Salon is announcing the opening of a new Washington bureau to be headed by Sidney Blumenthal, the extraordinarily shiny former Clinton aide, ex-Hitchens compatriot, and non-wife-beater. The UK Guardian and that lefty radio mirage will also be involved. Expect the tone to be pugilistic: They're touting an excerpt from "House of Bush, House of Saud," a book "whose explosive contents have been embargoed" and "will expose shocking new details," and they've brought on Edward Jay Epstein, "author of numerous books, from 'Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth' to 'Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer.'" (What, no "Audit: The IRS's Reign of Terror"?)
Tomorrow brings "The New Pentagon Papers," in which a former Pentagon insider provides an "extraordinary" account that will undoubtedly surprise the three or four Salon readers who don't already believe that "neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP . . . suppress[ed] and distort[ed] . . . intelligence analysis [to] promulgate what were in fact falsehoods."
As the left's answer to the Washington Times, Salon is also going to hold a group marriage where subscribers have to pledge fidelity to all of John Kerry's positions on the invasion of Iraq.
Salon To Open New Washington Bureau
Sidney Blumenthal Named Sr. VP for Editorial Development and Bureau Chief
Web Site Announces Alliances with The Guardian of London and Air America Radio Network
March 9, 2004 -- San Francisco -- Salon Media Group, Inc. announced today a series of ambitious editorial initiatives, including the opening of a new Washington D.C. news bureau under the direction of Sidney Blumenthal and new relationships (in principle) with The Guardian of London and the new progressive radio network, Air America.
"The Web has come of age this campaign season as a political news medium, and Salon is well positioned to be a leading player in the election year's round-the-clock news cycle," said Salon editor and founder David Talbot. With three million readers a month and 74,000 paid subscribers, Salon (www.salon.com) is now among the largest independent news organizations in the country.
Sidney Blumenthal said, "The country wants and needs unintimidated news. The Bush administration has put enormous political pressure on the press not to probe its radical policies and their consequences. Salon intends to be fearless." Blumenthal, who was named Senior Vice President for Editorial Development and Washington Bureau Chief by Salon, is a former assistant and senior aide to President Clinton; author of "The Clinton Wars" and five other books; and former staff writer for The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The New Republic. He is also currently a columnist for The Guardian of London.
As part of its expansion, Salon announced that it has agreed in principle to the first trans-Atlantic media content sharing arrangement of its kind with The Guardian of London. Salon and The Guardian are to exchange news stories daily to be posted on each others' Web sites. The Guardian has 8.5 million monthly Web readers, including 2 million in the U.S. Salon also plans to contribute daily to the new progressive radio network, Air America, providing "The Salon Story of the Day," for what promises to be an audience of millions of listeners. Air America will feature programs hosted by Al Franken and other personalities.
As an example of the "unintimidated news" Salon's Washington bureau plans to bring to its readers, the Web site will publish on Wednesday an inside account of how intelligence was twisted in the rush to the Iraq war. The author of the article, "The New Pentagon Papers," is a retired lieutenant colonel, Karen Kwiatkowski, a Near East specialist, formerly assigned to the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon. In her extraordinary 5,500-word-long account, Kwiatkowski writes: "I saw a narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in the Pentagon used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship between policy makers in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies. I witnessed neoconservative agenda bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to the Congress. I observed how the distorted intelligence and sharpened political talking points were funneled to the Office of Vice President Cheney." (The full text of the article appears at the end of this release, below the Salon Media Contacts listing.)
On Thursday, Salon will publish the first of several advance excerpts from "House of Bush, House of Saud," a new book by Craig Unger that explores the relationship between the two dynasties, whose explosive contents have been embargoed. In the first installment, Unger, who has written for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, will expose shocking new details on the flights approved by the Bush White House that carried members of the bin Laden family and other prominent Saudis out of the U.S. to Saudi Arabia after September 11. Salon will publish for the first time the manifest of the passenger list and identify one passenger as a suspected al Qaeda funder who was aware ahead of time of the September 11 attacks.
On Friday, Salon will publish an exclusive report on the Texas investigation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his political operatives that reporter Lou Dubose (co-author of "Shrub" and "Boy Genius") believes may send some of them to prison, shaking up Texan and national politics.
Salon is also adding distinguished writers for its political coverage. Edward Jay Epstein, author of numerous books, from "Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth" to "Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer," will be writing on the September 11 Commission. James K. Galbraith, the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in government-business relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, will become Salon's economics correspondent.
In January, Salon announced a financial and editorial partnership with Rolling Stone. The two publications' first collaboration, "Bush's War on Gay Marriage," appears in the current issue of Rolling Stone.