Obama's Bittergate remark -- which I broke and which is revisited in David Plouffe's new book -- was and still is one of the biggest stories of that historic presidential run. It is also still one of the least understood. Here's the untold story behind it.
Most reporters ask the same questions. Meena from Al Jazeera was different. She really wanted to know about "citizen journalism," and made me think all over again about the "citizen" part of the equation.
I'm speaking on a panel titled "Reinventing Political Media." Not surprisingly, few of the media being "reinvented" show up for what sounds like a dousing of Chinese Cultural Revolution-style re-education.
If only Hunter S. Thompson could weigh in on the debate surrounding Mayhill Fowler's controversial piece on Bill Clinton. Imagine Thompson, pleasantly and belligerently drunk, cursing in some chatroom on the Internets.
The title "citizen journalist" was always too French Revolution for me, but I've come to appreciate it. The hierarchical world of politics and media is turning upside down, and I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole.
Citizen reporters provide independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media doesn't provide, goes the argument. Independent? Perhaps. Accurate and reliable? Can't be sure, say concerned professionals.
As an Obama supporter, I was proud to publish Mayhill Fowler's truthful report, though I recognize that it touched off an ordeal for the campaign, a media storm that isn't over and could hurt Obama's chances.
Is it important that Obama respect the average American, from big cities to small towns? Of course — but there is more to determining that than just one misbegotten turn of phrase. Like, say, how he bowls.