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June 13, 2006


I do not read Kos much and had not heard of Marcy Wheeler before, but I was very impressed with her when I saw her on C-SPAN's coverage of YearlyKos. Thank you and keep up the good work.

I am really surprised at the shallowness of this comment. I am now embarassed to have had even a slightly higher opinion of Cox.

It's clear that people in the blogosphere have properly annoyed the heck out of Joe Klein and Adam Nagourney. The same pressure should be placed on Cox. Polite letters should be written. I dash one off when I have the time and motivation. (it's easier for me to write these posts at work...they come straight outta my head)

But actually, the word for the excerpt above, from an analytical perspective, is "amateurish." Cox is a weak observer. Now I'm gonna jump off the PC train. Get ready! How else could she have gotten this gig, if not for her looks? She probably figures she can pull off a Michele Malkin, with a more sensible political orientation.

If people just want to be snarky and get under her skin, they can stay off of policy and politics and attack her apparent insecurity and narcissism - why else would she constantly and overtly draw attention to herself like some 20 year old with all the sex talk? When she's over 30? She's a Womanchild. In over her head.

Cox is a weak observer.

I think this is the thing that bothered me the most, having observed all the same things she was observing in these situations.

Distancing yourself from your nerdly beginnings -- like assfucking, they say -- is easiest if you don't look back.

For some reason, this popped in to my head:

And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties
A hand-me-down dress from who knows where
To all tomorrow's parties

And where will she go and what shall she do
When midnight comes around
She'll turn once more to Sunday's clown
And cry behind the door

And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties
Why silks and linens of yesterday's gowns
To all tomorrow's parties

And what will she do with Thursday's rags
When Monday comes around
She'll turn once more to Sunday's clown
And cry behind the door

And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties
For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown
For whom none will go mourning

A blackened shroud, a hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silks, a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
For all tomorrow's parties

EW, you familar with the version of this by the Czech band Pulnoc? It's people from the Plastic People of the Universe, and it's great.

So I sat there with that comment on my screen for some time before deciding it was OK to post.

Then about an hour later, I got a call from my dad, saying he'd heard all about Yearly Kos, and didn't I write for a blog? And what name did I use?

So this, of all days, is the day he'll drop by, when I've made what I must assure him and everyone else is a very relevant use of the particular bit of profanity above, inside joke (blog-wise) though it may be.

Go read about the nuclear option, Dad! I did much better on that!

Time Magazine's take on the facts has been suspect ever since Whittiker Chambers worked there.

Oops, Kagro. Tell him I've been channelling you for half a week, and you just spoke the words I meant to say.

Anyway, you made me laugh.

Welcome to TNH, Kagro IX!

Junior's doing fine.

Except for all the assfucking jokes.

Distancing yourself from your nerdly beginnings -- like assfucking, they say -- is easiest if you don't look back.

I really think Kagro X is right about this. Wankette has chosen to be cooler-than-cool by being above everything she comes across, and it just reveals her total inability to do anything but snark and shallow observation.

I thought it was particularly ironic that Christy from FDL, in announcing that Wankette had lost a notebook, asked people not to blog it if they found it. The irony, of course, comes from the fact that in one of her pieces on Yearly Kos, she quotes something she read over someone's shoulder on their computer screen.

And Matt Bai...don't even get me started. As I said in comment over at SSP, that guy is either profoundly stupid, profoundly disingenuous, or a combination of the two (my choice). It's not just Atrios who talked about narratives - I think Christy was the only one on the panel who really talked about cocktail parties, and Bai spoke almost entirely about how he doesn't go to cocktail parties and doesn't know Judy Miller and journalists work hard and bloggers are mean. He totally personalized it, like there was no larger structural point being made. It was ridiculous.

Cox is all about Cox and always has been. She parlayed Wonkette into a $250k book advance--and there was no novel when she got the advance, just an idea of one. She's just trying to squeeze the most out of her 15 minutes. The Washington press and pundit class thinks she's cute and they loved her butt-fucking talk--she's edgy! More importantly, she accepts the "liberal blogger" label (because it gets her tv gigs) and then goes out and shits all over democratic politicians and true liberal bloggers--and they love it. Her schtick hasn't changed, she's always been just a gossip columnist, nothing more.

There is someone whose website is called wonkette currently running a social column for administration people of putative glamor; unsure if it is a variant of Jane's spelling.
The conference seemed like a metaconference, and wonkette's site is a kind of gossip place, one which several times a year publishes liberal political commentary which appears heartfelt, but most times it is the social fabric stuff, click thru to next website.
I thought your remarks on Warner cordial, and your question a decent challenge; you might like to glance at some of his designer views. He wants children to have hope. While campaigning in the South he sponsored a stock car team. He owns a vineyard about 45 miles from the Potomac where viticulture is un-Napa-like, but he travels to the west coast with friends in the trade. He made his fortune in an IPO by his VC firm for Nextel, which was a well managed and perfectly timed effort; though I may look at the actual history about the cluster of clients of the Capitol Ventures firm when I have time.
I thought a lot about your foreign policy question to Warner, a candidate who has very uncohesive policies attuned to trigger voting blocs by some Rovian equivalent, doubtless, an electoral artisan. Sara had an interesting recent TNH post about her experiences in Peshawar and the region a while ago.
Since the thread is still Ykos related, I wondered if Fitzgerald and Rove waited until their informants' reports of how much the bloggerie knew about evidence, before slicing a deal about a series of public statements reflective of the ostensible hold-harmless of Rove. What does Luskin look like in shades and a cowboy hat? Maybe something like I-Lewis at a rodeo, in the Stratosphere.


Matt Bai may have good reason to think bloggers are being mean to him.

She's a cute moron who likes to take it up the ass.
If she were bald and had a dick she could work at the White House.
What a useless writer.

Um, you know, she may be a useless writer, but comments like that are also useless.

Poor Wankette, stuck in an obsolete frame of reference. Paradigms shift, and a new world is born. This past weekend I was transported — first by technology, as C-SPAN and the blogs allowed me to vicariously attend YKOS-1, and by memory, which took me back to the national emergence of the anti-war movement in 1967-68. The tools today are different, with email, blogs, and truly “public service” television replacing the teach-ins, underground newspapers, coffee houses and word of mouth we relied on to spread the truth about government’s misdeeds in the Sixties. The availability, reach and, most of all, the interactive nature of today’s communications modes place them a power of ten beyond what we had during the last Civil Rights-Illegal War era. Although the means have changed, the spirit is the same — ordinary citizens, armed with truths about the atrocities perpetrated in their name by the government, rise up to effect change, not for personal gain or position, but to return our society to its founding principles, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
As it did then, this patriot’s call has forced those — such as myself — who are not usually politically active to get up, get out, to risk and sacrifice, to prove once again to the “smart money” that this nation created by the founders, preserved by Lincoln, and defended for over 200 years by millions of citizens will not fail, will not be consumed by any of a myriad of villainous interests. If we join the activism of the Sixties with today’s communications technology we can once again turn our government away from its perverted course. Not only can we do this once more, we must do it — or face the take over of our homes and lives by a fascist theological dictatorship.
However, I must also add that this will not be a quick or easy victory. We may have the Constitution, but they have the guns, money, media, and political power. Since the majority of our fellow citizens who have yet to be personally affected by our current government’s corruption want only to be left in peace — regardless of W’s approval ratings — educating and enlisting them will never be easy, especially with no draft threatening the plans of the middle class youth of today. Even with the draft, My Lai, secret bombing of neutral nations, and the truths being told by both veterans and the MSM, peace and understanding in Vietnam, as opposed to war, victory, and “patriotism” was never an easy sell. At 16, I was one of those who, “got clean for Gene” and campaigned for Eugene McCarthy during the ‘68 primary. Never before or since, even during a seven year stretch in the bar business, have I been so regularly or vituperatively insulted. “Punk,” “faggot,” “filthy hippie,” “commie bastard,” and “traitor” were among the milder epithets I encountered as doors slammed in my face all over Corvallis, Oregon. I wasn’t surprised, as in the ‘68 election my home county went for George Wallace, but we who venture out in ‘06 and ‘08 should remember, and be ready for a “high tech lynching” provided by those who are desperately trying to cling to power and privilege.
We lost the ‘68 elections, as we may well lose in ‘08, but the movement did not end, we may have despaired, but we did not surrender. After years of struggle the war was ended, Nixon went down, and, for a time, the government was our government. Ours, until Reagan and the Rethuglicans marketed themselves as “sensible managers of the business of government.” When Jimmy Carter was president, minimum wage was around $3.25/hour and gas was $0.75/gallon, even during the oil embargoes of the early Seventies. Today, minimum wage is $6.75, a bit more than double, while gas has quadrupled to $3 /gallon. Sensible managers, right.
IWe may (temporarily) lose at the polls, we may (temporarily) be marginalized by the MSM, we may (temporarily) be ignored by established politicos, we may even despair, but if we do not surrender, we, the people, will prevail. Today’s communications technology gives us tools undreamed of by those of us who stood against the last illegal war and outlaw government. Let’s use them to stand behind our government — and give it a good solid push. Power of the people, what a concept!

Yes, DH, such cruel personal slurs you've used against him. Just look at them: You said something he wrote was "simplistic and naive"! You said he's "infatuated with ridiculous binary comparisons"!

Such nasty dirty language - you should be ashamed. Write that poor man a letter of apology for all that unforgivable substantive critique of his work you've done.

She's a careerist hack, that's all.

During some playful chat in the press room, Dana Milbank's name came up. Cox said wistfully, half jokingly, but with genuine envy, "I want his job!.

Nothing matters to her but being taken seriously as a pundit/analyst/media figure/establishment press "celebrity." Period.

She is not smart enough to imagine the policy implications of the question you asked about Iran. She does not want to advance by being actually smart or knowledgeable. She wants to advance by paying tribute to the establishment tribe and by pissing down on that tribe's enemies.

But as many have pointed out, she has a branding problem. She's not a journalist, not a maven or expert, and not a blogger, in the sense that she does not fit in blogger culture and keeps trying to Sister Souljah us. What she really is is a vacuous status whore.

Check out TRex's "find" of her lost notebook last night at FDL. It's beyond hysterical. Spot on parody.


keeps trying to Sister Souljah us

Great line. And you're right, she is a status whore.

And Dana Milbank, despite the snarkiness, is a very good journalist. I have little doubt that Ana Marie Cox would be welcome in the Bush WH press room, unlike Dana Milbank, who got blacklisted by Ari Fleischer and who I'm pretty sure hasn't been called on since.

Yep -- AMC doesn't get to say that the party was "[r]eportedly thrown at a cost of $50,000" without my having asked the question. It was *reported* to her, in that room, while she was sitting there.

What bothers me most, and I just noted this in a comment on Tapped, is that she presumed that our questions were affected by being schmoozed without asking any of us about it. I wasn't even at the Stratosphere party, nor were you, EW, IIRC.

And had she interviewed me then, I'd have told her, as I told Garance Franke-Ruta and have stated publicly, that I had the same skepticism about the Look, I'm Talking To Bloggers! event-ness of it all, especially compared to the more substantive involvement of the other 2008 hopefuls.

[Had she asked me, I'd also have been happy to explain why I asked a question about the Saudi regime: because it pertains directly to my day job.]

Or compare it to fellow Southerner Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), the only sitting member of Congress to show up. Brad could've just bailed like Nancy Pelosi because of Friday's votes, which prevented him from making his scheduled panel. He didn't. Instead, he changed his flights, got in Friday night, and arranged to participate in other people's panels the next day -- just because he thought it was the right thing to do. He didn't beg for netroots support, and he didn't wear stickers or have staff around to promote him. It was just Brad and his wife, engaging with the community.

Warner treated it like a Traditional Media Event under his control, and AMC needs to get off her high horse to realize many of us knew it as well.

Actually, I did go to the party. But I had already posted critically on it by the time I walked in the room.

My bad. (And I wasn't taking notes.)

Did Cox interview any of us about the event? Not me.

I don't think she knows how. Her entire schtick is to sneer at everyone like a high-school Heather, which was amusing when she was writing essentially a gossip column, but is embarassing now that she's a "columnist." She looked intensely uncomfortable when she was invited in and introduced at the FDL caucus; I think was intending to hang around on the fringes and snark without engaging anyone. I think she was genuinely unprepared to be surrounded by people who knew exactly who and what she is.


I agree about her discomfort. Byron York seemed more engaged, which may be because he shares some interests, or may be because he, in spite of all the Comstock pressers, is more of a journalist than Wankette.

And trust me, Wankette looked downright engaged compared to the way she looked at the Warner blog chat.

She does not want to advance by being actually smart or knowledgeable. She wants to advance by paying tribute to the establishment tribe and by pissing down on that tribe's enemies.

But be fair. She fully intends to look cute while doing it.

The most telling assessment I've read of her was from the New York Times magazine after the 2004 Democratic National Convention ("Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail," by Matthew Klam, September 26, 2004). Excerpting a few key points:

Ana Marie Cox has peachy cream skin and eyes of a very bright blue, strawberry blond hair and a filthy mind; she likes to analyze our nation's leaders in their most private, ah, parts. She has been talking this way all her life. Until January, no one listened. She's the daughter of a six-foot-tall blond Scandinavian goddess and one of the bright young men who worked under Robert McNamara in the Pentagon. Her parents split when she was 12, and she was shuttled between them, and like most kids who grow up that way, she made an anthropological study of what's cool. She was a loud, pudgy kid with milk-bottle-thick glasses, and when she finally settled into high school in Nebraska, she immediately ran for class president. She was thrown out of ''gifted and talented'' camp for weaving, drunk, through the girl's bathroom one night, and when she told me about it, she described it as ''the story of my life'': the smart girl getting booted out of a place where she belonged. She dropped out of a Ph.D. program in history at the University of California at Berkeley and found happiness for a few years at Suck.com, a snarky social-commentary Web site from the first Internet heyday. She tried freelancing after that, and then spent five frustrating years being fired from or leaving one job after another, such well-meaning, highbrow institutions as Mother Jones, The American Prospect and The Chronicle of Higher Education -- plus another place she won't name, where, she says, they chastised her for raising her eyebrows wrong and for sighing too loud in meetings. Finally, last fall, she gave up on journalism. She was filling out applications for a master's in social work when Nick Denton called.


Sure enough, in July, MTV called and asked her to report from the Democratic National Convention. She was thrilled, and she fixed on the idea that this convention gig might turn into a real job at the network. Whatever it is that makes a person want to be famous, need to be famous -- and not everything about a ravenous hunger for fame is bad -- Cox has that. The carrot of fame now hanging over her was distracting, and I got the sense that certain situations were playing out in her head. ''I watched 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' a lot as a kid,'' she said.

A couple of weeks before the convention, she flew to Los Angeles for a screen test, and when she got back, she told me that she had aced it. ''I am very good at this,'' she said proudly. She was getting a little obsessed. ''It's weird,'' she said. ''It's like discovering you can yodel. You know what I mean? I'm good. I really never would've known.''


I couldn't figure it out. Why was she so excited about working for MTV? MTV is for 9-year-olds. It's so 1992. It was as if her sense of what was cool and what was stupid, so unerring on her blog, had abandoned her. How could she think that 18 seconds with those cocky jerks on ''Scar-Co'' was better than a perfect joke about a president, his dog and a blown kiss? Four months of setting the blog world on fire making dirty political jokes suddenly wasn't enough any more.

But then she wasn't asked to cover the Republican convention for MTV. It would be fair to say that this upset her. Wonkette had seemed like the perfect stepping stone to something big. Now she had to consider, What if Wonkette was as good as it gets?

By the time we sat down to dinner in New York, she was employing that old trick of pretending to be happy with just this. She was focusing on the blog again and its many perks. ''I haven't bought my own dinner or drinks in months,'' she said. She tipped her head to the side and shrugged. ''That's the best benefit of being Wonkette. That's the sad truth. They all want something. But that's fine. All I want is dinner and drinks.''

So she found something a little better than dinner and drinks, at the moment she thought maybe Wonkette was going to be all there was. And she'll do what it takes to milk it.

So, the $50,000 item... she didn't dig it out. It was given to her.*

And man, is that Klam excerpt ever brutal.

Oh, well. Apple-tini, anyone?

EW, your analysis of Ana Marie Cox is excellent. And it is amusing to have her referred to as Wankette (as in Wanker?). When she was the darling "liberal blogger" for any and all shows, she was writing as Wonkette - which I suspect was Nick Denton's snide title for a political gossip pundit playing at being a Wonk, but Wankette seems so much more fitting.


Wankette comes from Jane, who is about 100X better at snark than I.

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