FACETIME- Going <em>Prospect</em>ing: Bouie leaps into national blogosphere

Jamelle Bouie

If your reading leans to the left, you might be familiar with nationally-known bloggers Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Kate Sheppard who each got started at "Tapped,"  The American Prospect's group blog. Now, University of Virginia graduate Jamelle Bouie hopes to join their ranks via a Prospect fellowship which he began on July 5.

"Having an outlet for my political opinions," says the self-effacing 23-year-old, "means other people around me don't have to hear me rant about anything."

Bouie, started his own blog, The United States of Jamerica (a play on his first name), in 2007 with a mix of personal thoughts on pop culture and politics. But as the 2008 presidential race heated up, his posts got meatier, and he accumulated readers until, he says, "It spiraled out of control."

After getting his degree in Political and Social Thought and Government in 2009, Bouie spent a year at the Miller Center of Public Affairs as an editorial and marketing assistant. And earlier this year, he moved United States of Jamerica to True/Slant, a publishing platform for entrepreneurial journalists that pays a flat fee plus a bonus based on page views.

In recent posts, Bouie has opined that the Democrats' can avoid a November bloodbath, that firebrand libertarian Rand Paul recently suffered an "epic" failure, and that President Obama's response to the BP oil spill is no Bush/Katrina.

In addition to writing for his own site, Bouie has guest-blogged for Matt Yglesias and Spencer Ackerman, among others.

"If you're a decent blogger, people notice you," says Bouie, whose posts at Feministe caught the attention of American Prospect editor Anne Friedman.

"I've been following Jamelle's work for just about as long as he's been blogging," says Friedman, "and I am thrilled that he is joining the staff."

Bouie– though insisting he's a generalist– says a political blogger needs to be able to analyze lots of text, pick out the key points, and recognize the limits of his or her knowledge. "You probably are wrong about something," he says. "You have to know your limits and be willing to stand corrected."

 So what comes next? Bouie, whose opinions rarely admit shades of gray, admits to some uncertainty.

"My options will look wildly different in two years or even a year, so I'm not sure I can make any long-term plans," he says. "I would like to go back to school to get a public policy degree."

While Bouie's knowledge and skills have already taken him far in the volatile and often-acrimonious world of political blogging, he hasn't let success go to head just yet.

"I think it's hilarious that people read me," he says. "I'm just some kid who blogs."



Jamelle, I am so PROUD of you! You inspire me in ways unimaginable, with your simplistic/witty success, intelligence and humility...I am thrilled to know you personally!

Love ya,

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Sean, if you think UVa students are in 'indoctrinated' you are way off.

Do you even know what that word means?

I personally left UVa as conservative as I was when I went in.

Brian K - don't try to confuse Sean with the facts. According to him, you must have spent your time at U.Va. in a coke-addled haze devising new ways to kill puppies.

Adding to Yes: While Casteen personally covered it up from his secret lair.

FYI: The UVA Student body received two emails this week of an armed robbery and reported sexual assault.

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Sean, I don't think Susan could have made it any clearer than she did that she wants no association with you or your "cause," whatever it may be. You obviously have no common sense. Have you no decency at least?

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I love how Sean manages to shift every topic into abortion.

I also love how Sean is frothing at the mouth pretending that no one knows the "truth" about abortion.

Why are you so OCD about UVA again? An institution you have absolutely no connections to? Talk about delusions.

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Oh, and there ARE bloggers in Virginia worth watching. Here is one of our rising stars:


Censorship is the final, desperate gasp of those who cannot adequately defend their own positions - and the tool of last resort for corrupt journalists still hoping in vain to keep people in the dark about things going on in their own community.

The really pathetic part is that they actually still think they are succeeding on some level, and that by their rejection of the first amendment in this little microcosm of cyberspace they can somehow turn their luck around.

I bet the thousand or so unique visitors to our website the last 3 days is well in excess of what The Hook gets in a week.

Keep insulting the Hook, Sean. That will work out real well.

sean, you should look up the "internet arguing techniques". Your last post exhibited about 4 of them.

You claim to have a big platform? Why do you waste your time here, then?

The only one acting pathetically is you.

Well, at least Sean hasn't gotten to Godwin's Law on this thread yet. Got to be a plus.