Ben Buchwalter


MoJo Interview with Eric Boehlert
November 22, 2009, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Media, Mother Jones | Tags: , ,

June 26, 2009

I’ve always been fascinated by the chronology of blogging and how it became the media bohemith it is today. Now, every newspaper, magazine, and even government agency has a blog. But when the movement began, it was defined by a cohort of unpaid independents who blogged secretly at work, or at nights and on weekends… whenever they could fit it in. Eric Boehlert, the Media Matters blogger who was once a Salon reporter, tied some of these stories together in his book Bloggers on the Bus. I spoke to Boehlert about Obama-era netroots, up and coming wonks, and the future of the blogosphere. Hear the podcast and read the interview.

Here’s an excerpt:

It’s interesting, the stories I enjoy telling were bloggers who really didn’t fit the classic caricature of a liberal blogger. The idea of someone right out of college with a laptop and black glasses and a beard typing away was never really accurate, but I think it got pushed in the press. I found, instead, people like Mayhill Fowler, who was a campaign correspondent for “Off the Bus” project last year. She’s the one who broke the “bittergate” story and she’s the one who broke, on the last day of the campaign, Bill Clinton going off on a Vanity Fair reporter on the rope line. She’s in her sixties, she’s a mother from the Bay area who had no connection to politics or journalism prior to the last campaign. People like Howie Klein who runs Down with Tyranny, who’s been very helpful in terms of getting funding for some of those insurgent Democrats. Those very liberal candidates who want to run for Congress. Howie used to be a record company president – Reprise Records – he had a very long and distinguished career in the music industry and then he turned 60, and decided that he wanted a second life and that it would be blogging. One other one that I’ll mention real quick is John Amato, who created Crooks and Liars in the summer of 2004. John was playing saxophone with Duran Duran as his last job before starting Crooks and Liars, which revolutionized blogging and liberal blogging by introducing video into the content. And of course this was pre-YouTube, when it was impossible just to get snippets of a TV show and put it on your blog. John cracked the code and was able to do that. John turned 50 during the campaign last year. So I enjoy telling the stories of people who had more of a life resume and came to blogging later in life and brought with them this unique perspective and unique talent that otherwise, without the Internet, never would have been tapped in to.

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