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Talking Points Memo (or TPM) is a web-based political journalism organization created and run by Josh Marshall. It debuted on November 12, 2000. It covers a wide range of topics including U.S. foreign policy, domestic politics (especially at the federal level) and domestic policy. By 2007, TPM received an average 400,000 page views every weekday.


During George W. Bush's first term, the blog frequently discussed foreign policy and was especially critical of administration policy towards Iraqmarker and North Koreamarker. After the 2004 election, posts began to focus on the Bush administration's proposal to privatize Social Security. In addition to criticizing the substance of the proposals, Marshall argued that a unified front in the Democratic Party would deny Republicans political cover and force a loss for them on the Social Security issue.
A screenshot of TPM's old format
Talking Points Memo closely tracked the positions of members of Congress on the issue throughout 2005. It asked readers to monitor local media for comments from their own members of congress, and public categories were created for politicians on this issue: wavering Democrats were the "Faint-hearted Faction" and Republicans who doubted the President's plan were the "Conscience Caucus." Marshall also coined the term "Bamboozlepalooza", in reference to President Bush's 60-day (it was extended) tour promoting social security privatization. Other terms that Marshall has coined while criticizing the Bush administration include "Up-is-downism" and "Mumbojumbocrats."

Guest bloggers have included Matthew Yglesias, Robert Reich, Dean Baker, Michael Crowley, and, briefly, Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards. Beginning in the summer of 2006, many weekend postings were provided by anonymous blogger DK. On November 11, 2006, DK was revealed to be lawyer David Kurtz, who now openly posts under his name. The blog also employs a managing editor and two interns.

On July 10, 2007, the site had a major overhaul, adding much content from its related sites to the main page. It is part of the effort to have more original reporting on the website.

In 2007, TPM won a Polk Award for its coverage of the US Attorney Scandal, becoming the only blog to win the award.

Related projects

A "spin-off" blog also created by Josh Marshall is a companion website called TPMCafe, which debuted on 2005-05-31. This site features a collection of blogs about a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues written by academics, journalists and former public officials among others.

Marshall expanded his operation to a new blog, called TPMmuckraker, where journalists working for the TPM collective, such as Paul Kiel and Justin Rood, investigate political corruption. In January 2007, the Horse's Mouth, a blog authored by Greg Sargent with a remit to cover how Washington politics was covered by the major news outlets, moved home from The American Prospect to the TPM Media family. Sargent had begun writing for TPMCafe in July 2006.

The four blogs (Talking Points Memo, TPMCafe, TPMMuckraker and Horses Mouth) are published by TPM Media LLC.



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