Today we attended HuffPo Luncheon: RNC Edition, which was actually one of the most feisty and interesting panels we've witnessed (though this morning's Politico breakfast was fairly feisty in its own right). Here's who was there, via Twitter, which is how we will tell this story (c'mon, Old Guard, it'll be fine):
@FishbowlDC At huffpo lunch: ruth marcus, matthew cooper, cindy adams, sam stein, nico pitney, byron york
@tvnewser More At HuffPo: Jeff Greenfield, Joe Klein, Peggy Noonan.
@FishbowlDC At huffpo lunch: barbara comstock, peggy noonan, lynn sweet, tony blankley, jeff greenfield
@FishbowlDC At huffpo lunch: john fox sullivan, tucker carlson, arianna huffington, laura ingraham, joe klein, margaret carlson, mickey kaus
@FishbowlDC At huffpo lunch: david corn, john fund, ron brownstein, ted johnson, jeff dufour, chris licht, joe scarborough, mika brezinski
@FishbowlDC At huffpo lunch: ron brownstein, norm ornstein, tom mann, bill triplett, mario ruiz, georgette mosbacher, chris ariens, willie giest
Though at the beginning it seemed in danger of being mired in questions of blogger ethics (which, honestly, seems a little superfluous at this point. Kit Seelye blogs, and no one believed the National Equirer about John Edwards, even though it was a dead-tree newspaper. Voila! Platforms are just where you go to park your copy. Move on, nothing to see here, etc.), the panel eventually moved on to questions about what the migration to new platforms actually meant — to the discourse, to the election, to the participants, to the gatekeepers and to the gates themselves.
It was interesting — Peggy Noonan noted that something was going on where the young got their info from one source and the old got their info from another; Tucker Carlson bemoaned the dumbed-down (and uber-nasty) state of the discourse between commenters and flame-throwers who were — wait for it — hurting America; Laura Ingraham pointed out that there were people in the audience that would be inheriting the kingdom, even as they were changing it (meanwhile, in the audience the young guard was furiously tweeting and snapping pics for uploading to blogs; note, however, that none of us young bucks had made it to panel status quite yet).
Here are some highlights, as noted via Twitter from Ana Marie Cox, FishbowlDC's Patrick Gavin, TVNewser's Chris Ariens, and yours truly, each in 140 characters or less — interspersed with some photos, because even Twitters, when taken in the aggregate, can add up.
Panel-icious! John Fund, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington, Laura Ingraham, David Kralik, Cyrus Krohn, Frank Luntz, Peggy Noonan and Rep. John Shadegg, moderated by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Arianna introduces the panel discussion, though if this was a decade ago at summer camp, she'd actually be playing Maria von Trapp and the panelists would be the von Trapp children, and they'd be wearing liederhosen. Then they'd fling their arms out and start running through the room singing joyously about jam and bread. But, I don't make the rules.
@FishbowlDC Joe scar:Are u telling me that there are higher editorial standards In the blogs I read every day than at the new york times and wsj?
@FishbowlDC Ingraham on Palin pregnancy rumor v. News: I love bloggers, but there's so much out there to wade through. props to old school reporting
@FishbowlDC Joe scarborough: we' re going to get to a point where we don't have any investigative journalism
@rachelsklar Peggy Noonan: The MSM is in an awkward moment.
@rachelsklar John Fund is emerging as one of the smarter voices at this panel, actually.
@rachelsklar Callback: Fund brings it back to Ed Rendell's challenge last week.
@tvnewser Panel continues to be stunned by Rep. Shadegg's four blackberries.
@rachelsklar Ingraham: The old media blew it - hence the Druge Report, hence the HuffingtonPost - and by the way, how many of you counted out AH?
@rachelsklar Who are the gatekeepers and where are the gates?
@rachelsklar AH: "Barack Obama would not have been the nominee if not for the internet."
@rachelsklar The New Media is making the Old Media better, saith Rep. John Shadegg. (Saith me: New Media needs to let Old Media make it better, too.)
@FishbowlDC John fund: objectivity is like a unicorn. Its a great little creature that we'll almost never see in our lifetimes
@tvnewser Scarborough plays Donahue, goes into crowd to interview joe Klein.
@FishbowlDC Joe klein just confessed to being a pothead (Ed. Made a joke about working for Rolling Stone and buying dimebags)
@anamariecox Tucker Carlson on vitriol that exists online: "It's hurting America." Sounds familiar.
@rachelsklar Tucker Carlson: The dumb, intolerant blogosphere is hurting America (and right now, if new media strength is on the left, so is the intol).
@FishbowlDC Tucker carlson takes back jon stewarts insult, calling left wing intolerance "what is hurting america"
@rachelsklar Also: Tucker invokes "Animal Farm," which has just been the metaphor I find myself reaching for more and more these days.
@tvnewser Tucker talks about intensity and intolerance online. "And i'm saying this as former host of Crossfire!"
@Margaret Carlson: I used to get way worse hate mail than Kate O'Bierne. Now it's the left that's more vicious.
@tvnewser Arianna on comments: until the tech is there comments will continue to be vitriolic. "I am in favor of removing the cloak of anonymity"
@rachelsklar Peggy: Something is going on in this nation when the young are getting all its information from one thing and the old from another.
Peggy Noonan talks about the "stage fright" of writing....
The "Spencer & Tracy of TV News" (as AH called them)
Finally: who will win the election? Joe Scarborough asks the panel, and then he and Mika deliberate amongst themselves, as they are wont to do: