Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Every political blogger I know hit the Politico website daily during the election. It just had good inside reporting.

The New Republic has a fascinating article of Politico's growth (it's actually making money) and future.

Reading through the article one thing struck me, and I wonder if the guys at Politico caught it.

Politico's first major scoop was detailing how Rudy Giuliani had billed the city to pay for personal travel to the Hamptons as he was having an affair with Judith Nathan. The story was picked up by the Times, the Post, and the three network evening newscasts.

Now, The New Republic says that Politico broke the story of Obama visiting Bill Ayer's home. Ben Stein's article didn't break the actual connection between Ayers and Obama though. And the article does more to justify the relationship than condemn it. Which is why Politico took no heat for it.

The next few big stories were about McCain not knowing how many homes he owned and that the RNC had spent more than $150, 000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe.

Wonkette has this to say in the TNR story about Politico:

Wonkette called Politico a "vulgar asshole of a publication" and announced the blog would cease linking to the site. "We will stop linking to these particularly retarded, trollish articles Politico front-pages just to get a crappy two-minute panel slot on [Anderson Cooper] 360 later in the night."

But when Politico reported on Palin's wardrobe, Wonkette was all over it. The number of homes John McCain owned story? Wonkette loved it. The Rudy and Judith affair and expenses? Wonkette linked it.

The New York Time's editor Bill Keller also bashed Politico in the TNR piece, but the truth is that the NYT has cited Politico 200 times since Feb. 2007.

So what did Politico do to earn such wrath? Wonkette and The New York Times obviously loved them before. Why the change of heart?

Because Politico dared to question "The One."

On the evening of January 22, a few hours after his administration's debut news conference, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the cramped quarters of the White House press corps. It was meant to be a friendly event, and Obama glad-handed his way through reporters and cameramen, exchanging light banter as he went.But Politico reporter Jonathan Martin wasn't there to chat. Martin pressed Obama about the president's decision to nominate William J. Lynn III, a former defense lobbyist, to deputy defense secretary and about Obama's pledge to curtail the influence of lobbyists. The exchange turned tense. "See, this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here," a visibly exasperated Obama said. Martin wouldn't relent. "I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys--that's all I was trying to do," the president added. Within an hour, Martin and Politico writer Carrie Budoff Brown reported the exchange on Politico's website: "OBAMA FLASHES IRRITATION IN PRESS ROOM," the headline read.

It will be interesting to see how Politico proceeds. They must realize how the mainstream media is so biased towards Pres. Obama that it cannot effectively report on this administration.

Will Politico take up the reigns and report the negative as well as the positive? Or will it give in, so that it can continue to be linked and and picked up by those such as the NYT, CNN, and the rest?

We shall see.