Captain’s Quarters Closing

Captain Ed Morrissey has announced that he’s mothballing Captain’s Quarters and joining Michelle Malkin’s team at Hot Air. He’ll be replacing Bryan Preston, who has left to take a position as a producer for Laura Ingraham.

It’s an interesting move and certainly strengthens the Hot Air brand. I can’t remember the last time a blogger of Ed’s stature closed his own shop to join a group blog.

Morrissey’s tone is much more moderate than Malkin’s but they’ve both assured readers that Ed’s writing style and freedom to state his own views will remain unchanged.

UPDATE: Jimmie @ Sundries Shack laments the homogenization and consolidation of the blogosphere. I’m not sure that we’ll see that here as the advantage of adding Ed’s voice to the site is that he’s already a brand name in his own right. But I must admit that I’m surprised Ed would shut down his own site to join another; the offer must have been pretty sweet.

It makes perfect sense for bloggers with relatively small audiences to band together and gain the advantages of network effects. That’s especially true for those whose day jobs keep them from posting with the frequency required to build a large following. But, certainly, Ed didn’t have that issue.

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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. Jimmie says:

    I hope you’re right, James. But generally when two big names merge, we don’t gain a new voice. We just get a louder old voice.

    More what I would liked to have seen is a blogger elevated who did not already have a sky-high public profile. It’s not like there aren’t tons of very good bloggers who could have been “promoted”.

    Glenn Reynolds does the same thing when he goes on vacation. He brings in guests who we see enough of in his own links.

    I think it’s a better idea to spread out the good voices as much as we possibly can.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m not so sure that it so much strengthens Hot Air’s brand as obscures his own, reasonable albeit stalwartly Republican, voice.

  3. James Joyner says:

    I’m not so sure that it so much strengthens Hot Air’s brand as obscures his own, reasonable albeit stalwartly Republican, voice.

    A fair point. Perhaps I should have called it “market position” rather than “brand.”

    Hot Air’s brand was always mixed, as Bryan Preston and some of the earlier co-bloggers tended to be more moderate stylistically than AllahPundit.

  4. yetanotherjohn says:

    I guess part of this is what you are trying to get out of blogging. Express your inner pundit? Big bags of cash? Influential wheeler dealer? Replace your day job?

    Another way of looking at this is I see where hotair expands to, I don’t see where Captain’s quarters (as it is currently implemented) expands. I think over time we will see “networks” forming on the Internet. They will require a lot more technical expertise and a lot more content (aka ‘voices’) than one person can provide. Hotair is positioning themselves to be such a voice as far to the right as CBS is to the left in the MSM.

  5. Allahpundit has become an obnoxious twit but an occasionally insightful one. When Fred Thompson was still running for President he got cruel when posting material simply to get a rise from the FredHeads.

    I hope Ed’s addition adds more seriousness to Hot Air. It’s been turning into a tabloid weblog, a conservative version of Wonkette.

    What I can’t believe is Ed’s shutting down his online home. If some big-name weblog were wanting me I could see myself “selling out” but TAM would continue on simply for my vanity’s sake.

  6. Tano says:

    Seems to me like a depressing turn of events. Morrisey, for all his extreme views, at least seemed to also have a significant sense of decency about him. Not that it was always evident, but often enough so as to serve as some sort of a firewall to the lunacy beyond.

    Apparantly he has nothing but warm and admiring things to say about one of the truly ugly lunatics on the right, and now he goes to work for her. Maybe some of the wingnuts are searching out some fortresses to shelter in for the coming long winter of discontent that they face. It rarely is very smart though, to make your stand on the low ground.

  7. Tlaloc says:


    Blogger I find worthless joins useless blog while shuttering original pointless site.

    Color me deeply apathetic.

  8. Houston says:

    Tano, can you give us an example of one of Cap’n Ed’s “extreme views”? IMO, he has provided over the past few years one of the most consistant, disciplined mainstream conservative voices in the media. On what issue has he ever been “extreme”?

  9. Scott_T says:

    Thinking outside the box here, but Capt.Ed could just be doing this to relieve himself of day-to-day work of maintaining a blog (ie managing advertisements/paying hosting fees/etc)

    If HotAir is offering him a rate which comes close to the money he got from his website, then why shouldn’t he take it?

    He seems of lately to have gotten into a lot of web-radio postings, so that might be taking off too, so he wants to ditch the managing aspect of the website, big deal.

    There could always be a simple answer to all of this, that shouldn’t be to hard to see. I doubt HotAir is part of the cabal of the VRWC.

    I heard once upon a time, journalists banned together to print their own newspapers to be distributed (go figure). If he’s more interested in being a journalist/reporter then worrying about the business portion of being a blogger, why should any other blogger/commentor critisize him?

  10. Scott_T says:

    Boy, I should of checked Capt.Ed’s site.

    He’s leaving BlogTalkRadio too, and he’s heading up HotAir’s own radio show. So I guess he’s HotAir’s flagship host for internet radio.

  11. happyGOP says:

    For a while I read Ed’s site, thinking it was comparable to this site. Boy, I was wrong. James Joyner actually surprises me from time to time with independent thinking. He’s a moderate conservative. I’m not – which is why I read this site.

    But Ed, who is mild mannered and conservative, is not independent. Ed toes the party line, closer to a straight partisan.

    So I wasn’t surprised AT ALL to see him land at Malkin’s. It just confirms how partisan he really is, with just a difference in tone. Ed’s the sidekick and Michell’s the alpha male.

  12. G.A.Phillips says:

    Why dude,why in the Great Green Hell why? They make the best sub sandwiches in the greater Racine metropolitan area, man a number 6 with mayo and can of coke to wash down each bite, side order of cheese curds……oops forgive me you was talking about a blog.