Publicola and the new JOA

The sudden collapse of our local news industry and the resulting mass exodus of political reporters is a bitter pill to swallow for those of us who believe that maintaining a vibrant Fourth Estate is absolutely critical to maintaining a vibrant democracy… but… well… every crisis also presents an opportunity.

That’s why I’m pleased to be playing my part in the launch of Publicola, Washington state’s newest news and opinion site.  Largely the editorial creation of former Stranger news editor Josh Feit, Publicola strives to help fill the void in state political reporting, while providing the kind of fresh writing and analysis online readers demand, and Josh has made great strides toward that goal by recruiting the likes of Sandeep Kaushik and Glenn Fleishman to help contribute to the site.

Publicola is also the first of a series of new and existing blogs and other websites to join HA under the umbrella of the newly created JOA News Co-op, an ambitious effort to share resources, content, traffic and revenues while creating a sustainable (and ultimately profitable) business model.  This new JOA is less of a business agreement and more of an ecosystem of tools and services… but more on that later.

In the meanwhile, be prepared for some big changes here at HA as I start to roll out the full suite of new features I’ve been developing.  And wish us luck.


  1. 1

    John425 spews:

    Hey Goldy: Why don’t you and your suck-ass newspaper make a big deal of all the money being wasted on the Obama inauguration extravaganza? You and all the MSM and lefty blogs howled about Bush’s 2005 One. Obama is spending almost TWICE the Bush amount.

  2. 3

    Steve spews:

    Below I’ll list all the trolls who complained about any of the Bush I, II, or Reagan inauguration costs.


    Oh well, couldn’t find any. Apparently trolls are only bothered when it’s a Democrat.

  3. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I hope the new edit function works.

    The quality of propaganda suffers when you can’t improve your work after re-reading it and seeing ways to spew more elegantly.

    The ability to edit is so vital to what I do, that I can’t visualize propaganda without it.

  4. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 “Obama is spending almost TWICE the Bush amount.”

    The truth of the matter is that President Obama’s swearing-in will cost $10,000 less than the 2005 swearing-in of what’s-his-face.

    (Source: CNN Money News)

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    From the Desk Of Roger Rabbit

    Speaking of inaugurations, I fired off a pithy memo today on a subject of sublime national significance:

    Dear George:

    Don’t let the door hit your ass on your way out. It might dent the door, and that door doesn’t belong to you.

    The Rabbits

  6. 11


    Publicola is a catchy name. Hope there will be enough original reporting to overfill the vacuum left by the demising mainstream press. Best of luck.

  7. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Hmm, it seems the inauguration did cost nearly $160 million, $157M to be exact. Bush’s 2005 inauguration, that is.

    Never has rightwing lying been more blatantly on display than here, at least not since last week:

    “Here’s why using the $160 million number and comparing it with Bush’s 2005 costs represented a classic apples-and-oranges assessment: For years, the press routinely referred to the cost of presidential inaugurations by calculating how much money was spent on the swearing-in and the social activities surrounding that. The cost of the inauguration’s security was virtually never factored into the final tab, as reported by the press. …

    “For decades, that represented the norm in terms of calculating inauguration costs: Federal dollars spent on security were not part of the commonly referred-to cost. …

    “What’s happening this year: The cost of the Obama inauguration and the cost of the security are being combined …. Then, that number is being compared with the cost of the Bush inauguration in 2005, minus the money spent on security. In other words, it’s the unsubstantiated Obama cost of $160 million (inauguration + security) compared with the Bush cost of 42 million (inauguration, excluding security).

    “Those are two completely different calculations being compared side-by-side … to support the phony claim that Obama’s inauguration is $100 million more expensive than Bush’s.”

    The actual figures? If a true apples-to-apples comparison is made, Obama’s inauguration costs $45 million compared to Bush’s $42 million. (And that’s all private money, anyway.)

    If you factor in security costs, it appears that Bush spent exactly the same on security as is being spent to protect America’s first black president as his swearing-in. Well … maybe they thought Bush needed a lot of security, his popularity being what it is, and him being a usurper who stole two elections. If you saw the egging scene in Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911,” you’d know what Bush wanted a lot of security — this is a guy who can’t walk down any street in America without people throwing rotten produce at him.

  8. 13

    Rob spews:

    Assuming that there will be a sharp reduction in coverage after the PI print version closes I am looking forward to changes and additions to Crosscut, HA, and greeting Publicola. To pursue a parallel to the national scene I have a number of national blogs I rely on, and esp. ones for politics, Mideast, and economics. This strikes me as a pretty good model, rather than one site trying to cover it all.

    I have repeatedly challenged my conservative friends to name a conservative blog that meets my most important criteria: What you say today needs to be accurate, true, and germain. Corrections are permitted, but must be made quickly and not grudgingly. There aren’t any.

  9. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 If truth is a criterion, that rules out every rightwing blog in existence. Writing fantasy fiction is what those guys do. They don’t know how to do anything else.

  10. 15

    Rob spews:

    Change! Change! Change! Change! Change! Change!

    From ABC News :On the Money Trail: Inauguration Perks Go To the Rich

    “President-elect Barack Obama billed his inauguration an event “for all Americans.” But in the nation’s capital this long weekend, wealthy visitors are finding themselves a bit more equal — and warmer — than others.”;page=1

    Looks like nothing has really changed!

  11. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @15 America is all about who has the most money and to hell with everyone else — what else is new?

  12. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of rightwing blogs, and this being MLK Day and all, it seems appropriate to mention that over on Stefan’s pathetic propaganda page “pudge” is taking umbrage at the hijacking of the term “civil rights” by minority groups:

    “Unfortunately, ‘Civil Rights’ has become synonymous to many people with the struggles of ethnic, religious, or gender minorities, instead of focusing on the rights of all people. So, I call it ‘Civil Liberties Day,’ to emphasize all civil liberties, and all people, to be as inclusive and fully American as possible. Carry a gun and say obnoxious things with pride.”

    I suppose that in the spirit of Republican egalitarianism we’re all supposed to pretend that minorities don’t have any special problems with how they’re treated and simply forget the historical realities of slavery, lynchings, segregation, and so on. Now that we have a black president, which proves racial discrimination is behind us, bigotry will be socially respectable again and maybe even slavery will make a comeback. However, to implement the true spirit of Republican egalitarianism, this time the cheap labor conservatives will make sure everyone works for slave wages, without regard for race or gender.

  13. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey pudge, if you think your most important civil liberties are mouthing inane idiocies and packing heat, go for it, man! I’ll bet hunting rabbits is way up there on your list of liberties that must be protected at all costs, too.

  14. 20

    YellowPup spews:

    Hey, Goldy, this news co-op idea is excellent. Really an exciting and historic initiative for local media. Very much looking forward to learning more and watching your vision unfold.

    All the best with this venture!

  15. 21

    seabos84 spews:

    given that the front pages of the papers have typically consisted of soundbites for some fascist lie-du-jour big sports big company public welfare project …

    so the people getting screwed over so yet another piece of corporate welfare can enrich people NOT doing anything creative or interesting or important … those people stop buying the lies! oh well. see ya.

    good luck with this new project.


  16. 22

    WeBentOverTheGOP spews:

    Maybe you can announce to the fools and cowards on the right that DEMOCRATS WON!

    They don’t appear to know that America REJECTED their lies.

    Perhaps we should point out that they are all traitors who’s best hope is that our country fails. They hope for trouble. They hope for attacks on us. They hope our economy fails. They hope that the world hates us. They hope our kids get sick and die. They hope that our kids fail in school. They hope that people don’t get health care. They hope that people become unemployed.

    The right has nothing left.

    And tomorrow – their pain, agony, sorrow and defeat will be real. At 12 EST they will be forced to bend and bow down before their new leader.

    So accept this right wing trash – we beat you. You have nothing coming but pain and suffering. Get used to it.

    PS: I am laughing at all you right wing fools!

  17. 25

    Michael spews:

    Ha! Did I call it or what!?!

    Maybe you could look into forming a pool with other local bloggers each blog sending someone (or a couple of someones) down for a week and sharing posts and costs. It might be a good way to “grow the new media pie” as well. I’d shell out a few bucks for that. You could call yourselves The Progressive Bloggers Alliance or some shit like that.

  18. 27

    Michael spews:


    Bush sucked as a president so it didn’t make any sense to spend money welcoming him back for a second term.

  19. 28

    rhp6033 spews:

    Might be interesting to compare the costs spent on Bush’s inaugeration, on a per-capita audience basis, with Obama’s. This morning on the radio I heard some crowd estimates at two million people on the Mall, which is pretty hard to believe. Even if it is half that figure, it certainly puts Bush’s 2000 and 2004 inaugeration to shame, on a per-capita basis. Obviously, security costs and support services costs rise as the size of the crowd increases.