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.

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