Monday, October 11, 2004

Sort of Half-Assed Live and After-The-Fact Blogging of Wonkette at Columbia J-School

So who is Wonkette really besides the devilish doyenne of DC doings-after-dark, the reigning royalty of Rotunda repartee, the be-knighted bane of bogus beltway bluster, the snarky siren of Senate-aide sex scandal, the innovative ingénue of Internets intrigue, and the pioneering princess of prurient political psst! posts?

Let’s find out, shall we?

6:57 – WTF? Where’s the lipstick? This is ridiculous – What does Johnny Apple have that I don’t besides like 9 Pulitzers. Still, not bad at all, for an early thirty-something.

6:58 – Most important questions of the evening: Does she put anything in her hair or is it natural? And where did she get those fab shoes? And what the hell is with that quasi-throwback brown triptych-LA t-shirt. I’ll try to ask.

7:01 – Oh yes, Aaahhna. Like manna from heaven this one.

7:02 – Wonky summarizes her day: “I rise at 7, which doesn’t always happen, and walk across the hall to the office.” What happens next is a little unclear, but Wonky mentions something about Mimosas and pajamas.

7:04 – Wonky’s very proud that her political roundup is the shortest in the biz. Definitely shorter than Halperin’s daily thesis.

7:05 – Wonky disses “straight male” Richard Leiby: “Wonderful guy, but probably the worst political gossip columnist around. He reports, he checks facts.” Oh Jesus, someone call Len Downie, this reporting and fact checking cannot be allowed to continue.

7:07 – Wonky says that hers is the only blog that with a “representational figure” on it. Holy shit, we’re dealing with a veritable Roland Barthes here.

7:09 – Wonky opines: “I actually take politics fairly seriously - I’m more Wonk than Wonkette.” Did someone say bonk?

7:11 – JSCHOOL05 EXCLUSIVE!!! MUST CREDIT JSCHOOL05!!! DRINKING AND BLOGGING DON’T MIX. (Ed: See jackass, I told you.) Though Wonky allows that she frequently blogs hung-over. (Ed’s Ed: There is something very sexy about the idea of Wonkette blogging while hung-over but I can’t quite put my finger on it. (Ed’s Ed’s Ed: Just put your finger on it and shut up, you cretin. (Ed’s Ed’s Ed’s Ed: Wait, but she said that she liked TMFTML, and he always blogged drunk, right?)))

7:11 – Wonky quotes Hobbes and suggests life for political bloggers after the election will be “nasty, brutish and short.” She hasn’t seen my Leviathan yet.

7:15 – Wonky says she makes “less than twenty-thousand dollars a year.” With her looks, she could be making a mint working for Vivid (completely work safe, if you work at Hustler.) (Ed: Denton, can you figure out some kind of cross-marketing synergy with Fleshbot on this?)

7:15 – Wonky drops the bombshell: “I have a husband.” Hari-Kari time.

7:17 – “I would like to work less and earn more.” Somebody get Robin Byrd (completely work safe, if you work at Hustler), on the phone. After all, Wonky acknowledges that TV is “easy and fun.”

7:18 – Wonky says she has no timetable for quitting. “I’m having such a good time. It’s nice to be famous for DC, its nice to have people suck up to you.” I’m sure it is.

7:19 – Wonky says the photo shoot with Johnny Apple for NYT Magazine was “humiliating… I got treated like a model.” Ok, we’re making progress.

7:20 – Wonky is ambivalent about the NYT Magazine piece itself. “I don’t think it hung together very well. I would have cut me…Clearly Matt liked me, and wanted to hang out with me. He bought me lots of expensive dinners.” Ok boyo, the gauntlet has officially been thrown down. (Ed: The day they let you write a cover story for NYT Mag will be the day Dick Cheney is appointed Chief Justice of the International Criminal Court.)

7:21 – Wonky takes exception to the suggestion that just because MTV did not ask her to report on the RNC, (Ed: isn’t there a word for that?), “My TV career is NOT over, I’ve actually done a lot of TV since then.” My, my, Wonky darling, a little testy are we not?

7:22 – Wonky takes credit for improving the quality of White House pool reports. Somebody confirm with Adam.

7:23 – Wonky: “Surprisingly, conservatives have a sense of humor.” She claims Tucker Carlson didn’t know she was a liberal until this fall “in which case he’s dumber than he looks.”

7:25 – Wonky on her craft: I’m “journalism,” not journalism.

7:26 – Wonky on decency: “I have held back on items, like a bunch of Joe Lockhart stuff.” Wonky doesn’t want to contribute to “Joe feeling weird.” Neither, frankly, do we so we will abstain from repeating her claims that he eats babies and “has sexual relations” with office supplies.

7:28 – Wonky elaborates with a pithy little formulation: “I don’t mine ruining someone’s day, I just don’t want to ruin their life.”

7:29 – Which brings us to Washingtonienne, whose life is decidedly not ruined: “If I knew she was as stupid as she really was,” Wonky says, she would not have publicized her blog.

7:30 – Wonky sloganates: “Adventurous sex – a little obsession on Wonkette.”

7:31 – “Wonkette is complementary to mainstream journalism, it shouldn’t replace it.” I disagree entirely. I think there should be only one publication of any kind in America: State-run Wonkinhua News Agency.

7:33 – Wonky responds to critics who claim she’s a sell out: “I’m so over arguing about mainstream vs. indie. That’s just not a concern for me.” Clearly.

7:34 – “Wonkette’s first audience is me.”

7:37 – Wonky on her “thousand sources” and the “thousand emails” she receives daily: “There’s something called hyperbole, called exaggeration.” Thanks for clarifying.

7:45 – Wonky: Denton is “a genius at spotting talent,” (Ed: natch), but “a terrible editor who gives really bad advice on stories.” On the other hand, Choire “is the best!”

7:46 – Wonky: Denton conceives of blogs as “vessels for funneling advertising dollars.” Does Wonky ever feel like she is being used to enrich someone else’s business? Tais-toi infidèle! the siren responds with a look that could melt Dick Cheney’s heart. Wonky says that all mainstream journalism is really just about ad-revenue. Ouch, touché, Wonky!

7:47 – Wonky gets all misty-eyed about her “friends on the Hill…I have a lot of respect for what they do, it’s how government happens. I’m knocking them from a place of love.” Knocking them from a place of love, eh?

7:49 – Wonky: “I’m going to for vote for Kerry, but he does some stupid shit and I have to call him on it.”

7:55 – Wonky will NEVER have comments on her blog: “I’m very possessive of the site and as long as I’m doing it, it’ll be my words only.”

7:58 – At last we FINALLY we get to the substantive policy discourse: Hair au natural, bag by Coach. shoes by Via Spaga – “got ‘em at Bloomingdales on Sunday.”

You go Wonky. Thanks for coming to talk to us. By the power vested in me by exactly no one, I hereby confer upon you, for your service to journalism, an honorary degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. And if things don’t work out with Mr. Wonkette, look me up. I’ll be working at a McDonald’s in Hoboken.