Talking Points Memo

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Talking Points Memo
Talking Points Memo screenshot.jpg
Main page of Talking Points Memo
as of August 2010
Type of site
Political blog, news, discussion forum
Available inEnglish
OwnerJosh Marshall
Created byJosh Marshall
EditorJosh Marshall
CommercialSubscription and advertising supported
RegistrationFor discussion forum
LaunchedNovember 12, 2000; 20 years ago (2000-11-12)
Current statusActive

Talking Points Memo (or TPM) is a political news and opinion website created and run by Josh Marshall that debuted on November 12, 2000. The name is a reference to the memo (short list) consisting of the issues (points) discussed by one's side in a debate or used to support a position taken on an issue.[1] By 2007, TPM received an average of 400,000 page views every weekday.[2]


Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols describe the site as taking a "more raucous and sensational" tone than traditional news media. This includes coining phrases such as "Bamboozlepalooza" to describe George W. Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security, which the blog opposed. McChesney and Nichols compare this to the muckraking of Upton Sinclair. The more social aspects of the site, which invite crowdsourcing, were compared to La Follette's Weekly.[3]

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 attorney David Kurtz, who now posts openly under his name.

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 2006 U.S. Attorneys scandal, becoming the only blog so far to win the award.[4]

Related projects[edit]

  • TPMCafe - a "spin-off" blog also created by Josh Marshall, is a companion website that debuted on May 31, 2005. 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.
  • TPMmuckraker - a new blog that was founded when Marshall expanded his operation where journalists working for the TPM collective, such as Paul Kiel and Justin Rood, investigate political corruption.
  • TPMDC - founded in January 2007, the Horse's Mouth, is a blog authored by Greg Sargent with a remit to cover how Washington politics was covered by the major news outlets, that moved home from The American Prospect to the TPM Media family.[5] Sargent had begun writing for TPMCafe in July 2006. In 2008, Sargent stopped posting to the Horse's Mouth blog and began posting to a new blog called TPM Election Central, which focused on covering the 2008 elections. In 2009, TPM Election Central was renamed TPMDC, to cover politics from Washington, D.C., and Marshall hired journalists based in Washington to report for the blog.
  • TPMLiveWire - is a spin-off established in September 2009.
  • TPMIdea Lab - is a blog established in January 2011 to cover science and technology.
  • TPMPollTracker - is an aggregator of various polls about incumbents taken by polling agencies.
  • TPMPrime - is a paid members-only section offering long form articles, and interactive discussions with journalists and political figures.[6]

The four blogs (Talking Points Memo, TPMCafe, TPMMuckraker, and TPMDC) are published by TPM Media LLC.[7]


  1. ^ See "talking point"
  2. ^ Glenn, David (September–October 2007). "The (Josh) Marshall Plan". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved September 8, 2007.
  3. ^ McChesney, Robert W.; Nichols, John (2010). The Death and Life of American Journalism. PublicAffairs. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-56858-700-4.
  4. ^ "A Web-only news operation gets its due", The New York Times, 24 February 2008
  5. ^ The American Prospect[dead link]
  6. ^ "TPMPrime". TPMPrime. Retrieved 2012-10-08.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "TPMmuckraker". TPMmuckraker. Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2010-08-13.

External links[edit]