Politico’s Michael Calderone Is On The Menu Talking About WaPo Salons And Palin


Today on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven were joined by Politico.com blogger Michael Calderone who discussed the story his Web site broke about The Washington Post‘s planned off the record salons.

“There is such a huge disconnect between what the marketing side and the newsroom are saying it’s almost unbelievable,” Calderone said about the salons, which came to the media’s attention on Thursday thanks to a flyer distributed by the marketing department of the paper. “Putting out a flyer basically boasting about how you can have an off the record sit down with all these individuals should have immediately raised a red flag.”

However, Calderone admitted that news organizations are looking for alternative streams of revenue like conferences and events that attendees have to pay to take part in. “It’s understandable that the Post or other news organizations would want to do this,” he said. “The key difference, at least according to some media watchers and professors that I spoke to in the last couple days, is whether there is any benefit to the news organization and then in turn any benefit to readers. And the issue with the Washington Post salons, at least according to this flyer, was that they were going to be off the record. So there really is no ostensible benefit to readers.”

Calderone also weighed in on Sarah Palin’s announcement Friday that she is resigning from her post as governor of Alaska. He said the decision reflects on Palin’s “incredible ambition.”

“Ever since being picked by McCain she has become a huge national figure and since the election she hasn’t really slowed down in traveling around the country and speaking at various events,” he said. “What this really would allow her to do is free her up so she can finish the book that she’s already contracted to write, she can do paid speeches, she can do fundraising and basically take on that national role without the obligation that she still had back in Alaska.”

You can listen to the Morning Media Menu live at 9 a.m. and all day long at www.blogtalkradio.com/mediabistro.