Left and Right in the Blogosphere

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It’s now conventional wisdom that the political blogosphere has been pretty thoroughly professionalized, but James Joyner points out something I hadn’t quite noticed:

These things are no doubt happening, especially on the left. Barbara O’Brien‘s observation that “The evil MSM seems to pick up 50 Erick Ericksons for every one Nate Silver” is just bizarre.1 I can’t think offhand of a truly conservative amateur blogger who has been bought out in the manner of Mickey Kaus, Kevin Drum, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Glenn Greenwald, Steve Benen, Dave Weigel and others who have had hobby blogs bought out by major media sites or ideological think tanks and gone full time. Megan McArdle is the closest I can think of but she was already a professional journalist, writing for the Economist, by the time anyone had heard of her.

So why is this? There are political magazines and political think tanks on the right. Why haven’t they hired a bunch of successful hobby bloggers instead of developing their own in-house talent? Why is it that Glenn Reynolds, Erick Erickson, Michelle Malkin, Charles Johnson, and the Powerline folks haven’t been hired as bloggers by a magazine or think tank? Is it because conservative magazines didn’t want to hire outsiders, or because they made offers and conservative bloggers weren’t interested?

1In fairness, I suspect that Barbara was thinking less here about bloggers and more about talking heads and columnists, where conservatives seem to get hired at a pretty good clip.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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