It appears that the TPMCafe site has been taken down from the web?

    Trying to go to its url ( now automatically redirects you to the the Talking Points Memo home page (

    Did anyone notice a public announcement that this was going to happen? Just curious.

    I tried a few keyword searches on Google that would normally turn up lots of posts from TPMCafe's archive pages, and those seemed to be gone, too, overwritten.. (I.E.: It used to be that if you put Rosenberg Israel TPMCafe into Google, you would get back a lot of links to his posts there. Now, you get none at all.)

    It was always the case that the archive was a mess with things stored out of order and wily nily and a lot of missing stuff and bad links, but much of it was still there and reachable via Google if you could conjure up the right search words. Now it really seems hidden from/lost to public access.

    I did happen to notice that when Josh Marshall referred to one of his own old TPMCafe posts this May 11, he used a "Wayback Machine" link to it:

    (I wrote more about this several years ago.)

    (The url he used there is:

    but I thought that was just a case of the site's own archive being unreliable when going back that far (August 2005.)

    (One thing I could still find via Google, though I wasn't looking for it was his solicitation for donations to start up TPMCafe, hah--I think that was in 2004 or early 2005)


    Hey destor: it's a hoot that you are the first commenter on that 2005 post of Josh's that he referenced via Wayback, and your avatar was captured as well.

    (In it Josh was disagreeing with a controversial post Nathan Newman did on citizenship, I remember that debate because Josh hardly ever participated like that, didn't publicly react to his columnists, but what Nathan said really irked him enough to do a counter post; unfortunately Nathan's original is no longer available.)

    Has it been that long?  Seven years of Flair blogging?

    Josh decided to opt out of his attempt to foster intelligent discussion among his most loyal and oldest readers.  Josh made a business decision, and I cannot fault him for that. I just wish that he had been up front about it.   He never was.

    So now there's not a single female presence there.  I actually rarely read TPM, anyway.  if it's linked somewhere else, maybe, but I confess I haven't gone seeking them out to see what's going on there for ages.

    I visited it a while back and found dissenting views were not welcome and comments contrary to the crowd, were deleted.

    TPM became a Mutual Admiration Society for the myopic.

    One sided trash. 

    To decide to deactivate a section of your website is one thing, to remove all evidence that it ever existed is quite another. The latter is an especially curious decision for a historian to make.

    It really has been erased from any public access. Google no longer has any evidence of any of it, it's not just a case that the links are no good but there are hardly any references left to the content on Google, they have disappeared. (And the cross links on the TPM site are no longer good, here for example is Josh pointing to Genghis' Blowing Smoke book club, where Josh's link now takes you to the TPM home page .)

    So any writers that accepted his invitation to publish there can no longer point to their articles as being published there. Those on other sites who kindly, in the tradition of giving traffic to the original publisher, didn't cut and paste entire articles but just put a link or a snippet, now have archived pieces that are useless.

    Kind of ironic that when he himself wanted to cite something he wrote for TPMCafe, he had to go to the Wayback Machine to show it to his readers. Makes me ruminate that the future of journalism may be that the prestigious jobs will be the ones where the content you write for them is maintained and accessible, at minimum for a fee. And that important and successful writers will want to self-publish, not trusting any other websites.

    On the other hand, for people like politicians, no more worrying about people digging up something you wrote for some political website a few years back and using it against you ( I have new respect for Kos keeping his huge and unwieldy archive accessible to things like Senator Barack Obama's response to disgruntled netizens with all its comments) can depend on the Josh Marshall types to erase it all often. Same with others who might be embarassed by what they wrote there for other reasons. (Thimk for the day: what is the reason people object to book burning?wink)

    I just wish that he had been up front about it.   He never was.

    Yeah, I know what you're saying; me, I always got an impression of very careful language being used on site issues, i.e. "plausible deniability." If you tried to get him to clarify, and he deigned to respond, he would start sounding like a White House press secretary. (And if you asked too many uncomfortable questions, like me, you might find yourself not be able to log in any more all of a sudden.devil ) Very proprietary about it and somewhat secretive. I recall him appearing to promise in a discussion on the end of reader blogs, that the TPMCafe site and all the posts on it "weren't going anywhere"--the catch: he didn't say for how long.  Definitely along the lines of a model of journalism more as a business and of personal ownership and direction than the model of free and open internet exchange or community or crowd wisdom or similar. (But at the same time disowning some of the responsibilities that come along with the earlier model.)

    I found my several of my posts by googling my user name and just TPM.  Here's a link to my very first post at the Cafe.

    Thought maybe it could be used as a jumping off point but links from it just go to one place.


    Hmm! It appears you can get some Reader Blogs through Google, but just not as easily as before, Google is catching one or two posts and you can get to other posts by the member through the menu at the top

    But all of the main columnists, people like Jim Sleeper or Reed Hundt or Tod Gitlin or MJRosenberg (or a guest post, by say Brad DeLong or Grover Norquist, ) what they wrote seems gone. When a TPM editor happened to point to them, like here, from the TPM Editor's page, that still gets caught by Google, but the article itself is inaccessible from within TPM and no longer comes up on Google.

    Ummm.  Maybe Sleeper or one of the others could say where they are.  I would try Sleeper or Rosenberg since both readily engaged with commenters . 

    Oh, look what I just found when I looked for Sleeper.  It was updated as recently as this past Friday.

    Unfortunately the links to old TPMCafe articles do not work.

    I picked it up a while ago because I have several places in my current stuff where I linked to old comments or whatnot from the cafe. maybe 6 weeks ago or so I noticed that they were all ending up at the frontpage of tpm.

    What an unfortunate decision.  I wrote to them during their redesign about TPMCafe and they wrote back saying that the cafe would eventually be reincorporated into the new TPM, but that was back when the Cafe was still active but not linked to from their homepage.  Now, I think they've abandoned it without fanfare.

    To me, the reader blogs were always the heart of it (even though they came later and were eliminated first).  The community of commenters at TPM now, such as it is after Josh moved to a Facebook-based commenting system, seems to me to be vastly changed.  Most of the people I used to interact with there are now here, avatars and handles intact.  Thanks to Genghis, we lost nothing.

    But... yeah, I think Josh missed an opportunity to nurture a lot of talent.  Heck, Genghis is on his second book contract and Dag is a thriving little corner of the Internet, perhaps not as prominent as TPM, but far more meaningful to me and deep with substance.

    We all lost a lot with TPM.  One must choose between business acumen and honesty...  The move to Facebook was a monetary decision -no more no less.  Damned  honor!

    I wouldn't care if he was a crook - he stopped doing anything to nurture the place, make bloggers feel welcome, just had this very narrow bland opinion page, and provided his own bland analysis. And software that was always going to be re-done some day, one day, that they seemed to not be able to get the simplest things out of.

    Early on, TPMMuckraker had some very good pieces, but once we hit the elections the place became an election headquarters and after that had no purpose. And he'd damaged his brand for being able to impartially deal with news. (Greg Sargent's short-lived blog & departure was one of the low-points: one of these bizarre threads left hanging)

    I suspect that he's not even really accomplishing what he says he wants to accomplish.  If you got all of your news from TPM and came to the conclusion that Romney is on the ropes and Obama's wrapped this up, it'd be forgivable.  But it's really not great for Obama for his supporters to think that.

    I sometimes wonder if after, what, at least 11 years of working what must be 90 or 100 hour weeks, Josh is just emotionally exhausted/burned out at this point.  Maybe some extended true downtime (after the election?) would help him recharge if he in fact would benefit from that, and perhaps enable him to give some dedicated thought to what he wants to do going forward.

    Which may very well be more of the same.  The Democratic party needs its warriors just as the Republicans need theirs and perhaps that's what he wants to continue to do.  Josh is certainly well able to grasp nuance and complexity.  But he might think the part of the political spectrum he favors has a surplus of that--what he might consider a luxury (thus, policy-talk, at least among ordinary folks who want to talk about policy, is seen as spinach or broccoli or maybe even navel gazing from his point of view)--when a group of people with some more or less common goals are in such a marginal situation to get favorable policy results and has trouble at times collaborating and also compromising where he thinks they need to to be able to to advance towards their goals.  

    Or--a different, edgier and more pejorative way of putting it, perhaps--lots of talkers or thinkers, not so many, or not enough, doers.  Or maybe he doesn't find the quality of the kinds of discussions we engage in particularly high, original, impactful, or enjoyable (leaving aside the incivility issue).  

    All of this is speculation on my part, based on nothing more than observation over a period of years, essentially none of it since I started writing occasionally here.  For when I think of Josh I think of Churchill's characterization of the former Soviet Union--that, at least when it comes to his MO if not so much on where he comes out on the big public policy and political questions, he is a bit of a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. 

    I realize some here are not necessarily inclined to feel kindly towards him (to understate the case), or even wish him well given the difficult history and I certainly understand that.  


    I definitely feel kindly towards him.  But, I'm confused, in much the way you describe.  It's amazing that he turned a blog into an actual media enterprise.  He has employed some very good journalists and he's made an impact.

    Still... TPM seems unfocused to me.  I went there today and got... George Zimmerman trial news?  Meanwhile, I think he's missed major stories.  Not a word in the euro crisis, for example.  But we do get, "GOP In A Pickle On Obamacare," which just seems like wishful thinking to me.

    Then there's the issue of Josh's opinions.  The guy's just not a radical.  That's okay.  Not everybody has to be.  But, he's very middle of the road compared to your average dag user or former TPMCafer.  He's not the kind of guy who is going to get angry at the president over telecom immunity or drone strikes.

    He also, yes, sees his mission as one of helping out the team through honest advocacy journalism.  I think the advocacy has undermined some of its inherent usefulness and tht TPM seems sometimes afraid to speak truth to power when it sees its side is in power.  Jon Stewart will go places where Josh Marshall won't.

    Again, all of that's fine.  But it's left TPM a little bland for my tastes.  As for the new commenting software and new commenters -- they seem very process oriented, very election focused and very partisan in a kind of mainstream way.  There also doesn't seem to be much depth of conversation -- there's not a lot of back and forth.

    Ah, well.  The world is certainly a better place with TPM in it and I hope Josh accomplishes what he wants to accomplish.  What happened is, over time, he kind of grew less relevant to me.  The same thing happened with Sting.


    I have no gripe with Josh. I've seen a lot of sites I liked go down in flames. Sometime moderation works, but it is a tough balancing act, and is a lot of work. I would have preferred that he keep the Cafe' going, controlled the trolls, etc. but as I wasn't paying him anything I don't really have much room to complain. I enjoyed it while it was there.

    I agree with Donal here. Josh gave us platforms on the Cafe, for free, and without that I would not have met the Dagbloggers or come to Dag. So I'm grateful to him for that.

    He was also patient with a forum that had, at times, a whole lotta trolling going on. His patience wasn't inexhaustible, but it lasted a long time. And he deserves credit for that.

    Often "trolling" gets redefined to "that I don't believe in".

    Overall, there was much more creative writing at TPM, and much harder pursuit of ideas. Overall, more similar minds drifted here, and it's just a subset of the discussion.

    Also, the steam peaked with 2008 elections - hard to do that over. And yeah, Josh blew it by making it Election Central, so after the election, couldn't go back to actually focusing on issues as they'd all turned into campaign fodder.

    It wasn't about "moderating" - Josh had a specific mode, thought he was going to make money, thought lining up behind Obama made sense (say buh-bye Greg Sargent!), thought could run a paper without the Cafe rabble, and then it disintegrated.

    So here we are - play on!

    In an unrelated google search, just came across a good old (2006)  TPMCafe long-term news discussion thread I started there, fully intact on the internet tubes, at its original url yet:

    Muslim Women Don't See Themselves as Oppressed, Survey Finds
    June 8, 2006, 11:53AM

    Don't know what it means, whether stuff from TPMCafe is being put back on the web, or it's just a fluke; don't have time to check right now, maybe later. Just wanted to note the url see if it helps figure out what's going on.

    Note to Emma Zahn: you're on it, along with other old fun names like irishkg, Devon, viviane....

    That was one of my better comments.  Thanks for the link and TPMCafe archive update.

    Meta news: another round to begin in the eternal comments BETA (as has become traditional, timed for a major election?):

    New Commenting System
    By Josh Marshall, September 7, 2012, 4:38 PM, TPM Editor’s Blog

    As I noted last week, TPM will soon be replacing Facebook comments with new commenting system which will allow users to login via [....]

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