Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nine Minutes in Seven Thousand Words

By John Ballard

So you need something to read on a Sunday afternoon?

How about a detailed description of what happened during the minutes following the Supreme Court's release of the Individual Mandate decision?

SCOTUS blog writer Tom Goldstein started with nine thousand words but they were able to whittle it down to seven.

...It's really long - our second longest post ever, at 7000 words. (Take solace in the fact that the first version was 9650 words, for just the first two minutes.) And special thanks go out to our terrific Manager, Kali Borkoski, for her tireless work in compiling a spreadsheet that tracks most of these events (and many hundreds more that didn't make the final cut) second-by-second.

Not since Dewey Defeats Truman has journalism had such a moment. This quickly corrected mistake will be one of the benchmarks in the history of reporting. Here's a snip.

The Supreme Court will not grant SCOTUSblog a press credential. Lyle Denniston is the only member of our team permitted in the press area; he has a press credential because of his reporting for WBUR in Boston. There are six other members of our team nearby, running nine computers on eight separate Internet connections.

Our problem at the moment is that someone is trying to crash the blog. At 10:00 exactly, hackers are launching a "distributed denial of service" with 1,000 page views per second to try and bring us down. It does not work; our tremendous Deputy Manager Max Mallory has spent months augmenting our capacity, and the hackers give up after a few minutes. We do not know how many readers are on the Live Blog for the opinion announcement; our data at the time indicates it is rapidly approaching one million. During the day, we will receive 5.3 million hits (more than ten times our all-time daily high) from 1.7 million unique readers.

Here is a glimpse of Lyle Dennison, 81 years old.

But Denniston, who has covered the Supreme Court for 54 years for various newspapers and now for SCOTUSblog, was charmingly unaware of his fan club in an interview with Yahoo News last week:

Yahoo News: Did you know that a group of reporters was trying to get your name to trend on Twitter today?

Lyle Denniston: They were trying to do what?

YN: They were writing "team Lyle" on Twitter to get your name to show up on the site as most talked about.

LD: Oh really? Well I'm an old guy so I don't understand that kind of thing. I guess it's positive, right?

YN: Yes, definitely.

LD: Ok, that's good.

Denniston is a sober voice of reason and depth in a sometimes untrustworthy and superficial world of Supreme Court reporting, when short-timers (like myself!) descend for a few big-ticket cases and then flit away again. But what's earned Denniston even more fandom than his encyclopedic knowledge of the Supreme Court docket is how quickly and generously he shares what he knows on SCOTUSblog. Many reporters who don't personally go to the Supreme Court press room to await paper copies of decisions rely on Denniston to be the first to report the outcome, and to post the actual decision online. Denniston says he enjoys this collaborative approach, rather than jealously guarding the news.

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