Ben Smith at Politico reports that The Washington Post website is displaying a new Internet version of the revolving door between the mainstream media and the leftist barricades: hiring bloggers. Greg Sargent, who worked for the Bush-bashing blog Talking Points Memo and for a time wrote a poor-man’s-Media-Matters blog called "The Horse’s Mouth" attacking the idea of liberal media bias, will work on a new Post website:
Greg's move is both a reminder of how the new liberal reporting infrastructure --TPM and Huffpo, in particular -- were as much competitors as any newspaper in breaking news this cycle; and a sign of how porous the barriers, which used to be fairly substantial, between "MSM" and "blogosphere" (and, for that matter, political campaigns and advocacy groups) have become.
The revolving door first revolved the other way, with old Post vets like Thomas Edsall being hired by the Huffington Post. Now the revolving is going from partisan to "mainstream." Sargent signed off to his hard-core liberal readership this way:
I'm heading over to The Washington Post, where I'll be writing the lead blog on a new site that WaPo is launching. This will drive you mad with curiosity, unfortunately, but the details on the new site and blog will only be forthcoming when it launches the week after next.
In response to saddened TPM readers, asking him if he’d back to the partisan blogging for 2012, he said "all I can say is I really hope to be part of TPM again..."
Some liberal bloggers treated the news like Sargent had joined the Dark Side, as if the Washington Post was a thoroughly disreputable right-wing outfit. Take Brad DeLong:
He jumps from an organization with integrity and a reputation -- Talking Points Memo -- to one without – The Washington Post...I'm trying to think of people who have written for WPNI in the past half-decade without doing damage to their reputations. Dan Froomkin and Walter Pincus and Paul Blustein are the only names that come immediately to mind...
For Sargent’s incredibly lame attempt to embarrass Brent Bozell and me and our alleged "wingnut mendacity" in our book Whitewash, see here.