Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 18, 2004
Made some more changes to the blogroll, including a few I should explain. First of all, I've given a prominent place to Gerry Dales' Electoral College projections site, which looks at the most recent state-by-state polls. I found this site through James Taranto's Best of the Web, which linked to Dales on Thursday; it's precisely what I've been looking for for the past few months in keeping tabs on the only polls that matter. I'm still stunned by the polls Dales cites showing Bush leading in Democrat-leaning New Jersey; then again, besides the September 11 effect in NY & NJ, there may be a backlash growing in the state against Democrat governor Jim McGreevey, or at least an end to the long backlash against the state's GOP governors (who rode to power on the backlash against Jim Florio . . . ).
Second, I've taken Wonkette off my blogroll; I still check the site daily and will still link to specific items; there's some good stuff there. But I can't really recommend it to readers. Wonkette's obsession with pushing her point of view on gay issues into just everything makes Andrew Sullivan's content seem varied by contrast. She's still great with one-liners, but the Atrios impersonation on that one issue is starting to wear thin.
Third, I've also taken down the link to the ever-controversial Little Green Footballs. There's been persistent controversy over whether LGF, which was (ironically) something of a center-left-leaning site until September 11, has crossed the line into an anti-Islamic/anti-Arab hate site. Joe Katzman has some good thoughts starting here (link via Meryl Yourish); a lot of the issue revolves around whether Charles Johnson can be held responsible for the bile that pours from some of his enormous stable of regular commenters.
Of course, nearly every site that features comments has more extreme stuff in the comments than the blogger; it's the nature of the medium. I was going to weigh in, but it would be unfair of me to rip Johnson and ignorant of me to defend him, since frankly I don't read the site that much myself. LGF is still a great news-aggregating (and sometimes news-gathering) resource, and I have no problem linking to specific posts; but I can't really be bothered at this point to be responsible for endorsing a site when I'm not that up to speed on its contents (which isn't to say I'm totally on top of every site on my blogroll, but I'm not aware of any of the others generating so much angst).
This brings me to a broader point. I've de-linked Kos because I couldn't in good conscience be associated with his deplorable endorsement of murdering American contractors in Iraq, and I've stopped regularly reading Atrios because he makes my blood boil (see here for an example). But I'd have no problem linking to either if I ran across some reason to do so on a particular point. My general philosophy with the likes of Kos and Atrios is that if they come up with something worthwhile, I'll hear about it from Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall and Paul Krugman soon enough.
There are only two sites I would really have a problem linking to. One is Hesiod, who's just out of his mind; the other is the Agonist, who got nailed for plaigarism. Anybody else, I may not want to blogroll them, but they're part of the conversation.
P.S. - If you missed it, Aaron Haspel had the definitive take last spring on Hesiod and Atrios:
Hesiod "Theogeny". A sort of bush-league Atrios who literally can't spell his own name. Same m.o., less traffic.