Boys on the Bus #9

[10 July 2007]

By Joe Tacopino

Back in February, Mike Allen approached the mic to ask President Bush a question at a White House press conference. The President responded with a snide retort.

President Bush: Michael. Michael, who do you work for? (Laughter.)

Mike Allen: Mr. President, I work for

President Bush: Pardon me?

Mike Allen: Yes, sir. Today. (Laughter.)

President Bush: You want a moment to explain to the American people exactly what—(laughter.)

Mike Allen: Mr. President, thank you for the question. (Laughter.)

President Bush: Quit being so evasive.

David Gregory: You should read it.

President Bush: Is it good? You like it?

David Gregory: Yes

President Bush: David Gregory likes it. I can see the making of a testimonial. (Laughter.) Anyway, go ahead, please.

Perhaps the “.com” implied some sort of amateur, new-jack connotation to Allen’s recent assignment. But what this exchange highlighted was the emergence of new media as a vital force in today’s political process. The President needs to get with the times, because, inevitably, they are a changing.

Politico, founded by John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei of The Washington Post, has garnered much attention in recent months for its astute political reporting. Based in Washington, the site almost exclusively covers national politics and is mostly concerned with hard news rather than opinion. Politico has personally been my most reliable, consistent source of information regarding political news over the past six months.

The success of Politico will hopefully signify a shift from the uber-passionate blogs such as HuffingtonPost and the always entertaining propagandist to a more factual, informative web-based news. After all, it was the blogs which brought us the now infamous “swift boat controversy” of 2004 and have proven to be a consistently unreliable source of useless information. As consumers of news we need to be aware of what sites are reliable and which should be relegated to the designation of web rags. We know they’re out there: let’s call them out on their shoddy journalism.

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