The Los Angeles Times launched its California Politics website and blog today, four days after it was promised. There are links to today's LAT stories out of Sacramento, video of campaign ads, a feature comparing the fundraising of Schwarzenegger and Angelides, and a call for politics junkies to email the site with thoughts about the campaigns. Political Muscle, the blog by Sacramento reporter Robert Salladay, announces itself this way:
Can the MSM run a political blog? It seems contradictory to the spirit of blogging — autonomous, independent, often pedantic and fiercely opinionated. But I see Political Muscle as a tool to bring readers the remarkable world of California politics outside the physical boundaries of the printed newspaper.
Because this is a political blog, readers will look for bias in every post. I can tell you my bias right now: a good story. I can relate to Republicans, Greens, libertarians and Democrats alike. I was raised by a hippie mother and dragged to communes as a young boy. I spent the weekends with my Republican father, a strait-laced engineer. I am a member of the fastest-growing political party in California: independent.
Look for a variety of posts here: short news analysis, scenes from the campaign trail, snippets of audio, funny items, good catches from other blogs and newspapers, fact-checking on ads and speeches, and live blogging from debates and big events.
My job will be as a reporter — to find news. I may get fussy once in awhile, but the site will strive to remain fair. It will be a journey — with heavy emphasis on Schwarzenegger and Angelides for the next two months — through California's uncommon political world.
The blog's first post is about a "drop dead" email Salladay received after his story last week disclosing the tape where Gov. Schwarzenegger disparaged Republican legislators and practiced his amateur race-ology. (The blog's teaser on the main Cal Politics page may not show on some monitors — it didn't at first on my browser where the Flash player is balky.)