Yesterday, the well-known political blogger Matt Bruenig picked a minor fight on Twitter with Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, about her alleged endorsement of reducing welfare benefits for the impoverished. “You don’t get to be president of CAP without starving some poor mothers,” he wrote in one tweet. Today, Bruenig’s employer, the liberal think tank Demos, fired him:
"Chris, you can call me Joan, I've had dinner at your house." This is an amazing, squirmy exchange between drunk contrarian Christopher Hitchens and liberal Salon lady Joan Walsh. They are arguing about Hillary Clinton and Marc Rich and stuff, but they are actually arguing about what a prick Chris Hitchens is, especially to ladies. Joan calls Chris "ridiculous" a good half-dozen times. Please enjoy. And don't mention the child. [Vid credit: Intern Daniel Caron]
"I never confused him with a genuine progressive leader. Today I don't admire him at all. His collapse on FISA is unforgivable," writes Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh, in an essay titled "Betrayed by Obama." Adds Walsh, "I wonder whether I can ultimately vote for Obama in November, given all of his political cave-ins." Gutsy and contrarian, yes, but here's a pop quiz: Calculate the probability of Joan Walsh casting her ballot for John McCain. (Photo by AP/Jason DeCrow)
We understand that Salon deputy life editor Sarah Karnasiewicz has departed Joan Walsh's terrordome for Saveur. We wonder if they'll be hiring someone to replace her, or if they'll just rejigger everyone else's responsibilities? Like the way they made Joy Press edit Books and Life! (Incidentally, is anyone editing their loon advice columnist Cary Tennis these days?)
"We're trying to be a news organization — we're fair," [Salon CEO Joan Walsh] said, leaving the inference clear that Huffington Post is more slanted toward opinions. Walsh also insists that Salon plays its politics down the middle, although anyone who reads it — of either political stripe — would beg to differ.
The significance of holding last night's party to celebrate the New York Observer and its new website at the Four Seasons restaurant was intentional, obvious, and not at all lost on anyone. Despite its recent Frank Bruni demotion to two New York Times stars, the restaurant remains the symbolic and probably actual center of New York old-guard media power. After so many years of playing gadfly to the media, politics, and real estate elite of this city, the Observer and its boy-owner and his advisers chose to make a very specific sort of statement.