You have a new book coming out next month, All The President's Spin: George W. Bush, The Media, And The Truth. Why should I buy it instead of any other "Bush book"?
Lots of people have talked about how they hate the Bush administration's policies, but no one has taken a look at the real story of how he has sold those policies in an incredibly misleading way. And the press never calls him on it. It's the definitive non-partisan critique of how the Bush administration is changing politics. Plus, it's coming out in paperback, so it's almost cheaper than a latte.
In addition to your work as a co-editor of Spinsanity.com, the website that Andrew Sullivan called "a bipartisan bullshit detector," you are assistant managing editor for Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk, an online journalism project that monitors election coverage. And, you have a piece in the magazine this month, with probably the coolest title ever printed in that forum. How does it feel to be one of the lucky few who professionally blog for a living? It's a rare thing, indeed.
Not only am I lucky to be blogging, but I'm lucky to have editors, and in the case of Campaign Desk, a full-time staff of sharp reporters. I used to feel a little bummed that my work appeared online rather than in print, at sites like Spinsanity.com and Salon.com, but now I realize that the internet is actually the ideal medium for the rapid-response fact-checking and covering-the-coverage kind of work that I do. It's great to write in long form as well, like in the case of the book, but the speed and reach of the internet are unbeatable.
Obviously, no one is going to talk about politics for three years after this November. Will you turn to topics beside politics and the media, or chase another kind of spin?
I'm thinking about a number of things right now. There's always the Great American Novel I've been knocking around for a couple of years, and of course, the possibility of four more years of Bush.
And finally, we've been dating forever. As a media critic, wouldn't you say that this interview is a rather troubling conflict of interest?
Probably, although on the other hand, you can always use the clip to get a job at Vanity Fair.
Bryan Keefer is the assistant managing editor of Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk, which monitors media coverage of politics. He is also a co-founder and editor of Spinsanity.com, and co-author of the new book All The President's Spin: George W. Bush, The Media, and The Truth. His personal website is Bryan Keefer.com.