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Antidote to the Liberal Monotone: Blogging
April 4, 2002 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Antidote to the Liberal Monotone: Blogging After reading MetaFilter for a while, I would assume that blogging ticks off all people, left and right, equally. Does exposure like this on a major Op-Ed page show that blogging is on the verge of becoming something big?
posted by dewelch (49 comments total)

 
Blogging is already something big. I don't agree with the author's thesis that only conservative folk have blogs though. She seems only interested in stuff written by people who are already established print journalists. Most of the blogs I find interesting are liberal in slant. And the vast majority of all blogs are non-political.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:47 AM on April 4, 2002


I so wish this were an ironic article, or anything other than the standard 'OMG BLOGS' stuff which is making the rounds. But it's not. Whee, more promotion for Sullivan, Reynolds, and Lileks.
There is no liberal monotone. There is no conservative monotone, for that matter. It always amuses the hell out of me that people complain about the liberal or corporate media, and they're all talking about the same media.
posted by darukaru at 11:47 AM on April 4, 2002


My gawd, what a silly newspaper op-ed column by Norah Vincent. Setting up strawman after strawman to knock down so she can make a political point in a newspaper op-ed column. Complaining in a newspaper op-ed column that newspaper op-ed columns never air conservative opinions such as hers. Implying in a newspaper op-ed column that every blogger out there is a conservative who skillfully filets liberal blather, and that there are no liberal bloggers. Did I mention that this paen to blogs, which heaps so much scorn on "liberal" newspaper op-ed sections, is a newspaper op-ed column? And that she says in this op-ed column that op-ed sections silence conservatives such as her?
posted by Holden at 11:49 AM on April 4, 2002


Antidote to the Right-wing Monotone: Blogging

By Notah OriginalIdea

The Internet is irritating the conservative establishment.

There's a simple, predictable reason for this: It's awash in uncontrolled speech and unedited squibs of the haphazard kind that people might just prefer to the pigeonholed blurbiage of mainstream cable news shows, radio talk shows, and the WSJ's Op-Ed pages.

Obviously, this could be disastrous for the rights's carefully combed and bowdlerized opus of ideals served up daily on the gray pages of nearly every big-city newspaper in the country. The Internet is a chaos of heterodoxy. It is a place where you can disseminate dangerous notions. And people are doing just that. What people? Well, the vast left-wing fifth column, of course. You remember them? All of repentant Marxist David Horowitz's former friends. They're alive and well on the Web.

Etc.
posted by feckless at 11:52 AM on April 4, 2002


Maybe a certain kind of blogging is. From the article:

There are, of course, blogs of all persuasions on the Net, but the stars of the genre tend to tilt right of center.

I did not know this. Most of the blogs that I read tilt north of interesting and just west of eclectic.

Most blogs are running commentaries on the day's events.

I did not know this either. Most of the blogs that I read are running commentaries on the writers' extraordinary interests.

Readers get the blogger's take on the issues and then can read the relevant news items for themselves.

Why don't any of the weblogs that I read talk about news items? Did I miss a memo?
posted by iceberg273 at 11:52 AM on April 4, 2002


It's a good article. Thanks, dewelch. Norah Vincent is a lesbian right-wing provocateuse, a sort of bizarro Andrew Sullivan, who's good to have around, as she often makes good points or at least acts as a catalyst. A typical sentence: "It's not a good idea for a fetus to be born in America". Her web site, called Penalty Box, is pushy and Coulterish but worth an occasional visit. I applaud the Los Angeles Times, which seems to be getting steadily better, for running the piece.

As far as its influence on blogging I don't believe it'll help get a single sponsor or advertiser. I mean - look at Matt, who runs ultra-successful MetaFilter. He's been written up in dozens of major newspapers and magazines and has it resulted in a single offer? No.

But it's nice, anyway. As usual.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2002


Here's a question: Is Andrew Sullivan's blog still a blog if he will soon allegedly be paid more to write it than he was paid at the National Review? Isn't the site just then a... something else? It's not really been in any of the definitions of blogging, but it seems to me paying the self a salary for the blog puts it into another category.

(And why can't he put in permalinks for each item, not just for each day? Grr.)

Sorry, back on topic: Vincent's quote thinktank unquote from which he decries the liberal montone is here. It's really something!

Oh and on preview: what iceberg said too!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:55 AM on April 4, 2002


Oops, forgot to throw in the Norah Vincent link.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:55 AM on April 4, 2002


Doh! She. I knew that! ;)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:56 AM on April 4, 2002


Please. This should be in metatalk, y'know.
posted by raysmj at 12:03 PM on April 4, 2002


“Whee, more promotion for Sullivan, Reynolds, and Lileks.”

“My gawd, what a silly newspaper op-ed column by Norah Vincent. Setting up strawman after strawman to knock down so she can make a political point in a newspaper op-ed column.”

Agreed. Do these columnists even read web writing or do they just read each other? It doesn't seem as if they (Beam, and now Vincent) actually did any original research (such as, heaven forbid, peruse a few other weblogs).

A scan of randomly selected weblogs would probably reveal a wide range of political opinions. Attempts to claim blogging as a "liberal" or a "conservative" activity strike me as pretty damn laughable.

Please. This should be in metatalk, y'know.

[holding tongue] I'll respond to the above comment in MetaTalk....
posted by gohlkus at 12:12 PM on April 4, 2002


Please. This should be in metatalk, y'know.

Er, actually, I won't quibble -- raysmj is right. (Sorry about that last post here, then.)
posted by gohlkus at 12:20 PM on April 4, 2002


As Television and the web have rendered the news aspect of newspapers redundant, the web gives more choices in the op/ed area. It's not a matter of ideology but rather timeliness and variety.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:29 PM on April 4, 2002


here's another puzzler: will the media ever deliver an accurate account of blogging (or anything else for that matter)?
posted by mcsweetie at 12:56 PM on April 4, 2002


The column suffers from what I see as a common and growing problem of using the term 'weblog' increasingly in the wrong manner... more and more reducing the word to refer only to the A-list kind of high-profile daily newsblogger types with journalistic aspirations (as the examples cited in the column) that came to prominence post-September 11th, and snidely downgrading all the other myriad forms the vast majority of weblogs come in by calling them 'diaries' or 'journals' or just ignoring them all together if they don't fit a certain mold. "Blogging" is a method of personal publishing, not a certain kind of 'content'! Some of the links I have on the sidebar of mine are strict newsblogs and investigative analysis, a couple are topic-specific collaborations, many are mixtures of various news links and personal comment, and another bunch are completely personal with nary a news link in sight. But they're all weblogs in their own way.
posted by SenshiNeko at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2002


I like how she's self-proclaimed both "libertarian" and "pro-life." It must be weird being inside her head.
posted by peterme at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2002


"One of the most popular such sites, andrewsullivan.com, written by the eponymous pundit and former New Republic editor, gets about 35,000 hits, or visits, a day."

Two different things. 35,000 hits isn't all that impressive.
posted by risenc at 1:23 PM on April 4, 2002


Oh, it's not a major op-ed page. It's just the LA Times.

(drumroll, punchline)

thankyew thankyew i'll be here all night
posted by shylock at 1:28 PM on April 4, 2002


all the discussions that these articles seem to spawn make the whole phenomenon look dumber and dumber... i liked it better when we all just bitched about kottke, and left the "blog complaints" at that.
posted by lotsofno at 1:32 PM on April 4, 2002


It's pretty clear, and disappointing, that Vincent only sees weblogs through the prism of the few she knows. Yes, there certainly are liberal blogs out there; for a variety of reasons they predominated in the early days. But few of them have achieved the prominence of the latter-day me-zines (which is really an overlapping special category, and perhaps a name that would be acceptable to RJ), and Glenn Reynolds is really something of a phenomenon. Before 9/11 he was just another law professor with a blog, and a few personal/professional connections to people like Virginia Postrel. Now he's as widely read as the much-better-known Sullivan, just on the basis of the dynamic relationships of weblogs. Still, the names with which Vincent is familiar are those that had prior journalism careers and in most cases remain as close to the pinnacle of that profession as one can hope to get without, say, becoming a cable commentator.

There's probably a truth in the idea that liberals aren't as driven to blog because their concerns are well taken care of by the traditional media. Still, this reading overlooks the indymedia circles and other phenonema. Perhaps it has something to do with the financial structure of the progressive media. I don't see any reason why an Eric Alterman couldn't start a weblog and be as widely read as Sullivan in short order. There are people like Michael Moore who are on the web, but they don't participate in the weblog community and their efforts are more wedded to the column format. One new example is Tom Tomorrow, who through grace and level open-mindedness has found acceptance where, say, Ted Rall has dramatically failed -- even though many of their better-known cartoons inhabit roughly the same political space.

So either way it's complicated. There's no conspiracy against lefty bloggers (how could there be?), but the most prominent voices among them aren't people who are separately well known, and the well-known lefty journos aren't blogging (for reasons of their own). Meanwhile some center and center-right voices have definitely joined the fray with vigor and have attracted attention, and Vincent's thesis probably is correct -- they're popular because they challenge the existing orthodoxy.
posted by dhartung at 3:31 PM on April 4, 2002


What orthodoxy? Have your read the editorial pages of most major American newspapers (and by major I don't mean two or three, but 50 or so)? They're filled with mostly conservative columnists. Molly Ivins or someone will be the token liberal, with Maureen Dowd filling in as liberal too, even though she's basically a society columnist with a political bent and a purse full of snappy pop culture references and one-sentence paragraphs. Is the Wall Street Journal editorial page also not part of a mainstream publication?
posted by raysmj at 3:46 PM on April 4, 2002


Oh, Ellen Goodman too, who represents what's acceptable as far as a moderate-to-liberal goes. Kinda blah. Anna Quindlen is off the Ellen Goodman assembly line. Maybe Clarence Page. William Raspberry's not a liberal, but a moderate. In any case, what about George Will, Robert Novak, Michael Kelly, Thomas Sowell, Mona Charen, Cal Thomas, etc.? Heck, even David Broder tows a more conservative line these days. Andrew Sullivan doesn't get published in traditional media, even the New York Times, and invited to talk show after talk show? Yikes. He is absolutely the establishment, not some radical challenging existing orthodoxy.
posted by raysmj at 4:11 PM on April 4, 2002


It's pretty clear, and disappointing, that Vincent only sees weblogs through the prism of the few she knows.

I agree, but I think it's also clear that everybody sees weblogs through the prism of the few they know. Weblogs have a serious blind-men-and-the-elephant thing happening. There are so many little blog neighborhoods that are only known to the people in them, and those people think that they are the defining examples of weblogs in general, that it's not surprising that someone marginal like Norah Vincent has the same problem.
posted by rodii at 4:20 PM on April 4, 2002


well said, rodii.
posted by beth at 4:33 PM on April 4, 2002


it would appear that vincent's "research" consisted of reading sullivan's bloggers manifesto and then re-writing it.

in it, sullivan--always a little "reckless with the truth" as my grandfather used to say--all but claims to have invented the form himself; he certainly goes to lengths to imply that weblogs rose up as a response to the september 11 attacks. to be sure, the warblogging community coalesced at that time, but having invoked justin hall (actually a progenitor of the journalling movement, which predates the weblog movement by quite a bit), I'm quite sure he knows that weblogs preceded him by a good 2 or 3 years.

the weblog universe is at least as left-leaning as it is right-leaning; as dhartung points out, the left doesn't include any professional columnists in their ranks. it's also important to note that, while the left tends--like the right--to point only to one another, they do not typically devote 1/2 of their daily space to congratulating each other on their entries, as the warbloggers do. and few of the left-leaning weblogs are devoted exclusively to discussing politics; their interests tend to be much broader than that.

having been pointed into that particular circle, it's easy to see how hard it would be to find your way out. it would be like exploring a gated community--the outside world wouldn't be at all visible from the inside.
posted by rebeccablood at 4:36 PM on April 4, 2002


From the article:

There are, of course, blogs of all persuasions on the Net, but the stars of the genre tend to tilt right of center.

Nope. The so called "stars" mentioned in the article just excel at incestuous hit whoring and have managed to be in the right place at the right time expressing rather mainstream opinions.

Another badly written and clueless article about weblogging by the mainstream media. Hooray!

Someone should point out to the bozo who wrote this article that weblogging has been around a long time before "warblogging".

Does exposure like this on a major Op-Ed page show that blogging is on the verge of becoming something big?

Sorry, afraid not. Only a teeny-tiny fraction of the public even knows what a weblog is. Hey, we're all a bunch of narcissists. I can live with that, but don't think that weblog reading will ever become "mainstream" as far as the general public is concerned.
posted by mark13 at 5:09 PM on April 4, 2002


There's probably a truth in the idea that liberals aren't as driven to blog because their concerns are well taken care of by the traditional media.

Isn't there also another truth? From a report of SXSW:

"1:52 PM: Doc [Searls] asks the audience how many have political opinions that are left of center. Most of the audience raises their hands. He then asks how many people are afraid to talk about it on their weblogs. He mentions that he got a lot of scary email from fundamentalists. He no longer talks about his family on his weblog, out of fear."
"1:57 PM: Meg says that this fear is silencing a lot of people. Doc says that we have to be careful."

It sort of plays into the stereotype of the weak woolly liberal, but don't people preceive a threat from the crowd of Rush Limbaugh people and whatnot, if they talk about things from the side that isn't so aggressive in its attitudes. I know that Guardian writers sometimes talk about how they get a regular stream of hate mail from Americans, which is understandable, but if you're a journalist, you're paid to deal with that...
posted by quirkafleeg at 5:25 PM on April 4, 2002


quirka, I never got hate mail until I started supporting the war, both on my weblog and here at Metafilter. Since then I've gotten a lot.

You figure it out.

Gawd. Afraid of hate mail. No wonder the left has no respect.
posted by dhartung at 6:58 PM on April 4, 2002


There are, of course, blogs of all persuasions on the Net, but the stars of the genre tend to tilt right of center.

I, too, was bugged by this, because like many who've responded I definitely sense a liberal tilt in my own census of the genre.

Methinks, perhaps, conservative bloggers (particularly articulate, marketing-savvy ones) are more likely to be "stars" because they're a minority. I mean, by simple math, their individual audiences will probably be larger because the number of "channels" is smaller.

I mean, if you assume the total audience is split 50/50 left and right, versus the publishers/bloggers... It's possible. My experience was the opposite of dhartung's -- I never got more nastygrams than I did when I criticized the president. And my regular readers know I'm prone to tilt leftward.
posted by pzarquon at 7:17 PM on April 4, 2002


I never got hate mail until I started supporting the war, both on my weblog and here at Metafilter. Since then I've gotten a lot. You figure it out.

I get hate mail every single day because of two left-of-center sites. I think there's a spirit of bipartisanship where anonymous Internet bile is concerned, and anyone who voices an opinion strongly with an e-mail address attached is going to get some.

One thing liberals and conservatives both agree on -- the other side fights dirty while we're too nice to fight back in kind. Sometimes I think partisan politics are the pinnacle of stupidity.
posted by rcade at 7:30 PM on April 4, 2002


Gawd. Afraid of hate mail. No wonder the left has no respect.

Yeah, Doc Searls ought to be ashamed of himself for putting the safety of his family ahead of his political perspective. What a pussy.
posted by jjg at 7:34 PM on April 4, 2002


One thing liberals and conservatives both agree on -- the other side fights dirty while we're too nice to fight back in kind.

Both sides fight dirty, but conservatives are much, much more effective because in the poltiical sphere, they "own" concepts that almost everyone believes in, such as "family."

I can name a lot more liberal blogs than conservative ones. For that matter, I'm not sure I even know any conservatives here in Seattle.
posted by kindall at 9:04 PM on April 4, 2002


I run what I would certainly call a liberal blog (Clinton rules, Bush is a ninny), but many who visit it say I'm a conservative (because I support the war and I'm not a way-leftie) - so I just tell them to look at pictures of my dog and relax.
posted by owillis at 9:19 PM on April 4, 2002


jjg: it's a cop-out to claim that there are few liberal voices out there because of hate mail, no matter how threatening.

Everyone here who's received hate mail, raise their hand.

Everyone here who's received a death threat, raise their hand. Hmm. Not as many.

Everyone who's received a CREDIBLE death threat? Saw a few hands go down.

Everyone who's actually incurred injury to body or property because of their weblog?

Bueller?

Bueller?

To me, this speaks more of knee-jerk assumptions about the people writing that hate mail. Why, they're wingnuts! They must be scary! Of course, there was McVeigh, but Kaczynski wasn't right-wing by half. Even the half of him that was sane.

And rebecca: What an incredibly, apallingly cheap shot from someone who wrote the book on blogging. What, people aren't supposed to get popular? They aren't supposed to link what they like? They don't get to blog the way they like, precursors be damned? Is it really about doing your own thing, or about doing things according to the Rules of the Old Skool? Just stung they never heard of you? And worst of all, if they get readers because, well, the major media sites link to them, they're unfairly slagged by the likes of you for "spending 1/2 of their space to link each other". What kind of guru are you? More like a nanny. For shame. I'm utterly disappointed -- you should be cheering these folks on, and because you don't like their politics, but you'd rather not say that; instead you find niggling little etiquette issues to slag them on, acting Oh So Disappointed in what they've done. It's dishonest. It's wrong.

raysmj: Orthodoxy? Well, six months ago I found the first discussions that concluded that Arafat Would Have To Go. That view is only now starting to percolate to the mainstream media, which has spend most of the interim wringing its hands over the "stalled peace process". Or last night hearing Bob Greene on TV -- this man was shocked, shocked to have learned that Iraq and Saddam Hussein have been paying off Palestinian human bombs' families. Either he's exceptionally clueless (which I'm willing to grant, and international affairs aren't his beat), or the major media simply haven't found reasons to discuss that story very much and the role it might play in influencing what happens. Even if it applies more to your judgement of Saddam than your judgement of suicide bombers, there's no excuse tor the lack of attention paid to this. Third example. Abu Zubaydah, the #3 al Qaeda man we apparently nabbed in Pakistan last week, is closely associated with the planning of the USS Cole bombing, yet for some reason in dozens of stories about the arrests this has hardly ever been mentioned. I'm not going to go find out and enumerate which stories did and which didn't, but readers of half the papers in the country probably still don't know that we have this guy. You really have to just shake your head and wonder what the hell is going on.

I'm not talking just about liberal vs. conservative, either -- I'd think you'd know that about me by now. I'm talking about the narrow bounds of public debate. Left-liberals seem just as disappointed in the major media, but they're not making an impact in the blog world. Why is this? With weblogs you can't blame the gatekeepers. Or perhaps you can: folks like Beam and Alterman are ready to rush to eat their own. Meanwhile the WSJ starts a blog called the Corner and unabashedly promotes weblogs, and FoxNews.com actually hires several on. They get it.
posted by dhartung at 9:50 AM on April 5, 2002


No wonder the left has no respect.
the likes of you

Wow, Dan. It's comments like this that have made me lose a LOT of respect for you. At least, for your argumentation style, which is all I know of you.

Still... wow.
posted by daveadams at 10:08 AM on April 5, 2002


spending 1/2 of their space to link each other

Uh-uh. What she said was:

devote 1/2 of their daily space to congratulating each other on their entries

which kinda renders your paragraph useless. Otherwise, that was another fine piece of disdain and overweening self-regard.
posted by nikzhowz at 10:12 AM on April 5, 2002


dhartung: You're only example of orthodoxy involves Bob Greene? Where did that come from? Hell, Andrew Sullivan's on TV about 18 times as much as Bob Greene, probably about 85 times as much. Bob Greene doesn't write for the NY Times Sunday magazine, or the New Republic, or a zillion other mainstream publications of some import in the political realm.
posted by raysmj at 10:25 AM on April 5, 2002


dhartung: that is an astonishingly personal attack.

I stand by what I said: although the left tends to link only to one another, they don't have the same ruthlessly efficient routing system that the warbloggers have. both are echo chambers, but the left is less focused on cheerleading each others' points of view. I don't see this as being so far from your own view: you yourself have said that you can't defend the warblog practice of the "blogwatch".

given the nature of that cluster in particular, I think it would be almost impossible, having wandered in, to find your way to the larger weblog universe.

since the rest of your post attacks positions I didn't voice and don't hold, I'll just assume you walked into some kind of mess at work and let it go.
posted by rebeccablood at 11:17 AM on April 5, 2002


What, people aren't supposed to get popular? They aren't supposed to link what they like? They don't get to blog the way they like, precursors be damned?

There are different ways to approach public discourse. There are approaches rooted in an honest effort to arrive at the truth, and there are approaches rooted in the desire to see your side win, no matter what. There are approaches that encourage and stimulate dialogue, and there are approaches that foreclose the possibility. Certainly, people are free to choose the latter path, but that doesn't mean I am obligated to respect them for it.

While we're making things personal here, Dan, I must register my own disappointment that you, of all people -- you, who have in this forum and others demonstrated such integrity in trying to see an argument from all sides, and in trying to create understanding based on logic and fact, not emotional reflex and speculation -- would not only defend a group of webloggers who dismiss the need for such rigor, but actually resort to their tactics simply because you want to see their political position win out.
posted by jjg at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2002


dhartung: I take it you didn't see The Weekly Standard parody of the whole conservative Postrel-kausfiles-Instapundit circle jerk thing. There was an article linking to it which claimed that blogs' self-parodying aspects can be forgiven, since for the most part they herald a needed boost for print media. But they could admit that the conservative-libertarian back-patting thing is highly annoying, incestuous and hackneyed.
posted by raysmj at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2002


Yes, well, this seems to trip my wires. Sorry about that. I promise to be nicer about this in the future.

For my part, this is what I see, addressing the oft-expressed view "1/2 their space congratulating each other".

* it's a stereotype that's mostly not true.
* to the extent that it's true, it's done for the right reasons: personal publishers privileging the daily triumphs of other personal publishers.
* there's a distinction between linkers (link-mavens) and thinkers (writers); the latter are more common in this group than the stereotype allows (e.g. SDB), and the former link to thinkers more than to other linkers
* linkers couldn't exist without thinkers, or would be limited to major media sources, and thinkers would be pretty well ignored without linkers
* there's far more diversity than one political view here; but I suspect jesse was rather making a point about me. I disagree but I'll let it go.

I'll leave with a positive gift, which I believe illustrates my view -- a particularly well-done "linker" post; and the politics, I believe, are acceptable in present company. In turn, that post's own final link is an exceptional thinker piece on The War, and separately, another think piece about Israel specifically that progresses from an entirely different political beginning to more recognizable common ground.

jesse and rebecca, I hope this is more in tune with your prior opinion of me.
posted by dhartung at 11:19 AM on April 6, 2002


For the record, Virginia Postrel doesn't even agree with the article (as opposed to Andrew Sullivan's standard issue "it's right-wing, so it's good" link)

I don't think liberal bloggers are any better or worse at the whole "echo chamber" thing. My main problem with folks on the left is their standard issue namby-pambyism which makes things tougher for those like myself who like to dust it up a little.
posted by owillis at 12:27 PM on April 6, 2002


owillis: If Matt Welch is a liberal, as Postrel suggests (he's the only example she gives of a liberal), then I'd like to see examples of actual liberal content on his site - or at least ones I don't have to go rummaging deep through his archives to see. (Heck, at least some of the warblogs I've seen manage to fit opinions about other political matters or news within them.) All I saw was war-related commentary and links to Virginia Postrel and Lileks, and a citation of an article Welch has written for the libertarian-conservative publication Reason.

At any rate, how many independent bloggers does she really list in that piece? It starts off with links to Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan. You couldn't get any more provincial, regardless of your ideology.
posted by raysmj at 1:01 PM on April 6, 2002


Welch wrote columns for NewsForChange and voted for Nader among other things.
posted by owillis at 1:31 PM on April 6, 2002


dhartung: I don't know where this shrillness is coming from, but as someone who was the target of one of your you should be ashamed comments recently, I think it's undoing your reputation as one of the more cogent, thoughtful, and positive contributors around here.

How you can find anything to praise about Andrew Sullivan, who never tires of finding new targets to smear with lies, half-truths, and innuendo, is a mystery to me. His newest target is James Romanesko, who has been called a "gay left media guru," described as someone who "has a gay-left agenda," and a "left-wing media hound." All within the last week!

As for death threats, I got one last year. Anyone who thinks there's such a thing as a non-credible death threat has never received a death threat.
posted by rcade at 2:37 PM on April 6, 2002


owliss: Great. Now, can you find me a liberal opinion on his actual blog (which is what I asked for, thanks) that I don't have to look long and hard for, one that doesn't have any military concern, and was written as of late? I mean, I'm looking for an opinion that fits this bill in its entirety, and not just in one or two particulars.
posted by raysmj at 3:11 PM on April 6, 2002


I think what I'm saying to you, owillis is that, for a supposed liberal, I've seen none of the independence of, say, a fellow pro-military action liberal such as Christopher Hitchens from Matt Welch. I have, on the other hand, seen countless links to and mentions of conservative and libertarian, insular A-list bloggers.
posted by raysmj at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2002


I don't understand you when you say "actual liberal content". You're making the assumption that a liberal must be against the war, which is wrongheaded in my estimation. I suppose this may qualify, but I can't read your mind.

My point in linking Postrel's response is that she didn't knee-jerk agree to it like Sullivan did (I find his work as shoddy as rcade does). Maybe she mostly reads libertarian/conservative blogs? I think most of the people I know of in the blog-world are stuck in an echo chamber - liberal or conservative. Personally, I don't. My link list is filled with lefties, righties, and people who could give a crap about politics in general. I like to read sites way to the left of me, or way to the right because I like to disagree with people.

And it's o-w-i-l-l-i-s, why do people keep typing owliss?
posted by owillis at 5:41 PM on April 6, 2002


Actually, you were called owillis two posts above. The other was a typo, really. And why would you see that I'm making an assumption that a liberal would be against the war, when I gave a virtual thumb's up to Christopher Hitchens? There's just no actual liberal content in Welch's blog, at all. Foreign policy I always so as largely something other than strictly right-left, however defined, although it has become that way at times. But what things do define liberalism, and how is Welch showing a commitment to them? Does he even show a commitment to promoting even the blogs or issues of the supposedly similarly liberal-minded? Not as far as I can tell - not even in the least.
posted by raysmj at 8:20 PM on April 6, 2002


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