Archive for ‘Tucker Carlson’

June 9, 2009

NTC: Bloggregating the News

Got up this morning and created the “TOP STORY: OBAMA AND JOBS” post at, which took every bit of 10 minutes, augmented by subsequent additions.

The news business is not rocket science. That’s the basic insight at, an insight inspired in part by Protein Wisdom‘s slogan, “Because Not Just Anybody Can Summarize the News.” And, thanks to Carol at No Sheeples Here, we’re proud to report that you don’t need a bowtie to aggregate the news, either.

The major inspiration, of course, was when Tucker Carlson came bigfooting into the blogosphere with his announcement that he would create the “Huffington Post of the Right.” This raised lots of eyebrows. Tucker’s a TV pundit. What the heck does he know about blogs?

Well, what does anybody need to know about blogs? (Other than The Rules.) For all we know, the “TuckPo” will be absolutely wonderful. But it had better not suck.

A Work In Progress
Meanwhile, rather than waiting around to see what The Bowtied One would bring forth, I collaborated with co-blogger Smitty and with Jimmie Bise Jr. of Sundries Shack to develop

It’s a work in progress, but it is both working and progressing, while the TuckPo is still just a page bragging about “fearless journalism.” (Hey, Tucker: Fear this, y’know what I’m saying?)

The thing is, several conservative activists had talked to me in recent months about the “Huffington Post of the Right” concept. My reply generally involved the question: What does HuffPo have that we don’t have? Money, period. You give me the money Arianna Huffington’s spent on that site, and I’d kick her ass from here to Brentwood.

Evidently, somebody gave Tucker Carlson some money — one source told me Carlson had previously been turned down by various organizations he’d asked for funding — and so now he’s going to teach us bloggers how to aggregate the news.

How do bloggers feel about that? Among others, Michelle Malkin and Mitchell Blatt were profoundly skeptical. This goes back to CPAC in February, when Tucker Carlson proclaimed to the world that conservatives don’t do reporting. As I said two weeks ago:

Having spent 10 years at The Washington Times, I know a thing or two about reporting news, and was insulted by this assertion by Carlson — a rich-boy TV pundit — that conservatives weren’t doing reporting.
What about NewsMax? Human Events? The American Spectator? National Review? CNS? Townhall? All of these are conservative organizations that employ news reporters.
I remember seeing Byron York in a gym at a Sarah Palin rally in Pennsylvania, reporting from the scene. Tucker Carlson? Nope, he wasn’t there.

Four days after the big TuckPo announcement, the Tiller murder story broke on a Sunday, and most bloggers were slow to pick up on it. Having already started developing “Not Tucker Carlson” on a Blogspot platform, the Kansas killing seemed like the kind of big story that could use some rapid aggregation. I called Jimmie and asked him to buy a domain name and, voila, had its first top story.

Bowtie Optional
A work in progress, like I said. Wednesday night we got our first “scoop,” being the first to report the remarks of George Will and Bill Kristol at the Bradley Prizes. Not a big story, but still a legit exclusive. And we’ve debuted a series of daily editorials, “300 Words Or Less,” with guest contributions from bloggers including Fisherville Mike, TrogloPundit, Moe Lane and Becky Brindle. (Bloggers who want to offer a “300 Words Or Less” commentary should e-mail Smitty or e-mail Jimmie.)

We continue to work and progress. Over the past several days, while I was visiting Georgia, Smitty and Jimmie kept the site running without me. We plan to add more contributing aggregators — other bloggers who can post news updates — but if you’ll scroll down through the sidebars, you’ll find a slew of blog feeds arranged so that the site is already “auto-updating” to a large extent.

What next? Who knows? Right now, we could use some money. Several people have already hit the tip jar. So far, it’s a long way from Arianna Huffington’s divorced-my-gay-millionaire-husband money, but we’re grateful for every $5, $10 or $20 contribution. (Please specify the purpose of your PayPal donation, so it doesn’t accidentally get mixed in with the Emergency Fireworks Fund.)

Can a handful of bloggers relying on tip-jar contributions create a major news site? If it’s never been tried before, it’s certainly about time.

6/2: Bowtie Optional
5/29: ‘This will not end well for him’
5/27: Exactly What Will the TuckPo Be?
5/26: Tucker Freaking Carlson?

May 30, 2009

‘This will not end well for him’

So says TechCrunch’s Leena Rao of Tucker Carlson and his project, which proposes to be the “Huffington Post of the Right,” and which is already being laughed to scorn.

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. . . .
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?

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:

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.”
Tucker Carlson, Feb. 27, 2009

UPDATE: At least one of the commenters has accused me of arguing ad hominem.

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.

May 26, 2009

Tucker Freaking Carlson?

Odd item of the day:

Pundit Tucker Carlson publicly announced Tuesday that a right-leaning news site resembling the Huffington Post he’s been planning will go live within weeks.
Carlson will launch, which he said would focus on reporting on the Obama administration and “adding facts to the conversation.”
“We are a general-interest newspaper-format style site,” Carlson told conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. “There just aren’t enough people covering this administration and telling the people what’s going on.”

(Hat tip: Hot Air Headlines.) How long until the Culture 11-style Hindenburg-at-Lakehurst explosion of The Daily TuckerTuckPo? Anybody want to take a stab at an over/under? Please hand me a clue here, because I certainly know nothing about the news business or online publishing.

UPDATE: Despite my ignorance of news and online publishing, I just found what’s called a “Web page” named “Google,” which you can use to look up stuff. And I was surprised to find that, just two weeks ago, it was announced that Tucker Carlson had been hired by something called “Fox News” (it connects to your television set with what’s called a “cable”).

So maybe this online thing is just a hobby for him, at least until he gets fired from Fox like he did from CNN and MSNBC.

UPDATE II: Advice to Tucker Carlson: It had better not suck. See, the thing is, even though I’m not one of The Republicans Who Really Matter — not the kind of “influential” guy who can get you hooked up with a TV gig — you would never want to make me your enemy. Just ask Ross Douthat.

Or John McCain. Let you in on a little secret: Part of the rationale of this blog, originally, was the hope that somebody in the Republican Party might notice and be smart enough to think, “Hey, that loose cannon could be dangerous,” and then inquire about the price to get it off deck. I’m notoriously lazy, and getting paid not to blog would be a sweet gig.

But I overestimated their intelligence. (You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of GOP political operatives.) Nobody ever got in touch with me, and by the time the campaign really got rolling, I’d completely forgotten about my original get-rich-quick scheme, and pretty soon I was racking up some impressive traffic and . . .

Well, now Technorati tells me the site’s worth more than $200,000. Man, to think what I’d have done for even $50,000 as late as mid-2008. Chumps.