Skip to main content

in what i believe is glenn's first appearance on, he takes on the politico's ben smith in a first-time-evah face-to-face match-up to debate the politico's place in the taxonomy of journalism.

glenn has posted many a disparaging word about the politico's choices in their coverage:

the politico: gossip rag masquerading as news organization?

drudge and the politico — poisonously joined at the hip

the politico's john harris replies

the politico: exhibit a for our broken political press

who funds and runs the politico?

despite some technical difficulties that seem to interfere with the pair's ability to hear one another completely, glenn is characteristically unrelenting (but always polite) in his charges. how unrelenting? to ben's face he basically calls the politico right-wing bottom-feeders that live off the traffic they get from matt drudge, an accusation he has consistently leveled at them on his blog at

and the pressure shows. over the course of the dialogue i counted at least three swabs of the forehead from poor ben. perhaps the basement offices of city hall are in need of air conditioning ...

in the first segment glenn explores the right-wing bona fides of the politico's owners. ben denies any corporate influence on the content, and since glenn can't prove it, he's indulging in conspiracy theory. there's no there there.

in the second segment glenn wonders why ben ran with the edwards haircut story, a substance-free bit of trivia whose only impact fed the drudge noise machine. ben says he's just giving his readers what he believes they want to read. glenn schools ben on what makes one news item substantive and another trash.

in the third segment ben wonders what "gossipy attack-based trash" the high & mighty left is not printing. glenn attacks journalists for substituting their own indulgences for the interests of their audience. here ben pointedly agrees that glenn is right that tv journalists are guilty of "blaming the audience" for their choices in coverage.

in the fourth segment ben and glenn wonder whether the media sees its own problems as systemic or anecdotal.

in the last segment, glenn asks ben just what it is the politco thinks their function is, a fundamental question about the site's mission that one would think would be the simplest of all to answer. but poor ben is struck practically speechless and doesn't seem to understand the question, even though glenn poses it twice. (their audio must be really bad despite the fact that we can hear both perfectly.) the best i can make from ben's position in this segment is that the politico exists to "speak directly and straightforwardly to the people who are reading you".

round 1: greenwald. bit of a mismatch i'd say. glenn should have been paired with founding editors jim vanderhei or john harris.

Originally posted to aarrgghh on Wed May 16, 2007 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site