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Posts Tagged ‘Taegan Goddard’

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(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)

Jetsetter: The Week’s Taegan Goddard is back from vacation in Morocco with a new post, as promised, at The Cloakroom, and he admits  should’ve sent us all a postcard while he was away! “Reports of my early retirement are premature. I made the editorial decision that blogging at The Week about the political affairs of Morocco on vacation might not meet readers’ expectations,” he wrote. A worried tipster wrote in yesterday wondering what was going on with The Cloakroom, as it seemed someone had shut the door and turned out the lights over the last few months—but, Goddard says all is well. Welcome back. He’s also got that relatively new Wonkwire blog at CQ Roll Call so he’s quite the busy bee.

The suit will go on: It doesn’t seem to have gotten a whole lot of attention, but last week a federal appeals court ruled that former Agriculture Department worker Shirley Sherrod can continue with her defamation lawsuit against the late Andrew Breitbart and aide Larry O’Connor. An appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to not dismiss the case, even though O’Connor says that the video of Sherrod that Breitbart published—which made it look like she was saying racist things when she wasn’t—was protected speech. The appeal was denied on a technicality and not the merit of the claim. As a result, it’s probably a disappointing ruling for some news organizations who’d argued in friend of the court briefs that DC’s anti-SLAPP statute (short for strategic lawsuits against public participation) should apply. The statute, though, didn’t become law until a month after Sherrod’s suit was filed.

Take a lesson, news execs: Andrew Sullivan has been on the move a lot lately. He went from The Atlantic to The Daily Beast and then, finally, to complete independence when he took his insanely popular blog The Dish and let it stand on its own, relying on readers and a metered-content and subscription payment processor to pay the bills. There are no ads. Well, this week, after six months of an independent Dish, Sullivan says he’s got almost 27,000 paying subscribers and that the site is on track to hit revenue targets for the year—targets that are almost as high as its yearly budget at The Daily Beast. And, if everyone who runs up against the paywall after clicking-through on five free articles would subscribe, that would immediately double the number of paying readers. The real test, though, is going to be when those first 27,000 are up for renewal after a year. Will they click the pay button again? What’s most interesting about this though is that Sullivan is being completely transparent about the finances, and that seems to work in his favor. He’s posted all kinds of charts, graphs and conversion rates for the first six months, stuff most news orgs guard better than they do national security secrets. We hate to say time will tell to see if this experiment will work out for Sullivan, but in this case it really will.

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Did Someone Shut Off the Lights In Taegan Goddard’s Cloakroom?

A tipster wrote in after noticing his blog at The Week has been dark for more than a month.

Launched in January when Taegan Goddard joined the publication as editor-at-large, The Cloakroom never really developed into the “daily political blog” Dylan Byers at Politico said it was meant to be—at most, Goddard posted every few days. In May he posted just three times, the last on the 22nd. Nothing in June or July so far.

For his part, Goddard actually said he’d use The Cloakroom for deeper dives into political news that deserved it… if only something had happened in politics last month that would’ve caught his attention.

Well, if just to put our tipster at ease, nothing nefarious or even dramatic is going on. Goddard told FishbowlDC he’s just been out of the country, in Africa actually, and that new content should start appearing on The Cloakroom this week. Probably more than a few will be happy to hear that. Some of his posts had comment counts in the triple digits.

But, if you need your Goddard fix nowPolitical Wire, the site he founded more than a decade ago, is still hopping with daily posts, as is his @politicalwire Twitter account.

Roll Call Wants To Take On Defense One

Roll Call has launched a new defense blog — Topic A — which they tell us will feature a mix of “mix of policy analysis, commentary and incisive thought-leader discussions along with content contributed by sponsors.”

Nothing gets readers more excited than thought-leader discussions and sponsored content. But, looking closely at Roll Call’s release, maybe they don’t really care. Publisher Beth Bronder makes it a point to note she believes that “readers and advertisers” are looking for this kind of stuff. She’s probably 50 percent right. Defense is a lucrative advertising niche.

Topic A is being managed independently from the newsroom by Contributing Editors Taegan Goddard and Chris Riback, so the wall between editorial and business is still up for now, sort of. The blog will still draw from regular Roll Call content, it’s in RollCall.com’s header with all the other blogs and it has a big “presented by Boeing” label under the title. Its address? http://boeing.rollcall.com. Editor David Rapp says any sponsored content will be clearly labeled, but given the deep integration into the regular site… does it matter?

And if you’re counting, this is blog number twelve at RollCall.com. We’d been hearing that a defense-oriented blog was in the works to compete with Atlantic Media‘s still-to-launch Defense One, and it looks like this might be it. But judging from the team Defense One has already put together, competing with them is going to be a tall order—especially when advertisers are creating the content.

Political Blog Goes With ‘Vagina’ Headline

Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard, also a contributing writer for The Week, went with the eye-popping “vagina” headline this morning.

The headline: “Lawmaker Uses Vagina as Synonym for Woman.”

The brief post concerns a state lawmaker who used the word interchangeably for “woman” in an email to colleagues.

Asked if he had any hesitation about using the word “vagina” in a headline, Goddard told FishbowlDC…nothing! He never replied to the question. However, a Washington editor, when told he or she was being asked a serious question about vagina headlines, replied, “There are no serious questions about vaginas! Unless it’s ‘Do you have cancer in the vagina?’ The editor added, “I would try to avoid it in headline.”

Longtime producer to radio host Bill Press and FBDC Contributor Peter Ogburn remarked, “How do I feel about vagina headlines? I like to feel them as often as I can.”

The issue can be discussed in a mature manner. Brad Phillips, who writes the Mr. Media Training blog, says journalists shouldn’t shy away from using the v-word. “’Vagina’ describes a body part that roughly half of the world’s population has,” he wrote to FBDC. “Journalists shouldn’t stay away from using it just because some people (let’s face it, men) grew up snickering at the word in their seventh-grade locker rooms. But like almost everything else, context matters.”

He continued, “If the word is used as an accurate descriptor, it’s fine. If it’s used as a pejorative or as gratuitous linkbait, it’s probably not. Taegan’s headline strikes me as an accurate description of the story that followed—and I would have used the same one.”

He said words are just that – words. “We have to get past this juvenile idea that medically accepted words are somehow verboten. ‘Vagina,’ ‘penis,’ and ‘scrotum,’ for example, should be used when appropriate, reader reaction be damned,” he wrote.

BuzzFeed‘s Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton also did not bristle at the word as a headline choice. Read more

In Wake of Tragedy, Journalists Bicker

No judgment here.

But last night Twitter was a curious place to be as we watched clusters of journalists needle one another and, in some cases, go for the throat without real just cause. Sharpened nerves. An inability to piece together what happened. Heightened tensions in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

They were primed to fight. For example, since when do retweets really mean endorsements? Really never, except for last night when anything could spark a feud.

So much for the wise and largely unheeded advice from Ruth Graham, contributing writer to The Boston Globe‘s ideas section; freelancer for Slate and The Atlantic: “Guys, if you see a tweet that pisses you off today because it’s rude or dumb or political, maybe consider just ignoring it?”

What, and ignore the chance to take your frayed nerves out on someone else like a rabid dog? We’re vaguely reminded of Glenn Close in the bloody bathtub scene of “Fatal Attraction” and her chilling remark, “I mean, I’m not going to be ignored, Dan.”

Among the two big clusters of brawls was another “Glenn.” This one, Politico‘s Glenn Thrush, who attempted to school CNN’s Chris Cuomo on proper bomb coverage. Cuomo wrote, 1. “#Boston – latest. Two bombs exploded. A 3rd pkg was blown up by auth’s. As many as 3 other possible devices being investigated.” 2. “#Boston authorities still searching. Two crude bombs with ball bearings or shrapnel went off. Other pkgs found may have been non-explosive.” 3. “Being told at this point not ruling out one actor theory.”

Thrush lashed out. “Wait–so how did one guy plant the 8 bombs u told us about earlier? …Not being a wise ass — asking u to think before u press send,” Thrush wrote to Cuomo. The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg promptly backed Thrush: “Now on Twitter, Glenn Thrush is teaching Chris Cuomo about journalism. …Just to be clear, I was complimenting Glenn Thrush for teaching Chris Cuomo about the dangers of spreading unconfirmed information.” Cuomo ignored his critics and didn’t respond to any of them.

The other snarl was Politico‘s Dylan Byers versus ClearChannel‘s Colby Hall and BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski. Byers, who’s usually pretty mild-mannered on Twitter, and Kaczynski, who occasionally enjoys subtle antagonizing, eventually seemed to warm back up to each other, but not without a few blistering moments when BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief and Twitter father figure Ben Smith, who at different points hired them both, dove in to effectively say, ‘You’re both right.’ Come on Ben, in a good Twitter fight, opposing sides are never both right! But this morning he declared to some involved parties: “No haters.” But life on Twitter is not always so civilized.

Some more spiritual healing ignored by all: “A crisis depletes your emotions,” wrote megachurch pastor Rick Warren, whose popularly isn’t exactly soaring in the gay community. “You must intentionally replenish them. Make a list of what restores you and do those things.”

Restore? How about a brawl on what the real meaning of “retweet” is. Is it a ringing endorsement or sharing facts or innocently presenting a contrasting viewpoint? If you’re Politico‘s Byers, it’s the latter as he shared a diary piece from the conservative RedState; if you’re ClearChannel‘s Hall it’s the former and it appeared to seriously piss him off. And then Byers used profanity and the whole thing got U.G.L.Y.

Colby Hall: “Why promote some random wacko consipiracy [sic] theory?”

Dylan Byers: “Because it’s indicative of what some on far-right are thinking. will matter later.”

Colby Hall: “Or you are just promoting the acceptance of a half-baked theory that is better left ignored.”

Dylan Byers: “Or you are full of shit.”

Colby Hall: “Whoa!”

Dylan Byers: “I’m not promoting anything. I’m showing parameters of conversation.”

Colby Hall: “Now who’s full of shit?”

Dylan Byers: “You think I’m endorsing fringe speculation because I take note of it? I doubt that.”

Colby Hall: But you didn’t just “take note of it”…you brought attention to it by linking to it. so yeah, you promoted it.

Dylan Byers: “Providing link to an article you don’t necessarily agree with is not promoting it. It’s referencing it.”

Colby Hall: “But editorial judgment isn’t just what you link — it’s what you chose not to link to.”

This is about when Andrew Kaczynski jumped into the fray: Read more

Editor Gets Panties in Twist Over Period Style

Last month TPM Editor Josh Marshall broke out into a cold sweat late one night over the issue of apostrophes on Twitter. He wants them gone. He was cranky about it and the issue kept him up ridiculously late and tweeting well into the wee hours of the morning.

Now he’s moved on to the number of spaces after periods.

He continued, “What the fuck is this movement to have only one space after a period?  Gay marriage I can handle.  This I cannot,” Marshall piped up on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Joshua Green had a terse response. “Hey freak, if God wanted two spaces he’d have told Moses.” He added, “BTW, there’s a special conversion therapy for guys like you.”

Some 160 retweets later, the jury was out: Read more

Legalities Behind ‘Cloakroom’

Since Taegan Goddard started his “Cloakroom” blog at The Week, it has come to our attention that there are now at least three “Cloakroom” politics blogs.

The first was apparently started by writers at the conservative Family Research Council. The second is more of an online and print column by Human EventsNeil W. McCabe, whose came before Goddard’s but, contrary to McCabe’s original belief, was not the first “Cloakroom.”

Not one of the three is legally trademarked. But Erik Pelton, an intellectual property rights attorney in Virginia, told FishbowlDC that doesn’t mean one of the blogs couldn’t lay more claim to “Cloakroom” than the others… Read more

Three ‘Cloakroom’s: Is it Thievery?

After news broke last week that Taegan Goddard of CQ Roll Call would be starting a new “Cloakroom” politics blog at The Week, the name ruffled some feathers.

“Some guy at CQ Roll Call took the name of my ‘The Cloakroom’ column? Bullshit, right?” wrote Human EventsNeil W. McCabe.

Anyone who knows McCabe knows that he’s a goofy fellow with a taste for theatrics, as far as the news media world is concerned. But indeed, McCabe has been writing a column he titled “The Cloakroom” that appears in the print and online edition of Human Events. He started the column in November 2012 and not unlike Goddard’s blog, it deals with political news figures.

“Hey, I understand there are lapses in research, but come on,” McCabe said. “Why can’t he call it ‘The Coatroom’ or ‘The Room Name Not Taken Yet.’”

Unfortunately for McCabe, he is not the first to have a politics-oriented “Cloakroom” column or blog… Read more

Goddard Repackages Himself in ‘The Cloakroom’

With his contractual relationship with CQ Roll Call now behind him, Taegan Goddard, who previously ran everything he produced on Political Wire, is now calling his blog operation The Cloakroom. His new contract is with The Week, where he is now editor-at-large, the new catch phrase for mostly, sort of still being a part of something without the full marriage.

In an introductory post, he explained what the real cloakroom is, saying, “The cloakroom is where lawmakers in the House and Senate can privately mingle with members of their own parties, jockey for position within their own caucuses, and discuss their agendas. Free from the media glare, it’s often where the big deals are cut and where alliances are formed.”

Political Wire won’t be entirely abandoned and @politicalwire will still be Goddard’s Twitter handle… Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

That Taegan Goddard, a blogger who writes Political Wire, has an announcement coming in the new year as his four-year contract with CQ Roll Call expires. Sources tells us that Goddard and CQ Roll Call are in the process of breaking up. When asked about it, Goddard replied, “My four year agreement with CQ Roll Call expires early next year. I’ll have something to announce soon and will be sure you’ll be among the first to know.” When pressed, he added, “It’s been a pleasure to work with them [CQ Roll Call]. I have some exciting ventures planned for next year but nothing I’m able to announce yet.” Earlier in the year, we reported that Goddard was hoping to secure a new deal with either Politico or National Journal. At the moment, there are no signs that he’s headed for Politico.

We’ve requested a comment from CQ Roll Call. UPDATE: Sujata Mitra, Spokesperson for CQ Roll Call,  wrote back to say, “No comment at this time.”

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