So says Chris Bowers of OpenLeft, on the occasion of the hiring of Nate Silver by The New York Times (what possibly could go wrong?):

Only five years ago, the progressive political blogosphere was still predominately a gathering place for amateur (that is, unpaid or barely paid) journalists and activists unattached to existing media companies and advocacy organizations. Those days are almost completely over. Now, the progressive blogosphere is almost entirely professionalized, and inextricably linked to existing media companies and advocacy organizations.

Bowers lists three reasons why progressive bloggers have gone corporate.

Reason No. 1 is money:

Now, those bloggers do pretty much the same thing they did before, they just (quite understandably) do it for a much better salary from an established organization.

Reason No. 2 is money:

Another trend, less common than the first, has been for blogs like Daily Kos, Fire Dog Lake and Talking Points Memo to transform themselves from hobbies into professional media outlets and / or activist organizations. These blogs have increased their revenue stream to the point where they can hire multiple full-time staff

Reason No. 3 is money:

Many bloggers have also found a way to make a living by combining their blogging with blog-friendly advocacy and consulting work.

I would add a Reason No. 4, which has nothing to do with money:

Thumb-sucking insecurity.

Parting question:

At what point have these progressive bloggers made enough money?

Don’t look at me. He wants to know.

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