That's what was so ridiculous about him announcing it at a bloggers lunch, as I explained yesterday:
If you’re going to start a new Web site, you don’t begin by holding a press conference or issue a press release declaring your intention to start a new Web site. You bring the page up in beta, work the bugs out before anybody’s seen it, circulate the word to your blogger friends via e-mail, and only when you’ve got it rolling good and steady do you issue a press release and start doing promotion. All of which anybody in the business would have told you, if you had bothered to ask.But of course, he didn't bother to ask, because he knows everything. After all, he's already worked at every cable-news outlet there is. If he flops at Fox (as he's flopped everywhere else) what next? Will he show up on Home Shopping Network? Yet if first-class free publicity is what he's looking for, he sure got it from the Wall Street Journal:
The site will take on the form of a general interest newspaper, he said, and will even attempt to be faster than the popular and speedy Drudge Report. . . .That's just it, you see: Tucker Carlson has never run a Web site. To my knowledge, he's never even run a group blog. And Michelle Malkin (averaging 7 million hits per month) tells Michael Blatt:
Mr. Carlson writes for the Daily Beast and was recently named to the Fox News position after a stint as a political correspondent on MSNBC. . . . How will Mr. Carlson balance the responsibilities of running a news Web site with his duties at other outlets?
It’s not as easy as some people think it looks. . . . You have to approach the whole enterprise with a healthy does of intellectual humility. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to make something like this work. You're doing it 24/7. It takes more than money. I think that is the lesson of the failure of Culture 11.Oh, cursed dirigible! Oh, the humanity! Tucker Carlson is going to come strutting into Malkin's 'hood talking smack? He's going to aggregate faster than Drudge? He's going to do original reporting online and hasn't talked to any of the young reporters I know in D.C.? (Ask Dan Riehl: I know everybody.)
Over at Newsbusters, Blatt quotes Carlson's response to Malkin: "I hope Michelle will take a close look at the site when it's out. I think she'll like it."
Then why the big announcement at Heritage? He couldn't have called Malkin who, between her own site and Hot Air, grabs 22 million visits a month?
Hey, what about The New Ledger? What are those guys, chopped liver? Red State? What about Jennifer Rubin at Commentary? And never even mind the usual suspects: National Review, Human Events, The American Spectator, The Washington Times, CNSNews, NewsMax, WorldNetDaily, Townhall, The Weekly Standard . . . hey, they've got a few reporters, too, y'know.
When you start out with a big announcement, effectively giving the back of the hand to so many of your fellow conservatives . . . well, it had better not suck.
"Conservatives need to . . . find out what’s going on."UPDATE: At least one of the commenters has accused me of arguing ad hominem.
-- Tucker Carlson, Feb. 27, 2009
Guilty! And the commenter is guilty of the arrogant presumption that if I make an ad hominem attack, it is because I am incapable of making a point-by-point rebutal. But conservation of resources is one of the basic principles of warfare, and there are some arguments so ludicrous as not to merit the labor of constructing a detailed rebuttal.
My time is valuable, and if I make a point-by-point argument, the antagonist is thereby invited to reply with his own point-by-point argument. We might continue thus ad infinitum in a sort of intellectual trench warfare, overwhelming the spectators with a tedious re-hashing of minutiae. All fine and good for academic journals but for the blogosphere, not so much.
Tucker Carlson is an arrogant preppy who, according to Wikipedia, attended St. George's School (tuition $41K/yr.) and Trinity College (tuition, room and board $51K/yr. ). Let him rebut that argument!
Now, it happens that Friday evening I spoke by phone with a well-known Internet entrepeneur, a fellow who describes himself as enthusiastically "pro-Tucker." Having heard the explanation of my resentment over Tucker's presumptious bigfooting into the blogosphere, my friend said, "Well, why don't you reach out to him?"
"Dude, I did reach out to him. I kicked that bowtied son of a bitch right square in the knee."
Why is it that the Tucker Carlsons of the world expect the rest of us to kowtow to them, to admire and support them in such a way that it is our obligation to "reach out" to them -- cap in hand, tugging the forelock in reverent obeisance -- and never their obligation to reach out to us? Merely because my parents couldn't afford to send me to St. George's doesn't make me as a doormat upone which Tucker Carlson is invited to wipe his feet.
If you allow yourself to be a doormat, you can't complain about the footprints on your back, and just because Tucker Carlson doesn't know what I'm doing, he shouldn't make the mistake of assuming that I don't know what I'm doing.