What do you do?
Matt Bai is a political reporter and staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, Bai graduated from Tufts in 1990 and received a Masters from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1994. Bai began his reporting career at the Boston Globe's metro desk; he spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek before coming to the Times in 2002. Bai has covered all sorts of national news: everything from the Columbine shootings to John Glenn's last space voyage to Mike Bloomberg's mayoral campaign. In recent years, Bai has focused primarily on intra-Democratic Party politics. He is the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, an analysis of the progressive movement. Bai's work has also appeared in both the 2005 and 2006 editions of The Best American Political Writing. Matt covered the 2008 presidential race for the New York Times Magazine.
Matt Bai: I don’t. I don’t ever describe what I do for a living, so I have to think about it. What I do for a living would shock people. No I, you know . . . Look I try to explain in great depth and detail what’s happening in American politics at any given moment. And over the longer sweep which is really, you know, different from what we do in the magazine world and the feature magazine world which is different from newspapers, you know in a very . . . accessing the sweep of history. I try to explain to people what’s going on in politics. And not just to explain it to them and to demystify it, but to engage them in it; and to make it relevant for them and to draw them into it, because I think that’s an important part of what I do too.
Recorded on: 12/13/07
Explaining politics is different than engaging people in it.
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