Here's another reason Rick Santorum is wrong about college: When you go to school, you meet other people who have gone to school, and then later you can call them and interview them for blogs or whatever's left when they're suddenly in the news for doing something awesome.
That's what happened today when my fellow USC Specialized Journalism alum Rebecca Schoenkopf graduated from Commie Girl to full-on Wonkette. Schoenkopf -- an L.A. journalist, columnist, editirix, funny person, and advocate for the burning down of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art -- managed this by doing the one thing anyone who wants a job in journalism should: Purchasing an existing journal.
How does a California Commie Girl take over a D.C.-centric political blog? Here's our chat, with none of the swears and just a bit of the gossip cut out:
Your first couple of Wonkette posts sound like you in conversation with a drink in your hand.
That's one of the things I'm so thrilled about. Since I've been unemployed for three years, when I've been writing I've been trying to tone it down and moderate it, so I don't scare off any management jobs, and I'm not good at it. I kind of talk like Wonkette. I think Ken Layne's style has rubbed off on me a lot over the years -- we sort of have an enmeshed writing style as it is. Plus, I was doing my Commie Girl column for six years before Wonkette started, and when Wonkette started I was actually kind of jealous: Why aren't I Wonkette? I've been doing nasty political gossip and dick jokes already in Orange County!
Ken Layne's style seems to have rubbed off on the entire Internet.
But Wonkette is still better at it.
We've gotten to the point where some sites have eras and legacies. At this point, what do you see as Wonkette's legacy?
I like her. I would like it to be a little less cynical than it has been, especially during the Occupy era, the Obama-is-a-war-criminal era. There were some posts I would read and just say, "Oh, honey. It's not that bad."
This might be a more amused than disgusted Wonkette era.
A little jollier, perhaps. There will still be outrage. My natural writing style is kind of shrieky, so to fit the Wonkette style I'll have to be more detached. There will be a few more columns. Right now we have the Michelle Obama FLOTUS column, which I love, and I'll write my own Commie Girl column, which is my first-person experience of stuff.
You'll be doing a fair amount of posting?
I have to.
As in the site needs you, or you can't resist?
So, you bought it and are now in charge. Was this a big taking-out loans kind of thing or what people used to call a "gentleman's purchase"?
It started last Saturday, at my birthday party, when I got an e-mail from Ken Layne. There are contracts and such, and the terms are confidential, but I can tell you that he certainly was a gentleman.
As much as when you two went on that date years ago?
What happened was we had a really great date, and then I invited him to be my date to my birthday party the next night, and he stood me up. Then I called him something like 23 times asking "Where are you?" and I was like, "You stood me up for my own birthday party!" Then we didn't talk for a while.
Wonkette is my twice-a-day check-in sight, and God knows there are few of those left.
I know. I used to check Americablog seven times a day, and I haven't been there in two years. You get sick of a site and never go back to it, or it has a little change, like when Americablog went all gay all the time.
Is it still a D.C. blog?
It's a politics blog. There was a Jerry Brown post today, but a lot of the politics is done in D.C., that's for certain. Still, I'll be doing it from Los Angeles for the immediate future.
You have a knack for getting into trouble, and Wonkette does, too, most recently with that Sarah Palin baby joke. Are you going to be getting in trouble?
I'm not going to be getting in trouble legally. I have a fine understanding of libel law. Will I be getting in trouble with the guardians of decency and good taste? Yes, I will.
You once interned at MAD, right?
It was lovely. They were total gentlemen, the editors. Your payment for having interned is they draw a "Lighter Side" strip of you, like you star in a cartoon, like "The Lighter Side of the Office." They drew me, and they stuck some giant fucking boobs on that girl.
Dave Berg did it?
Yeah! And other than the boobs, it didn't look like me at all.
Do you still want LACMA to burn?
Of course I do. LACMA! LACMA's the worst.