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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, January 06, 2005


Jon Stewart: Powerful Television Mogul

posted by Charles Bird at Thursday, January 06, 2005 permalink View blog reactions

Well, he's not a mogul but he is powerful. Less than three months ago, Stewart appeared on CNN's Crossfire and totally annihilated the show and its hosts. As I wrote here, Stewart should get an Emmy Award for the category of Best Guest on a Talking Head Show. There isn't a real category for this, but maybe they should invent one. CNN president Jonathan Klein decided to end it rather than mend it, announcing yesterday that he pulled the plug on the program. Good riddance, I say. Klein: "I think he [Stewart] made a good point about the noise level of these types of shows, which does nothing to illuminate the issues of the day." Capital Gang is also on the outs, which had some of the same partisan head-butting as Crossfire. Capital Gang was a better show. I'll actually miss that one.

In the middle of the Stewart segment on Crossfire, there was a brief shot of Carlson in an unguarded moment, and the look on his face showed unmitigated anger, laced with a little bit of fear about his career prospects. I think he saw the future in that brief moment, and the future didn't include him at CNN.


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.