Host Sonya Gavankar (left) and Ana Marie Cox.

Inside Media: Ana Marie Cox

March 22, 2009

Guest: Ana Marie Cox

By Lesette R. Heath, special programs coordinator

Blogger Ana Marie Cox is in a class of her own — irreverent, witty and self-deprecating. She absolutely loves the "nerdiness of Washington" and being a member of the White House Press Corps never gets old.

In her own words, "It’s the freaking White House." Can we add exuberant to the list?

The founder of the political blog Wonkette said she considers herself a journalist but finds the traditional trappings of the job constricting.

"Journalism started out in America as something citizens did. Only in the very recent past has journalism become professionalized where you feel you have to have credentials to do it," said Cox.

But while blogging is liberating — there’s no editor and you can work in your pajamas — it is a job. The bedroom slippers Cox wore while editing Wonkette are on display in the News Corporation News History Gallery.

"Luckily, you don’t have to work that hard," she said. "People send you stuff all the time." Like the link to an infamous blog.

In 2004, Cox and Wonkette gained national attention for breaking the Capitol Hill scandal surrounding fellow blogger "Washingtonienne," later revealed as Hill staffer Jessica Cutler. Cutler later wrote a book about her dalliances with some of Washington’s movers and shakers.

These days Cox is a national correspondent for Air America Media. She does live blogs on White House press briefings, congressional hearings and the Washington political scene. Not bad for someone who started out editing restaurant reviews for America Online.

Before landing at Air America Media, Cox wrote for Time magazine, where she covered John McCain’s presidential campaign. But because of mounting costs, Time scaled back on the number of reporters covering the campaign.

Not wanting to miss "this historic moment," Cox joined the staff of Radar, which folded weeks before the 2008 presidential election. With the help of donations from loyal readers, she saw the campaign through to the end.

People often ask Cox if she was disappointed covering McCain and not Barack Obama.

"I thought McCain’s story was equally fascinating. It was such an interesting American tale — his rise and fall and rise and fall again," she said.

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