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Greg Sargent bio

Let me admit at the outset that my first foray into journalism -- as a reporter at a small Manhattan weekly in the 1990s -- wasn't terribly auspicious. My editor, Jan Hodenfield, had a disconcerting habit of glaring at me and growling, "I thought you were good," before throwing my copy (in those days people mostly did journalism on paper) across the room. But he was a terrific editor, and his rather aggressive insistence on perfection forced me to learn quickly. He's probably one of the key reasons I'm still plying the trade today.

From there it was on to The New York Observer, where I had the privilege of being edited by a brilliant editor, Peter Kaplan, and a truly great writer, historian and book author Terry Golway. Then it was on to New York magazine, where I wrote a political column for a year until a change at the top in 2004 put an end to all that. Parting ways with that column wasn't fun, but it turned out to be a good thing, because it prompted a life-changing detour into blogging.

In the wake of the 2004 elections, I grew intrigued with what bloggers were doing to challenge the political narratives being developed by the traditional news orgs. The conventions of political reporting at these organizations seemed to me to have grown inadequate to the task of explaining what was really happening in American politics. The bloggers, while obviously not without flaws, sometimes seemed to be telling the story more accurately than professional reporters were. Having left New York mag's staff, I had a fair amount of time on my hands, so I started fumbling around with links and otherwise trying my hand at blogging on the Web site of the American Prospect. Soon after, Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall got in touch and asked me to come run one of his sites.

The two years I spent doing whatever I could to help Josh implement his truly unique journalistic vision amounted to an absolutely terrific experience. It afforded me a chance to cover my first Presidential election -- which, as luck would have it, turned out to be the most thrilling and historic campaign in decades. Now that I'm here at this new Washington Post company Website, I'm excited to have a chance to experiment with the blog idiom in a more traditional journalistic setting.

Blogging is grueling work, and I probably couldn't have gotten through the campaign without the support -- and tolerance -- of my wife, Rachel Waugh. She and I live in Connecticut with our son, Robbie. Something tells me she'll find her patience tested again sooner rather than later.

By Greg Sargent  |  January 15, 2009; 11:54 AM ET
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