Josh Marshall notes on Twitter today that his website Talking Points Memo is fourteen years old today. Wow. I distinctly remember having lunch with Josh at the Dupont Circle Chipotle back about the time he started TPM, and it sounded to me like it was a way for him to promote himself as a free-lance journalist after he left The American Prospect. Little did we know….
TPM made its bones as a player in American politics when Josh just wouldn’t let go of Trent Lott’s suggestion that America would be a better place if Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948. What might otherwise have been a one-day story reflecting the MSM’s disinterest in the racist past of Respected Senior Statesmen turned into a firestorm leading to Lott’s resignation as Senate Minority Leader. Similar doggedness from Josh, supplemented by an effort to mobilize readers, played a significant role in the quick demise of George W. Bush’s Social Security “reform” proposal in 2005. And TPM itself, of course, has become a multi-faceted media presence.
I used to be a pretty regular columnist for TPMCafe back when it didn’t pay a dime and I rationalized free work as “exposure,” and am glad to be back writing for them weekly (for a pittance this time, but everything helps). Readers of this blog know how often I link to or quote TPM stories, often fresh news, sometimes good condensations of news first reported elsewhere. Sometimes there’s a bit too much shouting going on for my taste, but then again, perspective on the news is why one should read PA as well as TPM, right?
So I’m glad Josh’s idea to do this blog thing back when it was relatively novel turned out so well, and I hope he’s got the energy for a few more crusades. Something in the air tells me the opportunity will come along.