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Blogging, Bounded

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 22 2008

(In an ongoing experiment, we sometimes repost and slightly expand upon a compelling item covered in the Daily Digest. This is one. -- the editors)

The Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund's acting CEO Jennifer Palmieri has jumped into CAP blogger Matt Yglesias's blog space to issue a "special note." Palmieri distanced the think tank from Yglesias's dig at the organization Third Way as peddlers of "hyper-timid incrementalist bull____," guilty of trying to sell their approach as one and the same as the aggressively moderate approach of Barack Obama. Yglesias's post:

There are a variety of issues that they have nothing whatsoever to say on, and what policy ideas they do have are laughable in comparison to the scale of the problems they allegedly address. Which is fine, because Third Way isn't really a "public policy think tank" at all, it's a messaging and political tactics outfit.

One hitch: Third Way is a CAP partner. Oopsie. Palmieri wrote under the very banner of Yglesias's blog:

Our institution has partnered with Third Way on a number of important projects - including a homeland security transition project - and have a great deal of respect for their critical thinking and excellent work product. They are key leaders in the progressive movement and we look forward to working with them in the future.

The more than 450 comments on Palmieri's mea culpa (or perhaps her "Matt's culpa") weren't kind. Here's a representative one: "This post is EXTREMELY creepy."

With CAP head John Podesta leading the Obama transition effort, it's hard not to see the organization as eager to be the very embodiment of institutional big-tent progressivism. Yglesias's critique of Third Way might be fair and incisive journalism. But having their star blogger calling foul on one centrist group of moderately high profile doesn't help that institutional mission much.

When Yglesias left the journalism world at the Atlantic for the think-tank world of the Center for American Progress, he assured his faithful blog readers that from their point of view, the move "probably won't make a huge difference." That may well have involved a good dose of wishful thinking.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

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