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March 16, 2005



I wasn't basing it on one friend. I have plenty of friends who started out as 'libertarians' and ended up 'Republicans', myself included (and I think you said you did as well). And Julia didn't call me for a quote. It just came up one of the times we've seen each other.

Look, blogging is a conversation and even the most interesting people are sometimes uninteresting or predictable. I would say that you can't predict Andrew Sullivan because he's not the most principled guy in the land.

As for the Drum quote, the blogosphere is no more partisan than the MSM. It's just more openly partisan.


Thanks for clarifying the situation with the quote. I'll update the front page post on this when I get a chance.

re: Sullivan. Having no doubts about any issue ever is not the same as being "principled". Or if it is I want no part of it. Also, having the capacity for doubt and being willing to look at issues from different perspectives doesn't mean that one is not principled, it merely means they're an intellectual. Sully actually does have pretty firm, consistent principles (though some might find some of them to be a bit contraditory). He's genuinely pro small-Government (unlike the Bush administratoin). He's a social liberal, and he's a foreign policy hawk. He's pro fighting terrorism through democracy promotion in the Middle East, including the invasion of Iraq, but he's against torture being part of our foreign policy, and he's willing to admit that even though the Bush administration's ideas on foreing policy have been largely correct, the execution has often been lacking. So, does the fact that he's neither a conventional liberal dove nor stalwart, social conservative Bush backer mean that he's not principled? Or, is it that he's actually changed his mind on a couple of issues over time? I sincerely don't get it.

On the "at least we admit we're biased" thing, I used to buy that argument but I don't so much anymore. I realize that Big Media are biased, and oftentimes they don't admit it (though they're admitting more and more these days anyway. For instance, the famous Daniel Okrent "Of course the times is a liberal newspaper on social issues" column comes to mind), but their bias, blatant or latent, is seldom as extreme as almost any blog's. Newspapers, TV, etc. at least make some basic effort to include the other side's point of view. Blogs normally don't.

Jim Treacher

"Another thing I'm coming to notice is that bloggers really are thin-skinned, jumpy and do have a kind of mob mentality."


Scott S

I found this old post on blogs and MT


I’m glad you wrote this – the biggest problem with the press isn’t that they’re biased, or that they make mistakes, the biggest problem is that they often won’t admit when they’re wrong. If Dan Rather had said “I goofed, I apologize” one day after Rathergate began, the damage wouldn’t have been as great. If blogs become as windbaggy as the MSM, if we won’t admit that we’re wrong, there isn’t much point to them.

Blogs will never replace the MSM, but they’re a nice alternative to journalists who are often biased and outright wrong. Blogs aren't really journalism, they're just a large and frequently loud conversation.

But imagine a world where political blogs never existed. Dan Rather, Eason Jordon and Ward Churchill would be heroes to aspiring journalists and college students. Leftists could still pretend to be humanitarians, people would believe that peace marches were really about peace. Mary would be working at the library and we’d call this town Potterville. Nobody wants that.

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