Some might see it as a conflict of interest: live blogging about your boss.
Jason Linkins, editor of HuffPost’s “Eat the Press”, live blogs the Sunday morning talk shows. This Sunday was more coverage of the usual characters, except this time, his boss, Arianna Huffington, was in the mix on ABC’s “This Week”.
And if you didn’t notice, Linkins’ prose generally has an outspoken, slicing humor.
But this week, in the parts where Arianna was concerned, he stuck to facts and quotes — and didn’t cast her in any disparaging light. He even suggested Fox News President Roger Ailes might be a “mass of perfectly healthy intestines” as opposed to a “malignant tumor” (as one reader surmised).
An excerpt from Linkins’ blog.
“This is not off to a good start!
Arianna brings up Glenn Beck, and his language. Ailes says, “let’s not be the word police.” Arianna brings up Eric Hofstadter and the “Paranoid Style Of American Politics.” Ailes comes back about a comment left by a HuffPo commenter that described him as a “malignant tumor.” Is that the worst you commenters have ever said about Roger Ailes? Probably not! But y’all should be more civil. And who’s to say Ailes doesn’t look like a benign tumor, or just a mass of perfectly healthy intestines? I guess that I’m saying is that it’s okay to be classy, sometimes.”
NBC’s David Gregory didn’t fare as well. Linkins clearly doesn’t care for what he considers to be Gregory’s non or softball questions.
Linkins admits that this is a delicate line to walk, but he says he feels secure in his relationship with his boss and his readers.
“Sometimes I liveblog a show that has Arianna on it and sometimes I don’t,” the scribe told FishbowlDC today. “When I’m leaning toward doing it, I do think to myself, ‘How should I approach this?’ But it’s never an issue of awkwardness between Arianna and I – we have a great relationship. And there are never any editorial demands placed on the liveblog. Quite the opposite: what gets written in the Sunday morning liveblog is entirely governed by me. I am literally operating without a net. (Actually, I guess it’s more important to note that I am figuratively working without one, also.)”
Read more on Linkins’ views on walking the line after the jump…
Linkins: “The people I care about are the liveblog readers. I’m really, really lucky to have them, and so I want them to have the best experience, insofar as that is possible. And yeah, for their sake, I wonder sometimes, ‘Well, is this too meta? Should I recuse myself?’ If reader feedback had come back with a strong opinion, one way or the other, I’d just let that guide my decision. It hasn’t so far. But if that changes, I’ll always do my best to give the best experience to the readers that I can – ultimately, they are the people that we care about the most.”