Posts from January 2004

Farewell, Trippi

Farewell, Trippi
: Here’s another theory about what happened to Dean: Maybe the campaign became the star instead of the candidate. (And when people finally did see the candidate, they didn’t like what they saw.)

It’s fascinating reading the comments on Joe Trippi’s farewell post on the Howard Dean blog as he is kicked off the bus and replaced by a Gore Beltway boy.

Most of the comments are grateful tributes to Trippi from the community he brought together online. A few are snarky. A few try, gamely, to rally the troops for under the campaign’s new leadership. But all in all, it feels as if the campaign is sitting shiva for Trippi — or for the campaign itself. If I listen real hard, I think I can hear in the background:

Those were the days, my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

For we were young and sure to have our way

La la la la la la

Now when can you remember a campaign manager drawing this kind of cult of personality? The only personality that matters in a campaign, the only star, must be the candidate. But here Trippi became a star.

Or more accurately, the campaign and the campaigners became the star. It’s about them, not about the candidate. A few weeks ago, we would have said that as wondrous praise of the Dean online miracle: It’s about the people, not the politician.

But that turns out to be a big political mistake, for the voters don’t want to elect a bunch of bloggers with backpacks. They want to elect a leader.

No Jayson Blair

No Jayson Blair
: Emily Bell writes in the Guardian that Andrew Gilligan is no Jayson Blair.

Right. He’s worse.

Blair was merely a psychotic liar who didn’t bother trying to act like a journalist in the end and who only wanted to cheat to keep his job.

Gilligan is worse because he does try to act like a real journalist, even as he single-handedly devalues the credibility of the craft.

Gilligan is worse because he operates on an agenda — anti-war, anti-American, anti-Blair.

Gilligan is worse because he has defenders who share his agenda — BBC executives, numbnutty journalist unions — and who will fall with Gilligan and risk bringing down the BBC and, again, the credibility of jouranlism with them.

Gilligan is worse because he does not have even the same decency as a psychotic liar; he does not have the decency to save his network and his profession; he does not have the decency to quit now.

Gilligan is a bad reporter. He is poison to journalism. The last act of his bosses should be to sack him before they then quit.

Denial

Denial
: There’s pathetic denial going on in certain circles over the Hutton verdict. The Independent (surprise!) says, “Hutton is accused of a ‘whitewash.'” Tee-hee.

Big smoking gun

Big smoking gun
: The Smoking Gun teams up with NBC News. [via LostRemote]

Headline of the day

Headline of the day
: Trippi’s firing according to Kaus: “Beltway 1, Blog 0”