THE STASH FEBRUARY 18, 2009
Greg Sargent has the response from Politico editor John Harris to some of the comments NYT boss Bill Keller made to Gabe Sherman in his recent story for TNR. (Could you fit any more proper nouns in a sentence without a comma? I think not...) The whole statement is kind of interesting, but this line stood out to me:
We are not a general-interest site but one focused on an audience that is intensely, even obsessively, interested in subjects we dominate--Congress, the White House, national politics.
It caught my eye because I'd guess the Times also likes to think it dominates coverage of the White House and national politics (at least to the extent any outlet can dominate). I kind of read Harris to be saying, "we're beating you at your own game," though much more diplomatically, of course.
(Via--who else?--Ben Smith.)
P.S. For what it's worth, I thought the smartest point anyone made in Gabe's piece was this one by Timesman (and former Postie) Peter Baker:
"There's no question they had a singular impact. They came out of nowhere in a matter of months and forced themselves into the conversation," says the Times' Baker. "Politico occupies a space The Washington Post should have occupied. If there is anyone who writes obsessively about politics, it should be the Washington newspaper."
That's exactly right. It's just remarkable that the top people at the Post weren't able to figure this stuff out (particularly since, as Gabe reports, Harris and his partner in crime, Jim VandeHei, tried to explain it to them before they left to start Politico). That may be one reason so many Posties have left in recent years--and why the Post now has a young new editor, Marcus Brauchli.
Update: Alex Massie has a characteristically smart take on Politico--he sees it as a British paper at heart (and he means that in a good way).