Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My good friend Dan Riehl is angry

I'd call your attention to July 23rd when I recorded just over 47,000 uniques -- far from a site record, by the way. But it had nothing to do with Erin Andrews videos, or girlie pics, it was a substantive essay on Obama's burning down of his post-racial theme due to his rhetoric on Crowley-Gates.
OK, Dan is honest in his assessment and deserves honesty in return. Dan is one of my original blog buddies, going back long before this blog ever existed.

Dan's skills as a researcher are invaluable to the conservative blogosphere, and have been valuable to me personally. When the question was posed, "Who Is Eleanor Acheson?" it was Dan who discovered that Acheson was actually a registered lobbyist in New York.

Given all his services to the 'sphere, which continue daily, Dan's got better things to do than to referee a silly dispute over Donald Douglas and the "Erin Andrews nude" Google-bomb, in the same sense that I've got better things to do than fisk David Brooks. Considering that I spent a couple hours last night digging for the lost e-mail in which one of my sources sent me Gerald Walpin's phone number -- which is now sitting atop The Notorious Pile O' Crap Otherwise Known As My Desk -- I should probably shrug my shoulders and walk away.

However, there is an important consideration here that I wish I could make Dan and other longtime denizens of the 'sphere appreciate. Dan's been blogging since September 2004 and, like other early-adapters of blogging, he benefits from having built a loyal readership back in the day when the 'sphere was in its infancy, or at least its late pubescence.

Well, way back in September 2004, the policies of my employer specifically forbade me from blogging. There is neither time nor need to go through the whole story, but in July 2006, I came this close to getting fired for blogging about Ralph Reed. Around the same time, I recall reading a magazine article explaining that the hierarchy of the blogosphere was already set in stone, and that new independent bloggers didn't stand a chance of reaching the level where they could actually earn a living at it.

All of which is by way of explaining that when I decided to quit my job in January 2008, to seek my living elsewhere, I couldn't afford to fail.

'Don't . . . Tell Me It's Raining'
On the day that news of my resignation hit Fishbowl DC, I got a call from the managing editor of a monthly magazine, eager to hire me. Because the primary reason for my resignation from the newspaper was a project that required me to fly off to Africa, I wasn't immediately available. But at the insistence of that editor, I sent him a resume.

Some weeks later, when I called the managing editor back -- "OK, let's talk about that job now" -- I discovered that his boss, the publisher, wasn't nearly so eager to hire me as the managing editor was. However, they might consider me, if I'd be willing to try offering some freelance work for them and . . .

Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.

I had no shortage of freelance opportunities, and was indeed already freelancing for The American Spectator. My references are excellent, my body of work and career skill-set were equal or superior to anyone that other publication might try to hire, so I made up my mind. The publisher of that other magazine would bitterly regret having heinously insulted me. As I remarked in an essay a few weeks ago:
Success in any endeavor starts with the resolute determination to succeed. No matter how formidable the competition, hold your head up high. They’re no better than you, and victory begins with the decision to rule out the possibility of defeat. “Can’t never could.”
That attitude took my father from a farm in Alabama to a brick home in the suburbs of Atlanta. It took me from Georgia to Washington, where now I find myself in daily competition no less formidable than those big boys from Bessemer, even if the sport is a bit more refined. Really, though, it’s still the same game, and the formula for winning has never changed.
I’m going to beat you today.
Count on it, buddy. I didn’t come this far to start losing now.
One reason I relentlessly excoriate David Brooks is that he evidently doesn't feel the need to earn his pay. When I consider how hard Dan Riehl and some other of my friends work to make a few bucks in New Media -- shout out to Jimmie Bise and Cynthia Yockey -- I become enraged by the spectacle of Brooks being paid to waste 804 words on useless navel-gazing.

Growth vs. Entropy
We who are own bosses, hustling for every dime, can't afford wasted words, so I regret if any words have been wasted in this ongoing debate sparked by Donald Douglas. But those of us who entered the 'sphere after the hierarchy had solidified, and who push, push, push to build readership -- the opposite of growth is not stability, but entropic decay -- aren't going to make headway by endlessly reiterating familiar arguments about health care or global warming or whatever today's talking point may be.

If Donald went too far in his relentless quest for traffic enhancement, and it is well-nigh universally agreed that he did, then one ought to consider his motives, even if the best that can be said is that those motives were the good intentions that paved the road to Internet hell.

But I don't want to argue with Donald, or Dan, or Cassandra or Attila. What I want to do is eat a sandwich, take a shower, clear my head and then call that telephone number on my desk. Unlike David Brooks, I have to earn my pay.


  1. The problem is you don't have those funny photos of Artie Sulzberger. Not that you need it to get work, but wouldn't you like to make what DB makes? Shoot Stacy, I am sure you could get more out of the old man than $3.50 a word. I figure you have to be worth at least $4.75 a word.

  2. Your success speaks for itself......

  3. People sure do like to bitch about unimportant stuff.

  4. I'll say this: you certainly are more of a gentleman than I'd be given Riehl seems intent on dragging you through the mud in a subsequent post. (Frankly, I'm somewhat shocked (and, more than that, disappointed) at his behavior but, then, I only know the guy by what he writes online, so maybe he's a total jerk in real life.)

  5. Anonymous:
    What is "in real life"?

  6. Real life as in what it might be like to talk to him one-on-one, physically, and not how he holds himself out to the world via his blog.

  7. Stacy... Dan... both of you.... just step.... away from the keyboards.... and LET IT GO!

  8. Anonymous:
    You mean people are duplicitious?

  9. No, that's not what I mean: for it to be duplicity, there would have to be a meaningful effort to deceive someone in a malicious way.

    In Riehl's case, up until this silly bit of inside baseball, he came across as generally level-headed, calm, cool and collected (which is the 'brand', I imagine, he's been cultivating for a very long time).

    But what we've now seen across three, separate, posts is a far, far more defensive, irritable, immature and buffoonish figure emerge, with each succeeding post revealing another layer of insecurity, self-doubt and seething aimed at people who he's, on the one hand, complimenting and, on the other, telling us how awful they are. (While at the same time assuring us all along that, really, he doesn't care at all...no, really, trust him...even as he makes three, voluminous, angry, posts that clearly demonstrate for everyone to see that he cares...quite a lot, actually, which makes it even more sad and pathetic to watch him trying to have his rhetorical cake and eat it, too.)

    He also appears to make a number of unfounded assertions in his latest screed and now the whole thing has degraded to farce, all because he doesn't like that Mr. McCain (and Smitty, I guess) combine politics with things that aren't politics*. (This is, if I'm reading him right, a cardinal sin in Riehl's book because, as he says, people just don't like having both in an ostensibly political blog, never mind that Ace of Spades' (and about a thousand other poli blogs on the left and right) entire schtick is based on politics + all sorts of other, out of left field, things and is far, far more popular than Riehl's and McCain's blogs combined.)

    He also doesn't seem to grasp even one iota the concept of marketing (which is what all this link-whoring ends up being for the participants: they get lots of potential views that--gasp!--might just turn into new readers who will keep coming back like I have for about a half-dozen 'rule' bloggers) and if Riehl is pleased as punch with where he is and what he's doing (as he keeps telling us over and over again) why does he feel the need to 'call out' those that are staking a different path to blog 'stardom' than he is? Why, if he doesn't really care, does he go on and on about it?

    Anyway, that's my last post on this silliness--I don't even know either of these guys, but McCain is, at least, staying mostly above it (his only response to this has been incredibly restrained and civil and almost off-topic to, I imagine, avoid insulting someone he considers a friend) but Riehl has kinda gone off the deep end on this and, hopefully, he'll be back 'on message' come tomorrow.

    *The thing is, he keeps adding to the litany of 'crimes' for which McCain and co. are 'guilty' which has evolved with each, subsequent, post to include more things he doesn't really like and that upstanding bloggers should never-ever do because they're bad (and because they might pass Riehl someday soon, traffic-wise).

  10. BTW on that one, every police officer with 3 months' experience in a On Skip Gates, every police officer with 3 months of service in a large city and every public transit operator with 5 years' experience in a large city knows exactly what Skip said and why. No need to listen to the tapes because it is a script and the reason for executing it is a cliche performance, to deflect attention from something illegal the perp has underway.

    The aforementioned public servants know every line, every gesture, every inflection and the specific reason it is performed -- and it is exactly that, a performance. It is so common, so predictable, every one of the aforementioneds has the script memorized.

    I drove public transit in a large large US city for 23 years, BTW, now retired.

    The Cambridge SGT Greta interviews on Gateway Pundit today alludes to that script and the cliched predictability of it.

    So Skip Gates is a textbook case using a textbook script. It did not work, as it usually does not. Police remark that the jails are not full of smart people.

    The question is what was Skip hiding? The purpose of initiating the script is to deflect attention from something embarrassing that is also illegal and in the immediate vicinity.

    The police knew that was the issue. They have been through it countless times. Drugs and a male prostitute, probably minor, is a common scenario. On a bus, it starts with non-payment of fare, despite probably carrying hundreds or thousands of dollars. Then it rapidly escalates to taking control of the ambience of the bus, holding everyone in fear and laughing inwardly at "whitey's" stupidity, and waiting for the opportunity to file a civil rights suit.

    Text book. Police see it daily in big cities, public transit operators that often or nearly so. It is a script, executed thousands of times daily across the nation. So familiar to police and bus drivers they have it memorized and could fill in lines the perp forgets in their fervor to evade, hide, torment and control.

    The one thing perps cannot do is is simply fly straight. That is beyond this type, the punks, which includes Skip, Cornell West and James Cone.

    I do not know the facts, but if Skip was not on crack, I would be surprised, and if he was not "at home" with a male sex object I also would be surprised. But as I say, I do not know those particular facts.

    Also, if he lived there, why did he have to break in? Something untoward there from the top. The police knew that, were looking to see what specifically it was. Must have been huge given Skip's response.

    His execution of the script says that the facts were severely embarrassing and so he was trying to drive away scrutiny. In that he failed.

    And with him pulling that crap rather than not engaging in the crooked behavior in the first place, and backed up from the White House, the entire police force of the United States deserted the occupant of the White House. Damage-wise from the race pimps' perspective it was more disastrous than OJ.

    There are thousands of Americans with brown or coffee skin coloration given by European mixed with African genetics who serve their nations and families with honor, creativity and dignity. They are mortified by the likes of Skip and, if they had not already figured it out, realize now that the occupant of the White House is an Un-American Racist Tyrant who positively does not support their interests but actively subverts them.

    That the US police force now is against that individual and his partner, who in fact runs the show, denies him those guns. He already lost the great majority of the others. S/he has nothing left and does not know it, nor ever will.