So that’s how Ben Smith does it

Politico’s Ben Smith has done some outstanding blogging during this election year, and is a daily hourly read when I’m paying attention to the campaign.   What amazes me is that he’s capable of generating new information even during down times of a campaign — i.e., late Friday night.  Over at The New Republic, Julia Joffe ...

Politico's Ben Smith has done some outstanding blogging during this election year, and is a daily hourly read when I'm paying attention to the campaign.   What amazes me is that he's capable of generating new information even during down times of a campaign -- i.e., late Friday night.  Over at The New Republic, Julia Joffe writes this year's version of Tim Crouse's The Boys on The Bus chapter about the campaign's effects on reporters covering it.  It includes this nugget into how Smith does it: 

"It's so built into my system, that it's going to be hard to stop," says Politico's Ben Smith. Smith, who started blogging about New York politics in 2005, is now seriously addicted to the pace and metabolism--a word many invoked to describe the election's rhythms--of the blogger's life. He finds himself especially energized by the intensity of his readers who, by 4 a.m. have posted dozens of comments to a 3 a.m. post and who are now some of Smith's best sources, sending him scoops and stories and snapshots of a far-roaming campaign. His family, however, is eagerly looking forward to November 5th. Smith's wife repeatedly threatens to flush his Blackberry down the toilet; his kids, jealous of his "running conversation" with his readers, regularly squirrel away the device in the off chance they find it unattended. But Smith can't bring himself to stop. Recently, he returned at 2 a.m. from a fishing trip and "couldn't not plug in after being off the grid for an entire day." He stayed up blogging and answering emails until 6 a.m.

 

Politico’s Ben Smith has done some outstanding blogging during this election year, and is a daily hourly read when I’m paying attention to the campaign.   What amazes me is that he’s capable of generating new information even during down times of a campaign — i.e., late Friday night.  Over at The New Republic, Julia Joffe writes this year’s version of Tim Crouse’s The Boys on The Bus chapter about the campaign’s effects on reporters covering it.  It includes this nugget into how Smith does it: 

“It’s so built into my system, that it’s going to be hard to stop,” says Politico‘s Ben Smith. Smith, who started blogging about New York politics in 2005, is now seriously addicted to the pace and metabolism–a word many invoked to describe the election’s rhythms–of the blogger’s life. He finds himself especially energized by the intensity of his readers who, by 4 a.m. have posted dozens of comments to a 3 a.m. post and who are now some of Smith’s best sources, sending him scoops and stories and snapshots of a far-roaming campaign. His family, however, is eagerly looking forward to November 5th. Smith’s wife repeatedly threatens to flush his Blackberry down the toilet; his kids, jealous of his “running conversation” with his readers, regularly squirrel away the device in the off chance they find it unattended. But Smith can’t bring himself to stop. Recently, he returned at 2 a.m. from a fishing trip and “couldn’t not plug in after being off the grid for an entire day.” He stayed up blogging and answering emails until 6 a.m.

 

“It’s really pathological,” he conceded.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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