CJR’s campaign blog rules

January 28, 2004

You’d be forgiven for thinking the folks at Columbia Journalism Review are a gang of navel-gazing worrywarts … sometimes it seems like 90 percent of their coverage is of the “latest example of the sad state of modern journalism” variety. If we’re not becoming better newsies and better human beings, it’s not for the lack of CJR trying.

That’s the backdrop for my initial skepticism about the CJR campaign blog — could this organization of earnest Eagle scouts be worth a damn at blogging? I’m happy to say, yeah.

First, they’ve got the voice down — irreverent, straightforward, self-deprecating, quick with the pop-culture references.

One thing Campaign Desk hopes to avoid is coming across like the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live…but sometimes temptation calls.

And they’re calling the Big Media when they go ’round the bend with their polls.

Simply by tossing that stink bomb into the official exit poll, the networks and their consortium have blatantly inserted themselves as players, rather than reporters, in the Democratic primaries to come.

Hope they’ve got enough energy to keep this up through November. Great steaming heaps of bullshit are going to be everywhere … the challenge is to not become so accustomed to the smell that you develop an affection for it (this is what afflicts to most campaign reporters, I suspect). If the CJR folks can keep this pace up they’ll deserve a Nobel Prize for patience and fortitude.

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