WIN THE CONVO  10:49 am April 21, 2010

Hilarious One-Paragraph History of Politico’s News-Invention Morning-Win Technique

by Ken Layne

Another win of the imaginary morning ....We’re now about eight nine pages into this very long NYT magazine thing about The Politico, and it’s mostly the stuff you know about — the funny cartoon video somebody made, all the reporters who quit, etc. But there’s one crucial bit of Win the Morning hilarity we must share with you, as it succinctly describes the entire news process at The Politico, which consists of “make up something, let it bounce around Washington a few hours, and then breathlessly report the official denial.”

More recently, Allen asked in his April 10 Playbook: “Good Saturday morning: For brunch convo: Why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the media short lists for the Court?” By Monday, the convo had moved from the brunch table to “Morning Joe” (where the host, Joe Scarborough, advocated for her) and “Today” (where the Republican senator Orrin Hatch mentioned her, too). Later that day, Politico’s Ben Smith quoted a State Department spokesman who “threw some coolish water on the Clinton-for-Scotus buzz in an e-mail.” By then, the cable and blog chatter was fully blown. The White House issued a highly unusual statement that Secretary Clinton would not be nominated. Politico then sent out a “breaking news alert,” and Smith reported that the White House had “hurriedly punctured the trial balloon.” End of convo.


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Hola wonkerados.

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LordBuckley April 21, 2010 at 10:53 am

Uh, how about the fact that he’s a fucking hoarder?

JMP April 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

The NY Times piece is eleven pages long, all on the Politico, and Ken’s reading the whole thing? Man, he must have a high pain threshold.

Looy April 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

And this from the article: “I should disclose a few things: I have known Mike Allen for more than a decade. We worked together at The Washington Post, where I spent nine years and where I came to know VandeHei and Harris. We all have the same friends and run into each other a lot, and I have told them how much I admire what they have achieved at Politico. I like them all.
In other words, I write this from within the tangled web of “the community.” I read Playbook every morning on my BlackBerry, usually while my copies of The New York Times and The Washington Post are in plastic bags. When Allen links to my stories, I see a happy uptick in readership. I have also been a source: after I “spotted” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at an organic Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood last year — picking up kung pao chicken with brown rice (“for Tim”) — I dutifully e-mailed Allen with the breaking news.”

weejee April 21, 2010 at 10:55 am

Gno newz = horseshit reported as de newz = newz

Ain’t this is just an Appalachian marryin’ type of a cousin of


freakishlystrong April 21, 2010 at 10:55 am

So “Convo” = making shit up. So you can then have breaking news disavowing said shit.

Terry April 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

Ailes to run for President? Oh, please, that would be delicious.

Doglessliberal April 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

Being a journalist is a lot easier if you make up the news.

Buzz Feedback April 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

Considering going My Lai on another Village.

Another DC Lawyer (Again) April 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

I spent brunch with Allen and now I have weird leisons all over my convo.

norbizness April 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

“Norbizness Pushes Ailes Down a Flight of Stairs”

sigerson April 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

Wasn’t this the same shit that Halperin did with The Note? (now with the subtitle: “The Original and Most Influential Tipsheet” hahahaha)

And of course isn’t “Playbook” crypto-Republican while “The Note” was subtly liberal?

DirkLeisure April 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

This part from the 4th paragraph is really all anyone needs to read:

“…Politico wants to “drive the conversation” in the new-media landscape of the 21st. It wants to “win” every news cycle by being first with a morsel of information, whether or not the morsel proves relevant, or even correct, in the long run — and whether the long run proves to be measured in days, hours or minutes.”

True or untrue? Relevant or irrelevant? Eh, fuck it, throw it up on the wall and see if it sticks.

user-of-owls April 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

Against my will, my addled mind has been conjuring up visions of what Ken’s profile on a dating service site would look like. Maybe something along the lines of:

-Taking a personal Long March along Western coastlines
-Blood-curdling mockery
-Ban Hammering

-All things Politico
-Fucking evil Nazi child-raping fucking evil (again) Popes
-See above

doxastic April 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

[re=561065]Looy[/re]: I can’t wait to drop this steaming pile of simulacra on my students the next time one of them juxtaposes academia with the “real world.” Real, eh?

AddHomonym April 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

Looks like we got us a convo. 10-4 good buddy. What, too obscure?

Texan Bulldoggette April 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

[re=561069]Terry[/re]: Yeah, Ailes could be Jabba the Hut & he could have Snowbilly on a leash in her cone bra. Just think of all the fantasies that would fulfill….

Ailes/Palin 2012!

Norbert April 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

[re=561080]user-of-owls[/re]: Sounds pretty alright… Hey Ken, got a younger sister?

Norbert April 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

[re=561082]AddHomonym[/re]: Yeah, we gotta great big convo.

bitchincamaro April 21, 2010 at 11:14 am

[re=561074]norbizness[/re]: Ha!

Joshua Norton April 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

“Ailes to run for President? Oh, please, that would be delicious.”

Now-a-days, no repiggie has any street cred unless there’s some kind of tie-in to running for president. It’s becoming obligatory that you can’t mention one wingnut name without including the fact that they once ran, were once considered, or are currently considering running for president.

Katydid April 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

Reporters reporting on reporters reporting made-up reports. It’s so 21st new media.

TubeCity April 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

Today we are all jealous of Politico.

It SO doesn’t deserve the attention!

Why don’t they write about when I wake up, or when I “hit send”? At least I’m not making stuff up for “convo.”

geminisunmars April 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

[re=561082]AddHomonym[/re]: You’ve got my CB all aquiver.

Oldskool April 21, 2010 at 11:29 am

So their motus operandi is suspiciously like the one at Fox; cherrypick a minor outrage, fuel the flames of outrage 24/7, spend weeks reporting on hyperventilating critics of outrageous outrage. So evil it’s genius.

bureaucrap April 21, 2010 at 11:32 am

[re=561078]DirkLeisure[/re]: In that case, Wonkette should start “winning the morning” every morning with made-up s**t that it swears is true (saw it on the back of a bus, or got it in last night’s fortune cookie) like “Obama releases long-form birth certificate” or “Glenn Beck and Janet Napolitano are the Same Person!”. If “winning” no longer relies on truth, then the sky’s the limit. Go for it, Ken!!!!

Dolmance April 21, 2010 at 11:32 am

Roger looks like Goya’s Dog in that picture.

JMP April 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

[re=561082]AddHomonym[/re]: Nah. Here’s obscure:

The Politico just has to report something; it should remember that no gnus is good gnus.

Johnny Zhivago April 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

I’ve been advocating Hillary for the Court here on Wonkette for about 2 years.

thesheriffisnear April 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

Roger Ailes ate a baby!!!

mumblyjoe April 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

I especially love how by the end of it, the implication is that the ‘Trial Balloon’ had its origins with the White House, rather than Mike Allen’s feverish, cocaine-fuelled insanity-dreams.

Gumboz1953 April 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

Get thee to a convo.

JMP April 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

[re=561118]Johnny Zhivago[/re]: Not a good choice, except for the pissing off conservatives factor; we need someone in their mid-40s at most, and she’s busy and doing a good job over at State anyway.

Mahousu April 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

[Allen] became animated when discussing a long-ago reporting job in Fredericksburg, Va. His favorite story there was headlined, “Hot Dog: A Meal or a Snack?” … “Every single thing that I’ve written since then,” Allen said, “whether it’s about a mayor or a governor or senator or president, it all boils down to, ‘Hot Dog: A Meal or a Snack?’…”
The man is more self-aware than I thought.

comicbookguy April 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

[re=561125]thesheriffisnear[/re]: Fox News hurriedly pops the baby-eating trial balloon.

Way Cool Larry April 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

talk about furious fapping

Crank Tango April 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

[re=561109]bureaucrap[/re]: I think that Harley D. Brown is Janet Napolitano without her headmerkin. Also, no one has ever seen them at the same place and time, so…

comicbookguy April 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Wonkette writes a story about the NYT story about Politico making up stories. I comment on the Wonkette with absolutely no knowledge of anything, and the circle of life is complete.

SayItWithWookies April 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

[re=561082]AddHomonym[/re]: I thought the Convo was the thing Ralph Nader said was unsafe at any speed.

donner_froh April 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

[re=561073]Another DC Lawyer (Again)[/re]: Try throwing some coolish water on your throbbing convo. They found at the State Department that it eases the pain of the pus-filled blisters that are a natural result of brunch with Allen.

Gumboz1953 April 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

[re=561130]JMP[/re]: Far be it from me to advocate losing my boss, but I think she’d be confirmed pretty easily. GOP wouldn’t dare filibuster somebody who so many people knew and supported. But question is, does she want it. I can’t believe she’d turn down a position like that, but I dunno.

Barrelhse April 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm

[re=561082]AddHomonym[/re]: That’s a big 10-4 to ya, Rubber Diaper.

Jim89048 April 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Since Ailes is owned by an Australian, doesn’t his “citizenship” also belong to his overlord, negating any possible run at the presidency?

Sharkey April 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Pffft. Bet he nominates Chelsea instead. After all, she’ll “last longer”.

yargisbargis April 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm

[re=561138]comicbookguy[/re]: Don’t forget to note Gawker citing Wonkette on NYT on Poliitico–and WOnkette who then cites Gawker’s citation of Wonkette on NYT on Politico which is then cited by me, citing also you who cites NYT which is citing Politico….

Come here a minute April 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Cause we gotta great big convo, rockin’ through the night
Yeah we gotta great big convo, ain’t she a beautiful sight?
Come on an’ join our convo, ain’t nothin’ gonna git in our way
We’re gonna roll this fuckin’ convo, cross the USA
Convo. . . Convo. . .

snideinplainsight April 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Maybe Wonkette could have a new feature “Politico News of the Morning” always an entirely made-up news story. But then it would be like War Of The Worlds, you’d have people jumping off of bridges and cowering in cellars based on whatev you made up for the day –

Go ahead, make up the news – you know you want to. We will forgive you if you do (that’s not the same as giving you permission.)

gjdodger April 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm

That’s “Con” for “Conservative,” and “vo” for “We’ve been drinking VO all morning, and this sounds pretty good to us.”

Aurelio April 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Why is the NYT putting on its slouch hat and Ray Bans and pimping Politico? I thought that unsightly jam rag was a Washington Post spin-off.

Gumboz1953 April 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm

On another topic — I like that ad picture on the left, depicting Lieberman with the top of his head sawed off and the ‘shroom cloud erupting. I’d pay money to watch that.

Lazy Media April 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Y’know, 100 years ago journalism was this shitty; it was just all on paper. I wonder if j school students 50 years from now will be studying The Age of Bullshit, in the way that we studied yellow journalism.

Extemporanus April 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm

[re=561115]JMP[/re]: And it’s because of that motto that Gary Gnu regularly won my morning.

Actually, The Great Space Coaster and POLITICO do share quite a bit in common — for starters, they’re both full of nonsense-spouting puppets with hands up their asses.

Lionel Hutz Esq. April 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Well, I would be upset if someone punctured my trial balloon just because it was not true. Hell, FOX News wouldn’t exist if that happened all the time.

TakingAmes April 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm

[re=561065]Looy[/re]: Breaking news!!! Geithner likes his kung pao spicy! We report, you decide.

Beowoof April 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

The movie, Run Fat Boy Run, is pre-made so it is a win if this fat, lying, pos were to run.

rastignac April 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

[re=561074]norbizness[/re]: “Norbizness Pushes Ailes Down a Flight of Stairs”

Not that the image is not appealing. But you look so serene. I knew there was something about you that reminded me of Kate on Lost.

rastignac April 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

[re=561133]Mahousu[/re]: ‘Hot Dog: A Meal or a Snack?’…”

He hadn’t grown in all those years? I at least would have expected him to have expanded it to:

‘Hot Dog: A Meal, Snack or Sex Toy?’

LiveFromSinusCity April 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

[re=561125]thesheriffisnear[/re]: worse than that, he ate a dingo!

ddenby April 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

[re=561065]Looy[/re]: And he didn’t email that to his Wonkette for their very frequent and regular “Wonk’d” series? Lamers.

Ducksworthy April 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

[re=561133]Mahousu[/re]: I’m hoping for Anita Hill.

thefrontpage April 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm

This entire magazine cover is nothing but a big stinking bubble-world pile of bullshit. Nothing else. Allen is not the great pundit this piece of crap elevates him to be. In fact, Politico is routinely, almost daily, put down, insulted, struck down, crapped on and dismissed by the majority of serious–read: serious–journalists in D.C., the area and across the country. Sorry to be so blunt, but the thing doesn’t come anywhere close to the journalistic, intelligent, probing, researched, documented and analytical real journalism covering the government that is carried out daily by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Congress Daily, and other government-centric publications. Sadly for the Allbrittons, all of these publications–most of them daily newspapers–routinely do a far better job of covering government and politics than the Politico thing. And that’s a fact.

NYNYNY April 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

OK Wonk.: brief convo: how can we get Roger Ailes to run for President? It never occurred to me that he could, I assumed he was from Australia or New Zealand or the Isle of Fuckin Wight. But no, a wiki surch tells me he is a hemophiliac 70 yrs old from Ohio who worked for Nixon. So- quick pow-wow- Ailes- president- debating Mitt Romney- Sarah Palin = comedy. Ideas.

cts April 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Folks, “convo” was a joke. Liebovitch knew it and his editors knew it, so I’m not sure why you’re highlighting it. He was mocking the word by calling attention to it.

problemwithcaring April 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm

[re=561444]cts[/re]: Yes, concur. He mocked it thoroughly by using it twice in one grafe. WHY AREN’T YOU PEOPLE LAUGHING!!?!

iolanthe April 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm

[re=561375]thefrontpage[/re]: Yeah. I don’t understand why Yahoo News *always* points to a bunch of Politico links.

BTW, I was highly amused, having a conversation with a far-gone batshit right wing nut on the “gay rights” article on Yahoo a few days back, to hear the RWN refer to Politico as “part of the Liberal media” and a “well-known Liberal site.”

NYNYNY April 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm

[re=561444]cts[/re]: Personally, I don’t give a shit if it was a joke. You think I’m actually going to go to the Politico link?

HuddledMass April 22, 2010 at 7:42 am

[re=561444]cts[/re]: Liebovitch is that you? Get back to work.

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