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early and often

Media Panel Stretches Blog Metaphors, Blows Kisses at Obama

Photo: Elena Olivo/Courtesy of NYU Center for Publishing


It seems like you can't walk two feet in this town without getting hit in the face with a blog. Blogblogbloggityblog, the darn things are just everywhere (not that we, uh, mind)! So it was that at a NYU Media Talk last night focusing on "Publishing and the Election," Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter called Thomas Payne “the original blogger, just some guy who got off the boat from England and published a couple of pamphlets.” Perhaps, but we bet he didn't have to deal with unending pajama jokes. Continuing with the blogs-as-historical-metaphors thing, Slate maharaja Jacob Weisberg then compared panelist Ana Marie Cox’s move to Time.com as “deflecting to the Soviets in 1988." She responded, "I guess most people sell out inch by inch; I sold out all at once. I don’t regret it at all. Some of you in here know Nick Denton? I was paid $12 a post at Wonkette. That’s just sound career advice!” Okay, fair enough. But what about that election stuff we came to hear about?

Perhaps it was because Weisberg’s The Bush Tragedy just hit the Times best-seller list this week, or maybe it was an homage to Simon & Schuster’s David Rosenthal’s presence on the panel, but much of the discussion focused not on the campaign but on the candidate's literary careers. Rosenthal noted that Obama, McCain, and Clinton’s books all charted while poor Edwards wasn't a best-seller: "You all know where he is now, trading bad one-liners with Leno.” Leno? Harsh. The panel unanimously agreed that Obama was the most prolific writer; Alter went so far as to suggest that, should he win the presidency, Obama would be on writerly par with Lincoln. Again with the Obama-Lincoln comparisons…

At the close, panelists were dutifully called upon to make their various election predictions, and Weisberg jumped in: “Hillary is walking dead. It’s Barack-McCain,” he declared, before calling Barack the take-it-all winner. To which the other panelists heartily agreed and Rosenthal called out, “It’s over.” See? The media isn't biased toward Obama; they just love him. —Lauren Salazar

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