Defunct Blog Increasingly Influential

John Sides and Eric Lawrence begin an LAT piece on the importance of political blogs, “Who listens to blogging heads?” thusly:

Daily Kos. Little Green Footballs. Talking Points Memo. Instapundit. Firedoglake. Captain’s Quarters. These are among the thousands of political blogs that are increasingly a factor in U.S. politics.

Given that Ed Morrissey shuttered the last of those months ago to join Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air group blog, it’s hard to see how it CQ could possibly be “increasingly a factor” in much of anything.

The rest of the article reports on a 2006 survey of blog readers that tells us that, two years ago at least, people who read political blogs tended to read blogs that reflected their own political views.  They add the caveat that, “We don’t know if blogs polarize their readers, or if highly ideological readers gravitate to blogs that reflect their partisanship.”   My guess: Yes.

UPDATEWilliam Beutler noticed this one, too.  Better yet, John Fund made the same mistake in his column over the weekend.

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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. Ed Morrissey says:

    Dude, my archives are just that powerful. 😉

  2. RT Riley says:

    As time passes, I find USS Clueless more and more influential in my thinking.

    His brief on what the US needed to do to reshape the middle east after 9/11 still rocks.

  3. George says:

    Too bad the move to Hot Air pretty much ended my reading of Ed…..I know, I know, I should be happy to slog through that visual horror of a site, and ignore all the less finely crafted prose to read his stuff….but I just don’t find myself over there very often. The reading experience just isn’t as enjoyable, and although that shouldn’t matter, it does.

  4. TomC says:

    Ditto for missing USS Clueless. I can still read Ed Morrissey on Michelle’s blog, but Steven Den Beste only rarely creates USS Clueless-type commentary on his Chizumatic anime blog.

    If only there were some way to heal SDB of his hypersensitivity to the pedantic nitpicking of his commenters — !

    I loved that blog.

  5. Stewart says:

    I have to agree with George. The visual style of Captain’s Quarters, and that CQ was text-based with good ability to skim past the entries I found less interesting, contributed largely to my bookmarking it and making the site a regular. Hot Air, well, George’s “visual horror” sums up the style, and the signal to noise ratio is just too bad for me to spend much time there. All the videos prove the superiority of text in conveying information! If Instapundit or LGF links to an article, I’ll go read it–but I don’t hang around the site. Too much clutter drowning out actual content. It is comforting to see I’m not the only one who sees the move as a loss to blogdom, though Mr Morrissey must feel he gains in the deal. Certainly Hot Air gained quite a bit in the intelligence level of its postings! Just my 2 cents.

  6. Rich Vail says:

    I stopped reading E Morrissy when he moved to You can’t post comments and the registration was only open during the day (I work in a cabinet shop during the day NO COMPUTERS!!!!) for only a few hours. So I stopped reading him.

    Ditto for Michelle Malkin. is a visually terrible blog, it’s far too difficult to make out anything there, so I stopped reading her, and ALL the bloggers of that group.

  7. rgaye says:

    If only there were some way to heal SDB of his hypersensitivity to the pedantic nitpicking of his commenters — !

    I loved that blog too. He could turn off comments altogether.

    I came upon the USS Clueless about the time it was shutting down and so read through many of the archives at the time. IIRC his illness was a contributing factor in closing it down.

    OTOH I read Ed at CQ almost daily until he moved to Hot Air. Now I read it only occasionally, usually if he hits Memeorandum or is linked from one of the few other blogs I make a point to read daily as I rarely go to Hot Air for any other reason. I hope he’s happy with his move but from my perspective his moderating voice (as in not shouting, screaming and hyperventilating) has pretty much been lost (to me at least) in the blinking lights and noise.

  8. Dan Medino says:

    Add one more to the chorus. I read Ed everyday and sent links to friends. Now I haven’t read him in months. Others have said it well: I could quickly scan CQ, I didn’t have to pick through videos (with students in and out of my office I can’t easily watch video, but I could read text), and I didn’t have to avoid 3/4 of the other posters, who are all just screamers.

    Ed ended his influence when he joined the zoo, and we are all poorer for it.

  9. Rick C says:

    If only there were some way to heal SDB of his hypersensitivity to the pedantic nitpicking of his commenters — !

    It’s not just that. The man actually has a degenerative disease.

  10. serr8d says:

    I’ll disagree with those pounding Hot Air. I’ll selectively go there to read from my RSS feed (G00gle’s Reader) the posts that attract my attention; most times they are authored by Ed Morrisey. And he’s linked frequently by the blog I read daily: Protein Wisdom.

    I won’t read LGF or Michelle’s blog because I can’t secure a login (for the same reason Rich gave above). I won’t read any blog that fails to allow commenting, for whatever reason. (And I do have a login at Hot Air, btw, but seldom comment; it’s the fact that I can if I want to that makes the difference).

  11. SwampWoman says:

    Another former Den Beste USS Clueless fan here, as well as former Captain’s Quarters fan.

  12. Lamont Cranston says:

    I never missed the USS Clueless either.

    Den Beste is brilliant and a wonderful writer.


  13. Friendly Fred says:

    I came upon Den Beste in 2003, and he became my favorite read pretty quickly. It’s a shame that this was really the tailing-off of his “career.” I miss his serious work all the more now that alternative energy is in the news- we’ll hear about some breathless new development in ethanol or wind power and I find myself wishing USS Clueless were still active so he could give us a reality-check.
    Ironic, really, since he never misses an opportunity to remind people that he hates writing about alternative energy.

  14. TomC says:

    I find myself wishing USS Clueless were still active so he could give us a reality-check.
    You will find exactly that in SDB’s post “Ghosts of my past,” made July 14 at his “Chizumatic” anime blog at
    As for his “degenerative disease” mentioned above, I suspect that he may have cooked up the illness to get people off his back. He has obviously been well enough to post daily at Chizumatic. He posted a picture of himself there not so long ago, that showed a healthy looking guy with long gray hair.
    After one of his pieces was published in the Wall St. Journal, he found himself thrust into the role of a nationally recognized pundit. My guess is that he did not need or want that sort of life, so he fabricated an “I’m sick, leave me alone” exit strategy. I could easily be wrong, it is just a guess, and in any case he has made his choice. Our loss.