Archive for ‘bloggernoia’

July 21, 2009

Is Hot Air offline? Or is it just me?UPDATED: Back online; ‘human error’

(BUMPED 12:03 P.M.; SEE UPDATES BELOW) Of course, it’s 3:30 a.m., so they may just be doing downtime for service or something. The site seemed to go down while I was working on an “IG-Gate Update” report in the Green Room. Figured it was just a glitch, so I finished writing the post in Word format, but when I went back — two hours later — I still couldn’t get the site to come up.

Perhaps it’s all part of the conspiracy against me. Byron York is probably in on it, too.

Bloggernoia, anyone?

UPDATE: In the comments, Gerard Van der Leun confirms that both Hot Air and Michelle Malkin’s site are now down. So, down for maintenance, targeted by denial-of-service attack, or did somebody just forget to pay the ISP bill this month?

UPDATE II: At 9:45 a.m. Ed Morrissey posted: “This was human error . . .” For which somebody undoubtedly got a double-earful of grief.

If any of you actually know Michelle Malkin, she is not a woman you would ever want to make angry. Some of you may think of her as just another pundit, but it’s more appropriate to think of her as an independent businesswoman. The syndicated column, the books, the speaking engagements, the TV appearances, her blog, Hot Air — she’s a one-woman industry, a name brand, and she didn’t build her media empire by slacking around doing sloppy work, see?

A few years ago, when I was at The Washington Times, we got Michelle to come to the office for an interview. When the interview was over, I wanted to introduce her to some people on the second floor. This took a little longer than anticipated. Michelle had another appointment — she was on a schedule — and she began to become noticeably irritated at the delay of her departure, which was my fault. It was scary.

‘Human Error’?
Fast-forward to earlier this year, when Michelle asked me to read a few draft chapters of Culture of Corruption and suggest changes.

Oh. My. God. Yeah, heckuva an honor to be asked, but on the other hand, a task fraught with danger. A book is not a blog post or a newspaper article. It is not a transient phenomenon, here today and forgotten tomorrow. Regnery is going to sell tens of thousands of copy of that book, every liberal critic on the planet will go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for a comma splice or a typo, and . . . Oh. My. God.

Think of “human error” in hardback! If I were responsible for a screw-up, I’d be forever banished, exiled to The Land Of Perpetual Non-Linkage, persona non grata in the blogosphere.

Well, as Michelle would say, you gotta have balls to take on that kind of job. I’ve edited some excellent journalists over the years, and every writer loves his first draft. Sometimes in the newsroom, I’d find myself in furious arguments with reporters (I don’t want to name names, Stephen Dinan) who were prepared to fight for every preposition and participle.

Don’t Change a Word!
As an editor, you hate that attitude — you’re not being paid the big medium bucks just to read stuff and send it along — but Dinan is a meticulous writer, and there was at least one occasion where an editor, thinking to “improve” Dinan’s copy, accidentally introduced an error into his story. Hey, it’s the reporter’s byline, and his protective instinct, his pride of authorship, was not a thing to be taken lightly.

Which I, of all people, should understand. I was both an editor and a reporter, and when it was my byline on a story, I was obsessive, even fanatical, about protecting my articles as they flowed through the editorial process. My motto then became, “Don’t Change a Word of My Deathless Prose!”

All this background was in my mind when I was asked to read Michelle’s manuscript. It’s her book, her research, her hours of writing and re-writing, her name on the cover. If there’s an error in the book, she’s going to be the one who takes the heat, and God forbid I should be in the vicinity of such an error.

So please buy a copy Culture of Corruption — better yet, buy two copies and give one to a liberal you know, just to annoy ’em. And please pray for me, and for the other people involved in the editorial process on Michelle’s blockbuster expose of Team Obama.

“Human error” . . . Oh. My. God. I’d be a dead man. Or at least, I’d wish I was dead.