Navel Gazing on Saturday Afternoon

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More information about perjury can be found on the internet.*

Seriously: It looks bad, indeed it may be worse than Watergate. Here’s my question for the haters: Do you think that my apparently insufficient number of posts about him means that I didn’t know about Gonzales’ troubles? Did you think it meant that I didn’t care? Did you think it meant that I didn’t think readers cared? Did you think that it meant I didn’t think readers should care? Or, is it at all possible that I thought our Swampland commentators — who are more plugged into the liberal blogosphere than we contributors are — already might be getting their daily recommended allowance of Gonzales news elsewhere? That, perhaps, I have been posting on the YouTube debate because it is of particular interest to me as a cultural phenomenon, and that it involves people who are already sources of mine, and dovetails nicely with some of my areas of experience?

A larger issue: There’s a subset of commenters here and elsewhere who express disapproval, nay, outrage, whenever attention is paid to anything else besides what they themselves have determined is important. At times I try to understand that anger as constructive criticism, and I’ve turned my attention to the subjects people have suggested I look at. Other times, that anger feels as though it’s a judgment not on what we’ve decided to post, but upon our entire careers and even characters.

When I describe Swampland to people, I usually use the metaphor of an editorial meeting — and I do think the tone of our conversation has that, “Hey, did you know?” aspect of colleagues sharing interesting information. But it’s unlike an editorial meeting in that, yes, it’s true, we often don’t write/discuss the absolute biggest issues of the day. We’re looking at the margins and trying to see around corners, writing about things that may bubble up later or about the unexplored angles of things you already know about. In that sense, it’s less like an editorial meeting than a watercooler.

I know many of you all are deeply upset about the direction of the Iraq war and the behavior of the Bush administration in general. What percentage of your day-to-day conversation with friends and colleagues is spent discussing it? Five? Ten? Maybe 20? If it’s over twenty, I hope that’s because you have a lot of like minded friends.

I had lunch with the director of yesterday and we spent, tops, 30 percent of our time on the war and it’s what he does for a living.

I don’t expect this message to stop the number of comments we get that have to do with asking us to not post about whatever it is we posted about and instead post on something else, but I hope it disabuses you of the notion that we don’t care about the things we don’t post about, and that we don’t care what you think.

An idea that may help the conversation along, please discuss: What if the first post of every day was an invitation for you all to write to us about what you think the most important political stories of the moment are? Might that make it possible to keep the discussion of other posts focused on the topic of that post, as well as create a non-confrontational way to influence what gets our attention?

Just a thought.

Will also take nominations for what we should call that first post. DIY Swampland? YourSpace? Morning Mud?

*Those of you who don’t already read The Comics Curmudgeon, you’re in for a treat

UPDATE: More names: “Ooze You Can Use”? “News You Can Ooze”? “Swamp This”?