He moved to Washington D.C. in 2002, where he became an intern. Later he became an associate editor with The New Republic magazine. Initially, Ackerman supported the Iraq War, but later became disillusioned. This saw him drift further to the left.
In 2004, he consequently started a blog on The New Republic website which he called Iraq'd. This chronicled the dilemma faced by pro-war liberals. He and John B. Judis also wrote an article that initiated the chain of events that led to the Plame affair.
Ackerman, in 2006, was sacked for "insubordination" from TNR according to TNR editor Franklin Foer; although Ackerman describes it as being over "irreconciliable ideological differences". Within a day of his being fired, Ackerman was offered, and accepted a job writing for The American Prospect and Talking Points Memo.
Ackerman, when at the Washington Independent, blogged and reported on national security issues. This he did from the time of the paper's creation in 2008 until 2010, at which point he left for Wired.
Ackerman has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera and BloggingHeads.tv.
Some of Ackerman's personal interests include comic books and hardcore punk music.
In 2009, Ackerman worked on the satirical film In the Loop as a consultant.
The American Prospect
Spencer Ackerman of Wired, FireDogLake, Washington Independent, Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect was an identified member of JournoList - an email group of approximately 400 "progressive" and socialist journalists, academics and "new media" activists.
JournoList members reportedly coordinated their messages in favor of Barack Obama and the Democrats, and against Sarah Palin and the Republican Party. JournoList was founded in 2007 and was closed down in early 2010.
In conversation with Scahill
On May 31, 2013, 7:00pm - 9:00pm Tishman Auditorium, The New School 66 West 12th Street New York, a discussion between investigative journalist and Nation Books author Jeremy Scahill and Spencer Ackerman, a national security reporter and blogger for Wired magazine and incoming national security editor for the Guardian US.
Jeremy Scahill’s debut book Blackwater—about the world’s most secretive and powerful mercenary firm—exposed the dark side of the war on terror and became a New York Times bestseller. For his much anticipated second book, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, Scahill reports from Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. What he uncovers is the most important foreign policy story of our time — the truth about America’s secret wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the US with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture, or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.
Co-sponsors for the event: The Nation, Haymarket Books, Democracy Now, Civic Bakery, Center for Constitutional Rights, and The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University.
- The Wall Street Journal, D.C.'s Young Blogging Elite, Marie Beaudette September 12 2007 (accessed on Sept. 12, 2010)
- http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/135788/commie-camp, Commie Camp’ Documentary Captures Camp Kinderland’s Idealism, and Its Imperfections, By Nona Willis Aronowitz|June 27, 2013]
- The American Prospect website: Masthead (accessed on Nov. 15, 2009)
- Free Republic: JournoList: 151 Names Confirmed (with News Organizations), July 30, 2010 (accessed August 2, 2010)
- [Kurtz, Howard (July 23, 2010). "Getting the message on Journolist's controversial postings". The Washington Post. "Spencer Ackerman, then with the Washington Independent and now at Wired.com, wrote: "If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them – Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares – and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country?""
- & JG NY School of Law, Jeremy Scahill in Conversation with Spencer Ackerman May 31, 2013, 7:00pm - 9:00pm