When Ben first came up with the idea for the “What is The Daily Banter?” series, it seemed like a golden opportunity to wax rhapsodic about what this site means to me, and the first thing that came to mind was “The Daily Banter is Freedom.” I get to write pretty much whatever I want to write, and enjoy extraordinary freedom when it comes to employing a variety of writing styles, from clean, newsy reportage to blistering satire, to utter self-indulgence. For me, this website has always differed because it proceeds under the assumption that no matter what we write about, what we write will be good, because we are about good writing first.
There are only two problems with that, the first being that it only takes one medium paragraph to say that, and the other being that the subset of people that gives a shit how good The Daily Banter is for me is incredibly small. The real question is, what’s it to you? As a relative newcomer here, I have the unique perspective of an insider who’s still something of an outsider. I work here, but I also still look st the site as a consumer, too, and as it happens, the same things that sold me on The Banter (as the kids like to call it) are what pull me in as a reader. In fact, it is that inside outsider perspective that I believe attracts me to the site, and the site to me.
The core writing team here have all been, to some degree, on the inside of the news media machine. Ben was a sports journalist, Chez worked at CNN, Bob was something of a media renaissance man, writing for big online outlets and directing the odd music video. I’ve been covering politics as a reporter and commentator for seven years now, five of them in the White House, and helped to build one of the most influential media sites in the country. Yet all of us, to one degree or another, are or were misfits on the inside of that world, outsiders even when we’re on the inside.
That’s what comes through in the writing, and that’s what I think makes this a great place for you to be. Having that outsider’s view, while still being inside enough to have truly informed opinions, makes The Daily Banter a sort of Rosetta Stone between the political and media inside and the rest of the world. More than that, though, it makes The Banter the one thing it needs to be in this media landscape: interesting. I never thought I would work at a liberal-leaning website that I would disagree with so frequently, but I’ve also never spent more time reading one than I do now. And when I do agree, like when Bob grills up some cajun-style Snowden, it’s with a piece that says it better than I could have.
In the end, as much as The Daily Banter is your way inside, it’s also our way out. I can’t speak for the other guys, but having a place to get it all out, to speak my mind, whatever it is, is a gift. Our unique view of the world, from a special place and through unusual minds, is what we give back.