Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who is Taylor Marsh? An update for the bio... A tall tale, part two...

If you missed the bio of Taylor Marsh, the self-professed "talk radio" host, Huffington Post blogger, successful polisite operator and crazed hack for Hillary Clinton, you can read it here.

Here's an update relating to the LA Weekly portion of the tall tale. Marsh claims to have written for the Weekly, but also admitted that her columns appeared with the word ADVERTISEMENT on top of them. That's not what one generally does with their paid columnists, of course. We knew that much already.

I'm still not sure why Taylor Marsh stories were considered advertising, but I have some interesting additional background about her "experience" with the LA Weekly.

A reader emailed me a few links to websites that date back to the Taylor Marsh era at the paper. Apparently, Ms. Marsh worked for, which was an "adult" and/or "personals" site operated by the free alt weekly. I'm wondering if the journalistic experience Taylor Marsh had at the paper was actually writing materials for LALoveseat. Just an idea, but it matches up with an iHollywood Forum update that describes Marsh like this:

Taylor Marsh, former editor-in-chief of Danni's Hard Drive, a popular adult site that brings in $6 million a year in revenue, now a featured columnist on LA Weekly's

Interestingly, if you search the LA Weekly archives for other articles under the name Taylor Marsh, you get nothing.

LALoveseat had detractors, which isn't a big surprise. Anything involving boobies, butts and genitals has detractors. Let it be know that John Brown is not an anti-porn crusader and that Marsh's experience in porn as an employee at Danni's Hard Drive and elsewhere shouldn't be held against her. If anything, I'm sneakily pro-porn.

One may, however, question if that time with the adult site really qualifies as relevant experience for hackery, er, political punditry.

Anyway, now that the disclaimer is out there, here's how one dude characterized LALoveseat in a letter to the paper by someone named Bill Cody:

I long ago mourned the death of the progressive media in this country, but whenever I think I’ve finally found the subbasement and cannot possibly go any lower, you folks at the Weekly/Village Voice find another hidden stairwell.

“LALOVESEAT.COM,” the ad screams. “Adult Services — massage — escorts — dancers — clubs.” Why not tell it like it is? The Weekly is now pimping for prostitutes. I know none of you oh-so-talented writer types want to get day jobs, but really, how low can you go? ... You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I'm not arguing that LALoveseat was porn based on that letter, though. I'm making the assumption that we're talking about relatively "blue" material on the fact that Taylor Marsh took the time to appear with a collection of other porn website operators in the aforementioned panel discussion.

All we really know about her comments at the discussion are that she didn't mention whether LALoveseat (a free site that probably sought to generate revenue via advertising) was profitable and that she thought porn studios could do a better job with their sites via increased interactivity. According to Taylor Marsh:

When you go to an adult site, you get to see people. With other sites, too often you feel like there is too much facade and no human interaction...Movie studios in particular are underutilizing the Internet...If I was the head of a studio, I would have all my hot, young stars online doing chats. Fan clubs are tremendously valuable on the Web.

Her observations about interactivity and websites makes sense, by the way, on a general level. It also seems to be one of the reasons her current site attracts a large group of regulars. It may seem weird to think about the pro-Hillary, Reagan Democrat member of a lunch-bucket family talking about getting young and hot talent to chat with porn fans to increase sales, though.

I'd be happy to judge Ms. Marsh's efforts purely on the quality of her analysis and writing. If I did that, I'd come down on the side of "just another not-so-bright person with typing skills". However, Marsh consistently reminds the world of her "qualifications" in hopes of advancing her agenda and station in the world of punditry. The more we dig into that admittedly well-spun background... Well... I think she'd be better off without the tall tale backstory.



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  1. Well, this certainly explains Taylor's...vigorous..defense of Clinton's 'misleading' statements about her qualifications. Heh. great work!

  2. From No Quarter

    Air America’s Randi Rhodes Suspended: We Did It! [Updated x2]
    By SusanUnPCcloseAuthor: SusanUnPC Name:
    April 3, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    UPDATE: Let’s contact Air America Radio and tell its top brass that we want Taylor Marsh to replace Randi Rhodes. Taylor tells it like it is, but she has class and dignity. She also has a wicked sense of humor and the lively style needed for AM radio. Taylor would be perfect! Let them know!

    Do you remember the video we posted on April 1 — in which Randi Rhodes called both Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton “whores”? The YouTube that our video whiz C.S. created from an ordinarily non-transferrable source, and posted at YouTube? (It’s below the fold for those who missed it.)

    C.S.’s YouTube video went “viral” (writers posted it all over the blogosphere!) — and now Randi Rhodes has been suspended from Air America Radio. Here’s Air America’s official statement:

  3. anonymous-

    let's NOT do that, ok.

    yours truly,
    john brown

  4. That anonymous comment is why killfiles were invented.

    Meanwhile: Holy. Crap. I knew vanity press existed, but I had no idea that vanity radio existed. But yes, it would make perfect sense that she'd use it.

  5. thanks for doing this research and for a great blog. this is great stuff!!

  6. Hey, I can explain about the "advertisement" thing - I used to work for a small, local, indy paper, and occasionally we'd get people wanting to publish their angry rants against someone else in town, or to publish the news that they'd won an award, or some other opinion that we'd never print in a million years, much less pay *them* to print, and so if they REALLY wanted to get it into print, they had to cough up the cash for the space, just like any other customer buying ad space, and we would print "ADVERTISMENT" over each column so that readers would know this was not actual [Name Redacted] newspaper content, and carried no stamp of approval from our editors or publishers.

    (This was also the case with "advertorial" stuff from businesses who WANTED it to look like a genuine newspaper article, and complained sometimes about the fact that we wouldn't let them use our house typefaces and exact font size, or make the word ADVERTISEMENT reeeeeelly small so that people couldn't see it very easily...)

    In one case we had to consult a lawyer and send it back for some revisions, because we would STILL have been liable for libel, it was that inflammatory. But otherwise we just published them, but with the ADVERTISMENT headers.

  7. The problem with your pieces, John, is you are so intent on discrediting Taylor Marsh as a Clinton "hack" because she is a Clinton "hack" that I don't see the level of research being poured into Barack Obama's background or critiquing Obama "hacks."

    That in a nutshell is your problem. It's all about helping Obama by wasting time going after a fellow blogger.

    I pretty much figured she wasn't what she claimed to be; I'd never heard of her until the last couple of years, and she was claiming she had expertise in areas that I knew she didn't.

    Marsh or Marshall or whoever she is isn't tied officially to the Clinton campaign, so this whole piece is rather deceptive. You don't help Obama, who himself is a fraud, with this kind of nonsense. In fact, I think there might be a touch of envy because you don't have the talent to market yourself.

  8. Taylor Marsh is a citizen-journalist just like yourself. I find her analysis interesting and timely. Her take on the political environment is excellent -- much better, I might add, than the shoddy reporting of Markos (the Clinton darkened a picture of Obama!). Her voice is a rare one on the Web, a voice for Hillary, and that explains your hit piece.

  9. As I mentioned on your first post about Marsh, you might want to check out what she has to say.

    I honestly don't get your point. She's a blogger, which means she is basically a nobody like you or me who just happens to get more notoriety. So does Atrios, so does Kos, so does Kevin Drum. I don't consider any of them to be any experts on anything. They are just posting their opinions.

    And thank God for the blogosphere for that.

  10. Susan,

    Do Atrios, Drum, or Kos claim to be something they aren't? That's kind of the point of these posts. Rather puzzling that so many Marsh followers don't get it. It's almost as if her audience is largely composed of profoundly stupid people.

  11. Joshua has this right.

    I'm not saying anyone should ignore Taylor Marsh because she used to work for a boobie site or because she paid to get on the radio or because she had to go out of pocket to get her book in print.

    My point is that no one should listen to her or take her seriously BECAUSE she claims to be a radio host, author, etc.

    My issue is with her attempt to build ethos and credibility via the telling of tall tales.

    I think we should all do our things and be judged based on the merit and quality of our arguments.

    What I don't like is people pretending to be important geniuses who are actually just spinning little trivialities to gullible people.

    John Brown
    Impossible to Understand

  12. Taylor Marsh is a fraud. Read Nixonland and understand she is doing the work of the GOP.