Media people

Original Wonkette blogger wants you to know she's a Christian

ana-marie-cox-typepad.jpgAna Marie Cox, who caught some wind in the early days of blogging as Wonkette the saucy sarcastic Washington politics blogger, has a new post up at Daily Beast explaining why she is going public with her Christian faith: "I’m not scared that non-believers will make me feel like an outcast. I’m scared that Christians will." She says the only part of her life where being a practicing Christian feels "volatile" is in her professional life as a journalist and writer. She writes for the Guardian US and GQ as well as the Daily Beast, and has written for many other publications since stepping down from Wonkette. "In my personal life, my faith is not something I struggle with or something I take particular pride in," she says. "It is just part of who I am."

The only time I’ve ever felt uncomfortable talking about my faith is when it comes up in conversation with colleagues.

It does come up: Since leaving Washington, I have made my life over and I am happier, freer, and healthier in body and spirit and apparently it shows. When people ask me, “What changed?” or, “How did you do it?” or, sometimes, with nervous humor, “Tell me your secret!” I have a litany of concrete lifestyle changes I can give them—simply leaving Washington is near the top of the list—but the honest answer would be this: I try, every day, to give my will and my life over to God. I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.

The last time I tried giving that answer was in the Fox News green room and it stopped conversation as surely as a fart, and generated the same kind of throat-clearing discomfort.

Conservatives might pounce on my closeted Christianity as evidence of a liberal media aversion to God. After all, my day job is all about expressing my opinions and beliefs—some of them unpopular. In my private life, and very cautiously on social media, the people close to me can see evidence of my affiliation. Tweeting out prayers and quotes from Scripture still feels subversive. But until now, I have avoided publicly aligning myself with one of the most popular beliefs in the world.

In her Wonkette identity, Cox infused coverage of Washington politics with a little sarcasm, humor and sex that went over well at the time. A 2004 New York Times Magazine piece on politics bloggers found Cox the most interesting.

Cox has peachy cream skin and eyes of a very bright blue, strawberry blond hair and a filthy mind; she likes to analyze our nation's leaders in their most private, ah, parts. She has been talking this way all her life. Until January, no one listened. She's the daughter of a six-foot-tall blond Scandinavian goddess and one of the bright young men who worked under Robert McNamara in the Pentagon. Her parents split when she was 12, and she was shuttled between them, and like most kids who grow up that way, she made an anthropological study of what's cool….

She dropped out of a Ph.D. program in history at the University of California at Berkeley and found happiness for a few years at, a snarky social-commentary Web site from the first Internet heyday. She tried freelancing after that, and then spent five frustrating years being fired from or leaving one job after another, such well-meaning, highbrow institutions as Mother Jones, The American Prospect and The Chronicle of Higher Education…

''The Wonkette is like me after a few margaritas,'' she said.

Wonkette was originally part of the Nick Denton empire at Gawker and, like its LA cousin site Defamer, the blogger was anonymous. Cox went public in 2004 . Since Cox gave up the Wonkette game in 2006, the old brand name has gone through several blog editors (male and female.) The site is currently owned by Rebecca Schoenkopf, the former editor of LA CityBeat who used to write for the OC Weekly and blog under the banner of Commie Girl.

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