February 4, 2008

"I blog for the hell of it, to express myself, and to figure out the world as I go along, the best I can."

Andrew Sullivan explains his motivation for blogging. He gets paid too (a lot, I've heard), which he also notes. I like that description of the motivation for blogging, though I don't quite buy Sullivan's denial that he's trying to affect real-world policy.

46 comments:

Doyle said...

I don't quite buy your claim that you're a Democrat.

john said...

Doyle,

I don't quite buy AS's claim that he is a conservative.

On the other hand, I've never doubted your claims.

Sordid Business said...

If Andrew Sullivan is a conservative, then Larry Flynt is a God-fearing Christian...and the last time I checked the New Testament, photoshoots of girl-on-girl action was not the path to spiritual salvation. All we need to do now is get the regular press to stop calling him "conservative commentator" and get his real designation "abrasive shill for the Obama campaign".

ricpic said...

Sullivan? Disinterested observer? Not bloody likely.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

What is a conservative, anyway?

Liberal and conservative have ceased to be useful terms.

Except for name-calling.

terrance said...

Did Sullivan refute trying to affect real-world policy or deny impacting the outcome of elections when he claimed "The idea of blogging to tilt elections seems ridiculously quixotic to me."? Policies and elections don't seem to have the same meanings in my lexicon. In fact, my reading of Sullivan's post suggested that he might be interested in influencing people's belief systems when he blogged: "If the argument makes sense, people will respond to it eventually.".

fstopfitzgerald said...

Well, thank god there hasn't been any thinly-veiled homophobia here.

fstopfitzgerald said...

peter hoh said...

What is a conservative, anyway?


That's easy.

A conservative is someone who promotes the interests of a terminally-corrupted Republican party and its corporate sponsors through the use of character assassination, distortion, propaganda, and lies.

Thank god that doesn't describe anybody here....

AJ Lynch said...

Ann- I bet you could get a high-paying gig to blog. I also bet your traffic is much higher than Sullivan's.

Hell Sullivan was cut loose by Time Magazine right? For failing to draw enough eyeballs I assume.

AJ Lynch said...

Doyle, why do you always sound like an angry, little woman? Oh I forgot you are a Mets fan.

Sordid Business said...

If that comment was directed at me,fstop, please allow me to correct you--I am as homosexual as the day is long (been a Friend of Dorothy since I was about 6 years old according to my mama). I rather resent having to prove my 'mo bona fides, but if someone is possibly going to assert I'm a homophobe, then I will quickly defend myself. My description of Hustler mag content was to demonstrate that one couldn't make a living denigrating something you presume to ascribe to (not that Larry Flynt is a believer in the higher power--I have no evidence to say yes or no on that). What is was trying to do was show that AS claims he's a conservative, yet he has spent *years* systematically denigrating most of the ideas they believe in--quite gleefully so.

Ms. Althouse, pardon me for taking up so much space for delivering a possible attitude adjustment. Crack on.....

JohnAnnArbor said...

Did Andrew mention narcissism as a reason, or is that so obvious it doesn't need to be listed?

terrance said...

JohnAnnArbor said...
Did Andrew mention narcissism as a reason, or is that so obvious it doesn't need to be listed?

Where would you place Andrew on your narcissism scale relative to other high profile political bloggers?

P. Rich said...

AA: If you regularly visit and reference sources like Sullivan, and the NYT, in order to provoke (one must assume), what do you read for actual information? A steady diet of lefty drivel makes eventually for runny brain stool manifested as drooling, slack-jawed radical opinion, which is sooooo unbecoming in a woman of wit and intelligence.

George said...

Technorati ranks (by authority) these blogs as the top 5: Engadget, Gizmodo, Techcrunch, Huffington, Boing...then cheezburger at 10, house of 1,000 cats Drudge 38, Sullivan 52, fabulous Sartorialist 61 (!), the terrifying Michele Malkin 74, toaster obsessed Instapundit 83....

So many techie blogs in the top 100, geez, and so far as I can tell zero blogs emanating from traditional media sources...

Anyway, perfesser, that's why media companies are starting to put bloggers under their umbrellas, ala The Atlantic.

Hang in there--blog more about ridiculous gadgets and sportscars, run photos of silly animals and stylish students and someone will invite you in out of the rain....

Where do you rank anyway?

hdhouse said...

P. Rich said...
AA: A steady diet of lefty drivel makes eventually for runny brain stool manifested as drooling, slack-jawed radical opinion, which is sooooo unbecoming in a woman of wit and intelligence."

and a cup without a handle is a bowl ....

get a grip fella...foaming at the mouth is not only unbecoming it makes you look ...well rabid. the conservative "outlook" (highly likened to peering up one's ass with a flashlight) is hardly the mainstream of American thought.

You sillyboys have had your 8 year romp in the sandbox and, like my 2 cats, your production is not worth saving. You can blast away at Ann all you want and you can lament the utter stupidity that has infected your ilk and has tossed you guys out of power like yesterdays bad news.

Your 15 minutes are up. It's time for the grown ups and this type of mongering ... displayed in your quote... is quite out of fashion and simply out of gas....flatulent as it is.

tituschelsea said...

When you say he makes a lot of money blogging how much are we talking?

Over $250,000?

What is your definition of making a lot of money?

Ann Althouse said...

I heard it was over $300,000. I think I remember where I heard it, but I'm not disclosing. If anyone knows, correct me.

Ann Althouse said...

To me, making "a lot," for a writer with a salary, is over $200,000.

Ann Althouse said...

At what point do I feel jealous? I'd say about $285,000.

tituschelsea said...

Wow, I am surprised. $300,000 is a lot. Not a bad salary to write a blog "full-time".

If you could get 300k to write your blog full-time would you do it? Maybe, just teach 1 class and still get additional compensation and benefits from the UW?

He does have a home in DC and Ptown though so I assumed he had to be making at least over 250k. And his boyfriend is an actor who likely doesn't make much money.

Ann Althouse said...

He also writes his books and has speaking engagements and so forth. I'm sure the total is much higher.

Me, of course, I'd like to be paid to blog, but I'd prefer to stay independent and get all that income in the form of ad revenue (which I have now, but in an amount that does not make sense in proportion to the time). As for quitting my job — in my case it would be a matter of retiring, with a good pension — I would worry about wrecking my formula. You get something from teaching, from the structure of the day and the year, from the students, from your colleagues. It would border on insane to spend more time blogging than I already do. And if some company like The Atlantic were paying me, it would affect my mind a lot. My style of blogging is very much about personal freedom, and I'd hate to have to think about whether my employer thought I was meeting expectations.

Trooper York said...

But it might give you more time to blog about the really important things in American culture, namely the Super Bowl, The Celebrity Apprentice, American Idol and my new favorite Celebrity Rehab. To see it is to not believe it. I kid you not. You might never get in another taxi.

Trooper York said...

And of course you could continue your fascinating photographic depictions of public urination.

ricpic said...

Ya think this place is quiet? You could hear a pin drop in Beantown, downtown Beantown. Deeep depression. Ain't it geat?

Henry said...

and to figure out the world as I go along, the best I can...

This seems pretty accurate. Sullivan does seem to do a lot of figuring out as he goes along. Mickey Kaus doesn't call him excitable Andrew without cause.

He is a man of enthusiasms, which can make him fun to read, but also impossible to take all that seriously.

Still. You have to admire the Atlantic for their blogging gang of Sullivan, Megan McCardle, Matthew Yglesias, etc. It's the only hired-gun blog group with any verve.

Simon said...

For someone who's paid to write, it doesn't seem like he writes in conspicuous volume or depth. It's not a bad blog, I know Sully has his detractors but he's enjoyable to read - still, I don't know if it's worth paying him $30,000 a year for. That seems kind of high for what it is.

Maxine Weiss said...

"I'd hate to have to think about whether my employer thought I was meeting expectations."----Althouse

And yet, you already spend endless amounts of time wondering what your employer thinks of this blog, anyhow.

Hard to believe that you never wonder how something will go over, before pressing that 'publish' button.

Gahrie said...

Look..I'm no fan of either McCain or Romney....hell either one of them are liberal enough to be Democrats slightly to the left of Lieberman.

That said, I will now pray that one of them wins in November, just so we can be treated with the spectacle of watching hdfhouse and his ilk totally lose it.

You thought BDS was bad....we might actually have to put some of them down like mad dogs........

Maxine Weiss said...

$285,000.00 won't even come close to buying a 2-bedroom single family home in Southern California.

....in an all-white neighborhood.

Love,
Maxine

Simon said...

Henry said...
"Still. You have to admire the Atlantic for their blogging gang of Sullivan, Megan McCardle, Matthew Yglesias, etc. It's the only hired-gun blog group with any verve."

Yglesias isn't really a risk, though! I'd read him if he was reduced to publishing via smoke signals.

Maxine Weiss said...

Hey Althouse: What will you be giving up for Lent ?

I've got a few suggestions....

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse: "Is there anything left to even give up?"

Althouse: "After all, I've offered up so much already."

john said...

Maxine,

$285,000 A YEAR will be just fine to buy a house in S Cal. Please take time to read before you spout. Think you might be a little full of yourself this evening?

fstopfitzgerald said...


Blogger Gahrie said...

Look..I'm no fan of either McCain or Romney....hell either one of them are liberal enough to be Democrats slightly to the left of Lieberman.


Liberal enough to be to the left of Lieberman?

A very perceptive comment, except for the fact that it has absolutely no connection to anything resembling reality as it is experienced by anybody currently not institutionalized.

Kudos, my friend.

Ann Althouse said...

What will I give up for Lent? Give me some ideas. I won't give up blogging. Maybe food.

fstopfitzgerald said...


Blogger Gahrie said...

Look..I'm no fan of either McCain or Romney....hell either one of them are liberal enough to be Democrats slightly to the left of Lieberman.


Seriously -- I've done more drugs than most people have had hot meals, and even I've never been as high as Gahrie was when he wrote that.

Maxine Weiss said...

1. Caffeine.
2. Alcohol.
3. Television.
4. Airplane travel.
5. Meat & Dairy

Simon said...

Re Lent, Bierce put it best: the abstainer is "a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others."

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Maxine. If everyone gave up responding to Maxine for Lent, life would be wonderful. Or would it? Lets ask "Suzanne." (IIRC)

Kirk Parker said...

john,

Q: How is this night different from any other night?

A: No different...

Maxine Weiss said...

30 years from now, Ann and Dell will be elderly ladies living together, helping each other through old age.

The neighbors will see them walking down the street with canes in hand.

They'll be mistaken for two elderly lesbian lovers.

But, they won't care and will just laugh the whole thing off.

Revenant said...

I'm giving up giving a rat's ass about the Presidential race, for Lent. :)

Theo Boehm said...

My penance will be to start paying attention to the Presidential race.

Lent isn't only about giving things up. It's also about doing your duty and living up to your responsibilities.

Pretty sickening in the case of the Presidential campaign, but somebody's got to do it.

I'm reaching for the Rolaids as I type this.

colleenjk said...

I couldn't help but respond to this comment. I was assigned to blog for a school project and I am beyond curious as to why all of you blog. As for making about $300,000 to do it, that sounds great to me. Isn't that everyone's dream job--to get paid to share there world views with everyone else. I bet its all these commenters' dream job at least.