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The importance of independent bloggers

The importance of independent bloggers

It’s lonely out here in independent blogger world, working for the greater glory not the greater paycheck.

That’s not to say bloggers who work for The Man are not independent thinkers and writers, but the pressures are there depending upon who The Man is:

An escalating series of insults and allegations exchanged between conservative blogger Erick Erickson and defenders of Virginia Senate candidate Jamie Radtke has taken an overt turn into Republican presidential politics, becoming the first publicly waged proxy battle between forces sympathetic to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and those inclined to align with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

It all began on Wednesday when Politico published an email that Erickson, the influential editor of RedState.com and a CNN contributor, sent to Radtke earlier this month. The email made clear that Erickson intended to soften his previously espoused support for Radtke, who is competing in a Republican primary against George Allen for Allen’s old Senate seat.

In the leaked email, Erickson explained to Radtke that “my bosses are huge Allen friends,” and thus he would have to be “delicate” when Radtke made the rounds at his RedState convention in mid-August in Charleston, S.C. — the venue where Perry officially announced his presidential candidacy.

I’m not buying into the Perry v. Palin angle on the story.

What I find interesting is that a highly successful and influential blogger like Erick Erickson felt the need to temper his opinions to accomodate his bosses’ political preferences.

I’ll never get the traffic or cash flow of RedState, and policitans are not exactly beating down my door to get my endorsement, but what you read is what I think.

Update:  As pointed out in the comments, even independent bloggers can be subject to pressures, as in the case of Paul Mirengoff of Power Line, Big Law Firm Takes Down Big Conservative Blogger.  The apparent retaliation against Mirengoff is not the same to me as the situation described in Erickson’s email where he acknowedged specific pressure on a specific political issue and changed his expressed opinion as a result.

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Comments

Professor try posting something on RedState that is negative regarding Perry. You will get banned. There is no discussion permitted and that is what is sad. We are no better that the other side if we do not allow dissent. HotAir is a pro Perry site but discussion is permitted. Consensus is people are over Erickson.

DINORightMarie | August 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

“’ll never get the traffic or cash flow of RedState, and policitans are not exactly beating down my door to get my endorsement, but what you read is what I think.”

That is why I read you every day, and RedState and Hot Air only on occasion. I don’t try to comment on Hot Air anymore, because Ed Morressey seems to have changed quite a bit since the sale of the blog, and since Ed became a CNN contributor.

Erik Erikson I’ve noticed has changed, as well. It seems to have come around the time he got his own radio show; he wasn’t monitoring the blog much, and then when it got hijacked, he used “Thor’s ban hammer” pretty hard. And seems to see enemies everywhere ever since. (Just my humble opinion and observations, nothing more.)

I would rather you keep telling the truth, your thoughts opinions, while bringing clarity to many issues these other “popular” blogs miss. Or snark at. Because, in the end, that is what RedState and Hot Air seem to do. Promote their opinions, and then try to sound like they are not – or are just trying to up traffic, or something.

Stay true to you. We love it! 😀

workingclass artist | August 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

Palin and Paul supporters are crawling all over blogs posting and spinning the most bizarre crapola about Perry. I’m not that concerned about it as I’ve seen the liberals and opponents in Texas throw the sink at Perry though out his career. Apparently Keller of the NYT has jumped on the Perry Hysteria bandwagon with his new religion test. All I can say is this. Texas has jobs and somebody has to stop this insane EPA policy and I think Perry will make the economy a #1 priority by backing off federal regulatory over reach in the states that are hurting regional industry.

As to Erickson and RedState, it seems to me they have been vetting candidates. If they have an editorial policy so what? If Radtke as a candidate has made a fool of herself in public it’s called politics and this smells like a backfire on her part. Whining about the media by a candidate gets old, it’s better to be smart with the media…imho

If, by some bizarre turn of events, my blog winds up getting that kind of notoriety, I’ll still be saying what I think. (I keep it real, yo.) If my ‘bosses’ don’t like it, screw ’em–I’ve been fired from better jobs for worse reasons.

How do you wind up having ‘bosses’ on your own blog, anyway??

I don’t read Red State or know much about Virginia politics, so this kerfuffle between Erickson, the Radtke campaign, and other conservative bloggers is “inside baseball” to me and the kind of circular firing squad the Right just doesn’t need. But, in defense of Ed Morrissey, I’ve been reading him since the early Captain’s Quarters days and I really don’t see how he’s changed, except that he’s achieved the dream of every blogger with pajamas and a keyboard to become successful at what he does. To be honest, he’s the only reason I still read Hot Air.

    That’s interesting. I have never liked Morrissey. I read him some when he still had Captain’s Quarters and was shocked when Hot Air added him. He’s smart and all, I just don’t see the appeal in his writing.

I got bumped from Redstate for simply saying something positive about abortion. That is the only real issue that the folks over there concern themselves with and they have most of their facts wrong.

    teapartydoc in reply to david7134. | August 27, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Bumped for boosting abortion? Wow. Who in their right mind could possibly be offended by someone trying to justify the cold-blooded murder of babies? Must be a bunch of slobbering troglodytes, there.

Many of us on the left have long suspected that money and/or promises of future jobs had something to do with the way so many A-list lefty bloggers went for Obama so hard and early.

We would have expected a great deal more skepticism and cynicism towards someone with his skimpy resume and unsavory associations.

“I’ll never get the traffic or cash flow of RedState, and policitans are not exactly beating down my door to get my endorsement …”

Never? Care to make a little wager on that?

I’m betting that your insightful analysis and humor will continue to spur remarkable growth. It just takes time.

I must say, though, that it irks me that people like this, my old dumb-as-a-doormat high school classmate have a much bigger megaphone than you. Awwww …. he’s proud Gawker deems the ACORN shill and Breitbart slanderer “fair.” What a joke.

On second thought … pick up the pace, Professor. We’ve got a country to save. We should be reading your analysis in major news publications … not the gibberish of these know-nothing J-school grads.

LukeHandCool (who feels like it’s circa 1961, the Professor is still clad in black leather jackets and he’s still smoking onstage between songs … and his talent is crying out for a Brian Epstein to come along and usher him into the big time).

Freedom of speech does not exist in a vacuum. When you dare to speak, it is folly to assume that opposing views will resort to cordial debate. In addition to facing ad hominems, factual distortions, and flat out fabrications — you are subject to being squeezed in a vice by those with some influence on your earnings capacity. Consider Paul Mirengoff of powerlineblog.com as a recent example, or the political correctness revolt at the King & Spalding law firm that pushed out Paul Clement for defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

I do wonder what attempts are made by academia leftists and other to put a squeeze on Prof. Jacobson and his views. I did not think his post on firearms training was an unconnected coincidence [https://legalinsurrection.com/2011/04/gun-laws/].

I got honked off at Erickson when he had that self-important column about (* now*) NOT BEING ABLE TO GRANT ABSOLUTION TO LAWMAKERS FOR THEIR VOTE ON…..

Like, man, who is he. Seriously.

Tammy Bruce has a public podcast featuring an interview with Jamie Radtke, which gives details and background on this whole situation. I left RedState essentially when elite GOP types were saying Chuck Devore was unelectable for the California Senate — yet, DeVore could have done no worse that the establishment pick Fiorina.

Click here and listen: you will not be sorry.

http://tammybruce.com/2011/08/public-podcast-jamie-radtke-intv-about-redstate-8-25-11.html

I’ll grant the Paul supporters, but I’ve seen no evidence of Palin supporters trashing Perry.

Can we all at least agree to trash Huntsman?

    retire05 in reply to Crawford. | August 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    then you haven’t been following the blogs where Palin supporters are going after Perry with a vengence. They are apoplectic, saying that if Palin gets in a) she will wipe the floor with Perry and b) if she doesn’t get in, they will do a write-in vote to block Perry.

    Both groups, the Paulbots and the Palinistas, have been bashing Perry with falsehoods about a number of things. Yet, when you asked them about some of the mistakes Palin has made, they get personal calling you “unpatriotic, fool, RINO, et al.”

    workingclass artist in reply to Crawford. | August 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Geller started the whole “Let’s all panic because Rick Perry is a dhimmi smear”
    Geller is an avowed Palin supporter as is Tammy Bruce. A GOP candidate like Perry leaps to the top of the polls in less than 2 weeks and bloggers cover it because it’s newsy..and yet how many articles on this at Breitbart?

    C’mon…It’s a primary

Apparently I haven’t followed this tiff very well because what I read is not a Perry/Palin squabble but a schoolyard fight between a group of boys over whose you know what is better.

Sorry, off topic:

Professor,

Great to see your “Post of the Day” is Robert’s wonderful post, “No Guns for Jews” at Seraphic Secret.

May I recommend his three-part post, “Hollywood is Burning, or: Jew without Gun.” The first part is on his blog with links to parts two and three at Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood” site. It’s about the very scary experience Robert and his family experienced during the Rodney King riots.

Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put my laptop down.

LukeHandCool (who is now thinking, “Hey, wait a minute, that’s why they call it a LAPtop … I might be a little bit dumb, but I’m not totally stupid … now I get it!”)

left coast rebel | August 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

RedState is unfortunately compromised. Readers are better off gleaning info and opinion from the hundreds — and thousands — of independently-operated opinion blogs.

workingclass artist | August 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm

@leftcoast

I don’t think RedState is as compromised as you say imho…They cover the candidates and are vetting the top three on the issues. Radtkey is in a snit and this will backfire on her. Welcome to the nitty gritty of state wide politics.

btw. It’s always a good idea to broaden reading & in that I agree.

So let me take this opportunity to thank you. Blogs come and blogs go on my Daily Reads list, but you remain a staple.

“’ll never get the traffic or cash flow of RedState, and policitans are not exactly beating down my door to get my endorsement, but what you read is what I think.”

That’s why we love your blog Professor 🙂

Good post, Except that can’t find, or see, the so-called email sent to Radke. Don’t doubt for a minute that such email exists, rather that what I’ve seen is Ben Smith’s intepretation of said email. Ben Smith is a “Politico” hack and as such I doubt his word that the Sun does rise in the East without further verification; just his word against many others until that separate verifying.

That said, Perry and Palin supporters will be sparring with each other until there’s one left standing or they’ve embraced in a wonderous joining at arm’s length. And, a big “so what” to all those who protest against that blogistan warfare; as long as it truly remains non-lethal, non-kinetic. Also, Pro. WAJ is a fine blogger as is his Wisconsin companion Prof. AA.

Still, part of the joy of reading this blog is the usually good commenting by its obviously great bunch of subscribers with their sometimes pithy comments.

This is yet again another story about Media.

Erickson is either independent (thus a blogger) OR he is dependent (thus a columnist.) The latter, obviously.

RedState can’t have it both ways. Erickson is clearly a “a highly successful and influential” writer, but he is NOT a blogger. RS is just a column with a comments forum.

To allow Erickson to call himself a “blogger” whilst applying editorial pressure on message is to defeat the whole point. If I want to read aparatchik BS I’ll take a subscription the the New York Times, thanks.

If Human Events wants to enjoy the credibility of the blogosphere as part of the Brand, they are going to have to accept the risk that their RS ‘blogger’ may step on precious toes. That’s life in the big leagues.

THAT, and Erickson ought to have had the credibility to resign and start his own private blog and compete honestly. That’s life in the little leagues.

Shabbat shalom,

I would like to officially request your endorsement of Richard Mourdock, GOP candidate for US Senator from Indiana, facing incumbent Richard Lugar.

http://www.richardmourdock.com/

    Why would one want to vote for Mourdock? So he could lose that seat to Joe Donnley? FreedomWorks doesn’t back him because they don’t think he can get the job done. He had run ins with a bloggers at one of his rallies. His claim to be a Tea Party candidate wasn’t always adamant He had a problem paying his property tax where he claimed a homestead exemption on two properties. He said it was an error at the assessors office but it went on for three years. I use the same tax form he does, and I have never had any trouble. He spoke at Erickson’s shindig and credited Jim Cramer with the rant that Rick Santelli raged.Then he tell the Huffington Post he dumped his entire personal stock porfolio later he told the Indianapolis Star he kept his oil stocks and sold everything else. How many politicians have you heard discuss their personal finances? He says he is the chief financial officer but his own stocks aren’t in a blind trust. And about that Indiana Public Retirement System fund that he oversee. He was quite willing to take a bow for 6.99% gain-his office even put out a press release. Now that the fund has lost $1.2 billion he says he’s not directly involved in investment decisions. He was quite right to fight for the bond holders in the Chyrsler bailout on the other hand he bought the bonds. I wish Lugar would go but Mourdock isn’t the guy to defeat him and if by some chance he did he would probably lose the seat. I cannot support that man

as a RedState contributor I’d just like to make a couple of points. First, the site isn’t pro-Perry. What we probably aren’t going to allow is the use of our site for the spinning of conspiracy theories or character assassination. The anti-Perry attacks we have seen thus far fall mainly into “he was a speaker at the Bilderberg” and “he was bought by Merck.” Both allegations are beneath contempt.

It may very well be pro-Perry at some point in the future and I think, barring some deus ex machina in the primaries, we will probably eventually endorse either Perry or Michele Bachmann for, what I think, are obvious reasons.

The person who allegedly stopped reading us over the DeVore/Fiorina primary leaves me scratching my head in puzzlement because we stayed with DeVore to the bitter end, to wit: http://www.redstate.com/erick/2010/05/09/im-staying-with-chuck-devore/ despite the Palin endorsement of Fiorina.

RedState is a group blog that has about 20 contributors with front page access at any given time. We all have day jobs and the frequency with which we post or comment is driven by our real work, family life, and interest in the subject. The dynamics of a group blog are hard to explain unless you are part of it. We try to be collegial… not always successfully… but we all speak for ourselves as individuals.

    To paraphrase Shakespeare, methinks thou doth protest too much. Facts are facts, conservatives are being banned from your site for simply disagreeing with the great blogger.

    I have been banned from only two sites; first by Charley over at LGF for simply protesting that he had banned several people for speaking out against the theory of evolution; then Erick the Great pushed the button on me when I asked about what kind of blog forbade discussion of Obama’s birth certificate (some two years ago) — and that controversy is not yet resolved despite a grand presentation of a so-called long form COLB.

    I think that I will stay with the Professor here at LI.

      streiff in reply to gad-fly. | August 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Like I said, we ban conspiracy theorists. Be do ban birthers just like we ban truthers. That issue was resolved when Obama’s birth was published in the Honululu paper 50 years ago.

      No one is trying to woo you back to RS. I’m just addressing your misrepresentations.

    Matthew Knee in reply to streiff. | August 27, 2011 at 5:14 am

    As a contributor to this blog and a former Fiorina coalition chair who fully stands by my choice of candidate in the primary, I ask: What blog were you reading Mutnojmet?

    From my POV, RedState was as die-hard DeVore as it could possibly get without straight-up censoring the relatively few opposing voices (which to their credit, they did not do). DeVore’s comm guy Josh Trevino is a key figure at RS, and RS was probably the primary source of poll spin that implied DeVore had a reasonable shot in the primary, despite remaining in the teens or lower (and in last place) in every poll in 2010 and as well as the final tally,.

    RS did what they could for DeVore. If that’s what you wanted from them, you ought to be happy with their performance.

      Matthew Knee in reply to Matthew Knee. | August 27, 2011 at 5:34 am

      However, Trevino’s dual role as a key RedState blogger (albeit with a lesser role, iirc, than he had had in the past) and professional DeVore mouthpiece was yet another instance of RedState’s independence being in question. I don’t want to discourage bloggers from working as campaign operatives and vice versa – I think it is a good thing on balance – but it certainly has a cost in terms of the appearance – if not the actual occurrence – of bias.

Gonna have to agree with Streiff here. Redstate made it very clear a good while back that the ban hammer would fall on birthers and truthers without warning or mercy.

N.B. I’m only a RedState reader, and I too have my issues with some of Mr. Erickson’s attitudes, but fair’s fair. Attack them for what you disagree with, don’t attack them for stuff that just ins’t true.

[…] Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: The importance of independent bloggers   […]

Just found this through Sentry Journal. I suppose, because I am one, I vastly prefer the independent bloggers too. I quit frequenting Power Line last year. Too big and impersonal, although at last visit they seemed to have changed a few things. I’ll try to make this a regular stop now, though.

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