The Poodle Congratulates Raj...

For successfully executing the death-defying, unbelievably complex and intellectually sophisticated New Media™ task of supplying some asshole DC lawyer with a cameraman while said asshole DC lawyer tries out the blogosphere version of the old Rather Ambush Interview Ploy™ on some dimwit of a U.S. Senator...


It was truly a watershed moment in the history of journalism, politics and communication.

Nobel Peace Prize nominations and McArthur Genius Grants for Mirengoff, Hinderacker, Raj and the Poodle.

Even More Pathetic...

From yesterday's OpinionJournal, via Big Jim:

'A Watershed Moment'

Paul Mirengoff, a blogger at Power Line, "is too modest to post any of the many congratulatory messages we have received regarding his attempt to interview Senators Kennedy and Durbin [yesterday] afternoon," reports Scott Johnson, also a blogger at Power Line. Fortunately, Johnson is not too modest; he shares several of them. Our favorite is from reader Jack Lifton:

If mediocre intellects like Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Joe Biden want to question sitting justices of the federal appellate courts (Roberts and Alito) or a former Chief Justice of a large state Supreme Court (Alberto Gonzales, Texas) with regard to their interpreting decisions of the United States Supreme Court on issues of Constitutional law, then it should be perfectly normal for the press to have members who are top-notch lawyers, such as Paul Mirengoff, to question the Senators.

Unfortunately up until the recent flowering of the blogosphere the mainstream press not only did not hire such luminaries, but it didn't have the ability to select them. Mediocre intellects questioned mediocre intellects.

The blogosphere has raised the ante on professional reporting to a level undreamed of just a few years ago. This is the beginning of the end of intellectual duds winning high office. I cannot wait until persons with the abilities of Paul Mirengoff are posing questions to candidates this fall.

John Hinderaker, yet another Power Line blogger, says of Mirengoff's interview with the two senators, "This may, indeed, have been a watershed moment."

Modest Mirengoff recounts the interview here. It seems the blogosphere has outdone the mainstream media in the one area where we thought the MSM's advantage was insurmountable: self-regard.

Note To John Hinderaker: Paul Mirengoff is a lawyer in Washington DC. Big.Fucking.Deal. That doesn't qualify as an exceptional distinction; there are several lawyers in Washington DC. Honest. And except for the happy (for you) accident of having the Dan Rather Affair start (quite by chance) on your web site, nobody would have the slightest idea of who Paul Mirengoff is. Yeah, I know he went to Dartmouth, but so did Roger Simon... and look at what that non-mediocre intellect has done with 7 million bucks. So until Mirengoff gets elected to the Senate or something, he remains just another jerk-off lawyer whose career allows him the free time to run around pestering our elected officials. If Paul had a career of real distinction, he wouldn't be running around playing Junior Journo...


The only "watershed" moment here is the unveiling of John Hindraker as yet another middle-aged loudmouth besotted with himself because of his site traffic.

One Of My Elves Told Me This...

It seems Pajamas Media affiliated sites - at least the ones set up with ads and one of the multitude of membership logos - are dropping cookies onto visitors' computers. Being a non-techie, I really don't know how to go about confirming this. Any of my other elves want to take a crack at finding out what Raj and the Poodle are up to?

Supposedly visitors get the following three files loaded onto their computers when visiting a Pajamas site:


Like I said, I'm not a techie and I don't know what it all means. But if it could embarrass Raj, the Poodle and Aubrey, I want to know about it.

It is Spy Week over at Pajamas Media, isn't it? Wouldn't it be wonderful to zap Pajamas Media for unauthorized surveillance by the end of Friday?

Note: Could this be the explanation as to why it took Raj and the Poodle so long to get the "coding" done for the logo and ads? Maybe spyware takes some time to incorporate into everything...

Just Plain Pathetic...

For those of you who haven't seen the Pajamas Media/Power coup of speaking Truth to Power™ to Sen. Dick Durbin, well, you sure as shit aren't going to see it here. If you're a Lefty you can see it at Atrios or Crooks and Liars, if you're from the VRWC you can go to the Pajamas site and check it out.

Basically, it's nothing more than one putz (Mirengoff) ragging on another putz (Durbin). If that sort of stuff grabs you, you'll find it riveting. Otherwise, a re-run of Burger King's Super Bowl Whopper commercial will provide at least as much information and entertainment. More than anything, the exchange simply proves that a citizen journalist can be just as big an asshole as a professional journalist... which answers the question of whether Helen Thomas and David Gregory actually took lessons, but not much else.

All I can say is you have to be a certain sort of lightweight to be so full of yourself that an exchange such as that can be held up triumphantly as an example of New Journalism™. And in this instance, the Powerline Boys are beyond pathetic... Which is saying something when you stacked up against Pajamas Media. Raj once told me he went to Dartmouth with them, and given this episode I entirely believe him.

Dartmouth must have been a lot of fun back in the '60s.

From The Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse Department: Pajamas Media resident token Lefty Dimwit Marc Cooper writes (at Pajamas' NSA site) that he found Gonzalez's testimony so "riveting" he was compelled to stop studying the poker tips in this month's issue of Card Player magazine and listen...

Put that together with the Durbin clip and what do you have?

Seven million of New Media, baby!


A Pajamas Media Triumph...

Tex sends a link to this:

Amazon Hosts Author Blogs

ONLINE RETAILER AMAZON THIS WEEK announced plans to start hosting authors' blogs on its site. More than a thousand writers already have joined the new initiative, Amazon Connect--although many have yet to begin posting.

The authors range from prolific and best-selling author James Patterson to ex-Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox. Amazon will automatically show users blogs written by writers whose work they have purchased on Amazon. Visitors can also search for author blogs alphabetically.

Since its launch, Amazon has used community-building features, like reader reviews and recommendations, to boost purchases. "We always find that our users respond to content, which leads to better, more informed decisions and more purchases," said Amazon representative Christen Mariani.

Using viral marketing and blogs to sell books has already taken root among publishers and independent authors. "Within the past year we've started executing viral campaigns online," said Ashley Earnhardt-Aiken, director of marketing at Nelson Current. "We're also buying a lot more advertising on blogs either through BlogAds or Pajamas Media."

Earnhardt-Aiken said a successful viral campaign rests largely on the author, however. One Nelson Current author who recently benefited from strong viral marketing is Glenn Reynolds, a law professor who writes one of the most highly trafficked blogs on the Web, When Amazon recently began taking pre-orders for his book, "An Army of Davids," it skyrocketed from number 23,719 on Amazon's top sellers list to number 37 in a matter of days.

"We call him the 'Blogfather,'" said Earnhardt-Aiken. "All he had to do was mention the book."

Separately, said Thursday that fourth-quarter net income was $199 million, or 47 cents per share--compared with $346.7 million, or 82 cents per share, in the period one year prior. Sales rose 17 percent to $2.98 billion from $2.54 billion a year earlier, which missed analysts' targets of $3.08 billion. Amazon attributed the poor results to higher shipping and technology costs.

Well, well, well...

Evidently I mocked the Pajamas Media Super Nifty Viral Thought Leading And Tipping Point Marketing Advertiser's Kit and Power Point Presentation™ a bit too soon. Then again, I'll believe the Amazon ads when I see them.

It would appear to me that Amazon has decided to cultivate a relationship with Pajamas Media with an eye cocked to the expiration date of the PJM blogger contracts, which makes sense when you consider that PJM blogger/authors such as Michelle Malkin seem to have embraced Pajamas Media with the sort of enthusiasm folks usually reserve for annoyed tarantulas. Even Glenn Harlan, who I have to believe owns a piece of Pajamas, hasn't been able to disguise his disappointment with what Pajamas Media has turned out to be.

My guess is that Amazon is betting Pajamas Media will fold before the contracts actually end (I think they're 18 months)... allowing to buy the contracts that interest them for use in Amazon. A not unreasonable bet at this point. Today's guess? Malkin and Glenn Harlan have to be kicking themselves for allowing Raj and The Poodle to talk them into joining Pajamas Media.

Evidently The Keys To Being 'New Media' Are A Complete Lack Of Shame And A Short Attention Span...

Well, that didn't last long.

As of Thurday, February 2 (6 in the P of M), Pajamas Media has replaced its Repository of Moral Outrage™ towards Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, known as China Syndrome, with a feature called Fashion Week ("Join 30 bloggers for some truly disruptive, innovative Fashion Week coverage."). And I'll be damed if I can find China Syndrome anywhere on that whole shitty site.


And if you actually do go to Pajamas Media's home page, note that right up there at the top you have a choice of doing a web search; PJ is the default, but Google is your other choice.

Go figure...

Oh yeah, Barcepundit, Keshertalk, Peaktalk and Zachtei are still running Google Ads and remain members of the Pajamas Media Network.

Funny how that works...

Finally, please note that the following corporations which are presently advertising on Pajamas Media do business with the totalitarian government of China:


So much for fightin' for the freedoms of all them Chinese folk...

Note: Look for Raj...


Poodle Chaz...


and Glenn Harlan...


to call for a boycott of Tommy Hilfiger next week... probably for employing Muslims or something.


Bad Google... Bad, Bad Google...

Follow this link and you'll see what your government has to say about doing business with the evil totalitarian government of China.

Pretty gruesome, eh?

Makes you wonder where the Congressional investigations are.

Bad Google... Bad, bad Google.

Glenn, Raj and Poodle Chaz Practice For Their Kudlow Appearance About Divesting Google




"But Aubrey, how was I supposed to know you did business with the Chinese?"

Divestiture Watch: Jan. 31 Edition

January 31 Close:

GOOG $432.66 +$5.84

MSFT $28.15 +$0.15

YHOO $34.376 -$0.675


Update: Evidently nobody in the whole goddamn political blogosphere knows their ass from their elbow about Wall Street. Here's the Huffington Post headline written by some moron named Michael Liedtke:

"Google Stock Plummets On News Of Disappointing 4Q Report"

It was posted at 4:04PM. At 4:00PM Google closed up $5.84 for the day. What he's hyperventilating about is the after-hours trading, which isn't a reliable indication of much of anything because the that market is so thin (which invites exaggerated gains and losses). It remains to see whether GOOG 'plummets' once the real market opens tomorrow.

Power of the Blogosphere, baby.

Note: What I didn't make clear was the GOOG released its 4Q earnings after the bell this evening, which disappointed, and accounts for the losses in after-hours trading. Whether you can characterize the stock as 'plummeting' when the trading is as thin as it is in after-hours is questionable at best.

Lookee This...

Well, well, well...

From commenter Daveh:

Where was Mr Simon's moral outrage when in 1994, Rupert Murdoch's Star network removed the BBC's international news from its Chinese service because a program critical of late leader Mao Zedong offended the authorities?

Where was his call for full divestiture in Newscorp?

Could it be that in 1997 his book THE LOST COAST was published by HarperCollins- a Newscorp holding.

I guess you don't bite the hand with which you morally masturbate.

But Daveh... that's different.

And as Raj himself said, he can only assume he'd Do The Right Thing if actually put in the position of choosing between morality and profit.

Wall Street Should Be Crying 'Uncle' Any Minute Now...

As we all know, last Wednesday Big Raj's call for everyone to sell their Google, Microsoft and Yahoo has sent shock waves throughout the investment community.

All Hail The Power Of The Blogosphere!

Here's today's results, as of 1:55 in the P of M.

Again... All Hail The Power Of The Blogosphere!

Google... up over 7 dollars:


Microsoft... up about 10 cents:


Yahoo... down a quarter (25 cents, that is):


Somebody please... make it stop! Think of the women and children...

Update: I see that Glenn Reynolds, now going by the Glenn Harlan Reynolds moniker (gee, aren't we special) doesn't have a clue, either. From his TCS column:

I suspect that a lot of people are rethinking their attitude toward Google now. And that attitude goes beyond the moral, to the financial -- as the Times article reports, it's showing up in stock prices: "The company is now worth $20 billion less than it was a month ago."

Here Glenn Harlan is trying to suggest that the loss of $20 billion is because of investor outrage over Google's business practices in China. That's pure bullshit.

Look at a two month chart of Google:


Google lost $20 billion from its all-time high of $475.11... and has actually recovered quite nicely. That's the thing about all-time highs... They're all-time highs because the price doesn't go any higher! The stock has a fucking P/E of over 95 right now, which is about as richly valued as you can get these days in a major high-tech stock.

So either Glenn Harlan doesn't understand markets and/or doesn't read the financial press (the price roll back was due to a combination of earning worries as well as valuation conerns), or he's trying to figure out how to make some cash out of this situation right alongside Righteous Raj.


The Highly Detailed, Fiendishly Clever And Very Subtle Grand Strategic Traffic Boosting Plan Goes Operational...


"You're a genius, Chaz! We'll tell 'em Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are the 'Axis of Evil' for trying to make a buck off China, and then tell 'em to divest. Meanwhile, we set up a web site about how bad it is making a buck off China and sell advertising for it using our super nifty advertiser's kit!"

The Crushing Effects Of Raj's Divestiture Campaign...

For all of you who take either the Blogosphere or Roger L. Simon (or both) very seriously, here's a couple of graphs that might nudge you into a space closer to Reality.

The Axis of Evil (Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) vs. Raj

The Five Day Chart (Raj called for divestiture last Wednesday):


Monday's Chart:


Those boys got crushed, eh?

[For those of you who are market-impaired, the above graphs indicate that Raj's call has done diddly-squat.]

Note: I spent an hour doing research on all three companies and have yet to find a mention of Raj's divestiture campaign by an of the analysts covering the stocks. So much for the power of the Blogosphere.

Another Note: Commenter Guesst reminds us that this is the same Roger L. Simon and the same Pajamas Media that launched using a feed from the Xinhua News Agency, which is owned and operated by - wait for it - the totalitarian government of China! Which Raj abhors. In fact, they used it so damn much in those first few weeks that it got KOS wondering if Pajamas Media was a front for the Yellow Peril. Jesus, Raj and Poodle Chaz have gotten so fucking silly you can't keep track of it without one really big scorecard. Get this:

The very same Pajamas Media that used censored news supplied by the totalitarian Chinese government in order to make a buck is now calling for everyone to sell their stock in Google, Yahoo and Microsoft because those companies have the nerve to try to make a buck helping the totalitarian Chinese government make the internet read like the news feed provided by Pajamas Media!

Yet Another Note: Of course, when I wrote Moral Masturbation I neglected to consider the idea that Raj was going to use his little phony-baloney divestiture campaign to drum up interest in the Pajamas Media site. Looking at an Alexa graph shows us just how neglectful I was:


The two big spikes in pageviews? Launch day and Iraqi election day. Overall trend... not good. So it appears, at least to me, that if Raj ain't jerking off morally, at the very least he's trying to make a quick buck via a bit of manufactured moral outrage. Instead of taking a situation that cries for a bit of sophistication and thoughtfulness and providing said sophistication and thoughtfulness - which is what new journalism and new media was supposed to deliver in the first place - we get some horseshit call for divestiture and the launch of the Pajamas Media website China Syndrome.

The for-profit website China Syndrome.

I have just one observation I'd like to make:

It isn't like this...


And this...


And this...


And this...


... just happened yesterday.

So why the big hard-on now?

And why over Google, Microsoft and Yahoo?

Where's Raj's righteous indignation been the past fifteen and a half years?

Why isn't he calling for divestment from IBM, PepsiCo, GM, Wal-Mart, Ford, H-P, Cisco, B of A, Citigroup, Daimler Chrysler, Costco, Oracle, TI, Marriott, Tyco, Nokia, Exxon Mobil, Boeing, Am Ex, Apple, Unisys, Shell, Eastman Kodak, Oracle, Limited Brands, Toshiba, 3M, The Gap, GE, Hitachi, VW, Office Depot, Xerox, May Dept. Stores, FedEx, Coca Cola, Limited Brands, General Dynamics, Disney and on and on and on... ?

Oh wait, in 1989 he was probably still hosting dinner parties for visiting officials of Nicaragua's Sandinista government; perhaps Daniel Ortega was in town and he missed Tiananmen! And if you boycott everyone... well, that means you don't have a computer: Apple's on the list - right next to Microsoft.

Thank God that Greasy Fuck cut me out of Pajamas Media.


I'd shovel pig shit at minimum wage before I'd stoop to making my money peddling faux moral outrage.

The Lingere Media Advertiser's Kit


Moral Masturbation...

From the blogosphere’s biggest jerkoff, no less.

Roger L. Simon, much noted for his honest and plain dealing in business, is trying to chastise Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for doing business in China. Boy, there's a story:

News Flash! Pot Calls Kettle Black.

Even if this came from someone who could actually put forth moral bona fides without provoking derisive laughter from much of the blogosphere, this is simply another example of the political journalism's worst, most childish and ego-driven tendencies when it comes to dealing with the Real World.

Here’s The Moral Beacon of Hollywood on January 25 (and no, I ain’t linking that asshole):

What to do about the new Axis of Evil?

I'm talking about Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, of course, those three Internet mega-corporations who are actively cooperating with totalitarianism in China.

Google is the latest to prostrate itself before the new emperors. Timesonline sums it up:

Google today caved in to pressure from the Chinese Government by launching a localised version of its website that self-censors information deemed "subversive" by the Communist authorities.

The company, whose motto is "Don't be evil", has engineered its search facilities to restrict Chinese people from searching for information such as Tibetan independence or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

"In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on, in response to local law, regulation or policy," the internet company said in a statement issued yesterday.

Okay, instead of boring everyone discussing the corporation's probable rationale ... we're working from within their system, etc., etc., as if they were an automobile or ball-bearing firm and not a media company involved with the dissemination (or in this case non-dissemination) of information and ideas ... I will cut to the proverbial chase. Since this is obviously a manifestation of corporate greed at its most unbridled, not to say cynically exploitive of (even, in a way, racist towards) the people of the most populace country on Earth, it's time to deal with Google in a manner that could actually affect the retrograde policy of the company. In other word, it's time for...

... a Google stock divestment campaign.

Everyone who cares about the free-flow of information, about democracy in China, in fact about democracy anywhere, should start selling their Google stock. This should begin most especially with those vast university endowments because academic institutions, of all places, should be most concerned with the censorship of ideas and information. Union pension plans as well should seek to divest as their members should be particularly appalled by the company's restrictive behavior. I could go on, but you certainly get the point. I welcome suggestions for how to mount this campaign in the comments below.

(Full disclosure: I do not own any Google stock, but would, I'm assuming, have the courage of my convictions, if I did.)

First of all, let’s note the final sentence of Roger’s tome:

Full disclosure: I do not own any Google stock, but would, I'm assuming, have the courage of my convictions, if I did.

Excuse my French, but just what the fuck does that mean? You assume you’d sell your Google stock if you had any? Man, that’s one motherfucker of a stand yer takin’ there, Raj...

Of course, knowing him as I do, I think I can parse those words and come up with what Raj actually means by having the “courage of my convictions”, which is this:

If I owned Google stock , I’d divest under the following conditions...
1) My broker thought it was going to tank soon, or
2) My broker had a better stock waiting in the wings, and
3) I had some losers in my portfolio that would cover any capital gains on the sale, or
4) I had sufficient tax loss carryforwards to cover the capital gains.

Morality is all well and good, but when it costs money... well, that’s something different, isn’t it?

Which brings me to my next point: Divestiture campaigns don’t work. Never have, never will. That's because morality is all well and good... except when it inconvenient and/or costs money. And inconvenience and loss of money are the necessary byproducts of a successful boycott.

I can state that maxim as God's Truth from personal experience. Back in the ‘70s, when Roger L. Simon was doing his fellow traveling in China, lending his own personal moral support to Mao and the Cultural Revolution in furtherance of his career and feeling of self-worth, I was a dope-smoking, long-haired college student helping launch the first successful (i.e.-adopted) divestiture campaign ever seen on a college campus in these United States of America.

It’s true.

One day our then Student President decided our fair university needed to take a moral stand on racial injustice, and with the help of a few of his friends in and out of the student government (which included my own true self), he wrote a resolution requiring Miami University to divest all investments in U.S. corporations doing business with South Africa. A brilliant soft sell by that same Student President got a remarkably clueless Board of Trustees to adopt the resolution and whammo!... within a week Miami University discovered they were going to have to liquidate the university’s entire stock portfolio. It seems that - surprise! - just about every company on the NYSE was doing business directly, or indirectly, with South Africa back then.

However, I doubt you’ll be surprised when I tell you that the resolution was unadopted less than a month later. That’s because when the Trustees discovered that they could not have their moral cake and eat it, too. They thought they could take a serious stand against injustice on the cheap. But things just don’t work out that way in the Real World. Carrying the courage of their convictions to the logical extreme of the resolution they had adopted would have cost the university tens of millions of dollars (at least). Morality was fine by them, but not at a cost of millions... When they discovered their mistake was assuming they could purchase a moral stand on the cheap, they undid the moral stand as quickly as they possibly could.

Of course we abhor racial injustice, but... well, we never imagined fighting it cost that much.

Yeah... Funny how that works.

I went through a similar situation with my beloved wife when she decided to quit eating meat. I had no problems with her doing so, but I am very much a carnivore and am quite unashamed of that fact. So when Muffy started giving me what-for about sanctioning the killing of poor, defenseless animals, I took as much as I could take and then opened the Book of Hurtful Truths and read from the Gospel of Dennis. What it said was this:

If you’re worried about the killing of poor, defenseless animals then I will give up the eating of charred flesh, we will get rid of our leather furniture, our leather shoes, our leather belts and your leather purses. And we are going to do that because that is the only way we can really be sure we aren’t causing the deaths of cows and chickens and piggys and whatnot. Dropping steaks and hot dogs isn’t going to get us where you think we need to be... we have to drop everything from hamburgers to hides. If we don't, we just fooling ourselves that we're doing the Right Thing.

Strangely enough, after only one reading of the hurtful truth from the Gospel of Dennis, the subject of my eating meat was never broached again.

As Jello would say, Give me convenience or give me death!

Funny how that works, too.

Similarly, the only way you can make a sanction against companies doing business with China work is to take it all the way. Understand?


Selling your stock in Google, Yahoo and Microsoft is nothing more than moral masturbation. It may feel good, but like any form of masturbation, it is about self-pleasuring... not producing results. It allows you to do something quick and easy, without consequence to you, and then walk away feeling good about yourself. What it doesn't do is convince either Washington or Wall Street that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are worthy of avoidance or sanction on the basis of their business ethics.

So, Raj, if you really want to hit China where it hurts... if you're really serious about this, you’ve to go all the way. All.The.Way. That means, for example:

If you have clothing made in China, you get rid of it... and you buy more expensive clothing made in a free country. Can’t find a fedora made in the U.S.A.? Tough shit; you go without. Wear a fucking beanie or something instead. You boycott the stores that import and sell Made In China clothing.

That Volvo you drove me to LAX in? If Ford does business in China, it's gone. If they put money in the hands of the same people who want Google and the rest of the “Axis of Evil” to assist them in restricting Free Speech (and Jesus, did you have to trot out a phrase that trite and hyperbolic?) then you don't have any other choice, do you?. Replace it with a Lexus hybrid? Not if Toyota does business in China, you don't. You boycott the manufacturers that build or sell in China.

And what about the Hollywood studios you sell your wares to? Any of them doing business in China? Any of them editing films to meet the political requirements of the Chinese government? Any of them dropping dollars in the hands of totalitarians? If so, you need to stop sending in those scripts... Right? You boycott the companies exporting to China.

What about publishing houses? Is the publishing house putting out Moses Wine novels selling in China? If they are... what are you gonna do about it? You quit doing business with those who do business with the Chinese.

Then there is that Sony laptop you use to write posts... runs on Microsoft software, doesn't it? Well, you wouldn't want to support a company that's part of your Axis of Evil by using their products, right?

Gee, all the sudden it's getting a bit scary, isn't it, Raj? Scary, inconvenient and expensive. Well, the bottom line is, to put it indelicately, this:

If you aren’t ready to take it All.The.Way., then you’re just another guy with his dick in his hand telling other people (a) you're wonderful, and (b) what they ought to be doing. In other words, you're jerking off.

It is that simple.

So you either need to Do What Needs To Be Done, irrespective of convenience and cost, or you need to Shut The Fuck Up. You go All.The.Way. or you don't go at all.


Because, funny enough, that's the way it works.

And understand, Old Pal, this isn’t about me being mean... It’s about me taking enough pity on you to remind you that Reasonable Adults - the type that have average mean incomes of $116,000 and who are “thought leaders” and “tipping point” thinkers - know bullshit when they hear it and empty posturing when they see it. Read your own comments section... there’s enough sarcasm there to poleax a steer.

I mean, Jesus, Raj, is this sort of cut-rate Sinclair Lewis moralizing your idea of new journalism? Or are you so lost in megalomaniacal delusion that you think this kind of thing coming from the likes of you is going to be taken seriously by anyone with half a clue as to how things work?

By the way, just to drive that point home, here’s last week’s chart on Google.


Up on the week by about 30 dollars, with volume tanking on the 25th.

Chew on that for a while, Morality-Boy. Me, I’m gonna go have a fucking steak.

Yet Another Logo From The Masters Of The Blogosphere...

Well, it's been a quiet Sunday.

Muffy's on the way back from visiting her mother in Pittsburgh, Ronald and Nancy are snoozing on their sofas (each has one), and I've spent the last four hours plowing through the preparation of year end payroll reports for all those clients I was supposed to lose back in November. Actually, I picked up a new client last week...

So much for poverty and disgrace.

But now that's done with and I'm ready to relax with some Mighty Mighty Bosstones on the stereo (real loud) and the caffiene buzz acquired from the 24 oz. of espresso I've consumed over the past three hours. The combination seems to suggest about 30 minutes of my patented Curly Howard Aerobic Dancing in furtherance of my goal of dropping 40 lbs. of fat ass this year.

But first thre are several matters to attend to...

From the Department of Bizarre Turns Department:

James Wolcott, who I once compared to Yabba the Hut at this site, has linked me (again). And quoted me. Evidently he actually reads this blog, because I'm referred to as a " delightful, calorie-counting scamp". As a fat, middle-aged, Republican from flyover territory, about the last thing I expected in life was for someone like Wolcott to consider me either "delightful" or a "scamp".

On top of that, at least one of the writers at Crooked Timber thinks I'm hilarious. That's not quite as surprising as getting love from Wolcott, but it still must be classified as unexpected, to put it mildly.

Then there's Penn State Professor Michael Bérubé vouching for my claim of having "culture out the blowhole". Evidently he reads this blog regularly as well and likes it. He teaches "Multicultural Studies"... which just doesn't have the sound of a subject I'd excel in, if you catch my drift (I am a Republican, after all).

Oh well, I suppose stranger things could happen... perhaps Chernoff and Koshland will call next week and ask me to take over the helm of Pajamas Media and execute a company-saving turnaround.

And speaking of Pajamas Media...

They have yet another logo!

Here it is:


That makes a minimum of three seperate and distinct Pajamas Media logos being used by Raj and the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. Actually, if you go to Pajamas Media right now and visit the corner where Raj is hyperventilating about Google's business practices with regards to China, you'll find this logo:


You just can't make this shit up.

For those who just can't get enough of my delightful and hilarious scampiness, drop by tomorrow... I have a post coming on Raj's courageous, moral and principled call for The Free World to divest itself of all stock eminating from the corporate "Axis of Evil" (his term): Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Of course, he doesn't own any to divest, but if he did, by God, he'd divest... maybe.

As an aside, I wonder if any of the Hollywood studios and publishing houses he sells to engage in a bit of editing to placate the political sensibilities of the Chinese government. Think he'll refuse to work for said studios and/or publishing houses to further his noble attempt to bring China's government to its collective (literally) knees?

Update: It seems I started getting love from Duncan Black while writing this bit of scampery. Huh. Well, why not? I mean, after Wolcott, what the fuck, right? Come to think of it, where's the link from KOS? Come on Markos, you're behind the ol' power curve, Big Guy.

More Lefty Love: Picked up traffic from Crooks and Liars... another site that I'd never have thought I'd get a link from. All this Lefty Love would be more disorienting if not for the odd reminder that I am, in truth, the enemy...

From Stephen in the comments section of Crooks and Liars:

Dennis is a good example of people who cannot write coherently and who get lost in a morass of self-referential code-word horseshit. Maybe there's a point somewhere in there but it's not worth the effort to tease it out.

Hey, this ain't "self-referential code-word horseshit", it's 'delightful scampiness'. And don't you forget it. Ask Wolcott if you don't believe me.

More to the point, there was this email from [email protected]:

another republican pig. "i've got mine and screw everyone else". selfish rotten ugly brat. love in chirst, sarah

No, it doesn't make much sense and I can't find linkage to anything specific I've said, but it seems pretty clear it is intended to be abuse. Now the world seems a bit more normal...

The Big Pitch... Part Three-O

Slide Eleven:


And blogs would be where? Question One from advertisers? Specifics.


Slide Twelve:


So if you've bought the North American distribution rights for Mecca Cola, you'd want to advertise on Pajamas Media sites such as Little Green Footballs? So you can create "buzz" for your product?

I don't think so.

Even though Lizardoids are well known "early adopters".

Specifics needed, boys - demographic specifics.


Slide Thirteen:


Straight from the Department of Missing The Point!

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Advertisers want access to purchase decision makers.

Pajamas Media does not ONCE mention that it is even aware of this...

Slide Fourteen:






*he he...*

The Big Pitch... Part Two-O

Slide Six:


The above authenticates that Pajamas Media's numbers (that advertisers don't care about) are accurate and not fake.

Slide Seven:


Check out the date range on this puppy. If the Power Point presentation was dated January 13, don't you think Pajamas Media would be able to squeeze in the rest of December and some of January? I bet they could, but it would mess up the slide somewhat. Here's Alexa's graph of site traffic...


As I said, it would be hard to carry the theme of the slide forward...

Note: I understand they're presenting aggregate and I'm presenting, and yes, you could make an argument that I'm comparing apples and oranges... you could also make the argument that the hand-crafted vehicle that is PJM hasn't really done much to create traffic (and value) for its' member blogs. Anyway, here's the 3 month trend lines for some of PJM's major sites...



You tell me whether this spells out "onward and upward".

Slide Eight:



Wake up, Sleepyhead... We're going to take a peak in the Clue Box. Today's clue: Advertisers don't care about the statistics of Blog Readers In General. They want specific demographic information about those people who read your blogs.

Slide Nine:


Zzzz... Huh? Oh... Zzzz....

Slide Ten:


For those of you who haven't heard of 'viral marketing', here's the Wiki entry.

I haven't really thought of Pajamas Media in the same terms as a dose of the clap, but then again...

The Big Pitch... Part One-O

Nothing like 10 days of silence and some posts on weight loss to drive the traffic down to nil. But I do know what you want... Really I do...

And here it is...

The Big Scoop on how Pajamas Media is going to give advertisers orgasms! And it's big enough (the scoop... not the orgasm) that I'm breaking it into three seperate parts...

A businessman who had contacted Pajamas Media and requested an advertiser's kit in mid-November finally got - well - the following Power Point presentation in mid-January. He sent it to me because he couldn't believe what he'd received. Beyond the fact that Pajamas Media couldn't turn around a request for an advertiser's kit (which this sure as spoot ain't) in under 60 days, it seems - and this is incredible to me - that as of mid-January, 2006 the company still doesn't have a real advertiser's kit.

Note: For the uninitiated, an advertiser's kit is what those people who actually sell advertising for a living provide to those people who actually purchase advertising as part of their marketing efforts. Trying to sell advertising to the moderately sophisticated without said kit would be akin to attempt to play game of football without the football.

Here's Slide One:


What catches your eye first? How about Pajamas still using the housecoat/bathrobe logo instead of a pajamas logo.

Should go over well.

Slide Two:


Boy, this one's a hummer.

First of all, there really aren't any real business people involved in Pajamas Media... largely because business people wouldn't launch a business dependent on selling advertising without having a advertiser's kit ready. Nor would they send out a Power Point presentation (hilariously named "PMSalesGeneric011306"... which would certainly make just about any potential advertiser feel special) instead of an advertiser's kit. If you still doubt me on this, check out my archives under "Ragging On Roger" for posts on a variety of Pajamas Media's missteps since November 17, 2005.

Then there's the rather interesting claim that Pajamas Media's founders nailed Dan Rather. The founders? How about one of the founders... or is Roger Simon now claiming he was in on that whole episode (wouldn't surprise me if he did... it ain't like he's shy about claiming the credit for other folks' work)? Oh, and when we talk about that one particular founder that was actually involved in the Rather Thingy, let's remember that a whole slew of folks, including the boys at Powerline, various folks at Free Republic and commenters at a variety of sites provided at least as much to debunking Rather's TANG documents as Poodle Chaz.

Egomania strikes deep in the heartland...

And here's something else: Advertisers don't give a flying handshake whether you have "thought leading, tipping point audiences". What they do give a flying handshake about is whether you can deliver purchase decision makers. That Pajamas Media is chattering on about 'thought leading' and 'tipping point' type folks will simply indicate to those that control the advertising dollar that Pajamas Media hasn't got a clue. Period.

Slide Three:


Bullet Point One: I'll say it again... What advertisers desire are audiences of purchase decision makers. If "many advertisers" really wanted to sell to a "thought leading, opinion shaping audience" audience, you'd see commercials for Pampers, XBox and the Swiffer WetJet during Face The Nation... which would be on during weekday evenings rather than Sunday mornings.

Bullet Point Two: A free and frosty can of Fresca to the person that can translate that bit of mumbo-jumbo into plain English. And just what is a "psychographic scale"? And more to the point, why would an advertiser care?

Bullet Point Three: Crafted a vehicle? You've got to be kidding me. What you've done is cobble together a mediocre cross between a blog portal and a blog aggregator. And by the way, is this vehicle hand-crafted? By elves, perhaps?

Slide Four:


A note from the Department of Redundancy Department: Advertisers don't care about "thought leaders"... and probably would continue to not care about them even after it was explained to them what a "thought leader" was.

Slide Five:


Hum... This looks like the results of the surveys we did about a year ago. Note that there is no specific demographic information presented that would allow an advertiser to conclude that either site attracted purchasing decision makers for any range of products or product categories. That's because back then we didn't know what kind of demographic questions to ask. At least now I know what you're supposed to ask...

And here's something else: Attracting a member of a family which has a high income level is only meaningful if that member is the one making the decisions on what is bought and what is not. And here's some news, in most households that is one of the two adults present.. not both. If you are attracting the wrong member of the household, you aren't really offering advertisers anything exciting, are you? If Mom hates blogs and buys the kid's clothes, school supplies and Christmas presents while Dad is jerking off being an "opinion leader" at Roger Simon's site, guess who's NOT interested in Dad (or

NEWS FLASH: Pajamas Media Remains Clueless...

I know, it ain't much of a news flash. But then again, I'm not much of a news organization. So shut your pie holes.

Er, anyway...

I'm starting to get some information on Pajamas Media's "marketing efforts" and "advertising" from my cadre of informers, saboteurs and con artists. That's because Tom Troja is finally getting around to answering their emails. Nothing like a 30+ day turnaround on a request for advertising rates to tell you all you need to know about where Pajamas is gonna be a year from now.

What I've received is a laugh, so bear with me while I get out a really big skewer...

Some Housekeeping...

First, I forgot to announce my completely and totally arbitrary winner of the "Axis of Asshole" logo contest:


I don't remember who created it and sent it to me, and I'm too lazy to check, but it doesn't really matter: This is the one I like best.

Note: I don't want to hear any whining about it.

Second, someone named "Barf" cruelly slandered Adrienne Barbeau in the comments section of my January 4 post. This will not be tolerated. Not at all. Not in the least. Period.

This is not a poodle-faced woman:


That is a breathtakingly beautiful woman.

And below what we have is '80s hair. Adrienne was at her peak(s) during the Reagan Years. For those, and several other reasons, I'm an '80s kinda guy. Deal with it.


Finally, if you're male, and you're looking at the above picture, and the first thing that comes to your mind is the fact that she needs a new hairdo, well, let me suggest you are either watching way too much of "What Not To Wear" or you need to be spending more time at Andrew Sullivan's site and less time here.

If you know what I mean.

And I think you do.

How Can You Mix These Up?

Richard McEnroe is worried I will mix up Adrienne Barbeau with Roger L. Simon.


Just as I can distinguish between elbow and ass, I can distinguish between...


...a distinguished horror film actress with great garbonzas (here she's seen having dinner at my place back in my bachelor days), and...


...some half-assed putz of an egomaniac (seen here striking a heroic pose at the Pajamas Media launch party) trying to con most of the known universe that he's unlocked the secrets of New Journalism™ and is now creating New Media™ to bring about a New Golden Age of Information Exchange™...

...with other people's money and work.

Yeah, I could mix those two up.

A Busy, Busy Day...

... and only about half of the latest installment of The Westerville Chronicles is actually written.

Therefore, in an attempt to buy some time and keep the ol' traffic statistics up, I will provide you a link to a high-quality post on Pajamas Media, and a link to a high quality picture of a nekkid Adrienne Barbeau.

Obviously, Mr. "Fits" of Shooting The Messenger has taste out the blowhole. Much like my own true self.

You May Not Know This, But We Have No Self-Awareness...

Now that I’m pretty much back to normal, I decided to start my morning with a quick Technorati search on Pajamas Media to see what Batman and the Boy Wonder have been up to over the past week. Short answer: Not Much. Jeez, guys, I know it was the holidays and all, but you are, after all, the New Media™ that’s gonna eat Old Media™.

Where’s the sizzle... as we high-traffic blogger cum journos like to say, eh?

Well, I can’t answer that question, but I can answer the question of where the sizzle ain’t: It ain’t at Pajamas Media. And that's for damn sure. Here’s today’s groundbreaking foray into blogging that’s relegating journalism to the ash heap of history... as we speak (write?)! And no, I’m not gonna link to those assholes...

Wolves, governors, newspapers and hoaxes

An April Fool's hoax made it to the front page of the Los Angeles Times, in a piece about the reintroduction of wolves and the Endangered Species Act; it included a quote by Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal from a false press release which was in fact an email joke. The newspaper's correction had this explanation by deputy metro editor, David Lauter: "The reporter saw it on the Internet and had talked to the governor in the past, so she was familiar enough with the way he talks and writes that she thought it sounded authentic and she didn't check, which she should have."

Then, as is Pajamas Media’s want, a couple of the Pajamashadeen and various blogging unidentifiables expend pixels in tisk-tisking Old Media™ for getting its’ facts wrong.


Beyond the fact that this is about as stale, trite and ho-hum an Old Media™ story as you could dig up these days, it happens to be coming from the New Media™ organization that couldn’t keep its’ chosen corporate name because it wasn’t able to – well – check facts.


Note to Raj and The Poodle: You want your New Media™ to look good? Stop trying to make Old Media™ look bad – which just about any Dimwit with a computer and some time can do – and give us something – anything – that constitutes high quality, unique and unconventional journalism.

More Competition Planned For Pajamas Media!

From Nose In The Air Media...

I wonder if Raj and Poodle Chaz will be able to take the heat? Especially if Annika manages to come up with a logo in under 30 days.

Logos? We're Givin' 'Em Away!

More piles of creativity from the hoi polloi...

From Steve. It is supposed to move, but doesn't now that I've put it up (the pajama bottoms drop). Maybe we can get Poodle Chaz to solve our technical issues...
Update: It does work. Click on the logo and the magic happens!


Here's one I did. You know, being an asshole is much easier than drawing an asshole:


Here's one from Cardinal Martini:


Here are a couple from the Axis of Asshole web site:



Keep 'em coming...

For Your Consideration... Some Axis of Asshole(s) Logos

I was going to have John Cole select a winner, but rumor has it he's locked himself in the bathroom and refuses to come out until someone gives him a glass of warm Ovaltine and some of his favorite cookies.

Logo The First: Dennis' imaginative attempt at graphic design... tastefully done in brown.


Logo The Second: From Og.


Logo The Third: From Dan or Steve or someone else... I forget.


Logo The Fourth: From Scott.


Logo The Fifth: From the Axis of Asshole(s) web site.


Keep those logos coming... I mean, what the fuck, we're working on Pajamas time here, so it could be another month or so before we make a choice and start placing the sucker on some of our sites.

Giggle Away...

In response to yesterday's post on Pajamas Media's inability to get a logo and ad on Michelle Malkin's site in less than a month, John Cole of Balloon-Juice comments thusly:

As the founder of the Axis of Assholes (I am thrilled you all have embraced that), and, I might add, an unmitigated asshole myself, perhaps I can shed some light.

I just got the code for my ads, and they should be going up either tomorrow or the next day (as soon as I can get the guy who does the coding at my website to do it). I know, my site doesn't look like much, but trust me, I am too stupid to build even that. At any rate, here is the process as I have experienced it.

- A while back (before the launch, I believe), they sent me an email telling me they would shortly have some sort of stat counting software for me to install.

- A couple days later, I get the code. I install it.

- Last week, they tell me they are going to shortly have specific code for the ads for me to insert.

- A couple days later, a tech support person discusses with me, via email, how they would like the ads to appear. We go back and forth, and figure out the way that is best for both of us.

- The next day, he sends me the code, as well as specific instructions.

I, being an acknowledged knucklehead, will simply forward all the code and instructions to my coder, and he will install it. End of story.

Now, as to whether or not this should have been done before the launch, that is fair game for you to discuss and debate. But what many of us think of as the tin foil hat stuff is that we know we are in the process of getting the stuff up, and that they are taking their time to make sure that each blog owner is happy with the placement, etc. So when we see someone claim 'Michelle Malkin is bailing because she doesn't have ads and we can't find her profile,' we giggle.

Why were the ads not up earlier? I dunno. I would be willing to bet Michelle does not know, so sending her fifty accusatory emails asking her isn't going to yield you much in the way of answers.

Why are Charles and Roger not explaining this to the legion of critics (now known as the AoA? Beats me- probably because they don't care what you think, and are safely betting that no matter what they do, you and others are going to criticize them anyway.

Would I have done otherwise? Again, beats me, but that is not my concern. Like I have said repeatedly, I blog. I put PJ ads on my site. They pay me for the ads. That is pretty much all there is to it for me.

I hope this has helped clear up some of the confusion.

Well, actually, John, it doesn't clear up anything. If you want to sit around a giggle that the critics of Pajamas Media have a collective screw loose - because they can't believe Raj and Poodle Chaz would be so stupid as to wait a month before getting around to putting a logo and some ads on the Crown Jewel of their web sites - feel free to giggle away. Just make sure the check those jerks send you clears the bank first.

On the one month anniversary of the launch of Pajamas Media, I went to the Pajamas Media web site, went to "PJ Blogs", and then went to each and every one of the 89 blogs listed. The results are as follows:

"PJ Blogs" with either of the two Pajamas Media membership logos - 25
"PJ Blogs" without either of the two Pajamas Media membership logos - 64


"PJ Blogs" with Pajamas Media/Doubleclick ads - 12
"PJ Blogs" with Google ads - 9
"PJ Blogs" with BlogAds ads - 13
"PJ Blogs" with Advertise Liberally ads - 1
"PJ Blogs" without ads - 56
(Note: several blogs had ads from multiple sources)


So as of December 16, one month to the day since the grand launch of Pajamas Media, the company that was going to create a New Media to bring ABC, CBS and NBC to their knees, Raj and Poodle Chaz haven't been able to get the Pajamas Media logo placed on 71.9% of their affiliated blogs. And now, at the end of those first heady 30 days of existence, 62.9% of those same blogs have no advertising whatsoever, while 25.8% have ads from Pajamas Media's direct competition.

Other Facts: (1) Tim Blair is still listed as a "PJ Blog". (2) Peapies Design has two posts since the launch and hasn't posted since November 21. (3) Baldilocks, who is supposed to be Pajamas Media's public relations person (or whatever) with the blogging world, lacks a Pajamas Media logo and displays Google ads.


On December 16, John, you have no Pajamas Media logo on your site, and to top it off, you're running ads from BlogAds. And it really doesn't matter why Raj and Poodle Chaz have decided that is OK, the bottom line is (1) you don't have a logo and (2) you're running ads from the competition. Those are the facts and they aren't of the type that will inspire confidence in the long-term viability of Pajamas Media.

Now explain how I'm the one wearing a tinfoil hat.

When you say you don't know why the vast majority of Pajamas Media sites have yet to get a logo or ads one month after the public proclamation of Pajamas Media's drive to media dominance, I entirely believe you. But I have difficulty believing you could be obtuse enough not to see how the failure to master such a detail, telling in its seeming triviality, might cast yet another shadow upon the already tattered reputations of Pajamas Media's "management". As of this date, we've gone through the buffo comedy of the New York office and the illegal use of the Open Source Media moniker. We've been treated to a genuinely painful "Gee, just what are we doing here?" blogjam, as well as more than one Pajamas blogger openly criticizing "management" for one of any number of reasons. Doesn't this latest bit of foolishness add to the "emperor's new clothes" aura of this project? At what point do Raj and Poodle Chaz (and you) come to the realization that it is going to be very difficult for Pajamas Media to either transform Media As We Know It™ or assemble a meaningful advertising client base until "management" can demonstrate a minimum level of business competence.

This may come as a shock to at least some of the Pajama Kids, but dicking around for a month without getting a logo and an ad on each and every "PJ Blog" listed constitutes a serious gaffe amongst those who understand something about what it takes to sell oneself to others. I'll bet dollars to donuts that any potential ad agency or business considering handing Pajamas Media money is going to look at each and every web site labelled a "PJ Blog" with a finetooth comb. Do you think what I discovered and listed above would escape their attention? And what conclusion do you think they would draw about the competence of Pajamas Media's "management" and the viability of the business model (if one actually exists, that is) based on those same results? Any advertising professional in his right mind is going to look at the state of Pajamas Media and laugh: This is Jethro Bodine stuff.

Finally, John, before you get to giggling too much, understand that those of us with a certain amount of business experience would note that the very fact that Raj hasn't told you to Shut The Fuck Up demonstrates yet another Amateur Hour aspect of Pajamas Media's "management" of affairs. Baldilocks has been given the responsibility of handling relations with the blogosphere; you have not. And in the Real World, in a Real Company, with Real Management, your seemingly compulsive need to run around the blogosphere engaging every critic of Pajamas Media wouldn't be tolerated. Period. Not that I mind, you understand... because the more you yap at the Axis of Assholes, the more credibility I accrue, and the more my criticism of Pajamas Media is validated.

Hope this clears up some of your confusion.

“Technical Issues”...

Introduction: This post was written late last week before Typepad went South on us. I decided yesterday to post it today. Well, sometime between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning, Pajamas Media's crack team of cracked experts managed to solve all those nasty "technical issues" they couldn't figure out during the first month of Pajamas Media's existence... because Michelle Malkin has, as of Sunday morning, a Pajamas logo and those stupid Pajamas/Doubleclick ads.

Moral of the Story: As with just about everything else involving Pajamas Media, from the bad setup of the phoney-baloney New York office to the original company name, if you're a part of Pajamas Media and you want the company to properly execute, you need to get the Axis of Assholes working diligently to herd Raj and Poodle Chaz down the business owner's path to a beautiful and wonderous place called marginal competence.

Despite developments, the validity of my post stands. It took them over a month to decide putting a logo and an ad on Michelle Malkin's site was worth the effort, while paying Matt Drudge thousands of dollars to advertise Pajamas Media to, for the most part, the same viewers. Morons.


Dan over at Life In The Great Midwest seems to be Hellbent on joining the Axis of Assholes. He sent Michelle Malkin, who could considered the Crown Jewel of Pajamas Media’s blogger list, and email asking her why neither Pajamas Media’s membership logo nor any Pajamas Media (Doubleclick) ads are on her web site. Michelle’s response was as follows:

It's a technical issue. They haven't set up the coding for my blog yet.

This response, of course, brought howls of derision from a whole slew of Axis members, from yours truly to Steve H. and everyone else in between.

Dan, having oodles of energy, then asked Michelle again for an explanation, this time specifically requesting that it be believable. Michelle emailed back:

I repeat: It's a very simple technical issue. I've been waiting for Pajamas Media to send me the coding to put the ads up on my site. There are a lot of PM bloggers waiting. I'm in line like everyone else--but I think all this tinfoil-hat-rattling is going to get me bumped up.

Tinfoil-hat-rattling? Michelle, let me clue you in on something: It’s been a month since the official launch of Pajamas Media and the company you are a part of has yet to post a logo or an ad on your site. And your site isn’t just any site. If God started blogging tomorrow, he’d want your traffic. And despite that, people going to your site haven’t a clue you’re a part of Pajamas Media. Given that Raj and Poodle Chaz paid Matt Drudge a large pile of cash to advertise Pajama's Iraqi Election coverage, don't you think it would have made sense to have the same ad running on one of its highest traffic blogs... especially since they'd already paid you for the space!

Perhaps, Michelle, you don't care about that. After all, you get your ad cash whether anything is on your site or not, right? But the bottom line is the rest of the blogosphere is watching... and we’re having a hard time believing anyone – even Raj and Poodle Chaz – could be so breathtakingly incompetent that they couldn’t get a fucking JPEG logo on your site in under 30 days. Or believe that they'd pay hard cash to Matt Drudge for site traffic before setting up their company's own sites to deliver essentially that same sort of traffic and viewer demographic.These are the guys who are going to have to turn a profit some day to ensure you keep getting that nice check every month.

Hence the conspiracy theories...

Let me put it this way. I sat down at a program I’d never used before, Photoshop Elements, and designed an “Axis of Assholes” logo for my web site. I then went into Typepad and placed said logo on my web site... which was something else I didn’t know how to do. It took me all of an hour! And I'm an accountant who has never designed a graphic or written a line of code in his life. But there you are, in a company with millions of dollars and all sorts of expertise, and you've got squat.

Think about that.

It has been 30+ days and Pajamas Media hasn’t been able to get around to doing the same for you? You use Movable Type, which is essentially Typepad. There are no fucking "technical issues" in setting up a logo with a link in Movable Type! You just go into Movable Type and follow the directions given to you in "Help".

Think about that.

Now tell me who is wearing the tinfoil hat.

Axis of Assholes Logo Contest

Here's one that combines an asshole with the suggestion of ankle biting:


Here's one that suggests thoughtfulness of our part:


Here's one specifically for Moxie and Ann Althouse:


And here's one that suggests strength in numbers:


Come on, folks, we need your submissions! I want to get our logo out and up on all "Axis of Assholes" site before Raj can get a Pajamas Media logo on each of his blogger sites.

Update: More possibilities...

The agricultural motif:


That particular motif expanded:


Here the Axis greets Raj and Poodle Chaz's private train returning from the New York gala opening:


We're lining up potential venture capitalists:


As well as our foreign stringers (for election coverage):


And, of course, we'll need someone with some time on their hands to play the Axis version of John Cole:



Raj already copyrighted this one for Pajamas Media:


More Pajamas Media Blogger Brilliance...

... From John Cole of Balloon Juice.

Via Moxie, Cole represents Pajamas Media in a manner that is, well, kinda batshit crazy, insanely bitter, and somewhat deranged:

"You know- no more links to the Axis of Asshole [ sic ], aka Althouse, Moxie, etc.

They are just bitter shrews who for some reason have a hard-on [ ! - ed. ] towards Roger and Charles. They are free to start their own competing businesses if they know so damned much.

And what makes me pissed off the most is that their commentary is so nasty and childish I feel compelled to defend PJ, even though I think they have made significant missteps."

Hum... that's the Mother of all Mixed Metaphors, John.

But, irrespective of John's difficulties with basic anatomy... all I can say at this moment is "CONTEST TIME" !!!

Would any of my creative and artistically inclined readers care to design an "Axis of the Assholes" logo I could distribute to people such as Moxie, Ann Althouse, Steven Den Beste, Steve H. and others?

If so, email it to me. The best logo will win the party responsible a week in Westerville. Second place wins two weeks in Westerville. ( Seriously, if you send me a good logo, I'll figure out some way to compensate you... perhaps a copy of my etchings of Adrienne Barbeau's nekkid swamp swimming scene in Swamp Thing ? )

Yep. That Be Bullshit...

More on the strange state of Michelle Malkin from Steve H. at Hog On Ice, who seems to dislike Raj and Poodle Chaz as much as I do. Welcome to the land of batshit craziness, insane bitterness, as well as deranged obsession.

I don't feel lonely anymore, knowing someone has moved into my neighborhood.

Oh yeah, the post can be found here.

And just to show Steve I appreciate him, I'm going to put up another picture of Adrienne Barbeau:


Question For Raj: Why have Baldilocks doing blogger relations when Ari Fleischer is unemployed?

Methinks There Be Bullshit In The Air...

Dan over at Life In The Great Midwest gets the lowdown from Michelle Malkin about the Pajamas Media logo and ads (or lackthereof) situation at her blog. Read his post here.

Excuse me for saying so, but Michelle's answer is pure bullshit. She uses Movable Type, as do a number of other Pajamas Media bloggers who have the Pajamas Media Doubleclick Ads and/or as one of the many versions of the Pajamas Media membership logos. And even if there were "technical issues", Poodle Chaz writes code for a living, and Michelle Malkin must be considered one of Pajamas Media's top bloggers, if not their top blogger, period. Her response doesn't add up.

Sure, Raj is a moron, but not even the Accidential CEO would allow his company to dick around for nearly a month on resolving the "technical issues" surrounding getting a logo and an ad on the company's best site...

Pajamas Media 'And Then There Were None' Watch:
Tim Blair - Gone
Laurence Simon - Wishing He Was Gone
Michelle Malkin - Going

Getting Interesting By Being 'Old Media'...

... But I'll bet dollars to donuts that Jim, Aubrey, Raj and Poodle Chaz will take whatever they can get at this point.

I've been over at Pajamas Media checking out their coverage of the Iraqi elections. It is easily the most interesting thing they've done since launching The Turkey. Not that constitutes much, mind you. Raj is already busy patting himself on the back over at his site (and no, I ain't fucking linking it), as you would expect. There are problems, though, with touting this as some sort of Blogosphere/New Media Triumph. I'll let Glenn Reynolds provide the reasons (and no, I ain't fucking linking to his site, either):

NEWS FROM IRAQ: Over at the Pajamas Media site, Omar & Mohammed of Iraq the Model, plus stringers from all over Iraq, are posting reports and photos from the Iraqi elections. This will go on all day.

It's a bit of an experiment still, but I hope that we'll see a lot more of this kind of coverage from all sorts of places, on all sorts of topics, as things progress.

See the problem here? New Media's coverage consists of two member bloggers from one member blog in Baghdad and a bunch of stringers. Just how does this differ, media-wise, from CBS having a couple of reporters camped out in a Baghdad hotel working their own stringers?

Understand that I'm not trying to be petty here. Honest. As I said, Pajamas Media has finally, finally, delivered something mildly interesting enough to be actually worth reading, but how does what they are doing shift the media paradigm in any way?

Oh Yeah, Revenue...

Here's an interesting post on Pajamas Media and Michelle Malkin. Here's the follow-up. Read both. It is interesting that Malkin isn't displaying Raj's lame Doubleclick Ads or one of the several "Member of Pajamas Media" logos that are floating around. Trouble in paradise? Let's hope so.

And on a completely unrelated topic, Adrienne Barbeau provides two more reasons to live:


Actually, they're the same two reasons as before. But who's quibbling?

Then, of course, there's Swamp Thing.

Update: Moxie looks at the Malkin Mystery and then passes judgment.

Counting Blessings: Mine And Others...

I'm reminded that I should count my blessings. I will. I will also count Adrienne's blessings: One, two. That makes one blessing for me. And that's before we even get to Swamp Thing, mind you...


Back to business.

It's bad enough that Pajamas Media has a primary logo that doesn't match its membership logo, or so you'd think. But then again...

Check this out:

Member Logo Number One:


And... Member Logo Number Two:


I found both logos in use at multiple Pajamas Media member blogs.

If you can believe this, Jim Koshland and Aubrey Chernick are paying Roger Simon and Charles Johnson out of either the $3.5 million or $7.0 million venture capital war chest to design and distribute two seperate and distinct membership logos for their company. You would think that if the first was to be superceeded by the second, that Raj and Poodle Chaz would tell the membership to replace One with Two. Then you'd think they'd follow up to ensure this was, in fact, done. But of course, if you did think that, you'd be dead wrong.

And these are the Assholes who are going to remake Media in their own image. Or is that images?


Surprisingly, Someone Else Is Cast As The Dick...

...despite my rather obvious qualifications... in The Legal Briefs Caper.

And to top it off, I don't even get the Peter Lorre part.

Fun to think about Adrienne Barbeau, though, and her tremendous acting talents:


For some reasons (2), my will to live has returned...

It Appears I've Lost The Will To Live...


I woke up this morning and discovered, much to my surprise, that the thought of Ragging on Roger bored the crap out of me.

So here I am, 48 and fat, my professional and blogosphere reputation in tatters, with no clients or work or interest in Pajamas Media... and no revenue from any Pajamas Media ads on my High Traffic Blog to tide me over...

Now what?



Now What?

Here's another "What the fuck?" moment emanating from the fetid swamp that is Pajamas Land...via General JC Christian of Jesus' General:

It seems that Pajamas Media is influencing some of its more Euro-minded boardmembers for the better. I understand that no less than two of these quasi-Frenchman are emailing their critics with threats of utter ruination.

It's good to see the duo taking cues from the White House on how to handle dissenters. It's even better that they're doing so surreptitiously by email rather than in their blogs--it's so much more Rovian that way. The Nation certainly needs more people like them.

Now I realize that's a fairly cryptic post, so I'll follow it with a couple of related comments that may (or may not) provide clarification.

From ¡El Gato Negro!:


deed joo mean "The Nation" of America or The Nation™ Magazina?

From the General himself:

If the blogger to whom these emails were sent wants to publish the emailers or name their names, I'll link to his post. I'm sorry to be so vague, but I'm pissed off at these guys for doing this and I wanted to write something about it. It's not hard to figure out who the perps are.

And yes, black cat, The capitalization isn't a mistake.

With this follow-up:

Black cat, it has two of them.

At this point I don't really know what to make of this. The General maintains it shouldn't be too hard to figure out who the perps are in this, and given that he specifically mentions The Nation, it would appear he's talking about David Corn and Marc Cooper. If I am correct in this, all I can say is I have a hard time believing David Corn would do such a thing. As for Marc Cooper, I've received a number of emails informing me that he's been running around L.A. telling anyone who will listen just how fucked up Pajamas Media is since about November 17. If that's true, the idea that he's making threats doesn't make much sense, either.

But stranger things have happened, that's for sure. Clearly The General was firing a warning shot across a couple of bows to make it all stop. In any event, that isn't really what matters here. What matters is that if it turns out this is true, then it simply reinforces the idea that Pajamas Media is an Amateur Hour production staffed by some seriously Amateur Hour people. Given that Pajamas Media already has certain member bloggers dissing the project in public while others are picking fights over Pajamas with any and all takers, one has to believe that The Accidental CEO still hasn't discussed basic conduct with his crew. The sad thing is that Pajamas Media has been run so badly to date that you can't dismiss anything, not matter how outageous, out of hand.

Note: Several people emailed me The General's post yesterday and asked if I had been threatened. If by that they meant had I been threatened by the two unnamed preps above, the answer is "no". But let's remember, I have the proud distinction of being the first blogger ever threatened by someone involved in Pajamas Media: I was threatened with "outing" by Roger Simon's wife about a month ago. Remember that?

Logo Checking...

Raj and Poodle Chaz have made it a point to let us all know that they will be fact-checking the internet as part of being our New Media...

But who's checking logos?

Logo at the Pajamas Media web site:


Logo at a Pajamas Media blog:



On The Difference Between Having Something Of Interest And Being Interesting...

I've received a whole lot of email since November 16 asking two simple, fundamental questions:

1) What is Pajamas Media supposed to be?

2) Why is Pajamas Media so bad?

The short answers are, in my opinion, as follows:

1) Interesting.

2) It isn’t interesting.

And as strange as this may sound, I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with reasons that can explain away what Rog and Chaz have actually shoveled our way since November 16. It is so glaringly apparent that Pajamas Media neither redefines nor improves upon information and/or news delivery on the internet, which is what it is supposed to do, that one has trouble accepting with any seriousness the idea that such is the mission of company or the site. It is difficult to look at what Pajamas Media actually is, and separate that from any idea of what Pajamas Media was supposed to be.

On some level, I suppose, Rog and Chaz really did think that Pajamas Media was going to be the paradigm for some sort of New Media. But I have trouble taking that entirely seriously. It seems apparent now that such an idea was some sort of hazy, semi-erotic fantasy of future glories... the equivalent of a school-boy daydream. Certainly the web site betrays no amount of serious thought or work reaching towards a goal of being either uniquely effective or efficient in presenting New Media to the masses.

If we accept the proposition that Rog and Chaz weren’t particularly serious in thinking of Pajamas Media in terms of some sort of New Media, then the next question that needs to be asked is simply, “What did they think they were doing?” And that is a hard one to answer, because it is very difficult to put yourself in the place of the architects of disaster when that particular disaster is on such a vast and grand scale. Your first inclination is to always assume nobody could be stupid enough to dream up a web site like Pajamas Media’s. In this case, you’d have thought that someone would have looked at the stated objective, the available resources, and then at the product, and said, “Whoa...”


Well, stupidity definitely plays a part in any outright catastrophe, including the catastrophe that is Pajamas Media, but it isn’t really a satisfactory answer to what went wrong. Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, it must be remembered that neither Simon nor Johnson are particularly stupid men. Nor can ignorance or naivety provide the answer, either. While it is true neither Rog nor Chaz has any meaningful knowledge of media operations or journalism, one look at the Pajamas Media site basically confirms the idea that the flaws are not the product of any sort of inexperience in or lack of sophistication about Old Media.

Ultimately, what it came down to was that Rog and Chaz never actually understood their own considerable blogging success. All Pajamas Media really needed to do is be interesting to a certain percentage of bloggers and blog readers. Had it succeeded in that, everything else would have fallen into place; they would have had traffic, blogger support (via comment and link) and at some point, financial reward. And if this was done long enough, well enough and on a large enough scale, it might have served as the beginnings of some sort of New Media.

But it appears that is not to be.

Why? Well, primarily because Rog and Chaz let their egos get the best of them. Pajamas Media, as it stands now, is simply a vanity project. That’s why it is so laughably dull. So many of us have focused so closely on Pajamas Media’s operational gaffes that we’ve basically ignored just how trite and vapid the ‘original content’ at the site really is. One of my commenters posited a while back that Pajamas Media was largely a product of hubris, which Steven Den Beste promptly picked up as the truth of the matter. And while hubris (which I would define as “overweening pride”) has a certain appeal as an explanation, I cannot wholeheartedly accept it as the solution to this case.

That is because hubris was a feature of tragedy, and I cannot find it in me to consider Pajamas Media substantial enough to qualify as such. There is no gravitas there. Pajamas Media is more along the lines of buffo comic opera, and if there is one place you don’t find hubris, it is in comedy. No, hubris isn’t the correct way to characterize what has happened here. What I think has happened, ultimately, is that Rog, Chaz, and perhaps even Glenn looked at their traffic and their fan mail and then came to a logical and completely incorrect conclusion:

They were interesting, therefore their blogs were interesting.

That, I feel, is the fatal flaw in Pajamas Media. Pajamas Media is a catastrophic failure not because the principals are stupid, ignorant or naïve (although you could make a case that they are), but because they assumed that they themselves were, in and of themselves, of interest. Glenn Reynolds may be an interesting guy, but that isn’t why people go to Instapundit. They go to Instapundit because Instapundit is interesting blog. The same scenario goes for each and every blog and blogger associated with Pajamas Media. Just look at the Pajamas Media Blogjams for your proof: Blogjams are a painful embarrassment because they have eliminated that which we find interesting – the bloggers blogging – and substituted that which is not interesting – the bloggers not blogging.

Peyton Manning may fascinate us on any given Sunday right now, but I’m not so sure he’d keep our interest if he suddenly decided to spend those same Sunday afternoons playing old Led Zeppelin tunes on an accordion. He fascinates because he does something really, really well... not because he is inherently fascinating. That is the fundamental problem with Pajamas Media: Somewhere along the line Rog and Charles decided that because they had managed to produce interesting blogs they were inherently interesting folks. They then assumed that because they were interesting in and of themselves, whatever they did would be interesting to others as a matter of course. Period. And that pretty much explains why Pajamas Media is as half-assed as it is. It was assumed that we are enthralled enough that whatever was put before us would be good enough to keep us enthralled until the next installment of enthrallment was served up.

Fundamentally, Pajamas Media is awful because Rog and Chaz got it backwards... Interesting blogging makes the blogger interesting – not the other way around.

This Is Funny... But Way Too Close To Reality

For your consideration...

The Perfect Blogjam Parody!

Pajamas Media Has A New Competitor...


And here we thought Pajamas Media would hog all the glory now that Margo Kingston has gone to her reward...

Although I have to confess that I'm hurt that they didn't ask me to participate. I mean, what's the downside to having a batshit crazy, insanely bitter, deranged and obsessed Somali warlord-in-training on board? Eh?

Pajamas Media's Primary Competition Goes Under...

Pajamas Media refugee Tim Blair reports that Margo Kingston's Webdiary, which (at least up until November 16, 2005) had the sole distinction of being the most laughable "we're going to crush Old Media with our New Media" web site in the blogosphere, is closing up shop due to lack of funding. If you are unfamiliar with Margo Kingston, just follow Blair's link and gaze in wonder. And note the lack of a logo... which is probably what did her in.

In any event, it seems strange that Kingston would close her turkey down without at least giving Jim Koshland and Aubrey Chernick a call. It's pretty clear they wouldn't have any idea of whether she's any good or not. And it's even clearer they're getting used to throwing money down a black hole.

Margo, why not take a stab at getting them to hand some cash over to your New Media Thingee? Tell them it would help dispel that whole Bushco/Neo-Con astroturfing conspiracy theory Tony Pierce is trying to peddle.

Further amusement comes from Blair's comments section:

History of Webdiary as I remember it:

Quit day job

Announce that you’re changing the history of journalism

Announce need to hire 47 people to help you run your blog

Put up first post

Announce need for break after rigorous posting schedule

Go fundraising among venture capitalists

Hint that fundraising isn’t going very well

Have bitter feud with unpaid ex-employee

Put up second post

Announce two-week hiatus due to punishingly brutal posting schedule

Have bitter feud with another unpaid ex-employee

Put up third post

Shut down due to astounding demands of inhumanly driven 24/7 posting regimen.

I had to do a double-take to ensure I hadn't drifted into some "History of Pajamas Media" post Blair had put up.

The upshot of this? Pajamas Media now doesn't have to worry about some Australian Lefty Loon beating them to the "We're going to crush Old Media with our New Media" punch.

Sighs of relief all around, eh?

And finally, some good news for Rog, Chaz, Jim and Aubrey!

No. No. No.

Someone sent me an email that Tony Pierce thinks Pajamas Media is some sort of Republican/Neo-Con astroturfing operation.


As anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows, I’m pretty reluctant to pass judgment on anyone I don’t know well. That's because I am a delicate fucking flower who understands that Words Can Hurt.


The truth be told, I had never heard of Tony Pierce before he linked to me during the height of the Roger Wars, and to tell you even more truth, the whole capitalization-not thingee combined with the fact that he obviously of a completely different and incomprehensible generation that can use words like “bootylicious” without laughing out loud has kept him off the ol’ Daily Read List. I understand that he does have a pretty big following, though, so I guess he is worthy of serious reflection on my part...

That said, I think Tony’s out of his fucking mind.

Here’s why:

Republican Party operatives, as opposed to Republican elected officials, tend to be both effective and efficient. This is especially true when compared to operatives in the employ of the Democratic Party (even more so now that Howard Dean has chased away most of the adults). As a Republican of 25 years, I can assure him that if real Republicans were involved in Pajamas Media, it would not be nearly as fucked up as it is. If Republicans were involved in Pajamas Media, you’d have a well-designed site, slick graphics, real legal work done up front, real offices in NYC and a slew of advertisers already on board. Oh sure, it’d still be working on the Vision Thing, but at least it’d look professional while trying to distinguish ass from elbow.

It’s that simple. Incompetence at the organizational level is not a Republican Party trait. If it was, we’d have Howard Dean running things for us.

Beyond that, I have grave doubts about Tony’s judgment in other matters that makes me doubt he's got this figured out right. Much of what he says makes a lot of sense in a strange way, but the fact of the matter is that he has multiple pictures of C.C. DeVille posted on his site. Now I realize that in some circles people like C.C. DeVille are considered celebrities, but Tony... He was in Poison – Poison!

Are you too young to understand what that means to people of my age? We barely survived Disco in the ‘70s and then comes...

...L.A. Hair Bands... Poison – Poison – to fuck up nearly all of the ‘80s.

Caring folks never post pictures of those sort of people on their blog. It just isn’t done.

Which probably means that next week's Pajamas Media blogjam will center on the cosmic significance of Poison...


I Still Have My Day Job...

Remember that one?

The one where I was going to lose all my clients and my license and my will to live because I had the bad taste to actually let everyone know how Roger L. Simon conducts business? Well, to be honest with you, I haven’t heard too much of that sort of thing since posting The ‘Certain Thing’, but it still sticks in my craw. And because it stuck in my craw, I decided to go through the considerable trouble of disclosing all of my actions in this matter to a number of my clients back in November... as a sort of controlled experiment testing the Power of the Blogosphere™.

Now that I am back to work, it would seem appropriate at this time to reveal their reactions, as well as the repercussions on my career from my descent from an unexceptional, if respectable, Central Ohio Certified Public Accountant into a batshit crazy, insanely bitter, deranged and completely obsessed stalker who preys on the dogs of others and frightens small children off the internet. And although these clients had a variety of responses to my disclosure, there is one word that could sum them up in their totality quite nicely. That word is as follows:


Yep. That’s the word. Evidently the folks in these parts are a Hell of a lot more jaded than I gave them credit for. Here are the gruesome details from selected clients...

Client #1: Social Service Agency (Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention – Inner City Youth)

I called the Executive Director of Client #1, Miss L., and gave it to her straight, blow-by-blow. She has been a client for 11 years. Her reaction was as follows:

M.L.: (chuckles) Ken, you’re crazy.
K.K.: Well, maybe a little.
M.L.: And here I thought you were being good...
K.K.: Well, I’m not as bad as I was with Agency X.
M.L.: (laughs) What? You didn’t attack anyone?
K.K.: Not physically.
M.L.: You are crazy. Are you coming in Thursday to do checks?
K.K.: Yep.

That was that.

Note: The reference to Agency X deserves explanation. Agency X is the county agency charged with funding Client #1. Back in the late 1990s Client #1 was repeatedly, and incorrectly, denied timely funding due to the incompetence of Agency X’s CEO and CFO. After spending a year trying to get a good faith effort from the agency to mend its ways, I decided to Declare War... despite warnings that in doing so I would ruin my reputation and cause all of my clients to leave me. Highlights of that War, which resulted in the terminations of both the CEO and CFO, included my going over a table in an attempt to physically attack the CFO during one extremely contentious meeting at Agency X.

Client #2: Tire Entrepreneur (Repair and Remanufacture of Industrial Use and Specialty Tires)

I called owner of Client #2, The Tire Baron, and gave him to low-down on what I had done. He has been a client for 10 years. His reaction was as follows:

T.B.: This was that asshole out in California that screwed you, right?
K.K.: Yeah.
T.B.: Good. Fuck him.
K.K.: Yeah.

That was that.

Client #3: Social Service Agency (Immigration Services – Somali-Americans)

I called the Executive Director of Client #3, Mr. Hassan O., and explained what had transpired. They’ve been a client for 5 years.

H.O.: So this man in California, he cheat you?
K.K.: Yes, I think he cheated me.
H.O.: And this man, you fix him?
K.K.: Yes, I think I’ve fixed him.
H.O.: Good. In Somalia you could be a warlord. (laughs)
K.K.: No, I don’t think so.
H.O.: But you are tough man. You help us with the City.
K.K.: I do what I can.

That was that.

Note: When the City Auditor of City Y made the arbitrary decision to withhold funding without contacting Client #3, I had a certified letter from my lawyer on the City Auditor’s desk within 24 hours threatening a lawsuit within another 24 hours. This drew a telephone call from the City Auditor’s Chief of Staff. Funding was restored in 8 hours. Later the Chief of Staff stated, upon meeting me, that no one had ever spoken to him in his life as I had.

And so on...

The Moral of the Story: Nobody gives a shit about the blogosphere other than bloggers.

The Other Moral of the Story: The issue isn’t whether you’re an Asshole. The issue is just whose Asshole you are. I may be a full-tilt pit bull of a pain-in-the-ass, but for clients with serious problems that must be solved Right Now, that isn’t necessarily A Bad Thing. Some people value "getting along" more than others do. Those that want to "get along" above all else don't hire people like me in the first place.

So much for that shit...

Or does someone else want to lecture me about my ethics or professionalism or whatnot?

How about one on the Power of the Blogosphere™?

Catching Up On The Springtime For Hitler Media™ Follies...

The New Logo: Unbelievable. The fact that the Visionaries of New Media can’t differentiate between a pair of pajamas and a housecoat seems to be quite appropriate, doesn’t it? Rog, Baby, I don’t know how it comes across amongst the normal folks out in L.A., but here in Ohio a housecoat doesn’t suggest intrepid bloggers relentlessly Speaking Truth to Power. Honest. It suggests a fat, frumpy middle-aged housewife sitting in front on a TV in curlers and a mudpack watching “Oprah” while eating bon-bons. You’ve got somewhere between $3.5 and $7.0 million dollars on hand. Hire a fucking art/graphic/website director. I’m an accountant and I could put together a better logo than that.

The Amazing Disappearing Tim Blair: I wondered when it would dawn on Blair that mocking Margo Kingston’s web site would be impossible while he was associated with the only web site on the planet that sucks as much as Margo’s own. To Blair’s credit, it only took him a couple of weeks to see the light.

“Pajamas Media” Advertising: “PJ Advertising”? My fat white ass. Rog; Chaz; Glenn: Doubleclick Ads are Doubleclick Ads. Calling them Pajamas Media Ads doesn’t make them anything other than what the are... which is Doubleclick Ads. Just who is supposed to be buying this sort of nonsense? Do you consider yourselves the possessors of an unlimited well of internet credibility? When you guys actually land an advertising contract via the efforts of Tom Troja and the crack PJ advertising staff working out of your plush offices in New York City, give us a call... that will be news. Otherwise, STFU. You aren’t fooling anyone.

That Cat-Like Discipline: Am I the only one noticing the fact that Laurence Simon is trying desperately to get his ass fired by Pajamas Media? Or that Dean Esmay, Jeff Goldstein and Bill Quick seem determined to pick as many fights with as many bloggers, commenters, and/or readers as is humanly possible? Hey, I’m not an Accidental CEO or anything, but I’d suggest it’s about time someone at Pajamas Media start engaging their in-house bloggers about their complaints and their conduct. At some point it is going to dawn on Koshland and Chernick that having a certain percentage of their star bloggers running around dissing their $7 million turkey is a bad thing. And at some point they may even come to the realization that having another percentage of their people running around the internet telling various critics to fuck off also constitutes a bad thing.

The Whole Soul-Searching Thingee: And speaking of credibility, Boys, trust me when I tell you that having a portion of your staff and blogroll sit around at the site and brainfart about what Pajamas Media is supposed to be is Not A Good Idea. You may think that’s “being open”, but for the rest of us it comes across as “being clueless”. It just reinforces the idea that nobody connected with Pajamas Media has given it more than 15 minutes of serious thought at a stretch. If you’re in the process of trying to figure out what you are, it would be better for you if you did that in private. In the meantime, why not reach for the stars and try to execute what you’ve got at a level of minimum competence.

I Wasn’t Quite Sure What I Was Gonna Do...

... when these guys emailed me yesterday.

Because, well, they called me an “asshole”.

I may be a batshit crazy, insanely bitter, obsessed, deranged and immature online stalker, but I have feelings, too.

Words hurt.

But now that I see one of the Poor Folk Who Got Sucked In (Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom refer to them as "Contributors") is over there ragging on Springtime For Hitler Media™.

So, what the fuck, I might as well yell “Dog Pile!”, and give those boys a link.

Although I remain deeply hurt.

As Renfield Said To Van Helsing...

... “Thanks, I’m feeling much better.”

I’ve received a number of emails expressing concern over my being “tired” (as opposed to be “enraged”), as I mentioned at the end of my The “Certain Thing” post. There’s been talk of a Vacation Fund. And while I am flattered that so many folks I don’t know are concerned for my welfare, I think I need to clear this point up, because I may have inadvertently confused some of you.

There reason I was tired, rather than enraged, was because I didn’t finish that post until about 6 AM on Sunday. The reason for that was we had City of Westerville maintenance crews knocking at our front door at 10 PM Saturday night saying they suspected a burst sewage line near our house. After one look at me and a quick inspection of my basement home office, it was determined that sewage wasn’t the problem – it was a month’s worth of empty Fresca cans, Spam tins and Cheetos bags. And the urine jar.

Now my beloved Muffy is a good and patient woman, but this seemed to constitute the Last Straw for her. Once the crews left she told me my office had to cleaned up. Now. I started to protest that I had to finish The "Certain Thing” first, but that was cut short by a rather significant glance that moved from the razor-sharp fingernails of her right hand to my crotch.

In hindsight, I probably emptied the urine jar first. That’s because I lost my balance while crossing the room with 50 lbs. of empty Cheetos bags and knocked the jar over. That prompted a quick trip to the nearby Kroger’s to rent one of those steam cleaner thingees. By the time I had steam cleaned the carpet and finished bagging up the rest of the accumulation, it was about 4 AM.

That’s why (a) I didn’t finish The "Certain Thing” until 6 AM and, (b) was tired.

Fortunately, I recovered pretty quickly. It’s like that when you’re batshit crazy; you always have energy to spare. Which is good, because the carpet still smelled like Muskrat Love after drying out, meaning I had to come up with something to keep from getting a second visit from the maintenance crew. I applied a case of Ban Roll-On on the spot yesterday, but I think I’m gonna have to buy some new carpet here pretty soon.

So anyway, I just wanted to explain myself here. If you do decide to contribute to any one of the many Dennis Relief Fund sites that are popping up all over the web, be aware that that the odds are you’re contributing to a New Carpet Fund rather than a Vacation Fund.

A Reader Asks...

"Are you a stalker?"

I get asked this all the time.

Let me put it this way: I am in Ohio. Roger is in California. If I am a stalker, then I have one really long stalk.


If that was the case, I'd have been much more popular with the women in my unmarried years than I actually remember being.

You figure it out from there.

A Short, Heart-Felt Plea To Aubrey Chernick And John Jim Koshland...

It's clear you're a couple of rich guys who weren't blog savvy enough to know the blogosphere Turkey of the Century when it was put in front of you. That's too bad.

So before Batman and the Boy Wonder dig any further holes with your cash, have a lawyer review the implications of using "PJM" or "the PJM Network" interchangeably with "Pajamas Meda".

Here's why.

And please note, the Evil Minion who alerted me to this alerted them first.

Michael Pollard Outs My Office...

How he got past my faithful guard dogs, Ronald and Nancy, I'll never know.

Here it is.

I Shot Roger's Trademark, Too...

My sources tell me they're going to rebrand the venture as Springtime For Hitler Media™ in January.

Personally, I can't see any problems there.


CEOs in the 21st century, much like CEOs in the 20th century, do not use the word "groovy" in press releases.


We all realize you and Charles were just a couple of fun-loving kids who were forced by the venture capitalists to act like a couple of arrogant, self-important horses' patoots. Really we do. You don't need to use the "g"-word to prove it.

The “Certain Thing”

Well, my work here is just about done.

By last Thursday, I had developed a sense there was panic in the air and blood in the water, but frankly I thought Roger was made of sterner stuff. This may all be High School, but he’s the CEO of the company that going to revolutionize journalism and the blogosphere. He can’t afford to be playing High School games, irrespective of whether I can. And if Roger knew what he was doing, he’d know that. Once again, he’s gotten it all wrong. OSM™ is a train wreck of a web site, he and the company have committed a number of very public gaffes, and instead of coming up with a strategy to improve the site, tighten operations and restore some confidence in the venture, he’s over at his web site getting all huffy about me... crazy little old me.

I have my pound of flesh.

My last act in this farce? Give you the story in some detail:

It must have been some time back in mid-2003 that I started visiting Roger’s blog. I liked what I saw, and liked even more the fact that he chose to write a post praising the first comment I made there. Flattery can get you somewhere with me. Anyway, I became a regular at Roger’s site and ended up, in rather short order, as a regular commenter. And, as I am less than completely shy and retiring, I also ended up, and also in rather short order, as one of the site’s more fearsome Fool Killers (Iowahawk described me as a “comment section samurai”, which is probably as accurate as anything I could think of). Over the course of time Roger and ended up passing a few private emails back and forth, but we never had any meaningful contact with each other.

Some time in July or early August of 2004, Roger wrote a post lamenting the fact that he was getting all sorts of traffic at his site, but that it wasn’t making him any money. Well, that aroused the businessman’s curiosity in me, and I sent him a private email asking if he would mind telling me what his expenses and revenues where. He responded quite graciously by sending me the details what his site cost to start and run, and what he was making from BlogAds. After seeing the numbers, I emailed him my condolences and the rather offhand comment that there should be some better way of transforming his site traffic into advertising revenues. For me, that was that. I wasn’t blogging, so it was all an academic exercise to me.

I had basically forgotten all about it when about a week later (I’m working from memory here...all the documents relating to this are archived and at my attorney’s office) I received an email from Roger with the heading of “A Modest Proposal”. In a nutshell, Roger was offering to pay me a direct commission for any advertising or sponsorships I could rustle up for his site. It was an interesting proposal, but not a particularly practical one: I’m a C.P.A. working in public accounting as a sole practitioner, and therefore am less than completely well versed in the ways of the advertising industry. I informed Roger of my complete lack of qualifications for such a task, and then offered a proposal of my own: Let’s see if we can develop a business model that would allow us to bring advertising (and advertising revenues) to bloggers in a manner more sophisticated than BlogAds. Then he could have his cake and eat it, too.

Roger jumped at the proposal and soon we were doing research; I was trying to figure out the advertising industry and Roger was canvassing other prominent bloggers for information. Rather early in the game Roger came to me with the suggestion of bringing Charles Johnson (Little Green Footballs) into the fold. Given Charles’ formidable skills in site design, programming and all things technical, not to mention being one of the true 800 pound gorillas of the blogosphere, I readily agreed. By September it was clear we needed to add someone else to our team...that being someone who really did know the advertising industry. At Roger’s suggestion, I began attempting to recruit an ad pro in Central Ohio who would be willing to join our venture.

Well, that wasn’t easy. I talked to a variety of folks at various agencies both large and small and could not find anyone interested in joining us. Finally, I talked to a gentleman I had done business with, who I’ll call Rocco, who had an extremely successful business in small business marketing. Rocco wasn’t a perfect fit, in that he wasn’t a marketing professional working with ad agencies and the like, but he was a very successful businessman in his own right, serious about making money, and willing to take the risk with the rest of us. Remember this one thing: I gave Roger final say on Rocco. He could have said ‘no’ and that would have been that. What Roger said, however, was ‘yes’.

By October we had progressed far enough to feel the need for a face-to-face meeting. It made sense to all of us that I should fly to L.A. rather than to have Roger and Charles fly to Columbus. So I ended up spending one mid-October weekend in Hollywood with Roger and Charles. We met for dinner on Friday and got down to business at Roger’s house on Saturday. That day was passed brainstorming at the dining room table. The critical spark came from Sheryl Longin/Simon’s description of a clothing retailer’s web site that she found interesting. Within two hours, Roger, Sheryl and I had worked out, in only the broadest of senses, the idea that we would use to sell advertising on the internet. Charles showed up in the afternoon (evidently his bike rides wait for no man) and we began quizzing him over the technical aspects of what we wanted to do. Sometime that afternoon Roger came up with the name of our venture: Tulip Advertising.

We spent Sunday refining our ideas and figuring out how much it would cost us (the guess then was $25,000). To keep costs down, I was tasked with recruiting artistic and legal talent who would be willing to work on spec. Rocco and I were to start developing the system we would use to sell advertising firms and corporations on the concept of advertising through Tulip. Roger and Charles were going to develop contacts with various prominent bloggers, as well as explore the infrastructure requirements necessary to make Tulip work. I flew back to Columbus that evening.

The next two months, through mid-December, were very busy. Rocco and I were learning just how little we knew about the advertising industry and large-scale advertising in general. Roger and Charles continued to work the blogosphere, quizzing people and gathering ideas and feedback. In early December we all agreed it was time to incorporate, so I had my attorney draft incorporation papers. In them ownership was divided evenly between the four of us. Rocco and I signed them and sent them off to Roger. And that’s when everything started to Go South.

I didn’t really think much of the fact that the incorporation papers hadn’t arrived back by early January. They’d been sent out, if memory serves, sometime in the third week of December. That’s not the best time of year to try to get a lot of things done. When I finally did call Roger in mid-January, I was told that he was going to hold onto the incorporation papers because he thought they were going to be reworked. He said Glenn Reynolds was going to come in as a partner. I was surprised, but not unhappy. My thought was if we’re going to sell advertising, here’s Mr. Traffic himself. I told Roger that was fine, and that I’d pass the news on to Rocco. In the meantime, Rocco and I continued working on our tasks.

This set the pattern of much of what was to transpire throughout February and March. Communication, be it by telephone or email, became more infrequent and cryptic. Given that Roger had health issues in February, I really didn’t think much of it, but the change was apparent. Other trends were also becoming noticeable. The most troubling of these had to do with Rocco. Roger was having second thoughts about his participation. Why this was so, I am not sure, because Roger had virtually no communication with Rocco, and didn’t really expend any effort to find out from me what he was doing and how well he was doing it. All I knew was that, irrespective of the reason, Roger was having serious doubts.

A second trend, which in retrospect was actually much more serious, was that Roger’s focus was starting to shift away from advertising and towards media, by which I mean a combination of blogging, journalism and advertising. We had several conversations about what Tulip should be, and I was very clear that what I was interested in was building an internet advertising company for bloggers and web sites. Roger never came out and disagreed with me, what he did was say he was developing contacts with some Silicon Valley advertising firms and venture capitalists. It was all hush-hush, he said, and would give the details when he could. I was not entirely comfortable with this, but I knew I had to give Roger the latitude to follow up on different aspects of what we might end up doing. We were all making this up as we went along, who was I to tell another partner what he couldn’t do?

However, by mid-April it was clear to Rocco and I that something was up. Communication was at a minimum, and what came our way had little to do with advertising. Now my discussions with Roger centered around media and venture capitalists. I kept coming back to Roger about his commitment to building an advertising company, and he kept assuring me it was all part of the master plan. I chose to take his assurances at face value. Rocco, however, did not.

The two of us had a series of long talks in mid-April about Tulip Advertising. He was of the opinion that we should seriously consider going to Roger and offering to take the advertising portion of the business off his hands: Roger and Charles could concentrate on media and journalism, we could concentrate on advertising. And while I basically agreed with everything Rocco said, I asked him to be patient and see what it was that Roger and Charles would bring to us. I remember the exact words I used: I want to be patient about this. I want to ride this horse to the end.

And I did. On April 29th I spent most of my day at a client’s. By the time I got back to my office it was mid-afternoon. I fired up the computer and started in on emails. When I got to one from one of my DTP readers, I got a jolt: It was asking for my opinion on the Pajamas Media announcement on Roger’s site from the day before. That email was the first time I had ever heard of the name Pajamas Media. I re-read the email, went to Roger’s site and read the announcement post, then went in the bathroom and threw up.

On that day, via that internet announcement, I learned each of the following for the first time:

1. The name “Pajamas Media”,
2. That a Marc Danzinger was Roger and Charles’ partner in Pajamas Media.
3. Marc Danzinger himself. I had never heard Roger utter the name.
4. That there was to be an “Editorial Board”,
5. The subscription-based news portal,
6. The media web site,
7. And that Rocco and I weren’t worthy of mention

Then I called Rocco and told him what had happened. He asked what I was going to do. I said I didn’t know.

It took several hours for me to calm down enough to decide on what to do: I sent both Roger and Charles a short email announcing I was terminating my association with Tulip Advertising, Pajamas Media and with them. Within an hour I had a terse email from Roger stating that I was “overreacting”, and that he would call me Sunday, the 1st of May.

I remember that telephone conversation very well. It was tense. I was angry with him, and he wasn’t in the mood to put up with it. And the fact of the matter was, he didn’t have to put up with it. He held all the cards. The conversation was short and simple: Rocco was out completely and I was to be given a chance to “work” for an unstated percentage of Pajamas Media. And then we both lied to each other. Roger told me he wanted me on board, and I told him I was interested in being on board. That was the last communication I had with Roger until the first week of August.

May was not a good month. These were some of the things I got to do:

1. Tell my wife the business I’d spent half and year and thousands of dollars on had been cut out from under me by my “partners”...
2. Tell my father, a successful businessman and multimillionaire, of my great success when he asked how Tulip Advertising was going...
3. Tell Rocco, a business associate I like and respect, that the business venture I had invited him into had ended with him getting screwed out of 25% of the company that had been promised to him by myself, Roger and Charles...
4. Tell a lawyer and graphic designer, both personal friends, that I’d asked to do Tulip Advertising projects on spec so Roger and Charles could forego putting up cash, what had happened and offer to pay them out of my pocket for what they were due...

As it was clear to me within weeks that Roger had no intention of involving me in Pajamas Media, I gathered up the emails, letters, and documents and hauled them to my lawyer’s office and asked a simple question: Do I sue them? He came back this an answer and some advise: A successful lawsuit would be difficult and expensive, and the advise was to let it drop. It was wise council and I took it... for the time being.

It wasn’t until Roger’s little dust-up with Ann Althouse in late July/early August that I roused myself to comment on Dennis The Peasant about my experience with Pajamas Media. Given that my site traffic was around 200 page views a day, and that I didn’t really say all that much (it’s the first in the ‘Ragging on Roger Simon’ category, by the way), I promptly forgot about it. Well, somehow that post got to Roger L. Simon, because the following Sunday morning there he was on the telephone, asking me why I had done what I had and telling me how deeply hurt he was that I could do such a thing to him. He went on to state how much it hurt him that I had forsaken our friendship.

I was at first angry and then repulsed. He told me that Tulip never would have worked anyway because we were in Ohio and they were in California, and that he’d meant to tell me about Danzinger and the rest, but couldn’t because of confidentiality restrictions placed on him by his venture capitalists. When I asked about Rocco, he said Rocco hadn’t worked out and meant nothing to him. And when I asked him why he hadn’t come to us before the announcement, and why he wouldn’t honor our original agreement, he said “That’s business, Ken.” Indeed. There was only one question Roger would not answer, although I asked it several times: What do you want, Roger? That one he wouldn’t touch. He closed with an emotional plea for me to refrain from further criticism and attempt to renew our friendship. I told him I was upset, which I was, and needed some time to think it over. I told him I’d either call or write him.

Which I did. On August 10 I sent Roger a letter. In it I told him I considered him a liar and a cheat, that I resented the way he had treated Rocco and me, and that I had no interest in being his friend. I also told him that if I wished to post about Pajamas Media I would, and that any attempt on his part to answer my criticism would end up with me dumping everything about the venture on the internet. I gave him the name and telephone number of my attorney and told him that if he needed to communicate with me, to do so through him.

And that was that. I thought that was the end of it.

But then came that second weekend in October. It wasn’t even until sometime Saturday of that weekend when I realized that one year earlier I was in Hollywood being wined and dined by Roger L. Simon. Upon that realization, I became enraged. I have been in a 24 hour-a-day Red Rage since then.

I make no apologies for what I’ve done. If this ends up a Pyrric Victory, it still counts, in the final analysis, as a victory. My only other choice was to simply admit defeat and slink away. I could not do that. This isn’t about money or Pajamas Media. This is about my self-respect. This is about getting rid of the nagging feeling that the first time Roger L. Simon saw me, he said to himself, Jethro Bodine, and sized me up as someone he could use and throw away at his leisure. Without consequences. For my own sake, I need to know that Roger L. Simon will regret that judgment for the rest of his life. Now I think he will.

I have been very conflicted about just how far to take this, but instinctively I knew I had to get Roger to respond before I could put this post up. When he posted “Words”, I knew I had him. With “High School”, I feel I have what I need; a post of his that others could compare and contrast to this post. And I knew he’d be as manipulative of others when he did respond as he was with me throughout this affair. I think it shines through.

My contention is simple: The appropriate time for Roger L. Simon to end our business association was when he first realized he no longer wanted to work with me, and the appropriate way to tell me that was by picking up the telephone and calling me. The only thing required in that is basic human decency.

Had I received that telephone call in February, March, or anytime before April 28 I would have been upset and angry, but I would have let it go. But in my opinion Roger L. Simon thought so little of me that he felt he could do with me as he pleased, and then fast-talk his way out of any possible problems. After all, I was Jethro Bodine and nothing more.

I am closing comments on this post. I want it to stand on its own, without distraction. And I will probably not be posting for several days at the very least. I am no longer enraged. I am tired.

Kenton E. Kelly
November 20, 2005

Hum... Tomorrow Is Gonna Be Strange After All...


Meltdown in Rogerland.

By the way, here's the "dog joke" Roger and Sheryl have gone ballistic about:

Personally, I liked the part where he suggested I (that post was directed to me) was making the internet unsafe for his daughter.

At least he didn't mention the fact that I shot his dog two days ago...

I posted it on a comment thread on Ann Althouse's blog discussing Roger's rather weepy "Words" post. Yeah, it's in bad taste, but the big deal here is what?

Funny Part? Roger just gave this whole thing legs for another week or so... Just what Springtime For Hitler Media™ needs.Duh.

The Black Helicopter Brigades Are Closing In...

Yesterday was a weird day, even by my standards.

Sheryl Longin, Roger Simon’s wife, went completely ballistic. Working under the theory, evidently, that I am ashamed of what I’m doing here, she decided to double-dog-dare me to shed my international playboy and man-of-mystery persona and reveal my own true self.

And, in a breathtaking display in the Unintentional Irony Department, Sheryl proceeded to compare me to a certain Peter Braunstein, who is evidently some sort of perverted rapist/arsonist and is at large at this very moment. The irony, at least to me, was that the comparison came in a comment thread to Roger’s big heartache of a post “Words”, where he gets weepy about his using Words That Hurt on Judy Miller and my using Words That Hurt to be mean to him. Duh.

Topping of the meltdown, she also thinks that I’m going to be losing clients over this. Sheryl, hon, 99% of the world doesn’t give a shit about blogging. And 99% of the remaining 1% really don’t give a shit about some half-assed catfight between former partners in a crash-and-burn business startup. My clients pay me for my professional expertise. Most of them know exactly the type of person I am. Most of them even like the idea of having someone who will be maniacal in protecting their interests.

Today has certainly been quieter, but it has still been really strange.

First I get an email telling me I shouldn’t have dragged Roger’s wife into my personal vendetta, which has left me for a loss as to how to respond.

Then I received four emails of varying length, quality and coherence accusing me of being in league with the follow persons:

1. Ann Althouse and Steven Den Beste.
2. Markos Moulitsas, Duncan Black, James Wolcott and the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy in general.
3. The Devil.

I don’t quite know how to rebut the last of those three charges, other than to say I’m a Republican and it never occurred to me that being in league with the Devil was a bad thing.

As to the others, all I can say is this:

I have never had contact with either Ann Althouse or Steven Den Beste other than through Steven putting comments on my site and I putting comments on Ann’s site. I’ve never been contacted by either one of them, and I’ve never attempted to contact them. They are doing their thing with regards to Roger Simon and Springtime For Hitler Media™ for their own reasons, and I can only take the reasons they had put forth at face value. As both are far more intelligent, mature and circumspect than I, you’re doing them an unwarranted disservice by trying to lump them with me.

I have had no contact with either Duncan Black or James Wolcott. Markos Moulitsas has left one comment on my site, and has responded to an email from me to confirm it was indeed from him. That’s the extent of my KOS Konnection. I’ve swapped a couple of emails with Steve Gilliard on non-conspiracy matters. And I haven’t yet received that big internet hug I’m expecting from Kevin Drum.

Now you don’t have to be a genius to figure out what guys like Wolcott and Black are up to here. And you know what? Why they want to fry Charles Johnson and Roger Simon is something I can’t control. Besides, it comes with the territory when you play in the big leagues of political blogging (I speak from the point of observation, rather than experience here). It’s not like I opened the door to a negative experience Chaz and Roger had yet to experience.

I know that won’t appease the Black Helicopter Brigades, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. If for no other reason than to hope tomorrow will start approaching normal.

Panic Has Sent In... Oops, Nevermind... Oh Wait, Let's Out Me...

Blogger and commenter Richard Bennett notes here that an "SJ" is calling for me to be 'outed' over at Roger L. Simon's blog. Richard also notes, correctly, that "SJ" is the blogging name used by Roger's wife, Sheryl.

Pathetic... but an excellent barometer of just how desperate it's getting in Rogerland.

Anyway, let's drop the Scooter Libby clown show and cut to the chase:

Do it, Roger. Out me. Show everyone what you're made of.

Show us what New Media is all about...

Oops. My Bad: Here's "SJ's" post:

Since I'm posting here anonymously myself, it may seem hypocritical, but what I find most vile about the personal attacks and vitriol are that (aside from Ann Althouse) they usually come from anonymous posters. Even Dennis the Peasant doesn't have the guts to identify himself. Yet they attack people who are putting their own reputations on the line. One wonders what these individuals employers/clients/colleagues would think of them if they saw the kind of obsessional hatred they spew. Let me put it this way, if I knew someone was a stalker, I wouldn't go out on a date with him. I'd bet the same is true in the employment arena.

I do not take this as any sort of threat to 'out' me. Maybe others do, but I don't. So I'm going to have another Luke Ford moment here and admit I posted before had all my ducks in a row.

It's a bizarre comment, though. Both Roger and Sheryl know I'm self-employed. And of course I don't have the guts to identify myself... I support the War in Iraq from the comfort of my keyboard as well.

Interesting to see some of the comments of my former pals, too.

Having a bad night in the 'Finding Stuff' department: Here's the post from "SJ" Richard was talking about:

When Ann Althouse has a post from anonymous Dennis the Peasant (who I would love to see outed so that his CPA clients could find out about the derangement of the individual who prepares their tax returns!)in which he jokes about shooting Roger's dog, I think things have gone way too far. These people sound like Peter Braunstein.

My, my, my...

Well, here it is, Sheryl, wife of Roger...

Kenton E. Kelly, CPA

Big. Deal.

Update: Wow. All my neo-con clients just fired me. Any of you Lefties hanging around here need a CPA? I'm only slightly deranged...

Update the Second: Here's a picture of me vacationing in Hollywood last year with a few of my close personal friends that I've betrayed and been rude to. I'm the one who looks like Karl Rove (with hair). I don't remember who the other guy is...


So if you're in Central Ohio, and you see a guy who looks like Karl Rove (with hair) who is acting really weird, it's probably me... Kenton E. Kelly, CPA... who has no clients anymore.

Update the Third: There seems to be some confusion here. The gentlemen sitting in the foreground is not DTP/KEK. That is Charles Johnson. I may be batshit crazy, but even I wouldn't wear that shirt.

Update the Fourth: Funniest email of the day: "You shouldn't have dragged Mrs. Simon into this."

Update the Fifth: Funniest notion: That my clients would either (a) read my blog, or (b) care about my blog. Christ, I've managed to get exactly one of my friends interested in my blog. The moment I mention it to the rest, their eyes glaze over and they display a polite but wan smile. Most people, outside of news junkies, politics junkies and similar social cripples really couldn't give a shit about the blogosphere or the morons who inhabit it. Some folks need to get out more... and get over themselves.

Update the Sixth: If you don't believe Dennis The Peasant is Kenton E. Kelly, CPA, email Roger L. Simon and ask him to confirm it. It's the least he can do... other than putting a cap on the jug of Muscatel in the kitchen, perhaps.

Update the Seventh: Here's another picture of me. I'm showing off my assets to a few of my clients, in fact:


From their reaction, it would seem I'm undercapitalized! (accounting humor, ya gotta love it...)

And here's me with a dog that I didn't shoot:


That's it for now. It's time for OSU-Michigan.

Come to think of it, the only thing anyone could do to get me in real trouble with most of my clients is convince them I was a Michigan fan.

Update the Eighth: Should there be an independent prosecutor empowered to investigate the outing of Dennis The Peasant? Oh sure, I outed myself, but that isn't the point. I was, after all, an agent of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. And Judy Miller is hanging around in the wings on this thing. Who knew what when? Inquiring minds want to know!

More From Radio Open Source...

Just received another email from Brendan Greeley:

Well, I was just about to send you this,
And then this happened.
This has been a long week. I'm going to go get a beer.

Any bets Roger will blame this all on me?

NEWS FLASH: Springtime For Hitler Media™ Revamps Legal Team; Hires PR Advisor

Here's the legal team:



And the Public Relations advisor...


The Highly Detailed, Utterly Brilliant Grand Strategic Damage Control Plan Goes Operational...


"We'll just say Radio Open Source gave us permission..."

I'll Fillet Roger Later, This Is More Interesting...

An email received today from Brendan Greeley of Radio Open Source:

Dennis the Peasant, wow. You were aware of it before I was, but I've spent the last two days trying to figure it out.
Where to start.
We haven't received a response from our email inquiry to them, and we've fedexed them a letter. Then, after I drafted response to their posted -- but not mailed -- explanation, they pulled the explanation off of their page. Now, this morning, they have a new explanation under the same post name, which is both different and manifestly untrue.
And moot, by the way. URL names don't really have anything to do with it. In any case, we never gave them permission to use, and in fact have never had contact with anyone over at OSM. Explanation in the links below.
And wow, Dennis. You're more on top of this story than I am.

I asked Brendan if he would consent to my publishing his email. This was his response:

Yeah, by all means, correspondence is fine unless otherwise noted. Thanks for asking.
Right now, essentially, it isn't a legal fight, because we haven't gotten a legal reply. We're still holding out for a response that will indicate some action and clear everything up. On this point, we're less hopeful than we were on Wednesday, but miracles happen.
They do, however, seem to be making -- publicly -- a legal argument that, according to our lawyer, doesn't hold up. And now with this assertion that we graciously agreed to give them a URL, that's just weird. I mean, it's just not true. How could it possibly be in their interest to say something that can so easily be disproven?
Mostly, Dennis, I just don't get it.

My Theory: At this point Roger and Charles are more terrified of admitting to John Koshland and Aubrey Chernick that they screwed the pooch, again, than they are of Radio Open Source's lawyers.

Oh, So You Thought I Was Pissed Before...

Well, well, well...

My former close personal friend Roger Simon throws some angst my way.

Here's the money graf, as we high-traffic bloggers say:

Recently my OSM colleagues and I have been subjected to all kinds of criticism, much of it well intentioned and warranted. But a fair amount has been surprisingly personal, bordering on the abusive. (My wife and I were about to allow our precocious daughter to have an internet connection, but now we think we'll postpone it.) Some of this criticism came from people my colleagues and I thought were friends who did not even give us the common courtesy of querying us on why we did a certain thing. Besides being rude, that's not very good reporting from an MSM or blog perspective.

Ya know what, Rog? In the interest of Very Good Reporting, perhaps I'll go into some detail about what exactly the "certain thing" was that you did. Let's you and me play that fucking game, eh?

But not now, I have work to do...

Thought: Roger, put your version of that "certain thing" up on your site and we'll compare notes. I double-dog-dare-ya, Asshole.

Another Strange Day...

Today's bizarre link: Atrios.

That means a minimum of 50,000 uniques today, and all I can say is that this Obviously Insane Neo-Con can really feel that Lefty love...

Who'da thunk it?

Note: Christ, Duncan, if I'd known you were coming, I'd have put together an insulting LINGERE Media contributor profile for you, too. My bad.

About Being Open And Having A Business Plan...

One of LINGERE Media's citizen-journalists directed Obviously Insane Dennis to this. It is good enough to post in toto. Long, but worth the read...

Party Like It's 1999

A little corvid out in Reno mentioned yesterday that the mad Aussie journo Tim Blair was back in the Big Apple. I hadn’t smoked cigarettes and swilled Chardonnay with Mr. Blair since we covered the Axis of Ass during last year’s Republican convention. A trek across the Hudson to Blair’s trendy hotel on Manhattan’s East Side was truly in order. Better yet, there was some sort of blogger conference complete with a free cocktail party or wine time or such. All we would need was a warm, dry spot to enjoy a smoke between drinks while catching up.

Blair said it was the launch of something called Open Source Media, formerly known as Pajamas Media, a massing of bloggers in some business venture.

“So, it’s a pajama party?” I asked.

“Yes. Make sure to wear your PJs,” replied Blair.

So after a day of work and appointments in Jersey, I made it over to the W Hotel on Lexington in the rain. Sadly, the free wine had been packed away by the time I found Blair in one of the function rooms. Twenty or so people were still milling around with half-full glasses, chatting away excitedly, posing and snapping photos of each other with camera phones. The vibe was fun, almost giddy. Regular folks with blogs from all over the place had traveled to New York and now got to meet some of their blog heroes, those lucky souls with a high volume of site traffic. It was kind of like watching some Little League kids getting to hang out in the same locker room with players from a farm team.

Apart from Blair and the ever-lovely Cathy Seipp, I didn’t know a face in the room. But people seemed friendly and introduced themselves as they tried to get closer and speak with Blair, or better yet, have a picture taken with him.

“Are you a blogger?” I was asked repeatedly.

“Well, I have a blog…” I would answer.

At about this point, Blair would jump in and introduce me as photographer and tell highly exaggerated stories about me shooting wars and covering September 11th. It was here that I started to get a different read on some of the people gathered in the function room. The internet is this incredible thing that allows access to an amazing flow of information from all over the planet. But a blog is really about everyone’s own little world. And some of these folks truly lived in their own little worlds.

Blair was making up stories about me in Bosnia and then said something about covering 9-11.

“So, you went right from the war in Bosnia to 9-11?” asked one woman. The woman next to her also eagerly awaited my answer.

I just looked at them and said not exactly. There was a six year gap between events. In all fairness, why should they know or care about the Balkan wars from 10 years ago? I was there, so it is matters to me, but I can’t fault anyone for a lack of knowledge about it.

The women, both 40ish and well-dressed, seemed nice and reasonably intelligent but disturbingly disconnected from the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. It was as if they had mentioned a class in college they once took and had some authority on the subject. I mean, did anyone actually “go to 9-11”?

The September 11 attacks quickly became the meat of the conversation. But these nice folks didn’t mention the horror or death or the survivors or the wounding of a city or brave firefighters or fatherless children. They didn’t even offer a personal tale of the day. There were no “I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard” stories.

The talk went straight to the media coverage. One woman made comments about how the flow of information about it all slowed dramatically in the weeks shortly after the attacks. Why did “they” stop showing certain pictures from that day, another asked. A mainstream media conspiracy was afoot, it seemed to them. It was clear to me that none of them have ever worked in the news business.

I believe many of these people have come up with the information equivalent of the biggest mistake in dirty politics. As we know in politics, it’s not the alleged crime but the cover-up that takes you down. To some of these bloggers, it is not the story that matters but the coverage. And they want to use the coverage to take down whatever news outlet doesn’t fit in their world.

Not long into the 9-11 conversation, Blair mercifully suggested we retreat to the overpriced bar in the hotel lobby so I could finally get a drink and a fresh conversation. He went up to the bar to refill his wine glass and took my martini order while I waited in a little drinking area. There I met two gentlemen who were still buzzing on the possibilities of Open Source Media, and some wine I would guess, too.

One gent was a tall, quiet Dutchman who flew down for the OSM launch from his home in Vancouver. The other guy said he was a professor at a university in Boston. Since I knew absolutely nothing about OSM or any of these people, I decided to do something a decent reporter would do; if I opened my mouth it was only to sip my drink or to ask a question.

I asked the Boston guy if he was a blogger. It seems like the right question with this crowd.

“I’m thinking about it,” he said.

“What would you blog about if you had a blog,” I then asked.

“It's clear in my mind but I can’t put it into words,” he said after an incredibly long pause.

Thankfully, he was wise enough to put off his blog launch until he figured out the words part. But he had no shortage of words verbally. Boston guy praised former New York Times reporter Judith Miller who spoke at an OSM event earlier in the afternoon. He said he could understand her hesitation to start a career in blogging after leaving the Times. I asked him what the risk was for her.

“She wouldn’t have the protection, the layers, the editors to shield her from criticism,” he said. “It would be just her putting her words out there for everyone to pounce on.”

“She could turn off the comments section on her blog,” I offered.

“She would really be making herself vulnerable.”

“Well, most reporters have thick skins to begin with,” I said

“Yes, there is a think skin, but this would put her reputation at stake,” Boston guy said.

“Didn’t she do that when she fucked up?” I asked

The whole Miller thing went flat, so I asked him about what Open Source Media was going to do or be.

“It is going to take on the mainstream media.”

“Like a wire service?” I asked.

“No, not exactly.”

“How exactly will it work?”

He really didn’t have an answer. Actually, the few people I spoke with didn’t seem to have any clear or detailed answers of what exactly OSM was going to be or do. But Boston guy sure did know it was going to be bad for the mainstream media, especially the New York Times.

“There was no mainstream media coverage of the French Intifada for the first five days.”

The what? At first I thought he had a speech problem or too much wine but then realized he meant the rioting in France. I hadn’t caught that term. Clever, I thought. And Boston guy was clearly proud about being clever enough to use a clever term.

“You mean to tell me that there wasn’t a wire service there at the start?”

“Well, the New York Times didn’t report about it for the first five days.”

This could have been true. I didn’t know since I hadn’t been following the story that closely. It sounded like classic rioting with all the classic reasons for rioting. It was horrible but wasn’t directly affecting my life, as I was working very hard to get a guy elected governor of New Jersey. People riot for a reason, things burn and then change comes for better or worse. The long-term effects and the French government’s plan and policies are the interesting stories down the road.

In any event, I tried to explain to Boston guy why it wasn’t exactly a massive international story the first night of rioting. A local story at best, perhaps a national story in France. The story only got legs as it dragged out night after night.

“Bloggers were all over it the first night,” he said.

“That’s great,” I said and meant it. “I am sure they had some great first person accounts to share.”

“No, they reported it the first night!”

“Um, how?”

“They were all over the French Intifada.”

“Sorry, I didn’t see any of that,” I apologized.

“It took the New York Times five days.”

Nothing I could say would change Boston guy’s mind that there was some media conspiracy being led by the New York Times. Even worse, Blair still hadn’t delivered my martini.

The conversation went around in circles with me asking about how OSM could do it better and what exactly was wrong with the Times. Finally my drink arrived but any enjoyment was short lived.

“You are of the second millennium,” Boston guy spat at me, in French no less.

“Excuse me, but you don’t know anything about me.”

“I can tell by your reactions.”

“You are presumptuous and insulting,” I replied.

He didn’t care. I did not get it or agree with his gospel, as far as he was concerned, so I was ignorant. The New York Times and the mainstream media are both evil. That was it. That was all that mattered to him. And when he gets his blog that’s what he will write about, everyone who disagrees be damned.

Before harsher words or fists flew, I downed the martini and grabbed Blair for a smoke outside.

Fuming, I bitched to Blair about the self-important clown while pulling on a Marlboro. Blair told me to forget about it. The guy probably had too much wine. Whatever, he wasn’t worth the energy. Besides the beautiful Filipino woman who asked for a light was far more worthy of attention.

Blair and I talked much nonsense with the beauty as we smoked. He said we were in business together.

“What kind of business?” she asked.

“Big business,” he lied.

“Oh, I like big,” she smiled.

I don’t think Blair caught that and I let it pass but I was a little concerned when he invited the beauty to join us for a drink. One Gray Goose Sea Breeze with a splash of orange for her, and I moved to scotch.

“So, would you like to come back to my hotel?” she quietly asked me as we stood in a group of bloggers.

I was trying to think of a polite way to say I don’t have that kind of money. So, I smiled at her dumbly instead and sipped my drink.

In this new group of people around us at the bar was a blogger woman who lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and her investment banker husband. She said she likes to blog about art and literature, things that move her, some things that don’t. She was very sweet and excited about meeting all these other bloggers.

I asked her husband about blogging and he hadn’t a clue but was happy his wife was so thrilled with it. Since he was an investment banker, I asked what he thought of OSM as a business. He said he wasn’t hopeful, and it reminded him of the internet bubble. It was hard to disagree.

Soon Blair and I were chatting with the beauty again.

“So what do you do?” he asked her.

“Anything,” she smiled

“No, I mean how do your earn money?”

“I believe she already answered that question,” I piped in.

She just smiled, still looking for a ride back to her hotel, and for the first time ever I saw Tim Blair speechless.

Once he was able to talk again, Blair and I went outside once more for a smoke. The bloggers faded away from the bar and the beauty thanked us for the drink and said good night. I watched her walk away up Lexington alone and realized she was the only person I had meet at the Open Source Media after-party who was truly open and who had a solid business plan.

Like I Said, Dirt Sells...

Unique Visitors...

Monday: 3,000
Tuesday: 5,500
Wednesday: 11,000
Thursday: 22,500
Friday: 12,500 at 8am (EST)

Evidently my spiralling descent into complete insanity...


...has proved repellent to sensitive, well-adjusted folks everywhere.


Just Name The Son-Of-A-Bitch...

... Springtime For Hitler Media™


"You're a genius, Charles! All we have to do is create the worst web site in the world..."

Well, Guess What...

Via the Poor Man, we find that Dennis the batshit crazy, insanely bitter, deranged and obsessive stalker seems to have had it right from the beginning...

As did other meanies such as Steven, Seth, Venkat and Ann.

Roger and Charles get THE LETTER from the other Open Source Media:

Mr. Roger L. Simon
Charles Johnson
OSM Los Angeles Headquarters
100 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 275



I'm writing in reference to the name of your new venture, Open Source Media.

Chris Lydon and I launched a radio program called "Open Source" and a non-profit independent production company called Open Source Media, Inc. in May. We produce our show in association with WGBH radio in Boston and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. It's distributed to public radio stations across the country and throughout North America on XM satellite radio by Public Radio International.

We've established a sizeable audience for the program both on radio and on the Web. We feel that the name of the program is very much attached to the identity of the show on the radio as well as online.

Much of the life of our show takes place on our website,, which itself is produced like a blog and runs on blogging software. To produce our site and our four hours of talk a week, we work with a lot of bloggers, many of whom -- Glenn Reynolds, Daniel Drezner, Balloon Juice, Volokh Conspiracy -- are listed on your site.

We're concerned that your new venture, Open Source Media, sounds very similar to ours and is likely to confuse people who read blogs and who listen to our radio program. We believe this may cause a serious problem and we would like to request that you change your name to something that doesn't include Open Source.

Please respond to this letter as soon as possible or call to discuss this matter with us. We'd like to resolve this matter in a friendly manner and avoid the necessity of legal action. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours very respectfully,

Mary McGrath
Executive Producer, Open Source

Note: John and Aubrey... Having a nice day? Almost makes you wish you had a batshit crazy, insanely bitter, deranged and obsessive CPA on board who actually knows what the fuck he is doing, doesn't it?

Note the Second: Especially because I got 22,500 visitors today and more pings than I can recall offhand. In case you haven't noticed, you are in the midst of a full-scale internet meltdown... Advertising? Shit! I'd start worrying about your A-List bloggers starting to bail on you. Do you think those people are going to put up with this sort of embarrassment forever?

Ronald And Nancy Weigh In...


Ronald (left) and Nancy (right) respond when Dennis asks if they want to hear Daddy's newest post about Roger L. Simon and OSM™.

Why Political Blogs Aren’t Going To Make Money... Part Two

Site traffic.

The two magic words that lead to the pot of gold.

The thought in everyone’s mind is If only I can get enough traffic I can make money. If I have the traffic the advertisers will pay for access to it.

Everyone assumes site traffic is the key to blogger riches.

And, everyone is wrong. It is that simple.

Back when Roger L. Simon and I were bonded by true friendship and the common vision of large piles of cash in our laps, we decided to place a survey at his site to see what we could find out about the demographics of his readers. If memory serves, this would have been back in September, 2004. And what we discovered seemed to suggest we were sitting on a goldmine: Large household incomes, very well educated, disposable income out the blowhole... what we assumed advertisers wanted.

Well, by January of 2005 Roger and Charles had disappeared in a cloud of pure bullshit, and there I was, left waiting to hear about the “new model”, the “new partners” and “the new” what not... Being the curious sort, I arranged for a friend of mine to introduce me to the managing partner of a small, but prestigious, advertising firm in Columbus. I packed up our survey statistics and headed to a luncheon engagement that I assumed was going to convince this guy I was on to something.

Well, I spent 20 minutes explaining our idea and the business model as I envisioned it, and then, as the capper, whipped out the survey statistics and showed them to him. He looked at them for a moment, laughed, and then threw them down on the table in front of me.

“Worthless,” he said, smiling.

“Excuse me?” I said.

I then started explaining how great this information was, and continued to do so until he waved me off.

“Households don’t buy products,” he said.


“Households don’t buy products,” he repeated. “Decision makers buy products. Decision makers within the household buy the products. You have no data on what products the households actually buy, and no data on who the decision maker is for each product.”

I followed that with yet another in a series of “What?” It wasn’t the last of them, either.

The reason the political blogosphere will never make money for bloggers via the selling of mainstream product advertising is because the reader demographics for political blogs will never support it. The political blogosphere is the internet equivalent of the Sunday morning news programs. Next time you are watching Russert or whoever, make note of who is advertising what on those programs. And keep in mind those shows are running on Sunday morning... and not primetime.

To put it a different way, who advertises during NFL games? Brewers of beer and builders of trucks. Why? Because the demographics of the viewership tells advertisers they have the household decision makers for beer and trucks. And here’s the important part: The demographics also tells them what they cannot sell. Market research tells advertisers that the people who NFL football games are not the decision makers on buying the kids back-to-school clothing or new bedding for the guest room. That’s why you don’t see K-Mart plastering the TV with ads during the Steelers game. Why do advertisers show toy ads on Nickelodeon? Because the kids are the decision makers in the toy equation. Mom and Dad my buy it, but only after they ask “What do you want for Christmas?”. That’s why toy ads are on Nick and not the Steelers game.

The mistake I had made was assuming that some good household data was enough information to get an advertiser to act. It isn’t. What will convince advertisers to advertise on blogs is convincing data that the decision makers for their products are at those blogs. Yeah, high household income is something advertisers like, but if it isn’t coupled with access to the decision maker they have no reason to spend with you. Their job is to convince the decision maker to buy their product. If you don’t deliver that person, they can’t do their job. If they can’t do their job, they are going move on from you to someone who will enable them do their job.

So think about this: What kind of advertising do you see on the Sunday morning talk shows? What kind of advertising do you see in the politically-oriented magazines (as opposed to news magazines)? See much in the way of advertising for computers, cell phones, video games or cameras? If not, what makes you think your shit-hot political blog is going to be able to sell advertising for computers, cell phones, video games or cameras? I mean, beyond pure ignorance on your part?

The bottom line is this: There will be advertising sold on blogs, and soon. It will be sold by bloggers who run special interest blogs: photography blogs, cooking blogs, quilting blogs and the whatever else will bring in a demographic of desirable purchasing decision makers blogs.

You’ll have a better chance getting Canon to buy space on a photography blog that gets 400 unique visitors a day than on a political blog that gets 40,000 uniques daily. It doesn’t matter that a percentage of the 40,000 have and use cameras, or that they consider photography "a hobby"; for all the advertiser knows, those people pull out a $100 2 megapixel cheapie once a year to take a picture of Aunt Myrtle at the family reunion. But those 400 people going to a photography blog are there for one reason... photography. They can be surveyed and tested and proved to be serious in a way the 40,000 can’t... the blogger can demonstrate his demographic is the sort of people that buy $1,500 cameras every 6 months and every gizmo and gadget that they can get their hands on. You show Canon you have those 400 people and they’ll be writing you a check before you can suggest an amount you think is fair.

And this is something Roger, Charles, John and Aubrey are going to learn over the next few months. Arianna Huffington has probably learned it; Huffington Post has been up and running for months and has nothing but Google Ads. Look at Josh Marshall’s TPM Café, which I consider to be what OSM™ should have been. Marshall has done everything right – I mean, awesomely right – so right, in fact, to be to the point of perfection... and he’s asking for donations. Why? The demographics for purchasing decision makers isn’t there. And no matter how good TPM Café is, the fact that it will never draw beyond the political junkie demographic is the critical limiting factor. Period.

If you’re serious about blogging for money, you’d better stop wondering how you’re going to get that next Instalink and start wondering what you can enjoy blogging about that will bring you the product decision makers you can sell to an advertiser.

Always remember this: Your traffic ain't, in and of itself, worth a shit.

If you’re serious about blogging for money, then you are in a business. So start thinking like a business owner and an entrepreneur. If you’re thinking you are going to build the Next Great Thing in political blogging, and it’s going to make you a fortune, what you are doing is building a 21st Century version of the Edsel to sell on the internet. And why would you do that, given that OSM™ has $3.5 million to build their Edsel?

Let The "Word Of Mouth" Advertising Strategy Begin!

It has been announced that OSM's "Word of Mouth" advertising campaign was launched today.

Here's the OSM staff preparing to blanket Los Angeles in search of willing advertisers:


How can this not work?

I Resemble That Remark...

This made me laugh so hard I dropped a just-opened can of Spam in the urine jar:

W.H.O. Warns of Spreading OSM Derangement Syndrome

dateline 11.17.05

Recent developments in the observation of OSM Derangement Syndrome (ODS) have propelled the WHO to initiate countermeasures against the spread of this virulent plague. First identified in Dennis the Peasant, it has recently spread to Jeff Jarvis, Steven Den Beste, Ann AltHouse, and other notable conservative bloggers. Many liberal bloggers, ie, Kos, Walcott, Atrios, etc are carriers for this dread disease. Places like Metafilter, dU, dLies, and LGF Watch have become virtual ODS zombie cities (just like in Shawn of the Dead) with nearly 99% infection rate.

Symptoms include glazed, fixed eyes, frothing at the mouth, and continous streams of invective against OSM. Also, the infected begin to exhibit inordinate fear and loathing of satires and mocks, along with profound atrophy of their sense of self-deprecating humor.

Sadly, no known cure exists.

These guys owe me a can of Spam... Aw Hell, never mind.

Site Information Needed

I've had several emails asking if there is a site where yesterday's OSM Launch Event audio feed is available.

I dunno.

I may be batshit crazy, insanely bitter, deranged and obsessed, but there is no way I had the stamina (or fortitude) to sit through 8 hours of panel discussions about fashion blogging and "What is a blog", let alone Judy Miller.

If anyone knows where it can be found, send me an email or put it in the comments section.

My Old Pal, Kevin Drum...

Another day, another link I never thought I'd get.

This time it's from Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly's Political Animal. Here's the money graf, as we high-traffic bloggers like to say:

And Dennis the Peasant is your one stop shop for [an] insanely bitter former partner who was tossed into the gutter by the current management.

Guess he didn't like his LINGERE Media profile.

Come on, Kev, show some dignity... like Wolcott.

And Central Ohio is not "the gutter". It's more like a cesspool...

NEWS FLASH: Rat Seen Exiting Ship...

Absolutely no impulse control whatsoever.

From another LINGERE citizen-journalist:


Rockefeller Plaza, 7th Floor
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Tom troja
vp, marketing & business development
tomtroja [at]


Rockefeller Center, 7th floor
1230 avenue of the americas
new york, ny 10020
advertising [at]

So either Tom Troja was just getting way too much email from advertisers to handle in his personal email box, or OSM's "word of mouth" advertising strategy now consists of Roger facing East on the Hollywood Hills yelling "Advertise with OSM!" into a bullhorn.

OK, Enough Of That Shit About Me Being Normal... It's Time To Rag On Roger!


Sorry, but LINGERE's (yeah, we're switching back from LINGERIE, so as not to confuse anyone) citizen-journalists tempt Dennis yet again... and impulse control is not a personal strength.

From Big Rog Hisself:

About Our Name

OSM Staff in New York

Thursday, November 17, 2005

We are OSM. A gentleman named Christopher Lydon has an excellent web site called Open Source. He uses that as his corporate name, but not as his trade name. His URL is RADIOopensource, and he’s given up – which we and our lawyers confirmed before we chose our name.

His trade name is Open Source – and Open Source alone. He’s filed a trademark application under Open Source alone, not Open Source Media.

Our trade name is OSM, and please note that we have a TM after OSM, not after Open Source Media. We consider Open Source Media to be a description of what we are and do, not a trade name.

There are virtually no corporate names that have not been taken in some state – but what is important is the name used in the public.

We own but we are not using that as our primary URL because we do not consider Open Source Media to be protectable name by anyone ... which is why it’s not our name.

Thank you. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

So now they're responding directly my posts...

Fresca and Spam for everyone!

Where's the urine jar? Let's empty it and start over!

Yee Ha! (As we say here in Ohio)


Note to John Koshland and Aubrey Chernick: Don't you wish Roger and Charles had told you about me before you gave them the money?

To Underscore The Point I Made During Last Night's Caffiene-Induced Rage

I'll note that I've had over 7,000 unique visitors over the past 10+ hours. That's without the West Coast. So I'll probably have 25,000 to 30,000 unique visitors today.

35 days ago, just before switching this station to a 24 hour "Ragging On Roger" format, a good day was 500 unique visitors.

A Short, Ill-Tempered Observation About Your Guilt

OK... this is for the finger waggers that have come out of the woodwork today:

We’ve had the unveiling of the New Name of the New Media Formerly Known As Pajamas™.

We’ve all marveled at the industrial blandness of the website.

We’ve noted there isn’t an ad within miles of that turkey.

We’ve read about and/or listened to Launch Event.

We’ve noted there wasn’t a business model within miles of that turkey.

You’ve read the reviews of other, bigger, better bloggers than ol’ Dennis and they’re unimpressed.

Very unimpressed.

And you’ve been coming here for a month to read me explain why what has happened would happen.

You’ve also come here to find out what Roger’s latest stupidity was.

And now that it’s all over... you’re feeling a bit guilty about enjoying it all.

For a month I get three complaints from two people... Today I've got critics out the wazoo.

Yep, today...

I’m a stalker! Deranged! Obsessed, even!

I should let it go... Give it a rest... Get on with my life...

Well, here’s what I have to say to that:

My Ass.

You could’ve left after the first post.

You could have left three weeks ago.

You could have left three days ago.

But you didn’t. And you didn’t because you couldn’t take your eyes off that train wreck.

But now it’s over and you’re starting to have second thoughts about what you’ve done...

And all of the sudden I’m the one who needs help.

Sorry, Homey Don’t Play That.

Every person who came here came for a reason that had nothing to do with me.

Poor Man, Pierce, Gilliard, Wolcott and that lot came because they were overjoyed to find a member of the fascisti angry enough to air dirty laundry that was suitable for their own uses. Anyone think James Wolcott, Tony Pierce or any of their readership would piss down my throat if they knew my heart was on fire? I may be helpful, but I’m still a fuckin' neo-con...

Same goes for any number of the legion of bloggers who Roger stiffed or offended. They might actually help put out the fire in my chest if I asked, but that wouldn’t be the reason they are hanging around this site. Am I right?

Then there are the curious. The "Oh, I haven't really been following this" crowd. You came because the thought of a train wreck gave you a thrill. Now you’ve seen it and you’re not feeling quite right about the fact. That is your problem, not mine.

When I wrote my first Pajamas Media/Ragging on Roger post a month ago, I was plugging along at 350-500 uniques a day. I’ll do 5,000 today. My trackbacks and links are 20 times what they were. I’ve gone from a Floating Turd to Big Animal (or something like that) over at N.Z. Bear’s place.

And that isn’t because I’ve learned to pimp the purple prose. The brutal fact of the matter is this: The more dirt on Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson I’ve dished, the more you’ve come... come back... and come back again.

So let’s get this straight: This isn’t about me.

All the LINGERE Media stuff was written in two days. Nearly every post written over the past 2 weeks has been based on citizen-journalists (with their own axes to grind) spontaneously sending me information. The fact of the matter is that over the last 3 weeks I’ve actually spent less time, on a daily basis, writing posts than I did before I became a deranged, obsessive stalker.

So if you have visions of me sitting at a computer, bereft of a bath or shave for several weeks, with a large urine jar to my right, a mountain of empty Fresca and Spam cans to my left, while voodoo dolls of Roger and Charles sit on the keyboard, think again.

I’ve been very candid from the very beginning about what I was doing and why.

I said I was going for my pound of flesh on Day One.

I also said it wasn’t going to be pretty.

If you have now decided that it is all a bit unseemly, simply ask yourself why you didn’t think of that 3 weeks ago. Timing is everything in this sort of matter... at least when it comes to me taking your complaints seriously.

Bottom line? My taking my revenge on my blog is my business. Your problems with it aren’t.

You could have walked away after that first post. You chose not to.

So This Is New Media...


This isn't a pack, it's a pile...

And one that's going to draw flies.

If You Wonder Why The Parodies Have Ceased...

Well, all I can say is reality has gone well beyond anything I can make up.

Here's the latest...

It appears that Pajamas Media's morph into Open Source Media ain't gonna be an Open Source Media morph for long. That's because there already is an Open Source Media operating in the media industry.

Selected comments from the Open Source Media post I put up yesterday should suffice:

From MisterMark:

According to Atrios/Eschaton, Open Source Media may already be trademarked by Chris Lydon in Boston. If that is true, some of the money raised by Simon and friends may quickly be going to their attorneys.

From Steven Den Beste:

I think this may be the first time in history that I actually enjoyed following a link to a post by Atrios.

Didn't anyone at PJM bother with a trademark search before they announced their new name?

From Seth Finkelstein:

Chris Lydon has a "service mark" for "Open Source". It's serial number 78582544 , look it up on

Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, a continuing series of audio programs about current events and culture via radio and global computer networks. FIRST USE: 20050428. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20050428
Standard Characters Claimed
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78582544
Filing Date March 8, 2005
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) Lydon McGrath, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 7 Webster Road Milton MASSACHUSETTS 02186
Attorney of Record Michael Melford
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

From Seth, again:

Ah, here'a link with more details, it's in-process

From Steven, again:

It turns out that their trademark is "OSM". The logo uses "Open Source Media" as a motto beneath that. You can see it at the top of this page.

There's no way that this is not infringement of Lydon's trademark. It's much too similar, and they're competing in exactly the same market with essentially the same kind of product.

And again:

This seems to be Charles/Roger's registration.

I wonder if they assumed that the USPTO did an infringement search automatically, and assumed that USPTO wouldn't grant them the trademark if it did infringe someone else?

That isn't how it works. Defense of a trademark is up to the person who owns it, and if they don't defend it they lose it. That's why it's very likely that Roger and Charles are going to be hearing from Lydon's lawyer as soon as Lydon himself hears about this.

Here's BTD Venkat:

The USPTO does conduct an infringement search and usually catches potentially conflicting marks. (An application takes a while to cycle through and OSM's application isn't even in process.) When presented with a conflicting registration or even a pending application the applicant has an opportunity to explain away the conflict. The Examining Attorney then makes the call and either issues the mark or rejects it.

You're right, Lydon's lawyer will be touching base with OSM soon I'm sure.

And Seth, again:

Steven: The links to the full records are only session links, they expire after a few minutes.

The OSM application status link should work, though the server is acting badly now:

All I can say is what I've been saying for a month now...


Note To Jim Koshland and/or Aubrey Chernick:

Time to call Roger...


Update: Steven Den Beste has further thoughts on this matter here.

Update the Second: More here from Venkat.


That's the new name for Pajamas Media... at least according to this article sent to us by one of LINGERE Media's citizen journalists.

Web site to blend journalism with blogs

NEW YORK -- A media Web site scheduled to debut Wednesday will seek to blend traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through the emerging Web format known as blogs.

Some 70 Web journalists, including Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds and David Corn, Washington editor of the Nation magazine, have agreed to participate in OSM - short for Open Source Media.

OSM will link to individual blog postings and highlight the best contributions, chosen by OSM editors, in a special section. Bloggers will be paid undisclosed sums based on traffic they generate.

The ad-supported OSM site will also carry news feeds from Newstex, which in turn receives stories from The Associated Press, Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service and other traditional media organizations.

"We're deliberately trying to do something new by affiliating blog and mainstream people," said Roger L. Simon, a blogger and the venture's co-founder.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 9 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have created their own blogs, and about 25 percent read them. The audience tends to be more influential: blog postings can affect what news organizations cover or politicians discuss.

Many details of OSM remain unsettled. For example, OSM wants to create a mechanism for citizen journalists, including bloggers, to submit original news during natural disasters, civil unrest and other newsworthy events. Simon said organizers still have to come up with ways to check submissions for accuracy.

Initially, OSM will create blog-like discussion panels surrounding major news events, with three or four bloggers and non-blogging experts chosen to contribute.

Although Simon and co-founder Charles Johnson are often described as conservative, Simon said the site will transcend labels and include bloggers of all political leanings.

OSM was founded last year as Pajamas Media, a play on bloggers' ability to opine from home at all hours, day or night. It has raised $3.5 million from venture capitalists.

Well, evidently Pajamas... er, Open Source Media sent out its press releases a bit early and/or without a release date of Wednesday the 16th. Duh.

Good job, guys. You're consistent, if nothing else.

That which is highlighted in bold above struck me as bizarre, stupid or both:

So the definition of "New Media" is blending "traditional journalism with the freeform commentary developed through... blogs"?

You're kidding me.

That isn't New Media, it's Huffington Post. Powered By Google Ads Huffington Post.

My personal favorite: "Many details of OSM remain unsettled."

Really? I'd have never guessed!

Anyway, tell me all about those unsettled details.


Things like coming up "with ways to check submissions for accuracy".

Uh huh...


Why Political Blogs Aren't Going To Make Money... Part One

Here's an example of why, in the end, the political blogosphere simply isn't going to be the pot of gold eveyone thinks it will be. It's the current Internal Revenue Service/Bush Administration/Vast Right Wing Conspiracy “horror story” regarding a “liberal” Episcopal church that was making the rounds on a number of political web sites.

This story started rolling last week, and despite having genuine expertise in nonprofit taxation issues, I let any possible correction pass when the first two or three blogs that ran the story, largely because their lack of knowledge on the subject translated into a rather harmless reaction of “look how awful the I.R.S. is!” As this sort of reaction is, as I said, relatively harmless, there really isn’t much point in attempting to set the record straight. Besides, who has the time when you’re primary focus is sabotaging an old friend’s business venture?

What I hadn’t reckoned with, of course, was the Asshat Factor... The seemingly irresistible urge to take isolated incidents about which one understands nothing and weave them into the fabric of an rigid, uninformed and thoroughly paranoid worldview to (a) stoke the fires of the Partisan Faithful and (b) keep site traffic at a max. That’s where Amy Sullivan, Kevin Drum's backup Dimwit at Political Animal, enters the story. Back on November 9, Sullivan posted “Bush’s War On People Of Faith” and “Bush’s War On People Of Faith, Part 2”. Sullivan suggests the I.R.S. is, as a part of President Bush’s War on Dissent™, actively trying to intimidate anti-war ministers.

Oh sure, she's partisan, but let's be serious here for a moment: Amy Sullivan makes that accusation largely because she is just another journalistic hack who must sing to the rabble for her supper. And that's the fundamental problem. Had Sullivan taken 15 minutes to call a competent tax attorney or C.P.A., she would have discovered several important facts that are relevant to this particular case. Here they are in their most basic form:

First, there are classifications of nonprofit organizations, such as churches, that are prohibited, by law, from engaging in any activity that is designed to influence legislation or elections. Period. It is in black and white, and has been for years. If you engage in activities that can be construed as being designed to influence legislation or the outcome of an election, and the I.R.S. finds out about it, you are going to be investigated and you could very well lose your tax-exempt status.

Second, investigation by the I.R.S. of possible violations are nearly always triggered by a written complaint made to the I.R.S. by the public. This isn’t about goons in grey suits snooping around churches looking for possible Cindy Sheehans behind the pulpit. It’s about one or more people, probably members of the congregation, or guests of the congregation, getting pissed off about the hectoring and deciding to sic the I.R.S. on their minister. It is that simple.

Third, if the I.R.S. is looking for an admission of guilt and a promise to cease and desist to close this particular case, it's because they've unearthed a pattern of violations. That means not one, not two, but a large number of instances of violations over a long period of time. Organizations don't get this sort of treatment for one violation. Period.

And Amy Sullivan probably instinctively knew she could have learned more, ending up with the above, via one phone call and 15 minutes, but she chose to pass... not because she didn’t have the brains, the energy or the integrity, but because it doesn't pay for supper. The reader of Political Animal doesn't go there to learn the basics of tax code so they can come to an informed conclusion about this sort of story; they go there to be entertained... and in this particular case entertainment is validating a worldview where all evil and misfortune emenates from The Republicans. Amy's probably well aware of how simpleminded this is, but placing the facts in front of her audience is only going to make her life more difficult. There is a powerful disincentive in place for her to act like either an adult or a competent journalist: Her audience.

This is why there will, ultimately, be very little money in political blogs... even those that are very high traffic. What the vast majority of political blogs have become is little more than tribal meeting places. Outside of those who thrive on the extreme tribal/partisan politics of the people posting and commenting, they will not interest anyone for very long, if at all. That's because most citizens instinctively understand the world is a bit more complicated than people like Amy Sullivan (and her readers) are letting on, and they repelled by the sort of fanticism that oozes out of the Lizardoids and KOS Kids of Little Green Footballs and Daily KOS. The normal American looks at a James Wolcott howling at a David Corn for the heresy of right-wing deviationsim in joining Pajamas Media... and sees an asshole, not a principled defender of the faith. Advertisers will understand and honor that not because it is the correct view (although it is), but because, above all else, they value their client base... normal Americans.

Given that, you aren't going to see much advertising on those blogs beyond the type you presently see out of BlogAds. Ads for Politics Geeks - products for the types of intellectual and social cripples that make up the largest portion of the political blogosphere - and little more, are what is going to be available. And that makes perfect sense: Why would Mercedes Benz advertise on, say, Little Green Footballs, if all it is going to do is get them a couple of thousand pissed off emails from the boobs at Eschaton? Why would Dell advertise on Crooked Timber if the result is going to be a product boycott by the Roger L. Simon tribe? They won't, because to do so would be self-defeating behavior.

I mean, look at my own Luke Ford Debacle... If I can write a single post about a man's career and get him thrown off Pajamas Media for fear of upsetting advertisers, how long would it take before the Lizardoids and the KOS Kids take that precident and attempt to extend it ad infinitum as part of their pathetic little guerrilla war against each other. Do you think that prospect sounds attractive to an advertiser... paying money to web site operators in order to get stuck between warring packs of assholes?

I don't think so.

Note: If you think I'm wrong about this, go check out the advertising on Huffington Post, a well financed, high traffic political blog... What do they have? Ads By Google.

How To Instill Confidence In Your Venture Capitalists Without Really Trying...

Scott Ferguson says I should lay off ragging on Roger Simon...

Something about kicking the crutches out from under a cripple.

Well, that's all well and good, but it isn't my fault. I'm being provoked. And to prove it, I'll direct you to Roger L. Simon's very own Contributor Profile. Now savor the last two lines of said Profile:

We’ll worry later on as to whether we succeed. This is a milestone.

Like I said, I'm being provoked...

Any bets on how fast Roger's phone rings about this one?

Got A Business Problem? Dennis Gets Results...

Excuse me while I suck in my gut and flex my pecs because I'm feelin' manly...

Alerted by a comment at The Poorman, I've just called the New York number for Pajamas Media and, wait for it... they're answering the phone "Pajamas Media" rather than "SJ Enterprises"!

And it only took them a week... !

Should I bill them for services rendered, or write it off as a charitable contribution to those in need?

Note: It now seems obvious that one of the boobs who handed Roger and Charles part of the $3.5 mill is reading this blog. That tickles me to no end...

A Little Damage Control...

Here's this week's Monday morning damage-control press release from Pajamas Media:

Pajamas Media Closes $3.5 Million Venture Round Monday November 14, 8:00 am ET
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Pajamas Media, a new media venture designed to bring together bloggers, journalists and commentators under a single umbrella, today announced it has closed its first round of private financing in the amount of $3.5 million. Pajamas Media will use this investment to build out its operations and marketing efforts and to expand its news and opinion coverage. Pajamas Media will be renamed at its official launch on November 16th in New York.

The investor group is led by Aubrey Chernick, angel investor and technology entrepreneur, and also includes Jim Koshland, a leading member of the Silicon Valley venture capital and technology community, and a DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary venture capital investment partnership.

"Securing this first round of venture backing validates the Pajamas Media business model and will go a long way towards helping us create an environment that will deliver on our pledge to change the way people report and access news and commentary," said Pajamas Media CEO Roger Simon. "What we are trying to do is not something that can be done on a whim. It requires a massive commitment from our team and from our platinum line up of contributors and writers. It also requires capital. We feel fortunate to have the support of our private investors."

"We are pleased to be involved with Pajamas Media in an era when the demand for new and unique channels of information grows and the convergence of blogging, news coverage and advertising begins," said Jim Koshland. "We anticipate that Pajamas Media will have a profound and positive market impact due to its outstanding team and unique business approach. We believe successful industry trends such as AOL's acquisition of Weblogs validates the emergence of blogging as an important new media market. This financing will allow the company to accelerate its growth and solidify its market position."

A Couple Of Notes:

1) Suspicions confirmed regarding the Luke Ford Debacle. One of these boobs read my post and told Roger to hop to... which he did.
2) Securing financing doesn't validate a business model. Successful execution of the business model validates the business model. What Roger has done is nothing more than convince some people with money that he can make them more money. That's no mean feat, but it doesn't validate the business model.
3) Who suggested Pajamas Media was "a whim"? Why choose to introduce doubt about yourself and your venture in a press release, Roger?
4) Note Jim Koshland's quote. What's the first thing that comes to his mind? The sale of Weblogs to AOL. Now you know his orientation: Build it quick, sell it fast and move on to something else.
5) I'd be more impressed if they actually had been able to properly execute the setting up of their phoney-baloney virtual office in New York City. There's still no word from Pajamas Media about a new phone number that actually works.
6) But I'm sure executing the overall business plan will be a snap...
7) "...platinum line-up of contributors and writers..." Platinum ? Jesus, who writes this stuff?


Lest anyone have doubts, rest assured this financing has been in place for some time now. Roger wouldn't have put up the money for the New York City "launch event", or the first round of payments that evidently went out to their platinum line up of contributors and writers last week. This press release appears to have the same purpose last Monday's press release had... damage control. It's an attempt to show everyone they have their ducks in a row. That's fine, but...

...fix the damn New York office telephone number!

Amateur Hour

Now that I’ve had a good night’s sleep and four espressos, I can cheerfully announce I’m over the Luke Ford debacle. Part of that has been fueled by things other than caffeine, such as another example of Pajamas Media’s attempt to foist style in the stead of substance, and the bungling thereof. Where I a better human being, I’d be to the point of pitying such a large, slow moving and witless target. But I’m not, so here’s the story...

Remember Pajamas Media’s grand announcement of the opening of a New York office staffed with a real, live marketing executive? Well, we cast a bit of skepticism over that in this post, which seemed fitting, but where still troubled by some of the details of the announcement.

The first was the address:

Rockefeller Plaza Center – 7th Floor
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020

What troubled me about this is two-fold. First, no matter how well financed Pajamas Media might be, no venture capitalist in his right mind is going to pay Rockefeller Plaza Center prices to rent an office. It’s been a good dozen years since I’ve had to deal with New York City office pricing, but some things just don’t change. Secondly, real offices in an office complex have suite numbers, especially in Manhattan. Any time you see something like “7th Floor”, chances are you’re dealing with a mail drop, a call center, or a combination of both.

Well, sure enough, one of LINGERE Media’s citizen journalists was able to confirm my suspicions. Here’s a link to the web site that offers ‘virtual office’ services in Rockefeller Plaza Center, and unsurprisingly, on the 7th Floor. So the bottom line is this: Pajamas Media’s “New York office” is a complete sham. It is a public relations stunt. There is no office, no personnel and no infrastructure... just a secretary fielding telephone calls and sorting the mail for Pajamas and a hundred other companies with “offices in New York”. Anyone think that is the mark of a serious business presence in New York? Does it make you feel good about their new effort to execute their “word of mouth” advertising acquisition strategy?

What makes this really pathetic is that lots of us have participated in this dodge ourselves, making it an easy one to spot. I did it myself a dozen years ago when I was the CFO of a small garment industry company headquartered in Columbus. About a year into things, we decided we needed a New York address on our letterhead to project added credibility. So guess what? Dennis got the job of finding one. We eventually chose to rent a single 8 by 10 room in someone else’s office suite, but our second choice was using a ‘virtual office’ service giving us a good address in the garment district.

But that isn’t the best of it.

The second troubling detail was the telephone number:

(212) 745-1377

It’s to a business concern called “SJ Enterprises”. Neither Google, Google local nor Yahoo Yellow Pages provides any information on an SJ Enterprises at that address or telephone number. Upon calling the number earlier this week, the receptionist at SJ Enterprises seemed quite confused by requests to speak to someone from Pajamas Media, and at least once put one of our citizen journalists into an unidentified voicemail system. By the end of Wednesday she had evidently managed to straighten everything out, because callers to Pajamas Media then were informed they had a wrong number.

And that makes sense, because if you get into Google cache, you find this:

Accurate Software
Rockefeller Plaza Center – 7th Floor
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
(212) 745-1377

In other words, either someone at the company providing Pajamas Media their ‘virtual office’ gave them an incorrect telephone number to use, or Pajamas Media themselves screwed it up. In any event, nobody at Pajamas Media thought to test the number - evidently they didn't anticipate too many calls. So not only do they not have a New York office, as of now they don’t have a working telephone number in New York.

Which, come to think of it, might explain why their advertising strategy is “word of mouth”.

As a mark of just how large, slow moving and witless a target I’ve got, it appears I’m going to have to be the one that informs Pajamas Media that they don’t have a working telephone number in New York City. Actually, if I’m correct in my hunch that Roger’s Money Man is reading this blog (it would explain the Luke Ford debacle quite nicely), I’m informing him of the fact... right now:

As of 1:45 EST on the 11th, SJ Enterprises is informing all callers that they’ve dialed the wrong number for Pajamas Media.

Got that? I've told everyone on the internet, including you and Roger, once already... on the day of the press release!

Now you run along and tell Roger to get it fixed right away.

And don’t say I never did you a favor.

This is Amateur Hour stuff...



The Bystander, The Moron And The Asshole

Well, the Luke Ford debacle has been picked up and published by Matt Welch, whose article is here. Although I know nothing more than what I said last night in this post, there are aspects of this episode that are becoming clearer to me.

The Bystander

The Innocent Bystander, that is. That would be Luke Ford.

On Tuesday Luke Ford was a contributor to Pajamas Media based on his merits as a writer. He was going to be paid for his efforts, which is how he makes his living. Wednesday he wasn’t a contributor. But not because of anything specific transgression on his part... He was separated from Pajamas because of the actions of a Moron and an Asshole.

The Moron

That would be Roger L. Simon.

Matt Welch writes this:

My take? I just hope that Pajamas acted as it did because it somehow didn’t realize that Luke was still writing about porn, which if true would just mean they were remiss in not conducting basic due diligence, and that they have a prudish take on what is acceptable. Any other explanation... suggests something considerably worse.

Well, here’s my take... and it’s pure guesswork on my part.

First of all, there is no way Roger L. Simon didn’t know Luke Ford was doing what he was doing, and nobody can convince me otherwise.

Second, on a personal level, Roger L. Simon didn’t care what Luke Ford was doing. The man’s spent his life in Hollywood; Roger being a prude isn’t the issue here.

Third, I’ll bet someone else – someone with real power over Roger – found out Ford’s porn connections, probably via my post here, and reacted the in the exact manner I said they would. So who is this mystery person? Given what I know of Roger and this venture, the answer seems to be very clear; it is the person who is putting up the capital to finance it. I can tell you from personal experience Roger L. Simon would never put up the cash to cover the expenses Pajamas has accumulated to date. At this time last year, his battlecry (and Poodle Chaz’s as well) was “Not our money!” Someone else is putting up the cash for this turkey, and they have obviously objected to Luke Ford being on board.

If I am correct in this, it confirms that in all things business Roger L. Simon is a moron. That he hadn’t bothered to develop a formal protocol for evaluating potential contributors might be excusable if he didn’t have to answer to a Master, but the fact of the matter seems to be that he does answer to just such a Master. Given that, not evaluating potential contributors within the framework of the goals of the business venture as a business venture is pure amateur hour. Clearly, Roger and Charles are winging it.

The Asshole

That would be me.

It is one thing for me to wage war on Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson for the wrong they have done me. As long as it involved the three of us, things were fine. But on Tuesday I committed a very serious error in judgment: I dragged someone I did not know - someone who had never done me the least bit of bit of harm - into the swampy end of my affairs, and did so to his personal and professional detriment. That Luke Ford was removed from Pajamas Media because of my actions isn’t the issue here... The issue is that irrespective of any consequences to Ford, I had no right to drag him into the middle of this. That’s why I’m the Asshole in this story. The fact that Ford lost his Pajamas gig simply supplies emphasis to that fact.

There’s nothing I can do to undo what I’ve done to Luke Ford. Between yesterday and today we’ve swapped at least a dozen emails, and as I’ve said before he’s been remarkably gracious about my transgressions. He has accepted my apologies, inadequate though they certainly are. It is clear to me that what I have done has lead to his being hurt, both personally and professionally. And what makes that all the more painful is that it is apparent to me now, based on our exchange of emails, that Luke Ford is exactly the sort of guy I’d get along with big-time...

That said, I will continue onward: I want my pound of flesh. I am, after all, an Asshole. What I must do now is made sure I keep the Bystanders out of it.

Pajamas Media Launch Event Update

Judy Miller's keynote speech not be about the need for a journalist's Shield Law. Instead, she will be speaking on how one goes about filing for unemployment in the state of New York.

How to do so in California might be of more interest if the Launch goes the way I think it will...

The Winner Of The "Name Pajamas Media" Contest

Well, the entries for the "Name Pajamas Media" Contest were pretty lame. But, given how lame Pajamas Media appears to be, I suppose I should have expected that.

Today, however, the winner came via email:

Ponzi Media

A frosty six-pack of Fresca to Peter B. for that one.

An Update On Luke Ford

I’ve received a number of emails asking me for details about what happened to Luke Ford. As many of you know, I wrote a post yesterday questioning the wisdom of Pajamas Media bringing Ford on as a contributor given his associations with the pornography industry. Well, I can confirm the fact that Luke is no longer part of Pajamas Media. And as I don’t want speculation to rule the day on this particular subject, I’m going to share what I know.

Upon getting back to my office this afternoon, I fired up Typepad and found, much to my surprise, that I was getting a number of hits from I was even more surprised, upon arrival at said site, to find that Ford had linked to my post without invective (or even commentary). The act struck me as an impressive display of a person’s sense of humor about themselves, to say the least.

I then noticed a comment at my Luke Ford post, supposedly from Ford himself, stating that he had withdrawn from Pajamas Media and was no longer a contributor. This threw me for a bit of a loop, to put it mildly, so after a moment’s consideration I emailed Ford and asked if he could confirm that he had posted the comment on my site. I received a very polite confirmation of the fact almost immediately.

Given the circumstance, I felt it appropriate to apologize for my error (and blame it on the Pajamas site, of course) and ask if he would prefer it if I either corrected or removed the post. Ford accepted my apology in quite nice a fashion and politely replied that neither correction nor removal of the post was necessary as far as he was concerned. He also stated that he considered the matter closed.

That’s where we stand. Ford did not offer any explanation as to what happened with Pajamas Media, and I certainly didn’t feel it appropriate to ask. If he considers the matter closed, then so do I. What he did tell me is that will be his primary site for blogging about things non-pornographic. I’ve given it a closer look than I did yesterday, and it is worthy of your attention. The man is funny and he writes very, very well.

Now you know as much as I do... other than the fact that you would have to read his emails to get an idea of just how gracious and witty he really is.

Luke Ford (via will be placed in on the blogroll when I get around to updating my blogroll.

Update to the Update: More here.

Breaking News: Pajamas Media's New Name Discovered... Maybe

Here’s Pajamas Media’s November 7 press release:

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Pajamas Media, a new blogging venture designed to bring together top online writers, journalists and commentators under a single umbrella, today announced it has expanded its operations to include regional offices in the Los Angeles and New York. The organization also strengthened its advertising and sales team with the hiring of Tom Troja, vice president of marketing, and Vik Rubenfeld, research director.

Tom Troja joins Pajamas Media from EmotionEngine where he served as founder and CEO since 1998. Tom has 20+ years experience using communications as a tool to solve business problems including tenures with Tower Perrin, Decker Communications, Disney Channel and CBS. Troja will work out of the
Pajamas Media New York office to drive the organization's word-of-mouth marketing strategy and environment and oversee the Pajamas Media business development, advertising and sales operations.

Vik Rubenfeld worked as Associate Research Director at Saatchi & Saatchi before joining Pajamas Media. Rubenfeld will manage Pajamas Media research evaluating business-to-business programs and its opinion-oriented research projects along with site monitoring and internet data analyses.

"Pajamas Media is attempting to build a dynamic community of writers, philosophers and journalists in an effort to democratize the way people access and exchange information. Both Vik and Tom will take that same approach to our business model, bringing together bloggers and marketing minds to create
alternative methods to democratize the advertising and marketing approach for bloggers," said founder and CEO, Roger Simon. "Pajamas Media is all about empowerment of the blogging community and we are very pleased to have Vik and Tom enlist in our cause."

Pajamas Media will run its corporate office out of the Los Angeles and will drive its sales and business development programs out of its New York location.

Contact information for each office:

100 North Sepulveda Blvd.
Suite 275
El Segundo, CA 90245-4359

Rockefeller Plaza Center - 7th Floor
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020 USA

It’s designed to sound pretty impressive, but to be honest with you, upon examination it seems like it was written to defuse some of the criticisms I (as well as others) have been making about Pajamas’ lack of advertising... and lack of either a strategy or an infrastructure to acquire advertising to generate revenue.

A close reading suggests this is all sizzle and no steak. Here's why:

First of all, what in the Hell is a “word of mouth marketing strategy and environment”? Word of mouth ? Think about the implications of those three little words in the context of a business model for an entity that is supposed to be paying staff, editors, writers, vendors and landlords to "evolve journalism" into New Media.

Next, check out Troja’s EmotionEngine site here. There are a couple of things worthy of note:

1. No telephone number or office address is listed. Contact is by email only. I work out of home office and even I list a business telephone and fax number. It's about $75 a month. Bottom line: EmotionEngine probably doesn't have an office and Troja's working off his home's residential telephone line. If I'm correct in this, we're talkin' Amateur Hour.

2. Look at what EmotionEngine does. Relevent to developing an ad acquisition strategy and infastructure? Not on the face of it. But then, there isn't much meaningful information given, is there?

3. Notice the EmotionEngine provides no client list or testimonials. Nor do they provide any concrete detail regarding the services they provide or who would benefit from using them. That's what we in the business world call poor marketing. The website for my one-man CPA firm provides 5 times the number of pages and 10 times the information this one does.

Also, you'll want to note that Vik Rubenfeld is one of the Pajamas Media bloggers. Check out his contributor profile here. So evidently Vik's working part-time as the "Reseach Director".

Finally, there's the "New York Office". I called it November 7. So did one of LINGERE's citizen journalists. In each instance the phone was answered "SJ Enterprises". So either Pajamas Media is going to change its name to "SJ Enterprises" on November 16 (Simon/Johnson Enterprises?), or Pajamas Media's "New York Office" is a rented desk in the boiler room of another company's offices. I'm betting on the latter as opposed to the former.

Oh yeah, I parodied this press release yesterday.

My Mental Health... Just In Case You’re Wondering

Well, at least one of my loyal fans has her knickers in a twist.

Maggie45 wrote this last week:

Gosh, I just read through all the Ragging on Roger posts. I can see being upset and doing a few posts in anger and disappointment, but to go on and on and on and on about it. Yikes. You're gonna make yourself sick. I hope you can get to the point where you can at least TRY to let go. If things are as bad as you say they are, then thank your lucky stars you're not involved anymore.

Wishing you peace of mind.....

Since then, she seems to have lost patience with me. Today I got this:

Geez, Dennis, grow up!! So you saw the venture as strictly advertising, and they didn't, and you all parted ways. So what? It happens all the time. You're not funny anymore and you're making a complete fool out of yourself.

I suppose it isn't really worth noting that telling a 48 year-old male who is going by the pseudonym "Dennis The Peasant" and writing 1,000 word stories on the internet about a bunch of fictional characters - including cesspool managers, FBI agents, Ethnic Studies Professors who are pig farmers and a pack of violent Bingo Grannies - that he's "making a complete fool" of himself might not be the profound insight you think it is?

In any event, Maggie's clearly concerned and exasperated.

Given that, perhaps this is a good time to discuss my mental health.

It seems some of you are, well, concerned (or perhaps more accurately, more concerned) about the state of my mental health. You seem to feel that I have allowed a rather unpleasant but relatively minor event, i.e. – getting it in the shorts from Roger L. Simon in a business deal – to consume my life and turn me into a pathetic shell of a useless wreck of a man who thinks only of revenge and getting out damned spots and the like.

That would be incorrect: I’m like this all the time...

Let me assure you that I have not allowed that rather unpleasant but relatively minor event to consume my life and turn me into a pathetic shell of a useless wreck of a man who thinks only of revenge and getting out damned spots and the like. If it had, I’d be too busy auditioning for the next season of The Surreal Life to continue this blog. In reality, though, I am both quite happy and content with my present lot in life: I have health, work and nice home, a few good friends and the love of my life, my adored Muffy... as well as two Pembroke Welsh Corgis that are the last word in canine companionship.

Life is good.

So understand that the reason I continue to do what I do is because I am having quite a bit of fun doing it. The idea for LINGERE Media came to me in a flash one night last week, and it tickled me. It still does. I would have done that parody irrespective of whether Pajamas Media was Roger and Charles’ post-Dennis venture: The format is perfect for making fun of just about anything or anyone.

That’s why I’m doing it... mostly.

But since I seem to be having a breakthrough here, l'll list a few more reasons:

1. Pajamas Media offers a rather target-rich environment for mockery. And when I say target-rich, I mean target-rich. It isn’t like those boys have covered themselves in glory to date. They’ve hired Judy Miller to keynote their launch, as well as invited a passel of bloggers they’ve dissed. Duh. They have no advertising, and their “Road Map” (published at the Pajamas site) bears no resemblance to what they are actually doing. Duh, duh. Then there's the 'influencer' who's covering the porn industry. Duh, duh, duh. Bottom line? I think Pajamas Media is going to be a train wreck, and train wrecks have a perverse fascination, whether we admit it or not.

2. The pompous nature of this whole New Media thing. I mean, let’s Get Real here for a moment. There is absolutely nothing new in what Pajamas Media is doing. Nothing. The idea of going out and getting a bunch of talented writers together and publishing their efforts has been done before. Honestly. And just because they occasionally expose some of the more egregious incompetencies of the pseudo-profession of journalism doesn’t make Pajamas Media the new frontier of media. How can you not mock someone or something that pretentious? These people need to get over themselves. Fast. Who am I to be less than helpful?

3. I’m getting between five and ten times the traffic I was getting before I started giving Roger and Charles crap. Iowahawk says sex sells blogs. That’s bullshit. Dirt sells blogs. And since I want to make Big Money with Pajamas Media ads some day, if it’s dirt ya want, it’s dirt you’ll get.

I hope this clears things up for those of you who are inclined towards worry, disgust and/or outrage.

Note: I blog because I enjoy it. This is about me. If you enjoy it also, all the better. But because I write for myself, be aware that you're along for the ride. Nothing more.

Chances are my blog is going to start alternating between The Westerville Chronicles and LINGERE Media - and not much more - very soon. That's because they are the most fun to do. I like doing satire and parody, and I think I've found the appropriate formats for both.

I’m Taking A Short Break From Mocking Pajamas Media To Bash Pajamas Media

You know, writing a decent parody is difficult enough without your target continuously moving beyond parody.

Must be Roger’s revenge on me...

Anyway, Random Fate’s Jack Grant received this email from Pajamas Media on October 31:

Subject: NY Launch Invite For New “Citizen Journalism” News Service – Pajamas Media

Hi Jack,

On November 16th, 2005 Pajamas Media will launch a new publishing medium that brings together some of the top online influencers and personalities, under one banner, to help evolve and expand journalism. In essence, this new media company will create a network hub for bloggers around the world in what will be one of the world’s first online forums for citizen journalism and commentary. Additionally, Judith Miller, will keynote the event and discuss the Shield Law debate that’s before Congress, broader issues facing bloggers and mainstream journalists, and what the future holds for both.

Please find below the official invitation. If you would like to attend, simply click on the RSVP link and we’ll add you to the list. Hope to see you there.


Ryan Lack

You just can’t make this sort of stuff up.

Here’s Pajamas Media inviting one of the bloggers it has stiffed to its big Launch Event, and doing so less than three weeks before the event itself. And even if Jack wasn’t already pissed off at them, I’m sure he would be after he got done trying to book a flight to and hotel in New York City on such short notice.

Pure amateur hour.

So what the Pajamas braintrust has done here, for all intents and purposes, is further anger a blogger who’s already angry with them. Gee... just the sort of guy you’d want walking around the Rainbow Room as you’re trying to bullshit people that you really do know what the fuck you’re doing. Right?

I certainly hope Roger and Charles sent the remaining 229 bloggers they stiffed invitations as well. If enough of them bother to come, it could make for a far more interesting Launch Event than we might otherwise expect.


Note: I’m sure as Hell not the last word in literary elegance or grammatical correctness, but wouldn’t you think a “media” company could sent out a press release that reads like it was written by a professional? Note the trouble with commas in the last sentence of the first paragraph. What are “influencers”, by the way? And for God’s Sake, just what does one do to “evolve” journalism? “Do”-ing lunch, perhaps?

Note The Second: Jan Haugland has a good post at his site concerning his Pajamas experience. An additional laugh... he was invited to the Pajamas bash in NYC. Jan blogs out of Norway.

We Unbelievers Are Put In Our Place...

I’ve never heard of either Bill Quick or Daily Pundit, but evidently he and it are a part of the Pajamas Media media empire. And evidently he’s a real touchy part of it... because he gets quite huffy with Jeff Jarvis here for Jeff's questioning of the Grand Strategic Vision of Roger and Poodle Chaz.

This is the hilarious part, though; as proof of the viability of Pajamas, Quick submits the following from ABC’s Silicon Insider:

First, a quick surf of the Web showed me a blogosphere on fire - with excitement over the birth of Pajamas Media, consumed with jealously over not being part of it, or pre-emptively attacking it with near-incoherence for alleged biases, incompetence or abuse of power. Not bad for an enterprise that doesn't even formally exist yet. Whenever a new idea in high-tech attracts this much adulation and calumny, you can be sure that it is on to something - and that everyone doing the attacking is secretly plotting how to compete with it.

Wow. Talk about hard facts. The sort of journalism you can hang your hat on!

New Media, baby.

Now if that bit of buzz isn’t enough to convince you that Pajamas Media is the Next Big Thing, what will?

Christ, Bill, if you can get a similar post out of Wonkette you’ll be able to skip most of the SEC filings and take the IPO public by Thanksgiving.


Update: I forgot to mention that the comments to Quick's post are hysterically funny. Quick missed is calling in life... Public Relations.

Dennis The Peasant’s “Let’s Help Roger And Charles Rename Pajamas Media” Contest

Well, it’s now November 7. In eleven days there will no longer be a Pajamas Media to kick around. That’s right... Pajamas Media will be malfunctioning under a completely different guise.

Why, you ask?

Well, we’ve heard several different rumors.

Rumor The First: “We Gotta Have A Classier Name”

Given the preliminary logo, there’s something to be said for that...


Rumor The Second: “We Gotta Make ‘Em Forget”

Let’s face it, most of the people in Pajamas Media are good, old fashioned, old media journalists.


Why remind everyone that your “business plan” has changed fifty-six times since your initial announcement back in April. This was, way back when, supposed to be about bloggers... not journalists.

Rumor The Third: Marc Cooper Doesn’t Wear Pajamas


‘Nuff said.


Please submit your idea for the new name of Pajamas Media in the Comments Section. Feel free to suggest a company motto as well. Please, no profanity... that's my department. The winner will be given their very own blog slot in LINGERE Media. Multiple submissions are accepted.

Can You Say "Going Down In Flames?" Sure You Can...

From Jeff Jarvis:

I never fully understood what Pajamas Media wanted to be and I understand it even less now that they are holding a gala, four-and-a-half-hour intro in New York at the Rainbow Room on Nov. 16 with Judy Miller as their keynote. Judy Miller? Judy Miller!

Jarvis' entire post is here.

Judy Miller? The Judy 'Reporter Run Amok' Miller of the New York Times?

That's new media?

Judy Miller?

What, was Dan Rather booked for that day?


Lord, I knew Roger was a schmuck, but now it's clear he's also a moron.

Judy Miller...

*he he he...*

New media...


So What Is Pajamas Media? (My Last Entry On This Subject Until Something Else About It Pisses Me Off... Maybe)

“Fresh Air”, a very sharp guy I know (and respect) from back when I used to hang at Roger’s site, has a say-so that interests me:

I'm not sure I totally understand what the complaint is here. I believe the idea is to use a stable of bloggers as (correspondents or editorialists) who will put out reports that read "Special to PJ Media," or somesuch--and, based upon a private e-mail I got from Roger--pay these people initially with cash. After the embargo ends, they also will receive traffic from the mother site.

Obviously, you need to work a manageable number of writers who fit stylistically and otherwise. Seventy sounds like a lot to me.

As a former I-banker, I can tell you with names like Michael Barone on board, there is plenty of VC money for this idea.


OK, so what then is Pajamas Media? Based on the above, it sure as shit doesn’t sound like an advertising company, now does it?

It occurs to me that this would be the appropriate time to note that paying a stable of bloggers for essay-style posts being used at the Pajamas Media site is not the same business as paying bloggers for the site traffic they generate on their own blogs.

Writing posts that go through a series of “editorial boards” means bloggers get paid when whack-offs like Marc Cooper think a post is good enough to use. That’s called free-lance journalism. Is that what the original Pajamas Media announcement back in April all about? Is that what the original 300 bloggers who signed up wanted? To be free-lance journalists?

I don't think so.

Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it isn’t the old media paradigm to a “T”... and as such offers nothing new. All that happens is that PJM becomes the paid agent for a stable of bloggers who must now start writing essays. I don’t know about you, but that sounds less than scintillating. Actually, what it sounds like is Tech Central Station. Not that there’s anything wrong with Tech Central Station, mind you, but if it was burning up the bandwidth, ownership would have retired by now on the proceeds from the IPO.

Beyond that, part of the joy of blogging is doing whatever you want to on your blog... not what an editorial board thinks you should be doing. And that’s what it is really going to boil down to; either bloggers write what fits the board’s idea of an appropriate essay or they don’t get paid. Irrespective of how well Mr. Blair writes essays, the awesomely concise and snarky minimalism of the Tim Blair blog cannot be captured in that format. Nor can an essay capture the charms of neo-neocon’s vast range of interests. A big part of the daily allure of neo-neocon is not having the faintest idea of what she’s going to write about, but knowing whatever it is, it will be interesting. Taking talented bloggers and shoehorning them into an un-blogging format simply guarantees something we like is going to get lost in the process.

I could go on, but you probably understand what I am saying perfectly well. I haven’t spoken to any of those 70 bloggers who are “in the stable” about what this week’s PJM business model, but I wonder just how many of them relish the idea of being paid to be free-lancers, as opposed to being paid to be bloggers.

Here’s another issue: Are the editors going to be writing as well as editing? If so... hum... does that mean the bloggers get the leftovers of the revenue stream? To put both bluntly and unkindly, does essay selection come complete with backscratching for fun and profit? Or are the editors going to work off a salary – that gets paid out first – and contribute a quota of essays to keep payments to the bloggers within the limits of the business model (if they have one). Sure, Michael Barone may allow Pajamas to attract investors... but only if he writes. And if he writes, it’s going to be for cash, and if it’s for cash, then just what is leftover for the bloggers if he gets the superstar rates he's used to?

Finally, so you get the site up and running and you’re paying bloggers and all that happy shit... Then what? Are the advertisers going to come flocking to the door? Or does Pajamas Media actually have the plan and the personnel to sell space to advertisers? Go look at Josh Marshall’s TPM Café. For all intents and purposes it’s a cross between Daily KOS and Pajamas Media, which isn’t a bad thing at all. While you’re there, look at the advertising Josh has, remembering that he’s one of the 800 pound gorillas of the blogosphere. Is that the best there is, ad-wise? Maybe so, maybe not; but it's more than what Pajamas has come up with to date.

And understand, Josh Marshall put together TPM Café while Roger and Charles were dicking around with 15 different versions of “Pajamas Media is gonna be...” He’s the one actually executing, and he’s running the same sort of BlogAds-type crap everyone else is. Maybe he’s making a boatload of money, but somehow I doubt it.

As I said in the previous post: The key is getting the advertising. Get advertising means selling to advertisers. Signing up 70 bloggers and a bunch of “name” journalists has nothing to do with what needs to be done. Period.

Some Thoughtful Comments Spur Further Discussion About On Pajamas Media

Two excellent comments made by Steven Den Beste and Scott Ferguson have me relenting on my decision to curtail further posts on Pajamas Media. (Sorry, Luther... I know you’re right, but impulse control is not a personal strength.) But this time ‘round, I thought I’d lay off the Roger bashing (kinda) and concentrate on the thought processes Roger and I were using in the development of Tulip/Pajamas. This post is going to be more along the lines of how one approaches going into business, the decisions that need to be made that impacts that approach, as well as the impact those decisions have on how one funds the start up.

Here’s Den Beste’s comment:

One of the big things that bothered me about this project from the first time I heard about it was money. This kind of project (and almost any other) always loses a lot of money for the first year or two of operation, even if in the long run it turns out to be profitable. You cannot start something like this without some sort of major investment behind it.

Last time I saw any solid info about the advertising plan (admittedly months ago, so it may no longer be correct) it seemed that PJ Media was promising its affiliate bloggers a lot of money to run ads, whether PJ Media itself actually had any ads to run. That's money flowing out, without necessarily any offsetting income. Where's it come from?

There has been no sign whatever that they've got a VC backing them. The impression I came away with was that they expected it to be self-financing from the very beginning. As Dennis says, the impression was that they were going to have to turn eager advertisers away, and would have no trouble at all filling all those paid ad slots with paying ads.

If that's truly what they expect, then this is going to be a trainwreck of mammoth proportions, and the ultimate result is going to be lawsuits.

Here’s Ferguson’s:

Having noodled around with my own little venture a bit [PunditDrome], I'm coming to some hypotheses that I want to test:

1. Making money from advertising need not be a simple "eyeballs to advertisers" equation. High value added can occur when the RIGHT advertisers are introduced to the RIGHT eyeballs. (Life was either the first or second largest magazine in the USA when they stopped publishing weekly. No advertiser wanted to pay top dollar for all those undifferentiated eyeballs.)

2. The internet is so bloody cheap that you don't have to generate much revenue to turn a profit. With such economies, bootstrapping is more rational than venture capital for business development.

3. Because people use the Web to create narcissistic virtual realities, the key to sustaining a Web-based enterprise is not by marketing a commodity, but by developing a community that will support you.

Pajamas Media seems to be trying to overlay old media templates on a new media. In other words, they are both popular individually, but in collaboration it seems to me that they don't understand why.

And from my standpoint, thank goodness.

Note the differing visions each has of Pajamas Media and how it would operate. Both visions are based on a series of assumptions made as to how the company will choose to conduct business. Neither vision is, in my opinion, completely correct (or incorrect, for that matter). Let’s look at what actually happened the first crucial months of Tulip Advertising’s existence and see what sort of decisions were required by ownership, and how those decisions shaped the vision of the business itself.

In the initial phase of developing the business model for Tulip Advertising, the assumption was that the business would have to be self-funding; neither Roger, Charles nor our Central Ohio partner expressed any interest in dumping cash into the venture. During my October, 2004 weekend in L.A., we discussed the types of cash outlays that would be necessary to get the business started, and arrived at a figure in the ballpark of $25,000. We were assuming Charles would handle the technical end of things but would require some techno-geek assistance. We also assumed that some travel would be necessary for me to do face-to-face presentations to ad agencies and the like. Those two items constituted the bulk of the start up expenses we could identify and measure.

As our Central Ohio partner (let’s call him Rocco) and I were tasked with developing the advertiser client base, he and I decided we would concentrate our efforts in Central Ohio. To us, this made a lot of sense. Rocco had some good contacts in the area, as well as an excellent reputation as a businessman and entrepreneur. We both had personal knowledge about a plethora of businesses that we could approach in the area. And I had already starting garnering introductions to the folks running several of Columbus’ better ad agencies. An additional plus to starting in our backyard was the avoidance of the travel costs associated with hitting the Coasts.

Roger and Charles seemed to be on board with approach, at least in the beginning. But by late November, 2004 it was becoming clear that Roger didn’t think Central Ohio was going to provide the number and type of advertisers we were going to need, despite the fact that we already had a very well-known gourmet food company very interested in using Tulip. He felt we had to get out and hit the major East and West Coast ad agencies and their media buyers. Not that he had an concrete business data to back that up, mind you... it was simply that Roger was of the opinion that just about everything between L.A. and New York constitutes wasteland. Plus, he wanted this up and running in a big way very, very fast.

Certainly at some point we were going to have to start establishing relationships with the media buyers at agencies, as they were the true decision-makers in placing advertising dollars in various media. But, as advertising naifs, for us to start the client acquisition process by trying to sell to very knowledgeable, sophisticated and powerful advertising professionals seemed to me to be an invitation to disaster. As I was the one whose ass was going to end of in front of these people, I was keenly aware of just how little I knew, and who easily I could make a fool of myself in front of them.

The other problem was the one Steve Den Beste alluded to above. If Tulip was to make it worthwhile for bloggers to give up BlogAds or whatever, we had to be able to offer them a steady stream of advertising income that was based on their site traffic. They would not be interested in waiting around to find out whether we could round up advertisers willing to invest in internet advertising. We had to have a substantial number of advertisers on board before we ever went beyond a handful of blogs. My feeling was we had to have the capacity to offer bloggers revenue from Day One, and that if we made promises we couldn’t keep, we’d have a huge credibility problem to overcome in very short order.

The go-it-slow approach was going to allow us to gather data on what percentage of site traffic would go to the advertising, as well as how much sales volume would be generated. It was exactly the sort of information that would allow us to realistically tailor the rates we would charge advertisers as well as the rates we would pay bloggers. It was also the sort of data we could use to sell advertisers on the merits of what we were doing. We didn’t need 500 blogs to test the concept, we needed 5. What we needed to get 500 blogs on board with Tulip was to have enough advertisers on board to allow 500 bloggers to get paid. Advertisers, not bloggers, were the critical commodity here. I would suggest that the go-big-go-fast approach basically reversed that equation.

And, in retrospect, this was the beginning of the parting of the ways of our respective visions of how Tulip Advertising should begin doing business. Rocco and I were of the opinion that a go-it-slow approach would allow us to learn our trade while avoiding large-scale mistakes that could spell disaster. It was also the only realistic approach to take when nobody’s willing to put up serious cash. But the start up cash wasn’t the issue for me; I could have put up the $25,000 myself without tremendous difficulty. I wanted to actually know what I was doing when I started approaching the media buyers in L.A. and New York, and the only way to know in this situation was via on-the-job training. Roger had no such inhibitions. By January, 2005 he was telling me Tulip needed venture capital to the tune of $900,000.

That constituted the first (but not last) “What the fuck?” moment I had during this venture. I couldn’t imagine (and still can’t) what we’d have needed nearly a million dollars for... unless it was to hire a few serious advertising professionals to do the client recruitment for us or, as Den Beste mentioned, to pay bloggers their due for the ads we hadn’t sold. When I first heard of this I really didn’t object much, simply because I’ve dealt with venture capitalists and the like at various times during my professional career. I was pretty sure once Roger and Charles discovered the sort of terms the venture capital boys were actually going to require of them to cough up money, they’d be back to the approach Rocco and I were favoring. I was also pretty sure Roger was operating during the assumption that nothing had changed in the venture capital world since the go-go days of the ‘90s. I knew better, and assumed he’d discover the same soon enough.

As Roger and I are no longer swapping emails and telephone calls, I really don’t know at the time whether he’s pulled down the sort of capital he thought was needed to get things rolling. I’m doubtful he has. But the point of the matter is his vision was to start big – really big – and then get bigger. That necessitated going out and looking for bundles of cash from someone so he could buy the sort of expertise that wasn’t already on board... or to pay bloggers in order to keep his promises. Rocco and I wanted to start small and grow organically, learning as we went. Had Roger and Charles chosen to continue doing business with Rocco and me, at some point we would have had to sit down and resolve our differences. Of course, it never did come to that...

The point is this: If Pajamas Media crashes and burns, and I think there a boatload of really good reasons to think it will, that doesn’t mean internet advertising isn’t viable. What will be proved is that some of the choices made by Roger and Charles in attempting it were the wrong ones. What the entrepreneurs interested in profiting from internet advertising will need to do is discover what those decisions actually were. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a book about it out of Simon some day.

A Further Thought... And Perhaps More Heartburn For An Old Friend

It wasn’t until I read various posts (here, here, and here) which come to my attention yesterday that it dawned on me my old pals Roger and Charles had ditched 230 of the 300 bloggers they originally signed up. You really do miss out on so much while being stabbed in the back...

Anyway, now I know those two boobs are never going to make a dime.

To put it plainly, the crux of the biscuit of the business model I was putting together for Tulip Advertising was based on getting as many high quality blogs signed up as humanly possible. And by high quality, I mean high quality... not just high traffic. The last thing you’d want to put in front of either an potential advertiser would be a high traffic site like Daily KOS or Atrios. They’d throw you out the door before you could say “Screw ‘em”. No, you'd pick up the sites that gave you the demographic you needed to attract advertisers, irrespective of traffic. That demographic is high education, good job, plenty of income. If a site provides you 300 unique visitors a day that meet that profile, you sign them up. There’s no reason not to. And if it takes 100 high quality sites to match the number of morons at KOS, well then you sign up 100 sites.

The reasons for doing so are many:

1. You really do want as many people viewing as possible. Once the technical infrastructure is available (software and servers), placing it on a site is easy; there are no other meaningful fixed costs to worry about. Acquiring a site means no more than seeing whether the site meets the requirements of your profile (You’ve got a protocol in place to do that, right, Roger?), testing via a visitor survey and a site meter, getting a contract signed and putting a button or two on the site. So why limit yourself to 70 sites, or 300 sites for that matter, if the variable costs of bringing them on board are negligible? If your breakeven point (You’ve calculated that, right, Roger?) for a site is 200 unique visitors a day, then you sign up every high quality blog giving you 250 visitors a day without even thinking about it.

2. You really do want as many high quality bloggers writing as possible. Stuff happens. Bloggers will get sick, some will die, some will lose interest and some will be forced to quit by circumstance. Remember Steven Den Beste and U.S.S. Clueless? A great blogger with a great high traffic blog who is forced to quit blogging, literally overnight, because of serious illness. That is precisely why you sign high quality blogs irrespective of their traffic... You can, with some effort, get them enough exposure to lift their traffic. Quality will bring traffic if you market that quality in a methodical and consistent manner (You’ve got a plan to do that, right, Roger?).

3. Beyond that, why would you want to limit yourself to nothing but political bloggers, if you’re serious about making money via advertising? One of the things I had started doing before Roger and Charles gave me the heave-ho was investigate other types of special interest blogs. Why wouldn’t you want to scour the internet for high quality blogs on cooking, photography, crafts and on and on...? They exist, and Christ, it doesn’t take a genius to see that one way to capture advertising dollars from, say, companies selling cooking supplies, gourmet food, and cook books is to show them you’ve signed up 25 great cooking blogs that generate, say, 10,000 unique visitors a day. Those advertisers would kill to get the chance to do their thing in front of 10,000 people who are where they are because they are passionately interested in cooking and food.

There are probably a few more good reasons why Pajamas Media should be signing up bloggers by the boatload. Given the three I’ve listed above, it’s actually pretty difficult to make a case that Roger and Charles are really serious about making the advertising portion of Pajamas Media work. There just isn’t any compelling business reason for turning away good blogs. If, for example, Michael J. Totten gets 4,000 unique visitors a day, as opposed to Roger Simon’s 40,000 a day, why turn a Michael Totten away? He’s got a hell of a blog. With a little effort, you could get his numbers up... and in any event, you’d still make more money than if you turned him away altogether. Am I right?

So the question then becomes this: Why would Pajamas Media go through to the trouble of signing up 300 bloggers, only to then dump 230 of them. Certainly it wasn’t to get themselves a whole lot of goodwill. Nor does it make them money. So then why?

Well, perhaps it goes back to my Reason The Second: Lack Of Assets, Therefore Effort. If Roger and Charles don’t have the time or inclination to do the administration themselves, and won’t put up the money to hire someone to do it, then about the only way to get themselves unburied is to reduce the number of bloggers to a manageable level. It makes sense in the short run to do this, even though it doesn’t in the long run. Besides, I’m sure Roger’s convinced he can charm all the bloggers he dumped into coming back on board at a later date. Roger puts great stock in his own personal charm.

Then again, perhaps it goes back to Reason The Fourth: Lack Of Interest. If I’m correct in stating that what Roger and Charles really want is to become New Media Superstar Journalists, it could be that they are tailoring the business to reach that particular goal (this dovetails with my Reason The First: Lack Of Focus). Perhaps they've done some math and come to the conclusion that they can make enough money from the advertising they generate from the 70 they have on board to get them to Journalist’s Heaven. If that’s really what they want, once reached they can just ditch the advertising business altogether and get down to what they really want to do.

In any event, none of this bodes well, in my opinion, for those under contract. Like I said: If you have expectations, lower them. And if you got dumped, well, perhaps it was all for the best. Certainly I’ve seen enough over the past six months to lead me to believe that if I was with Pajamas today, and it was doing what it is actually doing now, I’d be one unhappy camper... That said, I still look forward to having one of Roger's ulcers named after me.

Sorry, But You’re Probably Not Going To Make Money With Pajamas Media (Happy Anniversary To Me)

As those brave few who read this blog closely already know, I’ve made reference more than once to the fact that I was, at one time, 25% of what is now Pajamas Media. In fact, I was a part of that business before Charles Johnson was. The brave few will also note that I’ve made reference more than once to the fact that I’m not a part of Pajamas Media because Roger L. Simon (and his poodle, Charles J.) decided it to be worth their while to cut myself and another Central Ohio businessman out of the company and dole out our percentages to folks they deemed more likely to aid in the noble cause of lining their own pockets.

As Roger told me after I called him on it, “That’s business.”

Well, OK then, let’s talk business...

The last time I wrote about the whole sleazy affair (here), Roger actually had the gall to call me on the telephone and claim he was “deeply hurt” that my anger over Pajamas Media had “destroyed our friendship” and that he didn’t understand why “we couldn’t still be friends”. It was quite a performance, in a repulsively transparent sort of way. Overlooking the fact that we had never been ‘friends’ in the first place, I simply told him to fuck off – on the rather obvious principle that one who cheats you, humiliates you with your business associates (I had several of them working on Tulip-related projects on my word they’d be compensated at a later date by the company) and then sticks you with thousands of dollars of unpaid expenses is not really your friend, even if they want to be.

Anyway, after Roger’s attempt to bullshit his way out of trouble I basically swore off the idea of writing anything else about Pajamas Media simply because I really didn’t want any further contact with that loser. Not that I really thought he was going to make another effort at salvaging our deep and long-standing friendship, mind you. No, not that. What I’d written had terrified him because he knew just how badly I could hurt Pajamas Media, and his reputation, with what I could disclose. For him, this was about minding the store (which for him was far more important, anyway), so there was always the possibility he’d call me again. And while I must admit I really liked (and continue to like) the idea of him squirming over what I might do, the idea of further intimacies with my old pal Roger ain’t cutting it. If by some chance Pajamas makes serious money, we’ll renew acquaintances via my lawyers over the pound of flesh that is mine by right. It’s the least I can do to an old friend. But until then...

What has made me go back on my No Ragging on Roger Resolution was the realization that last weekend was the first anniversary of my business trip to L.A. to meet Roger and Charles. It was the weekend when, using a spark supplied by Roger’s wife on Saturday morning, Roger and I formed the basic idea of how to execute internet advertising on blogs in a manner more sophisticated and profitable than the BlogAds approach. That idea started as Tulip Advertising and has now morphed into the advertising component of Pajamas Media. In fact, if Roger hasn’t deleted the post, you can find a photo of Charles Johnson and I at Roger’s dining room table from later that very Saturday afternoon (Charles wasn’t present at the birth of Tulip... he was out riding his bike around L.A.). I didn’t really even remember that it had been one year until yesterday, but when I did, I guess it would be fair to say that it brought up some unresolved feelings on my part.

But you’ve probably already noticed that.

I’m sure you’re finding all of this fascinating in a National Enquirer sort of way, but it’s not really the focus of this post. The focus of this post is to give those of you wanting to make money via Pajamas Media some reasons why you probably won’t. Understand that my take on Pajamas Media is completely biased, so if you want to, mix it with however many grains of salt as are required. But also remember that I was the one who spent months researching the feasibility of the idea, talking to advertising professionals, talking to Roger L. Simon himself, and drafting the business plan we were to use (and not the piece of shit Pajamas Media used during the blogger recruitment phase). I know what they’re trying to accomplish, and how they are trying to accomplish it.

Here is a selection of the reasons why I think Pajamas Media’s advertising venture will crash and burn:

Reason the First: Lack of Focus

The primary reason you’re probably not going to make any money with Pajamas Media advertising is because Pajamas Media is trying to do several things at once, and only one of them is advertising. I suppose all the Junior Journalistic Cadets are slavering over the idea of getting published through the New Media that is going to destroy the Old Media, but those of you motivated by advertising revenues aren’t going to reap any benefits from Pajamas taking over for the New York Times and the Washington Post, right?. So what you have to ask yourself is which of these two business efforts are going to be the top priority with management and ownership? Is it going to be journalism or advertising?

Well, I can’t say I’ve examined everything in great detail, but most of what I’ve been hearing has centered on the journalistic end of the business. According to the Pajamas Media web site, phase one testing of the advertising component was to begin in September and broadened to all of the signed bloggers sometime in October. Now I haven’t checked every site out there, but I’ll be damned if I’ve been able to find any advertising, testing or otherwise, at any Pajamas-affiliated site as of this date. There have been press releases about the editorial staff Pajamas Media has put together, though.

Draw your own conclusion.

Reason the Second: Lack of Assets, Therefore Effort

Understand that Pajamas Media is a part-time effort for all of ownership and management. I was to be the person who was going to work full-time on Tulip Advertising during the start-up phase. Roger and Charles were not then, and are not now, willing to give up their existing careers to devote their talents or energies wholly to Pajamas Media. Pajamas Media is what comes at the end of the day... After writing scripts and novels and articles (or in Charles’ case, code) and blogging, then comes Pajamas Media. And understand something I think neither Roger nor Charles has ever grasped; making the advertising portion of Pajamas Media work – really work, that is – will require an enormous amount of both time and energy doing the sort of spade work necessary to attract the attention of media buyers, advertising agencies and corporations themselves.

One of the things that became very apparent to me very early in the life of Tulip Advertising was that there was going to be no shortcut to attracting advertisers. The two of us who actually had business experience (myself and our other Central Ohio partner) knew it was going to be months of telephone calls, meetings and presentations – one ‘dog and pony’ show after another – to nail down a handful of high-quality advertising clients. We also knew that we could only grow that client base using a methodical and continuous sales process. My impression from Day One was that Roger truly believed that the sheer brilliance of our idea would have advertisers knocking at our door sans much effort. You tell me which vision sounds realistic, and which one doesn’t.

So, at this point, my guess as to why we’re not seeing much advertising testing on Pajamas Media sites has more to do with lack of advertisers than ‘technical’ issues or what not. Given how much time Roger and Charles have spent fucking around with the journalism side of things, as well as the whole (abortive) portal project with Marc Danzinger, I can’t see that they’ve had the time to expend on acquiring much of a client list.

Reason the Third: Lack of Expertise

Roger Simon and Charles Johnson don’t know shit about advertising or the advertising industry. And I sincerely doubt that they’ve made a systematic and concerted effort to remedy that situation since elbowing me out of the picture. Not that I knew anything about either item myself. But the difference was that I launched myself into learning as much as I could about both. I had started to develop a series of contacts, both in the industry and in academia, which we could have used to educate ourselves about what we needed to do to convince the professionals that we had a good idea that we were capable of executing. In other words, we needed to learn enough about how advertising professionals approached their profession so as not to appear to be the Beverly Hillbillies when we walked in the door. I wonder if anyone with Pajamas Media has really done the sort of work necessary to avoid getting tagged as a Clampett by those who control the almighty advertising dollar.

Beyond that, there’s the matter of simple, basic expertise (if you want to call it that) in business itself. The documents Pajamas Media sent to those wishing to sign up were beyond dreadful. Their business plan, such that it was, would have been laughed at by any venture capitalist or businessman worth his salt. It was amateur hour. And that would be what you’d expect from two guys with absolutely no business experience who ditched two guys with professional training in business who had each started and developed their own (successful) businesses.

Lets put it this way: Lots of you have read The Westerville Chronicles, right? Well, if Roger runs Pajamas Media as well as I write fiction, do you think they’re going to make money? Is there any reason a professional writer with no meaningful business training or experience is going to do better at running a business than a professional businessman with no meaningful training or experience in writing fiction will do at attempting the next War and Peace?

Now reread a few Chronicles and tell me what I’ve just said doesn’t send a shiver up your spine.

All this means, at least to me, is that Pajamas Media doesn’t really have any sort of working document that actually lays out the strategy of the company in any sort of meaningful way. That means no time lines, no task lists, no structure and no accountability. I think it safe to say this assumption is bolstered by such things as the steady stream of missed deadlines, lack of meaningful communication, and the general sloppiness of the contracts tendered. Let’s face it; they announced Pajamas Media back on April 29th. Check your calendar for today’s date. Think about that for a second. It’s been half a year and nothing’s really happened. Could it be these guys are winging it? If there ain’t a strategy or a plan, how can there be any sort of truly organized, systematic effort to attract advertisers?

Based on what you’ve seen to date in terms of results (not hype), does it look like Pajamas Media is being run well?

Reason the Fourth: Lack of Interest

Bottom line? Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson want to be media stars. And (pay attention, this is the important part), they want to use the profits from the advertising business to do it. The first time Roger mentioned the media idea I tried to get him to drop it. I wanted Tulip Advertising to make money. I wanted to grow it into something big. And I wanted to run it for a long time. As our efforts progressed, Roger became more and more focused on the idea of getting the company running and using it to either finance his journalistic activities or to make a quick buck via selling it. That was the problem I saw looming on the horizon (not realizing the real problem was looming behind my back). I see no reason to believe Roger’s focus has changed one iota since then. Given that, I don’t see the advertising business succeeding – primarily because I don’t see the level of real interest necessary to make it succeed. Oh sure, there are people out there who are so damn good that they can make businesses work without much effort, but that isn’t the issue. The issue is this: Are Roger and Charles two of those people?

There are other reasons to doubt, but I think I’ve supplied enough of them for one sitting, so we’ll leave it at that.

To those of you who are now under contract with Pajamas Media, all I can say is that if you have expectations, lower them, because I don’t think it is going to work. The idea was fine, and with some expertise (which isn’t there) and some dedication (which isn’t there), there was a good chance it could have made money for everyone. But as it stands, the people who are running this business are doing it for all of the wrong reasons and, I’ll warrant, in all the wrong ways. And it shows in Pajamas Media’s dearth of achievement to date.

Update: Hi, Roger! I saw your hits. Having a nice day?

Update The Second: Welcome Althouse readers! Spread the word...

Update The Third: Oh my! I'm now on the second page of Punditdrome. With Marc Cooper. Side by side. That's got to be a blow to his career...

Update The Fourth: Welcome viewers from The Poor Man Institute, Random Fate and Memeorandum. Spread the word...

Update The Fifth: I have a new post with some further thoughts on why Pajamas Media will never make a dime.

Update The Sixth: Welcome viewers from Chizumatic, News From The Fridge and Anechoic Room. Spread the word...

Update The Seventh: Further thoughts, based on comments by Steven Den Beste and Scott Ferguson, here.

Update-The Sequel: More incoming links, but I'm tired of listing them. I never imagined TBogg would ever link to this site; Right Wing News, yes... but TBogg? Oh yeah, spread the word...

Update-The Final Gasp: Another screed from yours truly.

Color Me Unsurprised...

Now that Pajamas Media is starting to (finally) tender contracts to bloggers, we are starting to see indications that Roger and Charles haven’t done their homework to the extent they should have. It also seems the boys haven’t recruited as many advertisers as they needed to make PJM as, or more, attractive than BlogAds.

Great job, guys.

See Ann Althouse here and here and here and here. Be sure to follow her links. She has the most comprehensive set of posts on the subject of PJM’s multiple weaknesses I have seen.

See John Hawkins here for additional thoughts (which are linked by Althouse).

Of course, Scott Ferguson wisely decided to stay away long ago. Details here, here, and here.

If I sound somewhat bitter, well, that’s because I’m the one schmoe in the blogosphere outside of PJM’s ownership and editorial staff that’s actually done business with Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson. My advice: Think at least twice about signing on the dotted line with those boys. People are not always what they appear to be...especially when money is involved.

Update: Since there's at least one innocent party here in Columbus besides myself who had the misfortune of trusting Roger and Charles regarding PJM, I think I'm going to pass on divulging the gory details of Tulip Advertising/Pajamas Media. I did the poor guy an inadvertent wrong by introducing him to Roger and Charles in the first place; there's no use in compounding a felony by dragging him into the middle of something he'd just as soon forget.