Where’s Doug?

Our most prolific front-pager hasn't posted in two weeks. Readers are beginning to ask questions.

UPDATE (April 4): Doug appears safe and hopes to get things back to normal soon.


It has been two weeks since Doug Mataconis posted here at OTB or on his Twitter or Facebook pages. Readers are starting to wonder if and when he’s coming back. The short answer is that I don’t know.

His most recent post here was published at 6:10pm Eastern on Monday, March 11. It was his fifth post of the day. His most recent Facebook post, a link to said OTB post, was a minute later. His most recent self-generated Twitter comment was at 7:34pm the same day (everything since has been auto-posting of OTB content). He had tweeted quite a bit during the day. And, then, Poof.

Given how prolific he normally is on those platforms, I noticed his absence almost immediately but figured he had just gotten busy at work. Steven Taylor texted me the afternoon of Thursday, March 14 inquiring as to Doug’s status. I immediately sent him a direct message on Twitter, to which I still haven’t received a response. I sent out an APB on Twitter a while later and also DM’d Jazz Shaw, who had a closer personal relationship with Doug than I did, to see if he’d heard anything. He said that Doug had mentioned some sort of family emergency but he hadn’t heard anything in a couple of days. After Doug didn’t respond to various text messages and phone calls, Jazz went through inordinate lengths over a period of several days to make sure he wasn’t dead or unconscious somewhere.

Long story short: Doug is alive, or at least was when police talked to him on Sunday, March 17. He has thus far not reached out to Jazz, me, or, so far as we knew on the 17th, any of his friends or relatives. We have no idea why, given that Doug was seemingly carrying on normally right up to the moment of his disappearance from the Internet.

Obviously, he’s going through something pretty significant. I have no idea what that might be and it’s not really any of my business unless or until Doug wants to make it otherwise. We wish him the best and hope to see him around when he’s ready.

FILED UNDER: OTB History, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. de stijl says:

    If he needs to take a break, he should. And best wishes.

  2. MarkedMan says:

    Best Wishes, Doug

  3. Jen says:

    Take care, Doug.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    Whoa! My fondest hopes that all turns out well. Looking forward to the gang getting back together soon.

  5. reid says:

    Hope things work out okay, Doug.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Obviously, he’s going through something pretty significant.

    As one who walls off the world in order to focus on “family emergencies”, I fear the worst but am hoping for all the best for Doug.

  7. Moosebreath says:


    Entirely agree. Hope it is nothing more than needing some time away to handle whatever the issue is and that Doug is back soon.

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    Thank for chasing this up. It’s weird to be worried about someone you’ve never met, but I was beginning to worry. Hopefully, he’ll get through whatever is going on and be back when he’s ready.

  9. CSK says:

    This is worrying. I hope everything turns out well.

  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    Doug is an extraordinarily prolific writer. I hope this is just burn-out.

  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I truly hope all is well, Doug.
    Odd being concerned about someone you’ve never met…but there you have it.
    Be well.

  12. mattbernius says:

    All my best wishes to Doug as he works through whatever it is he’s working his way through.

  13. Guarneri says:

    Well, I think all could agree in hoping he is well or on that road. Life can throw you curves.

  14. R. Dave says:

    Hope you’re doing alright, Doug. All the best to you and yours.

  15. Tony W says:

    I’ll add to the chorus expressing my concern, wishing Doug the best, and looking forward to more of his insights in the years ahead!

  16. gVOR08 says:

    Nothing to add, just joining the chorus of concern and well wishing.

  17. Stormy Dragon says:

    Doug, I hope whatever is going on in your life will end up leading you to a better place.

  18. DrDaveT says:

    I’ll add my inarticulate well-wishes and concern. [Even less articulate comments redacted.]

  19. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Be well and take care.

  20. the Q says:

    Hope it is nothing serious and merely a needed time out.

  21. Todd says:

    Thanks for posting about this. I was wondering about it the other day. Even went back through Doug’s twitter feed to see if he’d mentioned something about an off-the-grid vacation or something. I hope this turns out to be temporary situation and we see Doug back soon.

  22. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Here’s hoping this is only a temporary absence, Doug.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    Gotta’ note that two of the Related Posts that I see at the top of the page under the Become A Patron button are items Doug posted citing the deaths of two jazz musicians.
    Does Al Go Rhythm have anything to do with this?

  24. Gustopher says:

    I hope he gets the space and/or help he needs to deal with whatever is going on, and doesn’t feel forced to explain things he doesn’t want to when he does return. Shutting off the rest of the world is troubling, but I know I do it in times of crisis, so it may not be as troubling as it sounds on the surface.

    (ok, I really hope he has fallen madly in love and is hiking the Appalachian trail, but that seems less likely than a whole pile of crap to deal with)

  25. Ol Nat says:

    Good luck, Doug! Prayers for you and your situation!

  26. Lynn says:
  27. James Joyner says:

    @Lynn: It’s his Twitter account, yes. But it’s just an auto-posting of the OTB feed.

  28. Franklin says:

    I noticed quickly but had assumed I missed the explanation somewhere. Hoping for the best Doug, whatever the situation.

  29. Jeff Sexton says:

    @James Do we have any updates?

    Whatever is going on Doug, know that we’re here. This thread alone – in addition to a few I’ve seen on FB – shows you that you have a lot of people out here that care about you.

    Not enough to hope for many Yankees Ws, but we still care about *you*. 😀

  30. James Joyner says:

    @Jeff Sexton: No news, I’m afraid. Still no response to messages and no activity on his social media platforms aside from auto-generated content from OTB posts.