Panelists at the PJMedia event, left to right (click the image for a larger version): Michael Barone, Tom Bevan, Mark Blumenthal, Jane Hall, Cliff May, Paul Mirengoff, Claudia Rosett
On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Pajamas Media event at the National Press Club. An hour of cocktails, canapés, and chat preceded the main event, and allowed everybody to loosen up before the panel discussion began.
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As I mentioned yesterday, I met up with Neo-neocon, Fausta of Fausta’s Blog, Judith from Kesher Talk, and Michael Totten before the event. These were people whose blogs I was already familiar with and enjoy, so we had interesting discussions before proceeding on to the National Press Club.
In fact, a lot of the evening was spent meeting up with old friends, except these old friends were people I had never met before. I talked to Pamela from Atlas Shrugs, Eric from Classical Values, the eponymous TigerHawk (whose family estate is not far from us here in Virginia), Seafarious from Rantburg, and Bill from InDC Journal. There are probably many others who are left out of this list, but the wine flowed freely that night and my recall of all the faces and names has grown blurry…
Then there were the Big Boys: Roger Simon, the CEO of Pajamas, Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit, and Gerard Van der Leun from American Digest (and also a PJM correspondent in Seattle).
On the panel were Michael Barone, whom I have long admired, Cliff May from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and NRO, Paul Mirengoff from Powerline, and Claudia Rosett from the Wall Street Journal. Richard Miniter, also of the WSJ, made some remarks before the panel discussion.
Nidra Poller, who has recently signed on as the PJM correspondent Paris was there with some family members, and it was especially gratifying to speak with her. She met Fjordman at the Hague a while back — she says he’s young!
Roger Simon, Gerard Van der Leun, and Glenn Reynolds all made remarks before the panel discussion, which was wide-ranging on the general topic of the “new media” and their place in our common discourse. The panelists and the questioners returned repeatedly to the topic of excessive “partisanship” in the blogs, whether it is a good or bad thing, and how it might be avoided.
Eric at Classical Values quotes a lefty blogger concerning the event:
To their credit, PJM is smart enough to keep their big-name hyper-partisans out of the public eye. Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, notorious for his self-proclaimed “moderate” position by way of merely linking to right-wing blogs on a daily basis instead of offering the viewpoints himself, served as moderator… The extremists who might have, you know, made the hypocrisy of the event’s premise embarrassingly blatant were kept in the shadows…
You know, I hate to say it, but he’s right. The extremists, the frothing-at-the-mouth members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, people like Your Humble Correspondent, were there in force, but they weren’t featured prominently. Pamela, of course, was irrepressible, and everywhere in evidence. But the rest of us… we were not so obvious.
Since I was in the front row, I kibitzed and talked back to the panelists during the discussion (you can hear me talking to Cliff May in Pamela’s video). During the question-and-answer session I raised my hand repeatedly — “Me, teacher! Call on me! Please! Please!” — but Glenn Reynolds was smart enough to pass me by.
You see, Pajamas Media is doing well, attracting new talent, and expanding its business. They have their advertisers to consider. If some of the advertisers actually knew what goes on here at Gates of Vienna, they might well want to pull their ads. So it’s better for all concerned if the Bushitler Halliburton Neocon Theocrats are kept muzzled and leashed at such events.
I understand why it has to be that way; they have their business model to consider. Pajamas Media is a great idea, and they have been very good to us. I have no complaints; I managed to have fun anyway.
After the panel and the followup chit-chat, some of us adjourned to have dinner in the dining room at the top of a nearby hotel. I sat across from TigerHawk, Fausta and Sandra (who is the VP for Operations and Planning at PJM in L.A.), and next to Roger Simon and Michael Totten. My head kept swinging back and forth like it was on springs, wanting to take in conversations on both sides at once.
Late in the evening I sat in on a fascinating discussion between TigerHawk and Claudia Rosett about Kofi Annan and the UN Oil-for-Food scandal. The amount of information that flowed back and forth was difficult to assimilate.
Just before I left I took one last shot of Richard Miniter and Roger Simon having an after-dinner discussion; you can click this one for a larger version.
I wish I had taken more photos — I realize now how many people I left out — but my little camera would have filled up in any case.
Here’s one of Pamela and Neo-neocon (click on the image for a larger version). Neo still has that mysterious apple that drops magically into place when anyone tries to take her photo. It must be a neocon version of the hijab!
Dymphna hopes to make it to the next PJM event, which would be a bonus both for her and for our readers. I am an extreme introvert, but she is an extreme extrovert, and can make effortless conversation with anyone. She would talk to everyone in the room before the evening was through, and be able to give you a much more thorough report than I have.
So… Hello and thanks to everyone who was there; I look forward to the next event.