July 2010

Toxic Conversations

Posted: Thu, 07/29/2010 - 6:22pm

A few years ago, my friends Mark Halperin, now of Time Magazine, and John Harris, now of Politico, coined the term “freak show” as a catchall for the fever that overtakes those of us in the information gathering business from time to time.  “Toxicity,” they wrote in their 2006 political book, “The Way to Win,” “is the new defining trait of modern American politics.”

Entering the "Twitterverse"

Posted: Thu, 07/15/2010 - 6:22pm

You see, that headline is what I’ve always hated about Twitter.  

It’s way too cute.

But, alas, I have been lured in.

My first week on Twitter has been enlightening, funny and a little creepy.

You have to understand first that I have long been a firm anti-Twitterer. Life and news is complicated enough to explain without limiting yourself to 140 characters. Plus, I generally have less than zero interest in the eating, dieting and work day habits of people I have never met.

Yet, and still…

Taking the candor challenge

Posted: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 5:05pm

Let me let you in on a Washington reality game show ----the ongoing push and pull between journalists and the people they cover.  The prize: simple candor.

By candor, I don’t mean that I expect the people we interview to act contrary to their own best personal and political interests.  But in an ideal world, it would be nice if everybody could at least try to play by the same Q&A rules.

To wit: we’ll ask the smartest questions we possibly can, and you will at least take a stab at offering a revealing answer.

Who Knew the Supreme Court Could Be Funny?

Posted: Thu, 07/01/2010 - 5:25pm

Perhaps Antonin Scalia has met his match.

It is all well and good that the high court’s most conservative justice probably disagrees with Elena Kagan on nearly everything involving Constitutional interpretation.

But Scalia and Kagan may find far more common ground when it comes to cracking each other up.

If you were watching Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings – and you can be forgiven if you didn’t have 10 or 20 hours to spare – you may have noticed a remarkable amount of lightheartedness in the room.