinsley and Fallows.
    Kinsley accepted every invitation to appear on television that he could get. He appeared occasionally on Agronsky and Company; he appeared often on the McLaughlin Group and when the first new media form (cable television) was invented, he signed up to co-host CNN’s now notorious program (ridiculed so severely by John Stewart a few years back) “Cross-fire.”
    Despite his roots in print journalism, Kinsley never met a camera he didn’t fall in love with or a microphone he didn’t lust after. When Microsoft created the first major on-line news magazine, “Slate,” Kinsley signed on to run that too. It was sad to watch this brilliant reporter, who had once been compared to a young Walter Lippman, turn himself into a caricature of a serious person; but that’s the choice he made for himself. Kinsley even agreed to make movie appearances (he was in “Birdcage” in 1996). Sadly, Kinsley developed Parkinson’s Disease which must make his career even more difficult.
    Fallows could easily have chosen the same path, but he didn’t. He eschewed most television appearances (he did appear occasionally), he kept his job at the Atlantic and he became an author of excellent and well-written books. Most importantly he immersed himself in what interested him; living first in Japan with his whole family and later in China.
    Fallows wrote books about Asia, about the influence of money in politics, about the development of what he called an “air-taxi” system and about the War in Iraq. While Kinsley was making himself into a national joke on “Cross-fire” Fallows would make an occasional appearance on “All Things Considered.”
    In 1996 when Kinsley (then aged 45) was making his celebrity appearance in “Birdcage,” Fallows was authoring a book entitled “Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy.” At the time, Fallows was 47, just about the age Steve Clemons is now.
    As far as I can tell, the book is no longer in print, but Steve should ask his friend Jim Fallows to lend him a copy. The book, written before the internet age, is amazingly prescient. It offers a powerful indictment of celebrity journalism and how celebrity journalism distorts the national discourse in very destructive ways.
    To this day, Jim Fallows remains one of the smartest, most eloquent and most important commentators in the United States. He continues to work for the Atlantic and his blog is extraordinarily good. To this day he continues to eschew the cheap and tawdry spectacle that talk radio, cable news and so called “new media” have become.
    If I was an up and coming pundit thinking about what direction my career should take, I hope that I would emulate Jim Fallows, not Michael Kinsley

    Reply

  18. prisonbreak says:

    The trade-off for the sloppier standards was supposed to be fresh and unorthodox ideas: ideas that deserved public venting but couldn’t be found in more constrained traditional forums. But increasingly, the sloppiness of the new media content is matched only by its repetitiveness, group-think and insipidness. It’s about as fresh as a breeze at a tuna cannery.watch burn notice

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  19. Carroll says:

    The beauty of TWN, beside the variety of what Steve presents, is that whatever his own personal leanings are this blog is NOT a “partisan” talking points site and echo chamber.
    DKos, TPM and most others are…and that’s all they are….they are white noise for one political side just like the MSM.

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  20. Dan Kervick says:

    “It is what it is, Wiggie. I kinda think Steve revels a bit in the spotlight, and as the spotlight brightens, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the flavor change.”
    One abiding strength of this site, POA, is Steve’s association with the New America Foundation, which provides him with a steady stream of guest commentators who, agree with them or not, have actually studied the areas they write about for more than 15 minutes, and have informed opinions to pass along.

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  21. Dan Kervick says:

    “It’s remarkable really, how quickly new media has morphed into old media.”
    Much of new media is far, far worse WigWag. It consists of lowest common denominator old media mentality and shallowness, without any of the old media fact-checking, or even rudimentary attempts at old media standards of accuracy, professional discipline, judgment or aspiration toward objectivity.
    The trade-off for the sloppier standards was supposed to be fresh and unorthodox ideas: ideas that deserved public venting but couldn’t be found in more constrained traditional forums. But increasingly, the sloppiness of the new media content is matched only by its repetitiveness, group-think and insipidness. It’s about as fresh as a breeze at a tuna cannery.
    The best of the blogosphere is still based on the individual blog hobbyist: those individuals who do a blog in their spare time for a few months or a few years while keeping their more important day jobs, keep at it for as long as they have something distinctive and insightful to say, and who don’t try to make a business or career out of it.
    There really isn’t a whole lot that deserves to be called new “media” – where the latter connotes something like journalism or news gathering and reporting. Most of the so-called new media consists of opinion alone, and highly derivative and regurgitated opinion at that. It is like a newspaper with a ten-page op-ed section, a fifty page letters to the editor section, a few ads, and nothing else. The collective phenomenon is dominated by waves of mass passion and addictive emotional obsessions that sometimes dumb people down worse than old media ever could.

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  22. David says:

    I disagree about Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo. For one thing, there is a big difference between people who ground themselves in reality and people who make shit up. To equate Rachel Maddow with Sean Hannity, whatever her shortcomings, is ludicrous.

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  23. Dan Kervick says:

    Hi Paul,
    TPM Cafe is not Marshall’s blog and main site, Talking Points Memo. Marshall rarely stops by at TPM Cafe, which is run by his interns. TPM Cafe has a diverse crew of issues-oriented contributors, only a few of whom wallow entirely in the daily grind of partisan spin and hackery, and the site benefits from the high volume of user-generated commentary from a crazily diverse and quirky group of regular visitors.
    The content on TPM itself consists of a beltway politics-focused “news” section, along with brief and bland blog entries, almost entirely by Marshall himself. The blog apparently does not permit comments, which might save the site from some of the usual gangs of trolls and crazies, but also guarantees that the editorial voice of the site consists almost entirely of the unremarkable and shallow musings of Marshall.
    Marshall might be a good businessman, but he apparently has nothing interesting to say.
    He might be a suitable replacement for Larry King.

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  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Are Andrew Sullivan or Josh Marshall really any different from Matt Drudge or Bill O’Reilly?”
    No. Nor are Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman much different than Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. Its all about agendas, partisanship, and I Gotchas.
    So there, Wig-wag, I have done my annual agreement with you. I’ll send ya the bill. But yeah, you’re right.
    But you aren’t making a fresh point. For a couple of years now I have been railing on Maddow and Olberman for ignoring all things Israeli/Palestinian. And not once have you commented in retrurn. I suspect its because you are on board with MSNBC’s irresponsible ommissions that contribute to maintaining the pro-Israeli narrative by keeping the general public in the dark.
    And, Wig-wag, I would be very careful being so judgemental about the future “substance” of Steve’s blog. Coming from someone that creates ad hominem focused on a commenter’s alleged penis size, it is somewhat difficult to find your concern anything less than patronizing and hypocritical.
    It is what it is, Wiggie. I kinda think Steve revels a bit in the spotlight, and as the spotlight brightens, it wouldn’t suprise me to see the flavor change. As far as the comment section goes, I suspect my bluntness will undoubtedly become a liability, and your self-important condesecending crap will be considered an asset.
    And hey Kervick, great post about Marshall and his partisan mudslinging. I can just see the sneering harrumph of indignation on his face, followed by the blank stare of someone doing a bit of uncomfortable introspection.

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  25. questions says:

    I’d take exception to some of what you write above, at least regarding Kos, WigWag.
    The kos site is multiple, variable, simultaneously over the top batshit insane and careful and smart — depending on what you’re reading.
    David Waldman is great on Congress. A few of the diarists have really good insights into a broad variety of fields.
    There are communities of posters who support one another through health, diet, and emotional issues, death and loss, joy and employment.
    And yes, there are screeds, some amount of CT stuff that I try to ignore, and way way too much policing of one another’s posts. That gets old quickly.
    Still and all, I wouldn’t put all of the analysis there into the garbage, but I would say that one must work through the weeds to find the flowers (or something)….
    Also worth noting, Hale “Bonddad” Stewart was posting smart economic data munching on both sites. He left kos because of flame wars, near as I can tell. And I think he probably left HuffPo because he got serious respect at fivethirtyeight.

    Reply

  26. WigWag says:

    This post really does make me curious about what direction Steve Clemons plans to take the Washington Note as he becomes more famous and more important. Will Steve make the decision to side with the angels or will he be seduced by fame and fortune and side with the devil?
    It’s remarkable really, how quickly new media has morphed into old media. How long ago was it that bloggers ridiculed traditional media outlets for their outdated reporting techniques, for their prejudices and for their lack of rigor?
    Has anyone read TPM, Kos or the Huffington Post recently? Can anyone claim with a straight face that what they produce isn’t the moral equivalent of conservative talk radio albeit in a different format?
    What are we treated to at these

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  27. totally impressed says:

    oh, wig wag, thank you for your prescience. You are so, so with it. Mostly.

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  28. Paul Norheim says:

    I think you’re exaggerating, Dan.
    As a matter of fact, there is a commenter, a
    certain “DanK”, who frequently writes quite
    intelligent comments at TPM Cafe – have you
    noticed? His posts alone make the site 50% more
    interesting than you claim it to be.

    Reply

  29. Sand says:

    Posted by Dan Kervick, Jun 30 2010, 3:11PM
    Oh OK.

    Reply

  30. Dan Kervick says:

    “Why?”
    Because TPM is a tawdry online rag devoted to classic “gotcha” reporting and Washingtonia of the most superficial and frivolous kind: sex scandals, gaffes, spin wars, poll-watching and assorted Capitol Hill shenanigans. It is all dotted with thoroughly shallow and unconvincing partisan cheerleading. Moronic Republican bloviating is pored over with tweezers for laughs while moronic Democratic bloviating is elevated to the plane of high statesmanship.
    Marshall’s criminally irresponsible neglect of major events and issues of real moment in favor of excruciating immersion in the latest beltway “talking points” is appalling. Every so often, Citizen Marshall breaks through the mass of crass with a more thoughtful piece, showing that he actually has a brain carefully hidden beneath the cuteness and pandering, but he then returns quickly to the staple lowbrow dreck which he cynically purveys to run his business.
    Reading the blog for five minutes is pure intellectual pain, and enough to make you wish that someone would just incinerate that entire city for good, along with the pestilential clouds of media bugs and parasites whose toxic mental pollution seeps outward from DC incessantly, contaminating everything else that is still healthy in this country. The pollution is baleful, whether it comes from “old” tabloid and television media or the “new” bloggy media of Marshall’s ilk.
    That’s why.

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  31. Sand says:

    “…Josh Marshall’s blog is a terrible embarrassment…”
    Why?

    Reply

  32. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, right now Steve seems to be on a semi-vacation. So I think that is why we have not seen more on Medvedev, Abdullah, the G20, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, North Korea, etc.
    But WigWag is right to warn about the pitfalls. Josh Marshall’s blog is a terrible embarrassment, and I was disappointed to hear that Steve has some new role with it.

    Reply

  33. WigWag says:

    The Washington Note is fun and often it’s pretty smart; but there’s still plenty of room for improvement (I’m sure Steve Clemons would even admit this himself).
    Next week, when Prime Minister Netanyahu comes to town, does anyone want to guess how many posts we are likely to see on his visit? 5? 10? 15? How many of these posts are likely to be intelligent or have something original or provocative to say? 1? 2?
    The Saudi King had his first Oval Office visit with Obama yesterday; will we be seeing a post about the visit of the reigning monarch of one of Steve’s favorite nations and the American President?
    What about the G-20 meeting which accomplished nothing while the world economy and financial markets face the prospect of another meltdown?
    What about the crisis in Kyrgyzstan where thousands have been killed in just the past six weeks and where 400 thousand have been forced to flee their homes? I understand that the United States isn’t nearly as implicated in this crisis as it is in the Israeli-Arab imbroglio, but if the problems in the Middle East justify scores of posts, doesn’t the situation in the former Soviet Republics justify even one?
    It’s Steve’s blog; he should write about what interests him and he does. But it seems to me that he has a choice. Steve can follow the path of his friends Andrew Sullivan and Josh Marshall and write a blog for dimwits that is little better than a leftist version (despite Sullivan’s claims of conservatism) of FOX News or he can position his blog in a smarter, more interesting space.
    Perhaps TIME Magazine is complimenting the Washington Note because they like what they see; a blog that is coming to resemble more and more the idiocy of the popular mainstream media. Is that what blogs are for? Is that why Steve got into non-traditional media?
    Steve appears regularly at the Huffington Post and on MSNBC; that’s fine, but let

    Reply

  34. Katherine says:

    Steve, I haven’t read Time in years but for once, I agree. Washington wouldn’t be the same without you. Thanks for making it a little more human for the rest of us.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Congratulations, Steve. Now Nadine’s propaganda can reach a larger audience. Lieberman and Netanyahu send their thanks.
    Just kiddin’, man.
    Kinda.
    I do mean the congrats.

    Reply

  36. David says:

    What samuelburke and Selene Gorman said. Been a follower down here on the edge of the Green Swamp for some time now. Absolutely invaluable website. Time got it right.

    Reply

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