Posted by: evanmcarlson | August 5, 2009

TPM: Curtain falls on Mouthpiece Theatre

Talking Points Memo just announced that the video blog by Chris Cillizza and Dana Milbank called “Mouthpiece Theatre is being cancelled by the Washington Post. While the editors do not explicitly say that this is because of their sexist (and not funny joke, not that it matters), the editor does admit that their humor failed to hit the mark and the “joke” was the last straw.

As we said in class, it’s difficult to say what the Washington Post felt they were getting for the amount of money they payed to set it up, especially given their treatment of Froomkin.

“I don’t think the series worked as they intended,” said Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli. “It was meant to be funny and insightful and translate the superb journalism Chris and Dana do in print and online into a new format.”

TPM points out the obvious: “But… it wasn’t.”

Both Millbank and Cilliza have a reputation for being insightful, thoughtful reporters and – from everything I’ve read – pretty good guys too, so in that respect it sort of makes sense that the Washington Post would give them a shot at this sort of thing.

While this was clearly a situation when the sum was substantially poorer than the individual parts, I am curious to know how they were able to stay alive as long as they did.

Getting a little hot under the collar.

Getting a little hot under the collar.


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