By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 0 Comments
On the occasion of the year’s end, a short note of thanks.
Thanks to all the readers, commenters, aggregators, bloggers, tweeters, retweeters, peers, fans and critics who have been part of this blog’s last 12 months. Five years after this blog began, the pageview total for 2012 will be about four times the total for 2008. This year set another annual record—surpassing last year’s mark—with six new monthly records contained therein.
I am incredibly humbled. It is a pleasure and an honour to write about what I write about for a living and it is a gift to be read.
And on that note, I’m talking some time off. There’ll be a few things here between today and December 31 to mark the end of 2012. Regular programming for 2013 will resume on January 7.
My best to you and yours.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM - 0 Comments
A couple developments here at Macleans.ca.
First, our political coverage now has a new home at Macleans.ca/politics. We’ll be building that homepage up in the weeks and months ahead.
Second, we’ve started streaming Question Period on the website each day. It too is a work in progress, but all progress is good progress.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
As part of our expanding coverage of federal politics, we’ve added a couple features to Macleans.ca: a daily review of the political talk shows and a weekly look at the week ahead. We’re also planning more video and audio coverage to come.
We’re also pleased to have Stephen Gordon contributing his economic and policy analysis to Econowatch.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 12:10 PM - 0 Comments
The fifteen most-read sketches for 2011.
1. Mourning Jack, August 24
2. Rise up, April 16
3. The daring Mr. Harper, April 26
4. The tiny, perfect Conservative, December 8
5. That’s enough, December 14
6. On the passing of a politician, August 22
7. The last night, May 3
8. Uncontrollable democracy, March 23
9. Who’s laughing now?, March 21
10. Grumpy old men, November 24
11. John Baird will not be distracted by your democracy, March 10
12. Take your pick, April 12
13. Anything is possible, April 30
14. Tragedy of numbers, November 30
15. Tony Clement’s bike racks, streetlights and boulevards, June 9
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
This blog is going to take a break while I finish up a story for the print edition and then luxuriate in two weeks of vacation. And on that note, and with another year now nearly over, I want to say thanks.
This little adventure started four years ago and when the final numbers are sorted out, the pageview total for 2011 will be nearly four times what it was in 2008, our first full year of The Commons and this blog. Indeed, each year has been bigger and better than the previous one and 2011 set another new high for pageviews. This was an incredible year to be where I was and I’m glad and thankful and humbled that so many were here to share it.
Earlier this month, under this post, a regular reader joked that he had finally figured out my agenda—it is a hazard of writing about politics, or really being in any way remotely associated with the business, that one’s agenda will periodically become the subject of speculation. In this case, the reader figured that he’d busted me as a dupe of Big Parliament. I suppose that’s true. I’m not sure that I had any such intent when I got here, but I’ve become very fond of the place. It’s an honour every time I step inside the House of Commons. And no matter how often I’ve come away confused or troubled or tempted to take up smoking, I have tried to remember where I am and what the place stands for. For the sake of maintaining one’s respect it surely helps that you have to wear a jacket and tie to sit in the good seats. And I thank the sergeant-at-arms for consequently compelling me to improve my wardrobe.
I hope that respect been evident. I also hope it’s been clear how fascinating I find it all: the people, the ideas, the theatre, the reality, the things people say and the things people do. At its best, politics is transcendent. At its worst, it still matters. It is all so much wondrous stuff.
So thanks to all the readers, commenters, fans, dissenters, tweeters and mystified onlookers. And thanks to my editors. And thanks, while we’re at it, to my Grandpa Wherry for buying me my first magazine subscription. A toast to 2011 and best wishes for 2012.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 8:50 PM - 1 Comment
Things will be quiet around here for the next few days on account of a short vacation.
In the meantime, some shout outs. The design on the Maclean’s blogs doesn’t allow for a regularly maintained blogroll, so here, in one post, are most of the blogs (minus co-workers and sports blogs) I check with on at least a semi-regular basis. Go read all of them and we’ll meet back here next Wednesday. Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with suggestions for other stuff I should be reading. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 12, 2010 at 3:34 PM - 7 Comments
The sketches that appear here most weekdays when the House is in session have now been neatly filed to appear in one place at this link.
The collection stretches back to the spring of 2008—The Commons claimed a seat in the press gallery in the fall of 2007, but owing to a system change the records are bit less than comprehensive—and presently includes something like 238 vignettes of this time in and around Ottawa. That’s probably something like 200,000 words (I will be wildly satisfied if something near 10% of those words remain worth reading) and I will take this opportunity to thank all who have read any of them.
By Paul Wells - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 10:25 AM - 102 Comments
Gen. Stanley McChrystal will be on a flight home from Kabul today, under orders from President Obama to attend the Wednesday strategy meeting on Afghanistan in person instead of by teleconference. McChrystal is in a spot of hot water over some wildly incautious remarks he and his entourage made to a freelance reporter for Rolling Stone. He probably won’t lose his job over this, but there’s no guarantee of that.
Now here’s the thing. The reporter who got all these excellent quotes (“Biden? Did you say ‘Bite me?’”) is Michael Hastings, a name I wasn’t familiar with. So I googled him and the first thing that caught my eye was a piece called “Hack: Confessions of a Presidential Campaign Reporter,” which he wrote for GQ after pitching in on the Newsweek special election issue. (Ah, the life of a freelancer.) Given the day’s events, it’s pretty much a must-read.
Hastings is blunt about the fun a reporter on short-term assignment can have when he doesn’t have to worry about the repercussions of what he writes. “My job was basically: Ride the buses and planes with the candidates, have big lunches and dinners on the expense account, get sources drunk and singing, then report back the behind-the-scenes story.”