"There is a world in which what happened to Manley and Reid would serve as a cautionary tale to the staffers, operatives, and elected officials that feed Halperin and Heilemann their scoops. Indeed, one Congressional reporter tells me the incident caused Hill sources to freeze up as skittishness set in following Reid’s quote. You might think, too, that the focus and nature of Halperin and Heilemann’s projects would be its own disincentive to cooperate: Game Change, after all, made it clear that the authors consider everything—every private marital conversation, every petty squabble, every venal freak-out, every off-color remark, every otherwise forgotten scandal—in-bounds…. But that is not Halperin and Heilemann’s [...]
Do you hate it when your friends, co-workers and office enemies become successful? Then be careful where you work. What outfits like PostBourgie have done—it is now too late to stop the Grape Drink Mafia!—is gather together a super-smart (or sometimes just super-aggressive) group of people that will go on to success and perhaps even dominance in media. (You could say something similar about n+1, but they're all basically unemployed novelists, and there weren't that many of them anyway. What about The New Inquiry? Well, only time will tell. Check back in later 2013.)
Over the last twenty years, a handful of scenes emerged that seem [...]
In the early 80s, William F. Buckley, Jr. offered David Brooks a job at The National Review on the strength of Brooks' parody of Buckley in the undergraduate newspaper at the University of Chicago. ("Buckley spent most of his infancy working on his memoirs," etc.) Some five decades earlier, James Agee found himself in a parallel, if far less ideologically stable, arrangement.
As a serious undergraduate poet at Harvard, Agee helmed an ambitious and withering satire of Henry's Luce's Time in an issue of the Harvard Advocate that went comparatively viral. Like any mogul, Luce knew that it’s better to have someone in the building throwing bricks [...]
"America's largest open-air mental hospital," that's how Oceanside police spokesman Bob George described this run-down coastal city between Camp Pendleton and the surfer towns of North San Diego County. I called it the Slum by the Sea. Despite the miles of beach and the beautiful old Spanish mission and the Southern California weather, Oceanside was a honky tonk Marine Corps town on the west side of Interstate 5 and a sprawling mess of trailer parks and starter-home suburbs to the east.
I spent a lot of time at Bob's desk in the back of the OPD headquarters. Sometimes it was as a police beat reporter, sometimes it was as the [...]
From time to time, The Awl offers its space to everyday citizens with something to say.
I am a newspaperman. Before my freelancing days, my business card had the name of my paper, and under that it said my own name, and then: "Staff Writer." These days, I'm barely getting by as a freelancer, and my business card has a little graphic of a quill by my name.
I often think about how different the media landscape would be if newspapers had invested in killing off the "Web content" people once they became a clear danger to journalism.
Assassination is a nasty business, and I am against it. Still, you [...]
Who says there's no job security in media? Everyone says that, because it's true. But there are inspirational exceptions. Meet 94-year-old San Francisco Chronicle science reporter David Perlman, who cranked out 111 articles last year and continues to work full-time at the paper. He still loves his beat and his desk is in a sunny corner of the Chronicle newsroom, so there's no reason to quit working now.
After all, he said over a burger at a South of Market dive near Chronicle headquarters, "I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do all my life, be a reporter."
My leftist friends are mainly baffled by how much I like Andrew Sullivan. His blog, the Daily Dish, presents a libertarian-inflected center-right political stance. He supported the Iraq War; he is gay and a practicing Catholic. As Ken Layne recently remarked here, Andrew is "by any rational assessment, a demographic of one—a conservative liberal gay Republican Obama loyalist and Irish-English Oxford man who sought and secured permanent U.S. residency."
But the Dish is intelligent, rational, mannerly, and welcoming, in stark contrast to the common run of right-wing blogs. Here is a conservative who accepts me and my views freely, however much they may diverge from his. It was [...]
People are always saying things on the Internet all the time. But they are such teases. We like details. So we have to ask.
Interviewing @lordemusic over dinner, I suggested sharing truffle pizza. Her reply: "Then you'll write about it like Lynn Hirschberg!"
— Jonah Weiner (@jonahweiner) October 11, 2013
Jonah! So what happened here?
Rolling Stone asked me to write a short profile of Lorde, a young musician from New Zealand whose single “Royals” has been the number-one song in America for three weeks now. This was just the other week. She was in Los Angeles to tape a performance of “Royals” for Ellen, [...]
Recently I saw the journalist Clare Morgana Gillis, and asked her about her war reporting. "If you want to know a bunch of stuff about my background and whatever you can Google it," she said. She is tall and intimidating, was wearing wraparound sunglasses at the time, and seemed to be doing her best to look everywhere but at me. As it happened, I had some clue about her background; a few people had pointed her out to me, saying, quietly, that she had undergone something unusual.
Just a couple years ago, Gillis made her first trips to combat zones. Already in her mid-30s, she held a doctorate in early [...]
Cody Brown, of Scrollkit, made a replica of the ballyhooed New York Times "Snow Fall" story—in about an hour. Naturally, the Times made a copyright complaint: he was, after all, using their images and whatnot! So he removed it. Then they insisted that he "remove any reference to the New York Times" from his website. Heh.
He writes: The backlash to “Snow Fall” is that it’s an indulgence only the Times can afford. It took them six months and a powerful multi-person dev team to hand-code it. Most news orgs don’t have anywhere near these kinds of resources, and this is why we’ve spent the past year [...]
A couple of years ago, I took the train out to Long Island to interview the last person pulled alive from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. Genelle Guzman-McMillan had been in her early 30s on September 11, 2001, and employed by the Port Authority, which had an office on the 64th story of the World Trade Center. She and her coworkers had managed to make it out into the stairwell and all the way down to the 13th floor before the second plane hit, after which the entire building collapsed and Guzman-McMillan was buried under several thousand tons of debris and dust. She lay there for 27 hours, a [...]
Dublin was busy with construction and slick with rain. I tried to recognize landmarks through the taxi windows—mossy stone gate here, mossy stone church there—while the cab driver told me how the Irish were all getting rich and he had finally been able to move back home from the impossible hell of Scotland. It was the end of 1999, I had just flown from Washington to interview for a magazine called International Living, the new hotel-pub where I was staying was owned by someone from the band U2, in 24 hours I would be back at the airport, and life felt like a Thomas Friedman column.
The registration desk [...]
Patch.com was launched in 2007 when Tim Armstrong, the man who turned Google into an advertising company, noticed his very wealthy Connecticut bedroom community lacked a local paper with an events calendar. When Armstrong became head of AOL in 2009 with the mission of transforming the company from a fading dial-up service to a media brand, he sold Patch to his new employers. There are 850 Patch sites, supposedly hyperlocal news operations run by modestly paid newspaper journalists and supposedly supported by neighborhood advertising.
Because the Internet is mostly a garbage factory and AOL produces a great deal of Internet content, it stands to reason that much of AOL's content [...]
Staffers and free-lancers at two West Coast alt-weeklies are nervously awaiting whatever unpleasant news comes with the sale of those papers to local conglomerates. Like all of the once-mighty urban weekly papers, the SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly are struggling to survive in a time when it's not at all clear what these kind of publications are supposed to do when all of their one-time informational and advertising monopolies—music and movie listings, sex personals, roommate ads, alternative news, restaurant reviews, anti-Republican ranting—have moved online.
Before he goes to sleep, between 11 and midnight, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, typically checks in by e-mail with the same reporter: Mike Allen of Politico, who is also the first reporter Pfeiffer corresponds with after he wakes up at 4:20. A hyperactive former Eagle Scout, Allen will have been up for hours, if he ever went to bed. Whether or not he did is one of the many little mysteries that surround him. The abiding certainty about Allen is that sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m., seven days a week, he hits “send” on a mass e-mail newsletter that some of America’s most influential [...]
It does occur to me again that if you are going to have a team of 29 people put together a monster piece of "multimedia journalism" for your newspaper website that perhaps you could add a 30th person whose duty it is to implement the piece in a variety of languages. These might include languages such as Mandarin, English, Spanish and Arabic, which would then allow you access to readers among 25% of the world's people, instead of just publishing in German, as Die Ziet has, which will you get you a total market cap of something like 1% of them. Or, in real if estimated numbers of total [...]
I'm an adviser to John McCain's campaign. 1 Siri calls me “Funk Deity.” 2 Aside from lessons in pole dancing—another fad workout sweeping Southern California—this may be the least macho exercise of all time. 3
I am not a cat person. 4 My mother was one for many years. 5 I am a professor of Shakespeare, among other subjects, at UCLA, and this has never happened to me. 6
I am a sucker for the man-befriends-nonhuman-creature genre of sitcoms. 7 I have no complaints about how much I make. 8
When the New America Foundation moves its offices in D.C., next week, Foreign Policy will become our tenants, but [...]
An old schoolhouse, two feed stores, an "84 Lumber" yard, the sheriff's substation and a western wear store were the notable tenants on the main street of Lakeside, California. It was just a half-hour's drive from the beaches of San Diego, but it had the dusty half-abandoned look of a Texas panhandle town. The "lake" was a pond in the small park at the end of the road. State Highway 67 ran parallel to the two-block-long downtown, and in a faded Old West-themed plywood strip mall, a lean middle-aged man in a brown corduroy sports coat was behind his desk with his typewriter and a coffee mug full of Bushmill's, [...]
Budapest had never been my favorite European capital, but a job in a foreign city is always better than a job wherever I happen to be living at the moment. This is why, on a balmy Southern California morning in February of 1996, I voluntarily carried my only possessions to Los Angeles International Airport's Tom Bradley terminal the customary three hours prior to departure. The first two hours passed pleasantly at the airport lounge, where my friend Steve and I drank double Greyhounds served in pint glasses.
The Double Greyhound is just a lot of vodka with grapefruit juice to soften the blow. We had been drinking these regularly in [...]
Don't you think it's super-awkward when someone pays you a lot of money and then publicly admits that they regret doing so? Anyway, do you think Jonah Lehrer will pay the Knight Foundation back that $20,000 they just gave him to explain why he was fudging things in his work? (But then, the Knight Foundation does a lot of pretty unfortunate money-spending, to be honest!) Still! Tell us all about it in the comments… over at the Knight Foundation's blog.