I’m an admitted TalkingPointsMemo fanboy. But lately, I’ve been having doubts.
[A TSA worker] has been arrested for aggravated battery for attacking a colleague after coworkers poked fun at the size of his penis during a body-scanning machine training session.
They give the guy’s full name and show a picture, just like he’s someone caught up in US Attorney scandal or the Abramoff investigation. What the hell? He’s just some poor shmuck who lost his temper during a humiliating procedure.
And before you say “but you guys post stuff like that like that all time”, let me remind you, we’re not exactly Polk Award winners here. Also too, I’d argue that no, we don’t post stuff like that all the time. It’s not like this guy is the co-founder of the Family Research Council or a member of a domestic terrorist group.
Exhibit B (about last weekend’s failed terrorist bombing in Times Square):
When news first broke yesterday evening I was at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and in eyeshot of several top administration officials. So when my iPhone pinged me about the situation I was started monitoring it closely, not simply as a news story, but far more because my kids were at home only about 20 blocks from where it was all happening.
I watched the administration folks to get a sense of how seriously I should be taking it.
Let’s get this straight: he was so worried that instead of going back to New York to check on things or at least calling someone near Times Square, he thought he’d just watch the body language of top administration officials? Come on, this was just an excuse to brag about having a primo seat at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
I expect this garbage from Ana Marie Cox and the Politico crew, but I have higher standards for one of the legends of internet-based journalism.
Look, I know: TPM has broken important serious stories, what the hell have I ever done, Bob Somerby called and he wants his blog back, I’m just being some form of a troll. Fair enough.
Is there some journalistic equivalent to “Power corrupts…”?
Needs more drunkenness.
Me, I think you can just ignore the dumb stuff and go for the good stuff. I didn’t read the penis story, I read the one about Bernie Sanders or the new job numbers. I’d get annoyed if the good stuff gets replaced by the dumb stuff, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Hey, stab ’em in the back all you want.
It’s what the internet is for.
Plus, anybody who goes to that dinner deserves to be tarred and feathered. Being made fun of is the absolute minimum.
And that includes the POTUS. WTF!
Nope, DougJ, you are absolutely correct. Josh sold out long ago. My guess is you are right on the money about why he was letting us all know how carefully he was eyeballing those Very Important People, who by proximity, were conferring their status on him.
Thus is the usual tail of the standard Beltway Media Horse.
I watched the administration folks to get a sense of how seriously I should be taking it.
Did he mean that as “how seriously I should be taking it as a threat to my familay” or “how seriously I should be taking it as a potential headline”.
Arguably if it wasn’t important enough for a couple of big wigs to dah from the room, then he probably shouldn’t have stopped eating to dash off a few blog posts?
Maybe they just want to be the Huffington Post.
I cringed when I saw that poor TSA guy’s picture. That was absolutely unfair. What Zifnab said.
TPM just doesn’t deliver worthwhile journalism much anymore. Occasionally there’s something worthwhile, but mostly it’s stuff you can read elsewhere. And not a lot of that. The number of posts is not very high and they completely shut down on the weekend.
Five years ago I rarely skipped TPM. These days I have to remember to go there every few days, catch up on what I missed in about five minutes, and am left wondering why I bothered.
I don’t know if “sold out” is quite the right way to describe Josh, but he isn’t operating in the same way he used to. And his work shows it.
I’m glad the TSA is staffed with such professionals. And no, there was no need to put this guy’s name and picture out there and mock him.
the first story is a silly News of The Weird thing, but you can find those kinds of stories in every “respectable” news outlet. and, i think it shows a little personality. i, for one, don’t expect TPM to be without humor.
but ok, putting his picture up was in bad taste. i agree with that. but the story itself is ok.
about the second… i think there’s an innocent reading there: was the story as apocalyptic as the news wanted it to be, or was it under-control, over and done with ? i’d bet the administration people would know more than the news anchors – and if they weren’t running for the exits, the situation probably wasn’t dire.
licensed to kill time
This is because in the movies when every important person’s pager/phone whatever goes off all at once and they all start running out of the room? You just know the bombs are gonna start fallin’ any minute.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
They do occasionally post some Gawker like type stories, but any comparison to Politico, Drudge, or even Huffpo is absurd. Though I know you didn’t make such a comparison.
And Josh Marshall hasn’t sold out, jeebus, what foolishness. He is responsible for what gets printed, but TPM prints a lot of stuff, and I think it’s fair to note that some of it is cheesy tabloid like stuff, no doubt to draw in some readers who like that sort of thing. I see them competing for that market with Huffpo, to a small degree. But by and large they are left of center and it is not hard to tell that on important stories, most of the time. Hell, I agree with Marshall probly more than John Cole, and Marshall is a professional journalist that makes no bones he is a liberal. That is a hard balance to maintain for general credibility, and sometimes he lets silly CW Drudge like shit get printed on his site. No biggie for me. Until it gets to be a lot more often than it is.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: Agreed.
Though it’s probably good for all concerned to fire a DougJ-shaped volley over his prow (bow?) every now and again. Wouldn’t wanna wake up one morning and find TPM obsessing on Tiger Woods or the equivalent.
I agree – they shouldn’t have put the poor schmuck’s picture up.
That’s just mean spirited.
I’m not a TPM hater–I read the site every day–but I’ve been starting to understand the complaints of the people who gripe about TPM indulging in cheap sensationalism to drive traffic. Some of the breathless headlines and choice of stories have resembled the tabloids at the checkout aisle more than CNN.
I would say the issue I’ve had with TPM as of late is that the balance between humorous/entertaining non-stories and important, substantive coverage of current relevant issues seems to have shifted heavily towards the former. Right now on the front page, the big story is “NJ JUDGE MAKES FILM ABOUT OBAMA’S ‘DEAL WITH THE DEVIL'”. Now, yes, I might get a chuckle out of that, but it’s not really all that consequential in the grand scheme of things.
It just appears that TPM’s focus has shifted over the last year to being more concerned with watercooler scandals like the RNC/Voyeur nightclub snafu or the Hutaree militia group currently facing charges, rather than some really intensive piece about the short term and long term domestic and foreign policy implications of the BP spill, just to name an example.
I don’t know. There’s still substance on the site, but it’s not as prevalent or significant as it once was, I believe.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@Guster: DougJ is my main man, maybe a spitball over the bow now and then, but that is about all.
@fourlegsgood: Calling him a ‘poor schmuck’ is hardly better. The inadequate putz.
I’m just not with you guys on this one. I definitely think it was in poor taste to post the picture of the poor TSA dude, but TPM has many, many, many miles to tread before it starts looking like the HuffPost / National Enquirer.
I still can’t get over seeing actual sense on Little Green Footballs.
The world has gone MAD!! mad I tells ya.
I agree with you. Leave the guy’s name out of it. As for Josh Marshall and TPM—I’m a huge fan. And I really wish he’d stay out of stuff like the White House Correspondance Dinner.
OK, add me to the chorus – the TSA dude is not a public figure and I think it was rude and unnecessary to publish his picture. Guy’s had enough hassle already.
The TSA story was an unfortunate choice, but TPM has banked more than a little slack with me. As for the dinner story, I kind of like it when Marshall takes a familiar tone with his readers.
Let him crow a little, he’s earned it.
I agree. And I can get RNC nightclub stories just about anywhere. TPM isn’t bringing anything worthwhile to their readers when they focus more on that kind of stuff than the harder news articles.
On the contrary, Marshall’s site has increasingly become (like Huffpo) a news aggregator for mainstream news articles. They often cite AP, CBS, etcetera – without a lot of regard for the truth behind the story. I have even seen them link directly to Politico for a story. I don’t know how you can be more like Politico than to source your “news” to them.
1. The story about the guy fighting his superior is definitely low brow on some levels but its also relevant. I know you have been following the concerns many people have about the intrusive nature of those scanners Doug and while a guy going ape shit over it is funny at first glance it also is illustrative over how a would be passenger might act or react if those scanners are in fact put in place at all airports.
2. Are we so cynical now that a guy mentioning the fact that he was at the WHCD means he “sold out”?! Especially somebody like Josh who has a tremendous on going body of work that is on a regular basis better than just about any other media outlet of comparable size and composition?
If these are the biggest complaints about TPM anybody can muster then I think its safe to say they are still doing a pretty good job. Just my opinion.
Oh for pete’s sake. I think the penis story is hilarious, maybe I just appreciate locker room humor more then you do, but come on, lighten up.
And as far as the other article goes…I appreciate it that they have still kept a personal touch. It didn’t have to be mentioned at all that he was at the dinner, but I kind of liked knowing this. I don’t think TPM has changed all that much and I hope they don’t. When I first started reading there, what brought me back was the feeling that I knew Josh and the people working there. The same reason I come back here, I’ve gotten to feeling that I know you all. Silly maybe but there it is.
I really can’t see how you can compare this to HuffPo which to me really has a corporate feel to it which I think that Josh has avoided.
I get what you are saying, really. But if you are going to take the approach of “we are focusing on this issue because many people have expressed concerns about the invasive nature of such machines,” then do not expect me to take that approach seriously when your four paragraph
synopsisarticle ends like this:
There is no journalism there.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: Agreed, though in this case they shouldn’t have published the guy’s picture.
He’s NEVER going to live that down.
Anyway, can we skip trashing Josh and go back to bashing the real enemy? the firebaggers!!
I would agree with you on 1), but he didn’t just get upset, he got arrested. At that point, you have to expect your picture will be in the paper/internet/etc.. Also, what sgwhiteinfla says as far as relevance. 2), ugh. Wish he wasn’t there, wish he wasn’t talking about it, just wish it would go away (forever).
If you want to go full Bob Somerby, you need 15 more links (with no more than 2 relevant) and 12 more paragraphs.
He’s got a small penis. There’s your headline..
6 of them about Al Gore
The WHCA Dinner quote made me a little more careful as I scanned TPM this past week, and I’ve concluded that it’s just not a must-read, even to get the sense of the (god help me) Talking Points of the day. I can get that from memorandum.com just as easily. It’s definitely been downgraded from a daily to a weekly read in my mind.
Maybe I’m just a bad person, but I found it hilarious.
The story is even more fucked up when you read it. The dude was ragged on constantly for a year by his co-workers after the training session. The ringleaders was his boss, so he couldn’t report it.
A year of workplace bullying, and the guy snaps. I honestly feel sorry for the dude.
Also have no doubt that this is the harbinger of many bad things to come. The TSA is not a model of professionalism, and I’m counting the days until one of these knuckleheads, a scanner, a famous person, a cameraphone and a tabloid/the Internet all collide to produce the kind of object lesson that the American public can understand.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
Okay, maybe a VERY small degree. HuffPo is so far ahead of the field in that regard, they’re lapping everyone else.
So TPM went off the rails there, temporarily. I’ll give ’em a pass. HuffPo is like an all-night liquored-up festival of lefty insanity, complete with plenty of woo and celebrity gossip.
I won’t even look at HuffPo, frankly, because I don’t like its gestalt. Too bad, because I know there’s some good content over there. Froomkin, right?
Sadly, the first story is a story because the TSA has sworn up and down that electronic strip searches aren’t like real strip searches, and they’re all very professional and nothing bad could ever come of it.
Fuck it. Disband the TSA, issue every passenger to get on a plane their own bomb.
The thing that mostly bugged me about Exhibit B was that Josh never went on to say what the Important People did or how they reacted while they were in Josh’s eyeshot.
It’s like, okay, Josh, you’ve got a seat at the table (or your own table at the event), so now tell us what’s going on there.
6? Only if he’s started self-medicating…
The tip about watching important people to know if there’s an emergency is wise. For example, if the President just sits there calmly with a children’s book, you know there must not be anything major going on.
TPM has slowly been transforming into the “liberal Politico” since the election. The rise of Eric “RASMUSSEN SAYS WE’RE DOOMED” Kleefeld was the first sign of trouble, but the loss of Greg Sargent sealed the deal.
Ana Marie Cox is garbage
but dude, she has nice tits.
One thing I’ve ALWAYS enjoyed about TPM was some of their humor and sneaking in of snarky observations (the Sanford Appalachian Trail was a fine time indeed). There were times when I busted out of my chair laughing.
However, putting the guy’s name and photo was going over the top, I agree.
The other thing to consider is that the coverage of the 2008 election was a rather momentous event. And before that, coverage of items regarding the Bush Administration then in power (through an openly liberal journalist’s editorial POV) provided value.
But now that the election is over, there will be naturally more stories of “inside baseball” type coverage. That’s natural. (Although, they did really great work covering the healthcare legislation battle). But inevitably, covering the legislative process will produce a lot of coverage like what you’re seeing now. And to be honest, I don’t mind that he intersperses some humorous stories in between (without names and pictures of course!).
The TSA worker will probably get off on assault charges or plea to assault 2 or something, and he’ll get a fat check for a hostile work environment suit. Guy probably doesn’t care who makes fun of his manhood anymore. He gets revenge and gets paid.
a bit more in defense of TPM…
i just went back and looked at some of the archives, and what i noticed was that, for most of its existence, TPM (as with nearly all liberal blogs), it was in the happy position of attacking the current administration. they could find deep and rich stories that were interesting to liberals because they were going after problems with the official administration position on 9/11, Iraq, Plame, Social Security “reform”, etc.. there was a lot for a lefty blogger to dig into, and for readers to enjoy.
these days, few lefty bloggers are interested in attacking the administration (and those that do … well, we mostly agree that they’re assholes). so, TPM is stuck with stories that don’t reflect too badly on Obama… and that’s not as exciting or interesting.
Karen in GA
Josh was slipping before he left DC, but I thought his move to NY a couple of years ago did him a lot of good.
Trouble is, IMHO, it seems that as TPM has expanded, the people he’s hired have been a little too DC/MSM, and he’s regressing a bit. TPM now reads like he’s created a little DC bubble in his (not-so-)new home.
Ana Marie Cox is garbage
but dude, she has nice tits.
I was struck by the mention (twice) that his wife and kids were a mere 20 blocks from Times Square. That’s at least a mile!
Truly, I don’t think even an effective car bomb has that kind of range.
It seemed like a “personal” concern that wasn’t really a concern at all.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@Karen in GA:
I don’t disagree with this, but in perspective, Josh is trying to build an online newspaper of sorts and there are only so many consumers that want nothing but pure serious politics all the time. You can fault him for expanding like that, and going for more juicy type soundbyte stories, to attract a flakier segment of the online world, (and there a lot more of those than anything else these days). But so long as he also keeps bringing good reporting that is factual, though left leaning, especially on what Congress is up to, then I will overlook the other.
@Karen in GA:
I think this is another major factor in declining quality of TPM’s coverage these days. As was mentioned upthread, the addition of pseudo wanna-be Villagers like Eric “RASMUSSEN SAYS WE’RE DOOMED” Kleefeld has certainly done the site no favors.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: Word.
Woodrow L. Goode, IV
What Violet (8) said. There are three things everyone should remember about Joshua Micah Marshall:
1. He has only 14 sites on his blogroll. One of them is Mickey Kaus’s and the other is Andrew Sullivan’s. He added Atrios and Daily Kos, but it took him a long time to do it.
Until it was taken down– when Marshall Wittman went to work for Holy Joe Lieberman– Josh’s blogroll used to include the Bull$#it Moose.
You are who you endorse, folks. Especially when you are someone as image-conscious as Dr. Marshall.
2. He is the author of this piece and he gave the subject of the piece extensive coverage in his blog.
3. Neither one of his calling cards were the product of impressive reporting. He did gauge the potential impact of Trent Lott’s remarks about Strom Thurmond, and he pushed the hell out of it (although it also put him on the map, and don’t think that wasn’t a consideration).
He noticed a wire story saying that a U.S. Attorney had been fired. He posted an item saying that the timing seemed odd, and he asked readers to check the papers and see if their local attorney had been the subject of anything funny.
Again, he saw the item, but he didn’t ‘break’ the story– it was dozens of his readers and his paid staffers feeding him stuff. Same thing for Randy “Duke” Cunningham and most of his other story arcs.
I was lucky enough to have two angry exchanges with Josh fairly early on. One was when he called Dennis Kucinich a race-baiter (I loathe Dennis, but he isn’t a racist, even if some of his voters are). We broke when he did a piece saying that the worst things about W’s legacy were his impact on the environment and the debt. (Not, as I told him, his assault on the constitution and lying us into a war).
It helped the scales fall from my eyes. Josh is a nice Jewish boy who very much wants to be respectable. He is a hard worker and a relentless self-promoter. He’s not that strong a Democrat– not any kind of progressive– and never was that much of a journalist.
He will never break another major story. He made his reputation when there weren’t many sites doing what he did. At one point, Josh was the only game in town and everyone came to him with tips. With Huffington Post and Daily Beast and Kos, and Wonkette, he isn’t being fed by everyone in the country anymore.
This isn’t to say he hasn’t had a major impact– his most lasting impact is going to be the people he hired (like Greg Sargent). But he’s lost his fastball. Like Violet, he used to be the first place I went every morning– and I’d go back several times a day. Now I can get everything I need in a weekly visit, in a few minutes.
It certainly wasn’t worth missing Leno over.
And the TSA story is disturbing because it seems like the people who will be ogling your genitals have the maturity of twelve year olds. Seriously, they hassled this guy for months over this?
Karen in GA
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: Yeah, I haven’t written him off. When TPM is good (and often it still is), it’s very good.
It’s just that a couple of years ago, if anyone had asked what I thought TPM would be like 10 years from now, I would have said “Oh, it’ll be the death of corporate media — it’ll be hugely influential, and show people how journalism is supposed to be done.” (Well, okay, that’s a little hyperbolic, but you get my point.)
Now, if you were to ask me what it’ll be like in 10 years, I’d probably say, “Well, I hope it won’t turn into the Politico.”
What you said.
For what it’s worth, Doug, I agree. We’re supposed to be the good guys. Comfort the afflicted; afflict the comfortable. Mock the strong, not the weak.
This guy is just, what, some sort of airport security guard? The assault itself is newsworthy and worth noting, due to the privacy concerns it raises, but there’s no reason to publicly humiliate the guy further – it can be reported without bring his name and photo into it.
Without reading anything up thread I will defend him on the first item. He will post some things and comment in a perfect deadpan manner as a joke and this is one of them. He posted it because it is so fucking funny. It is nothing more then that.
The second thing I never saw but at least as Doug presents it sounds way to much like buying into the stupid MSM mindset. Having said that he is still the best out there.
Woodrow L. Goode, IV
@Woodrow L. Goode, IV:
For some reason, the editor ate my hyperlink. It’s to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0211.marshall.html, which is an admiring review of Ken Pollack’s book about Iraq, in which Josh lays out Pollack’s case for War in Iraq and adds his endorsement.
Yes, Josh Marshall was good on a couple of beltway things, but on the biggest story of his generation, he completely whiffed.
the ONLY good thing is the guy with the “small junk” has an excellent sexual harassment, work-place harassment suit — and it’s been documented conveniently IN PRINT and online for his attorney (this might lead to slander / libel suits) … and his “mental disease” defense for the beating has been justified.
Oh, and TPM has been sucking for a while… they seem to be embracing the CW more than actually pushing for facts to back up their reportage. See their ACORN reporting… even AFTER it was thoroughly debunked and repeatedly pointed out to them they never offered a correction or apology, but continued to push the “accepted storyline”…
Woodrow L. Goode, IV:
Actually, yes, that means Marshall broke they story. By the logic you’re advocating, no reporter ever breaks a story: they’re all just fed stories by their sources.
Eh. He’s great. And he’s occasionally a self-congratulatory brickhead. Whatayagonnado?
And to say what a million other guys must have thought: But it was in Sleep mode!!! That’s not when you measure it!!!
I think that’s true in way. I suspect that Josh would have no problem with TPM, and especially TPM Cafe, being described as a policy wonk or academic version of HuffPo. It’s very much what he’s aiming for.
My take is that not every blog is going to be on all the time. I still go to TPM daily, but I will admit, I don’t think the front page is as good as it was and can be.
If you thought Josh’s bit on the Correspondents’ Dinner was bad, you should have gotten a load of Steve Clemmons – who was a guest at Josh’s table. It was B.A.D. I could not even read it all. He lost me with the line (something like): “That was pure ZBig.” Ugh. This kind of kool kidz insider crap – along with some stuff he wrote about Bill Richardson (of whom I am not a big fan) has driven me away from reading him regularly.
TPM’s epic photo series “Michael Steele: Best Boss Ever?” with young Republican interns is one not to be missed. That alone would make me read TPM for the next ten years.
@TuiMel: that’s funny. really, considering Clemmons periodic rants on huffpo about obama’s staff being elitist and/or tone deaf.
TPM has changed? You do realize TPM was Gary Condit central right? Yes post election and pre-9/11 the internet was different but still.
For what it’s worth, I let TPM know what I thought (politely but very firmly) in the comments thread and also in an email.
They do read all the emails, even if they don’t reply to all of them.
Let them know what you think of their piling on the poor guy who was bullied endlessly at his TSA job: [email protected]
@Napoleon: I didn’t think it was funny at all. Do you laugh at abused wives, too? Or the kid that all the bullies in school pick on?
It’s OK, though. You have Beavis and Butthead on your side.
@MikeJ: You must have read a different story than the rest of us. The one I read, it was more or less snarking about the guy’s penis and the physical confrontation in the parking lot.
“Huh huh, he’s got a small dick, huh huh huh”
@tim: Nope, DougJ, you are absolutely correct. Josh sold out long ago. My guess is you are right on the money about why he was letting us all know how carefully he was eyeballing those Very Important People, who by proximity, were conferring their status on him.
I agree. TPM was one of the first sites I ever read regularly. But that stopped long ago when JM just kept making it more and more complicated. Plus he tries to squeeze out every angle imaginable IMO.
He’s got a good sized empire going now, employing many people. Good on him for that but otherwise it’s been off my radar for years. He did not keep it simple.
And as for Steve Clemmons: that guy loves to drop names. Someday he may realize that he’s no longer in high school. I quit him before TPM.
amazing anyone thinks bullying is okay!. and to “promote the story” further adds insult to injury.
Is this an attempt to be like the National Enquirer? hard to believe this guy had to endure this kind of abuse from his manager and co workers. and then get more abuse online from sites like this. shame shame shame.
wait till it happens to you…
Yes, you are completely right.
I’ve wondered for a while how the lefties who become successful will deal with all the pressure to become Villagers themselves. It’s a dynamic that will take some years to play out, but it’s hard to imagine that all our best bloggers will resist the coziness as they become more and more the new generation of insiders. Lots of them are being snapped up by the desperate MSM, and they will be expected to be team players.
All the more reason to keep looking for new outsiders who are doing good work.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@Bernard: Being hung like the British Parliament, it won”t bother me. Just kidding, not quite that hung. I agree Marshall scraped the bottom of the barrel by printing this story with the guys photo. But getting charged with aggravated battery offers no protection for such things. And for teasing, about something like this? There were other avenues open short of violence, there always are.
Well, okay, I’m probably just saying “me, too!” here, since I haven’t read through all the posts. But here’s my “me, too!” take–
I think I first saw the pic of the TSA guy on Google news, actually. But to see name, face, and too many details really isn’t civil.;not only that, it’s downright cruel. We wear clothes for a reason; the size [or maybe lack of same, for whatever that’s worth] of this guy’s junk is only relevant to himself and whoever he chooses to share it with. And as a pretty old lady, I can say with authority that this is an area in which size really doesn’t matter. Really. Public humiliation for the sake of a splashy newsy piece makes enemies, not friends. This guy should not have expected this stuff to be spread amongst his co-workers; he certainly shouldn’t have had to suffer through it being spread throughout the internets…
As to Josh’s post about his reaction whilst attending the beltway prom — if it were my kids that were anywhere in the vicinity, I’da been out of there in a heartbeat, checking for updates on my phone.
Guess it’s that 24/7 news cycle that trumps all. Which is why I stopped watching news-on-TV just so many years ago…
@NineJean: OK this may venture into the realm of TMI…
…my g/f acquainted me with the phrase, “it’s a grower, not a shower.” Meaning, you can’t tell a damned thing about the size of a man’s erect penis by its flaccid state. (I, of course, have never done a personal survey to verify this…) Now we’re really going into the realm of TMI, so avert your eyes if you must… my ding-dong is pretty tiny at first, but it really fills out quite well. So unless this guy was erect, I mean, WTF were they on about anyway.
So, these people making fun of him… well, first of all that’s just cruel and it really is sexual harassment. It’s especially egregious that the supervisor joined in.
If there is any justice in the world, this guy will have tort lawyers banging down his door. What he did in the parking lot doesn’t mitigate that one damned bit. In fact, I bet a good attorney could blame it on the bullying and harassment.
Furthermore, as I outlined above, if the guy was not erect at the time (I would think that full-body-scans aren’t all that stimulating), any woman with ‘experience’ ought to know that it’s where it ends up that counts; so making fun of his ding-dong probably wasn’t even warranted by the reality of whether or not it was, in fact, teeny-tiny or not.
Anyway, enough about that. I’m going to go grab some beers and watch Los Suns deliver an epic Game 3 smackdown on the San Antonio Sterns. Have a good evening y’all.
TPM, i have thought for over a year now, is a sorta kinda Newsweek for lefties…and about as bad as the original…
i got repulsed by the tone, by the childishness, by the arrogance…
and in all my mighty omnipotence, i de-bookmarked them…
captain of my god damn mac that i am…
@neill: Well, that plus it doesn’t look like anyone proofreads anything.
Unless this guy was also the guy with the small penis on Jerry Springer’s new game show Baggage, exposing him was a dick move.
and when was Josh Marshall anything approaching a leftist? Sure, he was left of the Republicans, but I don’t think he ever claimed to be particularly left at all.
Ummm, is anyone else seeing something troubling in this? Like how we were assured that the coming body-scanners would not be used to view our genitalia?
I look forward to going through airport security and hearing the laughter and camera clicks coming from the body scanner room.
I would mark the decline of TPM almost to the day Josh became a parent. After that, baby needs a new pair of shoes, and the sell-out began.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
Speaking of teases…
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Yeah, TPM does seem to be doing the pop-news-blog mutation thing: going big time & going south. I’ll apply my customary line of demarcation for never reading a blog again: column-spanning photos of botched face transplants (no other kind, tragically). Sully pulled this the other day. So long.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
Being hung like a British anything is nothing to write home about..
And for all the criticism, no one has mentioned Josh Marshall’s greatest sin, bringing attention and a regular forum to the king of the PUMA’s, Larry “where’s the videotape” Johnson (one of dozens of examples: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/152119.php), back when he was just another hilariously stupid national security wannabe expert (my favorite link ever).
Not to interrupt the whinging about TPM, but I couldn’t help but notice that the name and photo of this guy were all over the internets independently of anything Josh Marshall did on his blog. A cursory googling shows both items at everything from the Miami Herald to Wapo to FoxNews to Univision. In any case, once he was charged, his name and face became part of the public record.
Ragging on TPM for joining the crowd that reproduced it seems kind of silly to me.
Used to read TPM all the time everyday.
Now I check it in the afternoon and usually leave.
Josh & co. sometimes break and investigate of decent story now and then, but unfortunately the site is far lest interesting and tremendously less in depth than it used to be.
I cut Marshall more slack. He’s been on target on the big stories like social security and HCR. His job is running a leftish political/social blog. I assume that he does what he must to put butts in the seats, so to speak, and to keep the whole thing going – good reporting on HCR may not pay the bills.
@Crusty Dem: No! That NY Times link! Through the whole Larry Johnson PUMA primary war BS, somehow I never knew about that.
I guess it could have been worse, he could have written it in August.
Putting up the TSA guy’s picture, though, should have been beneath TPM.
My only “complaint” about TPM is that they don’t update very often on the weekends. Otherwise I read it every day.
Yeah, it’s close to being as wrong as anything can possibly be. Which perfectly sums up everything about Larry Johnson..
The story isn’t “zany” it’s the government staring through our clothing at our fucking genitals, with the ability to export to disk when they see someone hot enough, or with the ability to humiliate.
TPM needs to send their headline writer back to Huffpoo. Alternately, you can just skip the frontpage and go directly to TPMmuckraker for anything interesting.
Loved it in 04 and homepaged it for years. Still read it everyday.
NickM raises the big one for TPM: Social Security. 2005 was their year. The blog was amazing. Unfortunately, like Michael Jackson after Thriller, whatever follows has to be a letdown.
Obama changed the narrative of left blogs. In the opposition we all looked good, even when kind of not really using the ’06 Congress to its full potential. With the levers of gov’t in our hands we don’t look so good. We probably never did but Bush was so amazingly bad that people who were weenie hogs on the Clinton era cocktail party circuit could seem like Braveheart between 2001 and 2008.
No nostalgia for those days but Bush made everything a lot simpler.
This is from the WaPo’s Number 1 e-mailed story, “What Betty White Hosting SNL says about our culture, times.”
Brutus et tu
It’s kind of pointless to get irate over the size of your flaccid penis, if it’s possible to get about 800% bigger than it is at it’s smallest.
Meh. In a blog-media world that includes Cox and Sirota, IMHO Josh Marshall deserves to skate on any charges of immaturity and/or self-promotion. For general-purpose poli-blogging, I’d put him second only to Steve Benen. (This place is in a different category.)
Also, apropos of the original post, I get the impression Bob Somerby has an axe to grind with Josh Marshall the same way he picks on Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias. It’s not quite the same as the special machete he has ground for Rachel Maddow, but it’s still pretty sharp.
Actually, Doug, you’re being nice. Exhibit B reminded me of Hugh Hewitt’s “frontlines” post.
Woodrow L. Goode, IV
@JGabriel: Sadly, no. Reporters who “break” stories find material by interviewing, doing research, reviewing public records, checking statements against documentary evidence, verifying details– tasks that involvs original work on your part. At least that was the definition they used when I took j-school classes.
If you republish what someone sends you– especially if it is a link to a published story– that’s not breaking. It can be very helpful in getting the story into wider circulation (always good when the New York Times picks up a story broken by the Emporia Gazette) but it requires no special skill to write “According to the San Diego Union-Tribune…”
Look, when JMM made his reputation, there weren’t many people doing that– particularly not people inside the beltway, who were not right-wing. He added value, because there was some doubt that anyone else would flog it. Now, between Politico, Think Progress, CAP and the other sites I mentioned, there is no way that such a story would slip under the radar.
By labeling every single post good news for conservatives, regardless of content, I’d say you’re being some form of a tard.
@steve: Life. You need one. Buy it. Now.
In Josh’s defense, 20 blocks from a car bomb is pretty frickin’ safe.
I’m still waiting for the tectonic plates to shift.
I stopped reading Josh on a regular basis after the election of 2008 and even then I was starting to have doubts about him. Having glanced at what he’s up to occasionally since then, I feel that I made the right choice.
Josh is a wannabe Villager. He considers himself one of the Serious People(TM), which natually means that he publishes a lot of silly bullshit, just because it’s what the other Serious People(TM) are doing this season.
I agree with the complainers here. I was very impressed with JMM’s work a long time ago. But lets face it, as someone said upthread, pretty much since the baby came there’s been no attempt to add value to any of the stories. If you click on a link “our reporter explains” you get a short paragraph on some topic that tells you nothing but an aggregation of bullet points accumulated through the day. That was true all through the health care debate. Occasionally it would be some breathless account of half a sentence overheard from some important person, strung together with guesswork and sealing wax.
You could get better, deeper, more thoughtful analysis of the who, where, what, when style at Kos, Open Left, Digby, etc…
There’s such a thing as real journalism and real commentary and JMM isn’t practising either, at this point. He’s become a news aggregtor. He changes the headlines on his stories “Reid says he will push for change!” to something more or less agressive as the day goes on but if you click on the link the story remains, basically, the same. He doesn’t have the contacts he wants to get the inside scoop. And he is seldom willing to do the hard work of investigating the legislative or historical background to do an in depth story without scoopy type he said/she said. The whole site used to be very exciting. I don’t think it has to do with the change of administrations so much as the fact that its hard to get scoops, you need a lot of luck, dogged determination, and a gutter instinct to publish.
It’s like JMM read this thread last night and decided to confirm his critics. This morning, commenting on the free-trade record of OH Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman, JMM writes:
Whoopee. Dems should exploit an opportunity to lie their asses off about protecting Ohio’s industrial economy. Welcome to the Village.
This also has plenty to do with JMM’s management of the site and selection of staff. Indeed, Eric Kleefeld was a college newspaper columnist at UW in the early to mid 00s who actively parroted every single TNR talking point of the day, and reveled in Newsweek-style contrarianism for the sake of making a name for himself. A complete and total Villager in utero. I thought it strange when I first saw his byline on TPM, but given the site’s slide, it makes more sense now.
Yeah, Marshall was big on Social Security in 2005, but where is he now when there is a real threat to SS from the so-called left (i.e., from Hopey-Changey)?
Does nobody get a break? What if he actually does like to drop names? So fucking what. Nobody is even mentioning what he has to offer of value besides that, which I think is pretty significant in terms of perspective and knowledge, and which makes you all look simply jealous. “Oh, he drops names!” You might as well be saying “Oh, he wears terrible sweaters!” What baby games.
And IMO opinion he is not the name dropper he’s accused of being. He’s a prolific writer on the subject of politics – and he actually does know a shitload of heavy-hitters. Good for him. How is not supposed to mention people in his stories? Write a story about you family without mentioning their names.
no, that’s not the story. that’s a different, but related, story.
Could’ve been a dirty bomb, I guess. Turned out to be a pimp bomb, with spinners.
Anyway, TPM does bug me, even though I read it. Doesn’t take much time, as others have pointellated.
JMM apparently has some kind of Apple corporate sponsorship, though, unless (‘hip’ villager-like) he’s just a fanboi. Either way, a bit embarrassing.