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Home > People

TFT Meets... Bill Scher

Bill Scher is the Executive Editor of LiberalOasis.com - one of America's finest political blogs, providing daily commentary and strategic advice for American liberals and Democrats.

The site is also credited with being the first weblog to interview a presidential candidate. A better reason to visit it every single day, we can't imagine.

When he's not blogging, Bill is also a weekly guest on Air America's "The Majority Report," hosted by Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder.

As huge fans of Liberal Oasis, and ever-eager to reduce the degrees of separation between ourselves and Janeane Garofalo we tracked Bill down and threw him some questions. To his credit, he attached some answers and threw them right back...

9 July 2004

> How did Liberal Oasis start?

Very suddenly. In large part, it was because I thought that LiberalOasis would be a good name for a website and then, when I found out the domain name was actually available, that I better grab it and do something with it.


> Air America's Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder are big fans of L.O and frequently use blogs and bloggers to support their arguments. Are they pioneers - or are bloggers beginning to set the US news agenda?

Janeane and Sam are true pioneers in melding blogs with radio, and they are pretty much alone in using blogs to interact with their audience in real time. In talk radio, only a few people can get through on the phone during each show, but anyone can comment on Majority Report's blog and have their views heard by the show's hosts, producers and fellow listeners.

But it would be a big overstatement to say blogs are setting the US news agenda. We have our moments influencing the news, but the media remains far more influenced by Establishment types and poll numbers.


> Tell us the one fact everyone should know about George W Bush.

According to a New York Times report, he had food tasters at his inaugural lunch in 2001 ensure that his mushrooms were not cooked in wine. That's not a step you take if you simply gave up drinking because it was time to grow up. You only do that if you're an alcoholic who can't go near the stuff.


> And another one?

His ranch in Crawford is enviro-friendly. It recycles waste water and rain runoff, and uses a geothermal heating system. It's hard to comprehend the mind of someone who can understand the benefits of environmentalism, yet privately mocks environmentalists as "green green lima beans," and does nothing as president to improve the environment of his nation and the world.


> Was John Edwards the right choice?

He certainly was "a" right choice (as opposed to "the" right choice) for Kerry. Rank-and-file Democrats of all stripes like him, there's none of the self-defeating grousing that Dems are all too prone to do. And The US media treats him better than most Democrats (at least so far), so more passive news consumers are getting a very good first impression.

I don't necessarily think it's good choice for Edwards and his political future. Everyone knows he has the best campaign skills of anyone, even Bill Clinton. What he doesn't have is a deep record, and that's what held him back in the primaries. Landing a post like Attorney General would have allowed him to build a more substantive record of accomplishments. Some VPs become president, but many more find the second banana stigma tough to shake.


> What do you think of Matt Drudge?

He's nothing more than a gossip.


> Which politician would you most like to punch hard in the face?

Colin Powell. He knows Bush's policies are wrong, yet he allows himself to be used to sell those policies to the nation and the world. I can't think of anything more despicable.

On the other hand, Powell would probably kick my ass. Tom DeLay would be easier to take.


> Which famous person - alive or dead, contemporary or historical - would have made the best blogger?

I suppose I should say something erudite like Dorothy Parker, Benjamin Franklin or W.E.B. DuBois. But what I really think is Bill Hicks.


> Tell us something true about one of your neighbours.

I live in Brooklyn. I don't talk to my neighbours.


> When did America start pronouncing herbs as 'erbs, and will a Kerry-Edwards administration change that?

1868, the 'Great H Purge' I believe it was called. I don't think Kerry and Edwards will be able to agree on much when it comes to pronunciation.


> What is the most patriotic thing you've ever done?

I pay my taxes and I vote.


> And, finally, have you ever been to Peru?

No, but I've been to the Dan Quayle Museum in Huntington, Indiana, which was very much like entering another country.


To read more from Bill every day, visit...


And to reduce your own Garofalo degrees of separation, visit...


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