A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 13, 2012
Gang of 500

ABC News published a weekday morning news summary called The Note beginning January 14, 2002. Mark Halperin  founded The Note and coined the term “Gang of 500”—politicians, lobbyists, consultants, and journalists who shape Washington, DC’s political agenda. The term “Gang of 500” was used in 2004 and is still used, even though the Internet and Twitter have expanded the influence of many more people into politics.
Wikipedia: The Note (ABC News)
The Note is a summary and analysis of political news stories and trends published every weekday morning by ABCNews.com.
Begun as an internal staff e-mail by then Political Director Mark Halperin, it was first published on January 14, 2002.
The Note often employs jargon that may be incomprehensible to outsiders. Examples of this jargon include:
. The Gang of 500 refers to political insiders and journalists who influence the daily media narrative in US politics. About ten percent of the Gang of 500 is made up of political journalists. The term was coined by Mark Halperin as “campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits, and journalists who make up the modern-day political establishment”. They are “the 500 people whose decisions matter to the political news and campaign narrative we get from the major media”.
Democratic Underground
Yikes, The Note slams Dean on MTP yesterday, they defend Kerry
Mon Feb-02-04 09:28 AM
2. Now that the http://www.trippi spell is broken, we can say it loudly and clearly: Dr. Dean’s performance on “Meet” yesterday was, by Gang of 500 standards, even WORSE than the historically bad one he had on the show right before he formally announced his candidacy last year: contradictory, petulant, non-responsive, small, and unpresidential (or so thought the Gang&.).
The Note—ABC News
By Mark Halperin, Marc Ambinder, David Chalian, Anne Chiappetta, Karen Travers (@karentravers) , Nick Schifrin (@nickschifrin) , Jan Simmonds, Teddy Davis, with Taylor Peck
W A S H I N G T O N, May 11, 2004
There are two kinds of people in America: those with a direct role to play in the prison abuse scandal and those without one.
Most Note readers are in the first group, but for the 61 of you who aren’t, here’s a handy guide to what we are all doing:
Gang of 500: Taking one glancing look at the new Gallup numbers and issuing a collective swoon, “THE PRISON ABUSE SCANDAL IS HURTING THE PRESIDENT’S POLL NUMBERS!!!! THE PRISON ABUSE SCANDAL IS HURTING THE PRESIDENT’S POLL NUMBERS!!!!”
The Note—ABC News
By Mark Halperin, Marc Ambinder, David Chalian, Anne Chiappetta, Brooke Brower, Karen Travers (@karentravers) , Teddy Davis, Nicholas Schifrin, Jan Simmonds, and Alexandra Avnet w/T.Peck
W A S H I N G T O N, May 24, 2004
While ordinary Americans are putting the finishing touches on their summer vacations and looking under the sofa cushions for extra pennies for gas money, the Gang of 500 — the crème de la crème of the Chattering Class — is busy asking each other questions.
PressThink by Jay Rosen
SEPTEMBER 14, 2004
Stark Message for the Legacy Media
Journalists find before them, with 50 days left, a campaign overtaken by Vietnam, by character issues, attacks, and fights about the basic legitimacy of various actors—including the press itself, including Dan Rather. It’s been a dark week. And the big arrow is pointing backwards.

ABC’s The Note, which I find essential these days, has its own term for them: the Gang of 500. That would be the 500 people whose decisions matter to the political news and campaign narrative we get from the major media. The Note writes a lot about this group, of which it is a self-conscious part.
At this precise time every four years, the most media-savvy members of the Gang of 500 begin to think about their roles in the premiere post-election forum that revisits the actions and players of the presidential race.
New York (NY) Times
IDEAS & TRENDS; The Peculiar Power of the Chattering Class
Published: April 2, 2006
Another term of art for the chattering classes these days is ‘‘the Gang of 500,’’ a term coined in ‘‘The Note,’’ the ABC News daily online political memo edited by the news division’s political director, Mark Halperin.

Mr. Halperin routinely predicts what the ‘‘Gang of 500’’ will say about a certain topic, thereby setting the ‘‘chatter agenda’’ in Washington for the week.
The gang, he said, consists of members of Congress, lawyers, lobbyists, reporters and administration officials, in addition to those who appear on television and post their views on the Internet as he does.
Washington Monthly / By Eric Boehlert
Where D.C. Pundits Get Their Placebo Politics
All of Washington’s political reporters read ABC’s news brief, The Note. That’s why they keep missing the story.

July 23, 2006
Taking the lead in trumpeting the importance of the Rosen trial was ABC’s The Note. An inside-baseball daily tip sheet for a readership it has dubbed the “Gang of 500” (politicians, lobbyists, consultants, and journalists who help shape the Beltway’s public agenda), The Note is posted online every weekday morning and is widely viewed as the agenda-setter for the political class
Google Books
Safire’s Political Dictionary
By William Safire
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Pg. 112:
The chattering classes are also known as the Gang of 500, a term coined by Mark Halperin, political director of ABC News and founder of its website’s daily political tip sheet, “The Note.” Explaining his editorial approach, Halperin told The New Yorker in 2004: “We try to channel what the chattering class is chattering about, and to capture the sensibility, ethos and rituals of the Gang of 500, which still largely sets the political agenda for the country.”
Mike the Mad Biologist
The Gang of 500 Mediocrities (Our National Political Press Corps)
Posted by Mike on July 29, 2008
Recently, I finished Pretty Vacant which describes the origins of the British punk scene. At one point, the author describes one of the first punk-ish shows ever, and how, even though there were only about 65 people in the audience (a crappy black box hole), those 65 people would go on to have a tremendous influence in music, art, and politics*. They definitely punched above their weight.
Well, our national political press is the antithesis of that basement audience–a point I’ve made, oh, once or twice before. The ‘Gang of 500′ is one of the greatest collections of mediocrities going (…rarely in the course of human history have so many accomplished so little…).
Social media may knock conventions off-script
August 24, 2012|By Micah Sifry, Special to CNN
Twitter, in particular, will be the wild card in Tampa and Charlotte. During the last round of conventions in 2008, when the communications service was barely 2 years old, Twitter was not yet the darling of the journo-political complex. Now, the “chattering class” has become the tweeting class.
Now, instead of the “Gang of 500” political journalists celebrated by Time and MSNBC commentator Mark Halperin as the ultimate Beltway insiders, we have the gaggle of 5,000 who all follow the candidates and each other, engaging in daily sniping via hashtag. Now, no gaffe goes unreported.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Thursday, September 13, 2012 • Permalink

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