The Gang's All Here

Dateline Denver, 1:00 am: Anita and I just returned from a party hosted by Salon.com at a very beautiful townhouse they rented for the convention.

We had a terrific time. How was it different than past convention parties? There was much more mingling of Mainstream Media with bloggers, and not only did the MSM attendees know each and every blog, they read us and, if I can be Sally Field for the moment, they like us!

It was great to see Duncan Black (aka Atrios of Eschaton), Jane of Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald, John Amato of Crooks and Liars, Taylor Marsh to name just a few.

I had a great time talking to Jeffrey Toobin, and we reminisced about the time in 2003 when I took him to dinner at a Vegan restaurant in San Francisco with Markos of Daily Kos and his wife Elisa. Back then, Jeffrey was trying to figure out what a blog was. Now, he's reading all of us on that laptop as he's sitting on the set providing his commentary. [More...]

Joan Walsh of Salon was very gracious. Anita wasn't crazy about seeing Joe Klein, now writing for Time -- he wrote a nasty article about Hunter after he died.

We're home now and Anita just made us Hunter's favorite drink, called a Biff -- a shotglass filled with Bailey's Irish Cream topped off by Chivas. We tried to do a video for you, but by the sixth take and the fourth Biff, we abandoned all hope.

Here's to tomorrow and a great convention week, and from this Denverite to everyone who's here, Welcome to Denver, it's great to have you in our beautiful City.

One final toast, to Hunter S. Thompson, we lift our glass to you and miss your voice. It's hard to imagine an election so close to home without you. We'll try to make you proud.

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    With all the layoffs (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12:06 AM EST
    in the MSM, it's not hard to see why they like blogs!  Blogs do the analysis, research, and provide "thoughtful" commentary.  Well, some of them do anyway...  ;-)

    There are also a lot of good jokes on the blogs.    

    Here is my virtual shot for HST (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by dissenter on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12:26 AM EST
    To a great American! I only met him once briefly but he inspired me...and made me laugh til it hurt.

    Yumm! (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:15:40 AM EST
    Bailey's has a special place in me heart  ;) I started making my own last year just for fun. But in honor of Hunter, I will pick some up tomorrow and make myself a Biff! And I may just have to make up some more vanilla bean ice cream 'cause it tastes darn good with some Bailey's on top.

    Sounds like things are starting out good there. Can't wait to follow you bloggin' away. Enjoy!  :)

    O/T response... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kredwyn on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 09:16:46 AM EST
    I'm headed for the Catskills.

    Off to round up Danger Kitty. She's romping around with her harness on...


    beware the siren song, J (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by blogtopus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:23:04 AM EST
    don't become online msm like los or Duncan!

    Jeralyn, Are you a native Coloradan? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by mabelle55 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:00:18 AM EST
    Just curious. I'm a native (but I left in 2006 to return to the Pacific Northwest - my "spiritual home"), after moving back to Colorado from Washington, D.C. in 2000. I grew up in the burbs (Littleton, but was born in Leadville!)

    Anyway, hope you're having a good time. I'm living vicariously through some of you since I couldn't afford the trip and my one-person blog sure as heck isn't gonna pay for it! :)

    Jeralyn Wrote About Growing Up In New Rochelle, NY (none / 0) (#31)
    by daring grace on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 11:23:19 AM EST
    Okay, thanks (none / 0) (#33)
    by mabelle55 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:02:04 PM EST
    I guess I did read this before, but I read so much stuff in a day that it's hard to remember every bit of it. I'm always a little curious about what takes people away from their homes of origin to new homes!

    Sigh...I'm envious that all this fun is happening in my home state!!


    Me Too (none / 0) (#36)
    by daring grace on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 10:07:09 AM EST
    I've lived in other parts of the country but for a while now I'm planted in the city of my birth again.

    I don't know if I'm envious of Denver this week, but maybe a wee bit wondering how much fun/nuisance it must be to have the big event roll in.


    Did you get to see Arianna? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Sweet Sue on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:39:48 AM EST
    Jeez, I'm getting all tingly in the leg just reading about the festivities.

    It sounds like fun but (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 05:21:28 AM EST
    it's a little sad too - when the blogs and MSM merge - the loss of outsider chops.  But of course it would happen eventually.  Good bye Robin Hood - nice to know you.  Still, this applies to the most successful of the blogs - bound to happen.

    Any pols there?

    Cool to know this about Hunter and Baileys (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kempis on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 05:58:56 AM EST
    I shall toast him the next time I have one. Hell, I may even splurge for the Chivas to top it off.

    Best way to corrupt something is to (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by pluege on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 06:05:13 AM EST
    There was much more mingling of Mainstream Media with bloggers

    embrace it.

    Gandhi was, amongst other great things (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 08:21:58 AM EST
    a great PR guy.  cause it's not always what you say but also what you don't say and if he was 100% honest he would not have just said:

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

    he would have said:

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. .. then you become them."

    The new Ghandi. (none / 0) (#28)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:21:36 AM EST
    First they seek you out.
    They use a casting director.

    Then they tell you what to say.
    Then they tell you what to wear.
    Then they tell you how to move.
    Then they tell you how to react.
    Then they tell you what not to say.
    Then they tell you what to say.
    Then they tell you exactly what to do and what to say.
    Then they tell your spouse what to say.
    Then they tell your spouse what not to say.
    Then they go to a big hotel and watch on television.


    we wish... (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:12:22 AM EST
    but that would be considered outre in the extreme, and mean that the "offending" party would be black-listed from further social events (and access to the mainstream media.)  

    I mean, if you suck up to Joe Klein, he might get you an appearance on one of the cable festivals of gasbaggery that he shows up on, because if you can be relied upon to not call Joe Klein on his BS in a social settting, its a safe bet that you would never seriously challenge "respectable" journalists on TV.

    What fun (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MichaelGale on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 08:17:20 AM EST
    It's great that you are keeping us informed although some bloggers I could care less about.


    If at the next gathering (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 09:38:01 AM EST
    you all run into AB Stoddard, tell her she needs to think through what she says and what words she uses.
    This morning her words about Hillary were "behave herself" (don't you know, Hillary has not behaved herself very well this week...according to AB and her source the NYT).....and then she said several times, "Hillary needs to get her supporters to behave themselves."

    Apparently AB sees people who do not fall in line behind Obama (or anyone I would suspect) as children that are not behaving.  

    Biff and Boff (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:14:39 AM EST
    I am going to try a Biff as soon as I finish this.

    Could you please ask the assemblage of heavyweights with whom you are visiting for their spontaneous - not considered, but spontaneous - reactions to the choice of Biden by Obama?

    I am sincerely interested.

    Now, to the Biff.

    so, when you had the opportunity, (4.88 / 9) (#11)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:56:13 AM EST
    did you ask the members of the MSM if they're just incredibly stupid, incredibly lazy, or both?

    hey, people want to know!

    Why? (4.00 / 4) (#8)
    by koshembos on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:03:12 AM EST
    "Now, he reads us all" the post say of Toobin. Why? First, there is a ton of repetition even if you read only a few blogs. Then is a huge amount of derangement such as in KOS, TPM, Huffington's and more. Then is a lot of stupidity (Bill Sher said somewhere that Obama will never triangulate. Obama is triangulating daily and compared to Clinton, Obama gets the gold.) Then there the cryptic/arrogant ones such as Atrios who are a complete waste of time. Even decent blogs such as Slideshow get to you after a while with their naivety and medley form.

    I read only a few blogs. Always looking for TL for both Jeralyn and TChris even BTD is very decent; if he could only skip commenting on every pool until we are two weeks from the elections. I read Anglachel that teaches me and makes me think. Cab Drolley its seriousness and decency, Daily Howler gives you superb analysis of the criminal MSM and beautiful writing, Digby not too often where I can do with shorter posts and will be fine without Dday.

    That's it. It's all you need. By the way, all the blogs I read are dominated by women. We men are just a notch below.

    I'm glad I found Anglachel - (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 05:26:47 AM EST
    she's always a good read - with depth and easy access.

    of course he doesn't... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:17:41 AM EST
    "read them all".  

    One of the keys to being a "good" journalist is schmoosing -- and that requires preparation.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that Toobin got access to the guest list, and prepared a flattery offensive for the bloggers.  

    Toobin is also smart enough to know the power of the link -- and telling someone "I read you" is an effective means of getting people to read (and link) to you.  After all, if Toobin is smart enough to read you, he must have something worth saying, right? ;)


    May explain a lot; but may not explain (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 09:09:18 AM EST
    anything.  Anyhow, I enjoyed reading The Nine.

    talking heads as actors (none / 0) (#29)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:39:01 AM EST
    It is probably mandated by their network that they be immersed in a 'tone'   It's only about marketshare and advertising dollars.  They read the blogs with the largest readership that discuss cable 'news' (cough, cough).  They are trying to capture an audience by targeting their message.  If the largest internet audience has CDS, if they want viewers, they must adopt that message to get them to tune in.

    I have a really hard time believing cable 'news' (cough, cough) reads both sides of an issue given their coverage.  

    Wouldn't someone have liked to ask some of these people about their most inflammatory statements?  ha!   (Toobin's Clinton statements anyone?)  Many people here have abandoned MSNBC and others watch CNN occasionally.  More have had to result to Fox.

    Could someone come up with another name other than cable 'news' (cough, cough)  ptooey.


    Fox is the only cable "news" channel (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by prittfumes on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 11:07:18 AM EST
    I watch now. That's the only way I can avoid any mention of Olby or, worse, the sight of him. Extra extra extra bonus: No Lady DB.

    If they actually read TL (4.00 / 4) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 08:05:38 AM EST
    in particular, they wouldn't -- very much including Toobin -- be so clueless about the nature of the refusal of so many Dems. to support Obama.

    Not buyin' it.

    Which vegan restaurant in SF? (none / 0) (#9)
    by s5 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:45:18 AM EST

    I have high regard for the bloggers you mention. (none / 0) (#32)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:16:09 PM EST
    Toobin, not so much.  With the power of the airwaves, Toobin proved to be un-journalistic.  In any event, Biff is on the menu tonight.

    Jerri and Anita (none / 0) (#34)
    by davecullen on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 01:09:58 AM EST
    The Salon party was great. I had a wonderful time. So nice seeing Jerri, and she was nice enough to introduce me to Anita, which was the highlight of my evening.

    I had great chats with Jeff Toobin--the wisest political analyst on TV, IMO--and Salon's news editor, and it was great to see my old Salon editor Joan Walsh again, for only the second time in person. But Anita was the highlght.

    She is so smart, and funny, and was so open and generous talking about his process working with editors, and how eager he was to see them help him cut, cut, cut. (Not that it always went smoothly.) That's where I'm at right now, and what a privelege to get that kind of insight at just the moment I needed it. Plus, she just has a quiet but magnetic personality, and such an easygoing way about her. It took about 30 seconds before we were cutting up like old friends.

    You know great talents like Hunter generally have great taste in the people they surround themselves with, so it was no surprise, but at the same time, there's nothing quite like meeting someone so special.

    I wish I could have stayed longer. There was a big gay danceparty oriented around all the homos in town for the convention, and I had to join my tribe. That was fun. We had been looking forward to it for months. But the Salon party was the highlight.

    bloggers (none / 0) (#35)
    by davecullen on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 01:11:51 AM EST
    I apparently missed all the bloggers. I don't know what they look like, so I didn't even realize they were there. That's a shame. I knew some of the Salon people, and they introduced me to others from there, and we had that in common, so maybe I got stuck in more of a rut than I realized.

    I hope to see more at The Big Tent this week, though I'm on book deadline, so I'll miss most of the convention. Shame.