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Roger L. Simon

What Happened to My Pajamas?

October 25th, 2011 - 1:58 am

Today PJ Media sheds its pajamas and officially becomes PJ Media.

Actually, we have had a couple of names before this. The first one — OSM — was a fiasco.

I can’t recall the exact moment after we launched in November 2005 I learned that there already was an OSM (Open Source Media), but I certainly remember how I felt — I needed this like the proverbial hole in the head.

After about six months of deliberation, Glenn Reynolds, Charles Johnson, Nina Yablok, Ed Driscoll, Steve Green, Richard Fernandez, Sandra Rozanski, myself and the rest of the gang involved in the formation of the blog media company we had always called — among ourselves — PJ Media had decided upon the more “professional” name of OSM for our public debut.

And that is the name we announced at our snazzy (in retrospect a bit too snazzy) launch party at New York’s ‘W’ Hotel — only to find out that it was already taken by a tiny Internet radio show called “Open Source.”

Straight out of the box, our fragile startup company were the bullies on the block. We were ridiculed across the Internet — for a while appearing as number one on Technorati as a symbol of that humiliation — and many were predicting our demise in a year or less. I even began to believe it myself.

But within a week we returned to our roots as PJ Media, a name derived from an attack by CBS News exec Jon Klein on Blogosphere critics of then-CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who were insisting Bush National Guard papers Rather promulgated on the network were forgeries. Said Klein: “You couldn’t have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances at 60 Minutes and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas.”

Oh, really? Well, Rather was soon out of a job and the guys and gals in their living rooms became PJ Media — and we’re still here a half-dozen years later.

The Open Source misnaming was perhaps our lowest point, but we have had our share of further setbacks, notably when we had to disband our blog network because the business model wasn’t working.

But we have had our share of successes too, among them our unique on location reporting of the first democratic elections in Iraq, our early and extensive coverage of the Tea Party movement, the expansion into PJTV with our original brand of video “digitorials” from Bill Whittle, Andrew Klavan, and others, pioneering coverage of the Climategate revelations and the dubious activities of the United Nations surrounding Durbans II and III, and, most recently, the media-leading expose of malfeasance in the U.S. Department of Justice by whistleblower Christian Adams.

We have had numerous well-known figures from the political world, the punditocracy, and the entertainment community contributing to our sites. We have been linked everywhere from Real Clear Politics to the Drudge Report.

As our traffic has risen consistently, so has the level of writing and reporting. Some have even told me our lineup of XpressBloggers (as of today “PJ Columnists”) — from the remarkable Victor Davis Hanson to the mysterious Zombie — compares favorably with the oped writers at the New York Times. (Well, maybe that’s damning with faint praise.) Today we are stronger than ever with Aaron Hanscom guiding the PJM side and Chad Mann at PJTV. The new Tatler and Lifestyle blogs are thriving. PJ Media has been among the highest-ranking conservative/center-right media websites on Alexa for several years. We are now close to the top.

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