Sean Hackbarth was intrigued by my offhanded question, “One wonders, for example, what happened on September 11, 2001 and the week or so thereafter that virtually no one knows about.” He’s searching through his archives and invites others to do the same.

I didn’t start my weblog until Jan. 31 of this year. I dug through InstaPundit’s archives. It’s interesting, in that he had about a dozen posts before the bombing hit the news. Nothing particularly earth shattering, though. As best I can tell from a quick skim, the first non-terrorist reaction post was this remark at 1035 9/12:

THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL PAGE TODAY SUCKED. Sorry, but I just can’t say anything better. I was going to write about it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to. (Maureen Dowd’s piece was particularly awful).

Which, come to think of it, was almost certainly a function of nothing new to say by that point.

One apparent result of 9/11 media-wise was an explosion in the exposure of weblogs. Glenn has a post the evening of 9/10 noting that he had set a new traffic record, although he didn’t note the number. In several subsequent posts over the next few days, he was breaking record after record. The evening of 9/12:

TRAFFIC has been amazing. There were almost 4200 visitors yesterday, going way beyond the previous record of the (terrorism-free) day before. I’m also getting lots of email. I’m trying to respond to it, and what I don’t respond to I’m saving to try to post on later. I very much appreciate all the nice things that people (almost everyone, actually) are saying. I’m glad you’ve found InstaPundit helpful, and even, as some say, comforting. I intended this to be something far more casual and arch. And it may be someday. But not this week.

He’s now routinely getting 85,000 or more visitors a day–even without riviting national tragedies.

FILED UNDER: Media, Terrorism, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Taking Instapundit as a proxy (a reasonable idea), the Blogosphere has gron 20 times since 9/11.

    It’s also becoming more polarized. How many mainstream media watchers or Leftie blogger types are even aware of CounterRevolutionary’s great articles from postwar Europe? Very few.

  2. Paul says:

    I have my rants (er writings) in a retired mail system so retrieving them would be too annoying but I remember vividly calling a customer I knew was out of town and spending 3 hours on our cell phones while I narrated what I saw on T.V. that day.

    During one in the breaks in the action I asked “Hey you know the only guy to benefit from this huh?” Without a moments pause he said “Gary Condit.”

    If you remember, the media was all but ready to crucify him that week. They were doing the 24/7 coverage thing and they dropped that in seconds.

    Similarly, I saw an interview with either Woodward or Bernstien (forget which) where he admitted that if there had been more news that week, Watergate would have been a nothing story. Odd that a slow news week changed the whole world.