Back in the early days of political blogging, 2004 to be exact, a sex scandal in Washington DC over a blog called the “Washingtonienne,” a first person account of a young woman’s .. ahem, multitasking skills, at juggling a number of politically connected boyfriends — including a Republican Congressional staffers – drew a considerable amount of Internet traffic and an eventual publishing deal for Jessica Cutler, who was the unnamed blogger at the time.
But the blog that called attention to the blog was Wonkette, led at the time by Ana Marie Cox who has since gone on to a number of prominent roles in the political blogsphere and national mainstream news media. One could argue that the success of Wonkette led to the rise of political blogs much like this one.
But the emergence of a new editor at Wonkette for the coming election cycle makes this blog a must read. Rebecca Schoenkopf takes the reigns and has a national stage to display her wit, wisdom and obvious snark, and if she covers national politics as she did the OC club scene, readers are in for a treat.
Schoenkopf’s Commie Girl columns were a must read in the OC Weekly, and frankly, the snark she brough weekly is missed (along with the great comics the Weekly used to run). You can back track of her work in OC through the Commie Girl Collective or pick up a copy of her book “Commie Girl in the OC” on Amazon. I’m fortunate to say I got some great advice from Rebecca when I began blogging early in 2006 so rather than run through some of her biographical information, I’ll take her advice and post this from her website.
Are you really a Communist? No. I am a socialist. Communists are scary, like Stalin and Barack Obama. Twenty million dead, Alan! How do you pronounce “primer”? Short i. What qualifies you to type dick jokes on the Internet as the newest Wonkette? I type 75 words a minute. Also, I invented typing dick jokes back in 1998, when I used to write columns about passing out on the hotel room floor of sad Young Americans for Freedom while making them watch Bulworth instead of porn. How do you know Ken Layne? Layne and I were set up on a date once in the mid- to late-’90s. It went so well we didn’t speak to each other again for … eh … eight years? Eventually we emailed each other a coupla emails — bygones! — and then, when I was editor of LA CityBeat, we implemented a happy content-sharing arrangement, whereby CityBeat got Wonkette’s content, and Wonkette got to give it! Will you be on our TV and/or radio program? Sure! I am not *great* on TV, because I’m cross-eyed (fake eye; rock fight; 8; you’re welcome) but I’m ok. Radio? You never heard such a honeyed voice as mine! How come Layne sold you Wonkette, and how much did he get for it? Well, you offered to buy it, but he told me he hates you. As to the price, it was $47 and a sandwich, or $47 and a sandwich more than Sam Zell paid for the LA Times. What do people say most about you? That a friend of theirs met me and said I’m “surprisingly nice!” What do you say most about yourself? ”I swear I’m really supersmart and good at stuff!” That hot picture of you must be like 15 years old, right? No, that picture is from last Friday, the night before I turned 39. Is it true you were a Sad Unemployed Poor for more than three years until this very second? Yeah, and I stopped counting after 13 job interviews since May. HEY JAY ROSEN, WHO’S SORRY HE DIDN’T HIRE ME NOW? How about a CV? Twenty years in alt-weeklies, intern at MAD Magazine, NYU/USC, copyeditor, art critic, political columnist, AAN Award, master’s, fellowship, urban policy, smart things, some stuff. I don’t know. I guess you could check my Linked-In. And? I have a son and we live in Los Angeles. [...] And I have a book too, from Verso (they publish all the best Communists), called Commie Girl in the OC. And if you want to buy a Commie Girl T-shirt, you can shoot me an email. They’re $20. You could give one to your girlfriend, and pretend she’s me.*
*Oh, come on, I was joking, stop being gross you guys Jesus Christ.
Schonekopf is a worthy successor to Cox’s original Wonkette postings. And I hope Rebecca doesn’t wait too long for an update on Cutler. From what I’ve been able to tell, Cutler married in 2008 and Cox is now covers Washington Politics for GQ and the Guardian, and is a contributor at Playboy, after stints as a Washington editor for Time. She’s also a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow show. Oddly enough, she nearly died on a train in DC after suffering an allergic reaction to a lentil salad and was save by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteran gave her medication that saved her life.
Cox and Cutler pose in 2004.
So with that, Wonkette is back to being a part of our daily reading and we wish Commie Girl every bit of success she deserves. Break a leg Rebecca.