What’s a blog reporter do?

May 10th, 2005

Looks like we’re going to see more blog coverage on the cable news networks. Several hyphen-laden CNN job postings for various positions related to on-air segments covering “web-logs (blogs), pod-casts, and other internet-based forms of new media” make the future of cable news look very bloggy.

In addition to a blog associate producer and production assistant, the network is seeking a tv journalist for the position of blog reporter:

The Blog Reporter/Producer will locate, research, and report on blogs and web sites that include news, politics, policy, commentary, and other information of value to our viewers. The results will be daily television segments reporting on this new and important area of the media. This person will be responsible for producing both the editorial content and also the graphic and video elements necessary to develop each segment. Will appear on air regularly.

From these job descriptions, it looks like CNN is looking for these blog reports to branch out from strictly political coverage, but the new senior producer for politics (responsible for all programming from 3pm-6pm) will be working with the blog reporter to get several of these segments on the air every day.

Jenna Bush is totally smoking

May 7th, 2005

Jenna Bush at Saint Ex
Photographic proof (courtesy Jen’s Flickr feed)
Emily, Michael, Jen and I went to Saint Ex tonight to meet up with some friends and hang out. It was basically an uneventful evening until a group of people walked in — along with Jenna Bush. Yeah, that Jenna Bush. She’s at the bar next to us right now, and she’s smoking like a chimney.

The camera on my Sidekick sucks in the dark, so I can’t Flickr anything right now. But there she is, and we’re all sort of trying to act like we don’t care. Mostly we don’t.

Go Mavs.

Update: as Michael points out, it’s particularly satisfying to see Jenna dancing so close to Democrats who are having a good time. Dean Democrats.

Seth Williams for D.A.

May 5th, 2005

There’s some exciting stuff happening on Philadelphia blogs today, the third city-wide day of action for Seth Williams, candidate for District Attorney. Seth is a reform candidate running against the Philadelphia political machine, and he’s embraced the internet as a way to reach out to voters who might not otherwise know they have a choice in the elections on May 17th. Not only does he have an active campaign website, but he’s spoken at area Meetups, responded to messages on our listservs and Yahoo! groups, and even talked shop with the Philly chapter of Drinking Liberally.

Along the way, Philadelphia progressive bloggers have been energized by his message and encouraged by his plans to fix a broken D.A. system, to work in the city’s neighborhoods and, unlike his opponent, to view the death penalty only as a last resort. So today, a group of bloggers are taking part in a coordinated effort to get the word out and encourage Philadelphians to pledge to votes for Seth.

A compelling ventolin case for his candidacy can be found on Young Philly Politics as well as on the Seth Williams for D.A. website. Actually, you’ll find endorsements of Williams throughout Philly’s progressive blogosphere today no matter where you go. A running tally of the posts can be found at this YPP link (it’s actually a larger list than what’s showing right now, and is sure to keep growing).

Not many people are expected to vote in the elections on May 17th — turnout is expected to be around 25%. But if this message gets out, voters can send a message that the status quo isn’t good enough. If you’re in Philadelphia, please consider pledging to vote for Seth. He’ll also be appearing Friday night at the PA for Democracy kickoff with Jim Dean and Joe Hoeffel if you’d like to hear him speak in person.

Controversy in the podcastosphere

April 5th, 2005

I’ve stumbled upon something potentially explosive that’s sure to impact all the six million Americans who are listening to podcasts each and every day.

While commuting to work this morning, I powered up my iPod and thumbed through the dozens of mp3′s which my sophisticated podcasting setup had downloaded for me overnight. When I got to‘s podcast number #1627, though, I almost lost my earbuds. Here’s the part that grabbed me:

“Am I the only person who doesn’t like the new Sound of the Day intro and outro music? I liked the other stuff better.”
openpodcast_1627.mp3 (00:17 mp3)

Whoa. Everyone knows the Sound of the Day intro and outro music changes every month or so, but have they gone too far this time? Are they alienating their audience, potentially putting off millions of mp3-savvy listeners?

Then I got to OpenPodcast #1629 and it got worse. Much worse. Not only did this ‘caster dislike the new intro music, but he’d taken it one step further.

“I just want to agree with #1627. The Sound of the Day is just not the same. I’ve even unsubscribed from the Sound of the Day in my aggregator.”
openpodcast_1629.mp3 (00:35 mp3)

These 52 seconds are revolutionary. There’s definitely a movement building here, and it threatens to pop the podcast bubble before we’ve even reached 10 million listeners (currently targeted for mid-May). As for me, I am staying above the fray and keeping the Sound of the Day in my aggregator — but if this pressure keeps building, I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold out for long.

Update: Here’s an all-time favorite from the Sound of the Day. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Movers and shakers

March 23rd, 2005

Overheard several times at the launch party for FishBowlDC, happening right now at LeftBank in Adams Morgan:

“Who are all these people?”

I’m not sure who they all are either, but they seem like important types — and several of them look suspiciously like Mainstream Media. A contingent is here from DCist, and rumor is Jeff Gannon was turned away at the door for using a fake ID. Guess he should have used the “Guckert” name tonight.

All kidding aside, congratulations to Garrett and Media Bistro for tonight’s festivities celebrating a site which has already made national headlines. Kind of ironic, really, for a blog about the media to wind up overshadowing it. Continued good luck.

Switching to WordPress

February 22nd, 2005

I’m in the process of switching to WordPress. All my old entries are moved over, and all I need now is motivation and encouragement. WordPress rocks.

About Leia

January 4th, 2005

Make Leia the #1 Leia again.

Leia is the real Leia.

Short-sighted win for Philly WiFi

December 1st, 2004

Free the WiFi!
WiFi wants to be free!
As someone who’s excited about the prospects for cities providing low-cost (or free) broadband access, the resolution of the wireless issue in Philadelphia is not nearly as positive as it might appear. While it is great that the plans for a WiFi rollout in Philly can go ahead, the fact of the matter is that the city had to negotiate with Verizon to get permission to make this service available to city residents.

The reason groups like MoveOn, Common Cause,, Muniwireless and local activists Philly for Change were working against Pennsylvania House Bill 30 was because of the power it gives communication monopolies to stop plans like the one Philadelphia hopes to implement. The fact that a last-minute deal had to be made in a back room between Gov. Rendell, Philadelphia and Verizon to get the telco’s permission is awful — but we’re supposed to believe it’s a good thing.

Once the deal was struck with Verizon and the short-term issues had been taken care of, Gov. Rendell signed the bill into law. But the long-term issues remain: if Pittsburgh or Harrisburg or New Hope, Pa., want to implement a broadband rollout similar to the one in Philly, they’ll be at the mercy of their local telco monopoly. Sure, Philadelphia residents will be okay, but the rest of the state is out of luck.

Score this one as a win for the corporate lobbyists.

Update: Micah Sifry has posted a good summary of this situation on PDF, finding several links I missed.

A very GOP Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2004

From Andy Borowitz in Newsweek: “Bush Kills Turkey, Pardons Tom DeLay

“I have political capital, and I intend to spend it—first by killing, and then by eating, this delectable turkey,” Bush announced to the stunned onlookers, who watched as Biscuits was dragged away by two burly Secret Service agents.

Bush then said that he would use his traditional Thanksgiving pardon to free DeLay should he be indicted for political corruption charges in Texas, and then paraded the Texas congressman across the lawn to complete the festive holiday ceremony.

It would be funnier if it weren’t so accurate.

What now?

November 3rd, 2004

I think Arianna hit the nail on the head in her latest column:

Already there are those in the party convinced that, in the interest of expediency, Democrats need to put forth more “centrist” candidates — i.e. Republican-lite candidates — who can make inroads in the all-red middle of the country.

I’m sorry to pour salt on raw wounds, but isn’t that what Tom Daschle did? He even ran ads showing himself hugging the president! But South Dakotans refused to embrace this lily-livered tactic. Because, ultimately, copycat candidates fail in the way “me-too” brands do.

Unless the Democratic Party wants to become a permanent minority party, there is no alternative but to return to the idealism, boldness and generosity of spirit that marked the presidencies of FDR and JFK and the short-lived presidential campaign of Bobby Kennedy.
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