Wonkette Speaks (Just Not on Her Blog)

wonkettesxsw.jpg You might have noticed that Wonkette is going to be taking some more time off, ostensibly to write her “novel.” However our trusty Fishbowl operatives have run her down in Austin, Texas, where Ana Marie Cox (circled) is conducting a keynote interview at the SXSW Interactive conference at this moment. It’s difficult to see her past all the cameras assembled to record this momentous event.

Big news: she has just confessed to being a pinko leftie liberal, a Kerry voter in 2004 and a Nader voter (gasp) in 2000. (“It was in D.C., so it didn’t count.”)

Full live-blog of Wonkette’s speech after the jump, live from Austin.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: This post marks Fishbowl D.C.’s first non-family friendly post. We apologize in advance for the use of the expletives in this post, but felt that preserving the original language was critical to telling this story. Minors and those easily offended should NOT read the jump.

Live-Blogging Ana Marie Cox

Sitting now in SXSW’s extra-sized “17AB” keynote conference room where Ana-Marie “Wonkette” Cox is scheduled to speak in about 13 minutes.

Web-standards legend Jeff Zeldman and self-help guru Malcolm Gladwell have both commanded gigantor overflow crowds and massive applause in this room earlier in the weekend. Their incredibly consequential intellects put the SXSWi geekerati in a stupor of reverent awe. The vibe in the room now is distinctly different– the crowd is large, but skeptical.

Is The Wonkette here for Us or for Them?, we wonder. A few minutes ago, she won the Bloggy for Best Political Weblog, and the response was decidedly cold. In the #bloggies IRC (projected on a screen next to the stage), an anonymous nick asked “Didn’t Wonkette say blogs are broadcast media?,” and the audience chuckled at her naivete.

Reinforcing Cox’s association with Broadcast Media (aka “the enemy”) are three spooky looking TV cameras pointed at the stage, a dubious honor that we are pissed was not accorded to Zeldman or Gladwell.

So this is a showdown: Old Media meets New Media, with an ambitious and puzzled celebrity caught in the middle, working the angles.

One guy next to me just said “It’s like Japanese manga, but photorealistic and full-length!” I am SO at SXSWi.

And we’re off! Her introducer is a pandering-looking thick-glassesed man: “In spite of her best effort, she’s a celebrity!” he says. Some laughs.

“To start off… You are sort of a Texan!” continues Thick Glasses Man, continuing to pander. She nervously explains that, yes, she did attend UTexas for a semester, and sure does like it down here. The audience is nonplussed.

Burnt Orange Report is going crazy right now, I bet!” Thick Glasses Man enthuses, referring to the Texan political blog. I count four laptop-wielding folks seated around me immediately browsing to Burnt Orange to verify.

Cox is saying “I’m trying to more firmly close thew symbiotic loop between bloggers and the main stream media. Without the NYT bloggers wouldnt exist. They would have nothing to complain about and would have no facts except for google.”

AMC: “So I’m just closing the loop. It’ll be beautiful when it happens. So it’s beautiful, really.”

TGM: “A circle jerk really! ha ha!”

AMC: “Yes, but not quite as painful! ha ha!” (audience laughter, naughty side-eyed looks at each other.)

TGM: “If blogs are punk rock, then are you (name of a celebrity I forget who used to be punk rock but then sold out and started doing fashion magazines)?”

AMC: “I’ve been around journalism for 10 years now, so it would be ludicrous for me to claim to be punk-rock… I was a victim of the indy-rock thing in the early 90s, and learned from it… I’d rather just sell out often and early.”

She’s actually speaking very reasonably about blogs and media and the relationship between the two. Ok, we are deciding, she gets it. She’s ok. But dull. This is nothing we havent heard before, a thousand times all weekend long. Why does SHE get a keynote? Blah blah Dan Rather, blah blah Jayson Blair. “Blogosphere,” she says, casually. We are beginning to nod off. When will she talk about ass-fucking, we wonder? I heard she was risque! The laptop screens around me are browsing irrelevant websites and IMing.

“Jenna Bush does not drink baby jew blood,” Cox says. A pause and then a ripple of nervous chuckles. That’s ALMOST like “ass fucking,” but not really what the crowd is looking for.

Thick Glasses Man keeps making long complex assertions about the changing state of media, preceded and followed with “I don’t actually believe this!” or “This isnt necessarily my opinion,” and then, “Don’t you think so?”, allowing AMC to trailblaze new and exciting tangents of newmedia smalltalk.

Some people just laughed at something I didn’t hear.

ANAL SEX! She just said “anal sex” and then “catholic”. Laughter. Then she says, “Thank god I didn’t do the Playboy spread. Though Playboy would have paid and Lucky didn’t.”

Eyes light up! NOW the audience is paying attention!! but Thick Glasses Man waylays this and asks “How do you do your job? In a total mechanical only-inside-baseball-people-care sense? Do you have to commute?” Is he TRYING to make this as dull as possible??

Wonkette reveals that it’s IN HER CONTRACT that she must blog at least twelve times a day. Note to FishBowlDC: what’s YOUR contract like?

Asked about the recent Gawker/WeblogsInc/Durst kerfuffle, she says “I wouldn’t post it if someone hacked Tom DeLay’s sidekick. Well, I guess I would. Especially if there were photos of him kissing other men. (laugh) But Washington has no equivilant to Fred Durst. I don’t know, Denny Hastert?”

TGM asks “Are bloggers journalists?” Dude, that question is SO LAST WEEK. AMC says some words. A friend a few rows over has literally fallen asleep in his seat.

Wow, the ceiling in this room is really interesting. It’s all griddy and well-lit. Wouldnt it be cool if gravity reversed itself so the ceiling was actually the floor? Just for a few people at any given time, not for everything all at once. Then I could walk around the ceiling and leap around the light fixtures.

“The best bloggers are the ones who care about what they’re writing,” says Wonkette. Thick Glasses Man asks something about “print journalists”. Interminable minutes pass.

2:35 p.m. — Thick Glases Man announces the talk will go until 3:00 p.m. instead of the original 2:45pm because, “Why cut it off early? I’m sure no one will mind.” I count five audible yawns, four people stand up near me and leave the room. A steady trickle of departures commences–finally.

“…drinking and screwing!” I hear her say, and three people chuckle loudly. “That’s in my novel as well!” she continues, “Which is out in September. Though I haven’t finished it yet.”

AUDIENCE QUESTIONS! OK maybe this will get interesting.

Q: “Do you think your website helps or hurts Democracy?”

A: “Good for America, bad for Democracy. No, ha! Good for me, bad for America, good for (inaudible). No, ha! Actually.. (blah blah blah) Ass fucking!… Jeff Gannon… ass fucking!” (laughter laughter) Oh wow, she’s gone and done it now.

Asked about her personal politics, she announces “I am a commie pinko!,” to scattered applause. “I voted for Kerry in 2004!” Applause! “and Nader in 2000!” BOO! BOO! “In D.C.! It didn’t matter!” Confused applause!

On bloggers in the White House: “The secret of the white house briefing room is that it’s already a theater, so why not let pretend journalists in? They can manage questions from funny-looking people just as easily as they can anyone
else.” Note to FishbowlDC: I think Wonkette just called you “funny-looking.”

Consider this story developing.

Q: What’s up with all the ass-fucking? Did that evolve organically, or…?

A: “Wonkette was a decision to adopt a persona. That there was a character writing the blog. Which might be me after a few margaritas. Wonkette is, to the extent that theres a difference between me and the character on the blog, meaner. Also more obsessed with ass-fucking than I am. Ask my husband.” HUGE LAUGHS!

Thick-glasses man: “You can liveblog that!”

Q: Something about feminism

A: “I consider myself a feminist. The aggressive girliness of Wonkette, even though I drink a lot and talk dirty, it’s still girlie. A lot of girlie conservative women love Wonkette. There’s one girlie girl in D.C., her name is (inaudible), she loves Wonkette, and she is as conservative and girlie as they get.”

Mental note: “Feminist” now means “appealing to girlie people.”

Q: You were at the Dem convention. Why not the Repub convention?

A: “MTV asked me to do the Dem convention, but not the Repub convention, so I don’t know.”

TGM: Why?

A: I don’t know.

TGM: Why?

A: I don’t know. I didn’t get the memo.

TGM: No, really, why?

A: I may have had a little too much fun at the Dem convention.

A very very serious looking audience questioner: After “a few margaritas,” as you say, would you still make the same responsible distinction I heard you make before between blogging and journalism.

A: Uhmmm… mumble mumble. That’s a hard distinction to make.

TGM: Oh! The natives are getting restless! Next question!

Q: (something)

A: (blah blah) just follow your ideals and your beliefs– My god I sound like a fucking hallmark commercial. ‘Your ideals and your beliefs!’ And talk about ass-fucking a lot!


TGM: AAAAnd we’re out of time!

It’s 2:52 p.m., ended either 7 mins late or 8 mins early, depending who you ask.

A final note: It turns out the T.V. cameras in the room weren’t taping this after all–rather, they were there to record Al Franken, who has now entered the room and is preparing to speak.

That’s all I got. Back to you, Garrett.