Politico: A “Vulgar arsehole Of A Publication” That’s Rolling The Competition


Traffic to Politico — the political news site that broke word of John McCain’s seven houses and Sarah Palin’s shopping spree — was supposed to tank after the election.

It dropped, but not nearly to pre-election levels. Now, according to Compete, traffic is climbing again, up 6% month-over-month.

Naturally, this success is driving Politico’s rivals crazy.

Which is probably why the best part of The New Republic‘s feature, “The Scoop Factory: Inside Politico and the brave new world of post-print journalism,” is when writer Gabriel Sherman gets to quoting the site’s detractors. 

Here are those paragraphs:

Politico‘s pace and self-promotion has irritated some in the Washington press corps. “It’s maddening. Everyone has to chase them,” one Washington reporter complains. “You wind up running down these gotcha moments that are painful. … [I]t’s the New York Post approach to generating news.” 

Wonkette called Politico a “vulgar arsehole of a publication” and announced the blog would cease linking to the site. “We will stop linking to these particularly retarded, trollish articles Politico front-pages just to get a crappy two-minute panel slot on [Anderson Cooper] 360 later in the night.”

The Times‘ Bill Keller dismisses Politico‘s scooplets as an insubstantial foundation on which to build a sustainable news organisation. “If you hadn’t reminded me, I couldn’t have told you who broke the seven houses and the six-figure wardrobe budget. … Politico has focused on an inside game. I’m not sure if it translates to an outside game. I’m not sure how they get scale, and, if they don’t, I’m not sure what the business model is.”

Was your favourite bit when Times editor Bill Keller pretended his paper hasn’t cited Politico 200 times since February 2007? Ours too.

But we also liked Wonkette’s “retarded, trollish” quotes, if only because of this chart: