June 07, 2006


Andrew Sullivan has invented a new genre, and a new word for it: podfisking.

Or rather, I think, he re-invented both the genre and the word. A Google search for {podfisking} this morning returned no documents, but a search for {podfisk} turned up the basis for a prior claim by Jeff Jarvis.

On 3/7/2005, Jarvis posted "More podcast play" at BuzzMachine:

I've played with another podcast response: This brief (five-minute) 'cast takes quotes from Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein's interview with Brooke Gladstone on On the Media . It was a good interview but I couldn't resist adding my own answers to Adelstein's answers. I'm not so sure this one works; hear what you think.

I wish this is what the opposition party would do to, say, the State of the Union speech. Rather than that cardboard response the Democrats gave to the last SOTU, how much better it would be if they gave Bush an audio fisking: Respond to his stands, point-by-point, back-and-forth in a podfisk!

Whoever invented it, I think it's a terrific idea. However, it's a bad sign that there's apparently been no follow-up over the 15 months since Jarvis made his suggestion.

And given the total lack of interest that greeted my nomination of "fisking" for ADS Word of the Year in 2004, you might be inclined to discount my enthusiasms for new forms of virtual debate, whether in text or in audio form.

In any case, as the Wikipedia entry for fisking explains, Sullivan provided the first example of the fisking process, back in December of 2001, and either invented the term or co-invented it. So perhaps his intervention will be successful this time again: {fisking} now has 858,000 Google hits (even more than {"Language Log"} :-).

Posted by Mark Liberman at June 7, 2006 10:00 AM