Blogs and Beagles by Russ
March 22, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Russ

I was lucky enough to be assigned Jim Brady as my alumni mentor. He’s one of the SOC’s most accomplished alums – until very recently, the executive editor of Washington Post Newsweek Interactive. In fact, it was the day after I was notified he’d be my mentor that he announced he was leaving the Post.

AU SOC alum Jim Bradys pet beagle, Fred. (credit: Joan Brady/

AU SOC alum Jim Brady's pet beagle, Fred. (credit: Joan Brady/

I can’t tell you what he’s planning to do next, but I can tell you what he’s doing now – driving cross-country with his wife Joan and two beagles, Fred and Hank.

They did something similar in 2003, and Jim sent emails to a circle of friends that grew larger and larger as they drove. This time, he started a blog – Fred and Hank Mark America – and it’s grown bigger and bigger.

It may be the antithesis of David Johnson’s suggestion to keep these as brief as possible, but it’s very effective – Jim started as a sportswriter at the Post and he evidently has not lost any of his writing skills. I’ve never found the deep South this fascinating.

I know I’ve talked with several of my classmates of our general disdain for the bubble-gum flavored blogs that are all puppy-dogs and smiley faces, but in this case I’m pretty sure that’s half of the blog’s charm. Cute pictures of beagles have also helped build his following: the original political blogger Andrew Sullivan apparently has a soft-spot for beagles, calling Jim’s blog “Beagle Crack.

To be fair, the blog is so much more than cute dog pics – it’s a travelblogue and great record of where our country is today.

So I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about bubblegum, blogs and puppy dogs.

Cross-posted at Blog/19 and AmericanObserved.


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