The Blog That Redefined Blogs | Talking Points Memo

Internet years move so fast that it’s easy to forget a certain mid-aughts cliche: Anyone writing digital-native news was surely a pajama-clad blogger sequestered in their parents’ basement. TPM helped change that — even if Josh sometimes did wear shorts to the office.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I started reading this blog following the 2000 election. I may have paid my first visit to this blog because it was mentioned on the Al Franken Show; I was a commute-time listener. My viewership was sporadic, I was reading a lot of sites at that time. But by the 2004 election, TPM had become my preferred site for internet-based news, particularly political news.

There were two things that drew me to this site. The first was that although there was a definite Liberal viewpoint, the writing was devoid the kind of overly partisan rhetoric one would see on other Liberal sites. TPM dealt primarily in facts, which could be verified, not so much in editorializing. And it was clear which was which. The facts were well-vetted. In the 16 or so years that I’ve been a regular reader, I can recall only one or two cases where TalkingPointsMemo had to retract a story. And I can’t recall what those stories were even about. That is a far better record than most old-line media could boast.

The other thing that drew, or perhaps more accurately glued me to this site was the quality of the comments. The other readers were clearly well-educated and knowledgeable. Some of them were funny as hell, too. And yes, TPM went through several different discussion forums before it settled on the current one. (Disqus, anyone?) Still, I wanted to know what TPM was reporting, and just as importantly, what the other readers were saying about it. I often learned a lot more about the topic from the comments than from the actual article.

Thanks and Congratulations Josh, and everyone else too. I’m looking forward to the next 20 years.


Jack Abramoff was not a congressman, he was a lobbyist.


Embarrassing mistake, and in a tribute.

But I guess it’s difficult to keep the crooks straight …


And welcome!



I started reading Josh in 2003, when I discovered blogs. I sometimes can’t believe that TPM is still here and that I’m still here, too. hahahahahaha


Thank you Josh and team. I read TPM several times a day, love the original stories, curation, and commentary. The Hive is my go-to community if I want to understand something better or just vent. Looking forward to the next 20 years!


My gosh, time has flown. I first started reading TPM in 2003. I don’t remember what led me to the site but I remember the post was about the invasion of Iraq and how Rummy was sweet talking how great everything was going. That seems like eons ago and also yesterday at the same time.

I had a distinct connection to Josh’s writing, and an instant connection to how he framed topics, arguments, and current events. Soon TPM became a daily read for me. I am positive there is not one single editor’s post that I have not read. A few years later I learned, from Josh, that his mother grew up in a town a few miles down the road from me in southern Illinois. His uncle still makes the rounds and is quite well-known in the business/political community of this region. It’s truly a small world but that little piece of knowledge always made me feel even closer to the site.

It’s quite remarkable what has been accomplished here. Josh has steered a steady ship with even better things in the future. That I would be writing this comment today reminiscing about something that has meant so much to me and his loyal readers-- while enjoying a Joe Biden victory-- is astounding in so many ways.


I got hooked by Josh and stayed for the team he assembled. David Kurtz, Tierney Sneed, Zoë Richards, Nicole Lafond, Kate Riga, Matt Shuham, Summer Concepcion, Cristina Cabrera, John Light, David Taintor all keep me informed and sane when I need to get a handle on all of it. You people are my daily read. Thank you.


I started reading the TPM blog 2002-2003. I remember when he introduced Steve Clemons’ Washington Note blog; I was Steve’s very first comment. Introducing Elizabeth Warren during the bankruptcy b.s. made me a long time fan of hers as well. don’t post much but I read as often as I can. I’m always happy to see successful TPM alumni, as well. Congratulations TPM family!!


This is great stuff! I’ve been reading since the beginning. I was a politically obsessed sports writer in Alabama scouring the Internet for something more than I had been getting regarding the 2000 recount. I’ve been reading ever since through two career changes and so much else. A couple of things I haven’t seen in the comments I think are worth mentioning: first, the coverage of the Bush administration’s effort to privatize Social Security was I believe a functional precursor to the iterative model that came into further notoriety later. The effort of basically just Josh and average readers to get virtually every member of Congress on record about the Bush plan is just phenomenal in retrospect. I don’t know if something like that could even happen today. Second, the evolution of the site from an Ed Blog with a few satellite accessories to a fully integrated news operation has been exciting to see. I’m so proud to see TPM alums doing great things in journalism and I truly believe the group now is the best TPM has ever had (hire Eric Kleefield back though!). I’ve emailed privately before to push TPM to actively recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive team. I’m happy for the progress made in that respect and looking forward to more. What a great site! Congratulations Josh and team! Here’s to the next 20 years!


I starting reading TPM when I saw Josh’s interview with Bill Moyers on PBS. Later I became a memeber. The blog is my first read each night.


I first found Josh through his Washington Monthly long form pieces. I don’t remember exactly when. Was this pre-TPM or was he doing both at the same time. What I loved most was how Josh talked about his training as a historian of Early America, and what that historian’s perspective brought to his political analysis. Over the years I have stayed for the pun competitions in the comments.


I started reading this blog early on but was a regular reader by 2003, when I had an academic/historical/political blog that actually had a similar number of readers that I retired later that same year. I got burned out by blogging at that point in my career so kudos to Josh for keeping it up although this site is not really a blog anymore and stopped being one fairly soon after 2004 or so.

I kept coming back and became a subscriber a while back. When I want analysis and reporting, this site is great. Josh’s writing, as we all know, can be a bit tortured at times but the insights are there and I appreciate the hard work.

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Your readership aligns very much with mine. I still don’t comment a lot, but I read every day. And I read the comments! Always tons of smart people bringing more perspectives.


Took me until retired to have the time to really read the Hive and then longer for first post. Welcome.