Andrew Sullivan is moving to *The Daily Beast*

His explanation is here.  I have long thought TDB built an attractive-looking web site, but I have not followed the company per se, nor have I read the new Newsweek, nor do I have a good sense of what Tina Brown on the web might mean.  Sullivan was the first blogger I ever read and of course he still is very influential within the blogging field.  What do you all think of this move?  And is the market for blog acquisitions heating up again?


I think it's great. It's embarassing that The Atlantic kept him on their roster for so long.

1. He was one of the original four horsemen of the blogpocalypse.
2. I think its a good move, he's slowly become more erratic as time has progressed, and I was curious why Atlantic kept him on despite his bazar obsession with Sarah Palin's uterus.

Marginal Revolution to Huff-n-Puff for $250k, plus a 3 year commitment to blog at current levels. The only question is how much Alex gets?

How does the performance of 'top' bloggers get measured? I don't mean the AOL and Huff models of a few dollars or zero per post. I mean how do they pay Freakonomics, Mickey Kaus, Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit at Hot Air, Reynolds at Pajamas (if that's still really paying), Yglesias. Is there a workable metric that isn't subject to abuse? My best control over a true blogger would be the lock-up: you can't blog, tweet, or mass-anything while you are under contract to us, unless you do it through our site.

Also, a big Sullivan question: did he get the BIG contract to go because Tina is desperate (my bet) or did his Atlantic contract expire and they didn't need him as much as they did 4 years ago (like how XM/Sirius cut down Stern and really cut down its lesser voices now that its established)?

Tyler should ask Matt and Ezra what MR is worth.

Read Sullivan until it became clear there was nothing out of bounds when it came to Sarah Palin.

Is Sarah Palin more of a douche than John Edwards?

He should have cut his losses far earlier with the Sarah Palin fiasco. IMHO, Sullivan's reputation took quite a hit.

Regardless, I still love reading his blog.

I'd really like to understand why the hatred for Palin. Seriously. I'd love to be able to hate her too. With the speed that the seething hate ripped through the inteleftuals all the way down to my democrat friends, I feel like I've been left out of a party.

There is this theory:

And another that I can't find, neither of which seems to explain the likes of Sullivan. The funny thing about people trying to explain their irrationality is that the longer they explain the worse it gets.

I suspect it boils down to Palin never bowing before the establishment and giving heed with the requisite lip service on the national casting couch, but that's probably only because she never got the chance. Or maybe it's the "I did it my way" airs that causes a kind of boomerang judgmentalism onto those that have. Maybe it's just that she's not an elite and doesn't seem to care. Maybe they really hate dumbasses, but I'm kind of sympathetic to the idea that it's more of a symbolic beatdown as a warning to any other climbers out there, but only because nothing else makes any sense.

Andrew: citing the sewer known as the American "Thinker" doesn't do you any favors.

Since I'm not part of the "establishment", I don't care whether she bowed to it or not. What turned me off to Palin was the realization, shortly after she came onto the national scene, was that she was a petty bully locked into an adolescent worldview. Her obsession with petty score-settling and juvenile snark-mongering ("Lamestream"? really?) has only become more obvious the longer she's been on the scene. She is bereft of goals or ideas that extend beyond the personal acquisition of power. I know this is true of about 95% of all politicians, but most of the others at least make an effort to cloak their ambitions behind the appearance of knowledge and thought.

Her story about how the birth of her last child played out may be true, but it sure seems odd. Flying from TX to Alaska after her water had broke? Really?


I don't care about associations. I'm not trying to abuse citations and appeal to authority like some people do. I don't need any favors.

I think Palin is uniquely less dangerous than even a John Edwards (who thankfully gets a political Darwinism award) because she isn't good at playing that signaling game. I don't feel better about being tricked by a smarter assclown.

Just went to The Daily Beast at work. Even with images turned off, I get "HUMPILATES" popping up from a Flash video. Won't be back.

I'm afraid both sides lose on this one. I will most likely not visit TBD and I will certainly visit the Atlantic less frequently now.

I disagree. I think the Atlantic worries that Sullivan's makes them look cheap and erodes their brand image. But TBD could use the massive amounts of traffic that Sullivan generates. In that sense, all parties are better off.

This presupposes that the Atlantic is best off by trying to maintain a higher level of discourse, which may or may not be true.

Wait a minute, you don't want us to talk about what Sullivan does want to talk about?

I thought I'd do some background research and check out the daily beast. Gripping stuff.

"Among more juicy allegations in the book, which is filled with catty asides, including a description of Palin's skin as being darkened from trips to a tanning salon."

Holy FS. This lady wanted the button and she goes to a tanning salon!?!

So there's only about one comment (mine! mine! above) talking about Markets in Bloggers? Everyone else has to complain about Sullivan?

It's fascinating to see an established blogger being wooed--again--to a media company desperate to match new media competition. My biggest question is whether the Atlantic no longer needs him now, and had been paying him for the same reason Sirius paid Howard Stern so much (and doesn't anymore). Megan McCardle wrote a month or two ago about The Atlantic being profitable, and I'm guessing that means its also grown enough in its web presence to no longer rely on one big draw. It looks wise in retrospect to have put Sullivan onto their big page o' bloggers.

This is a good move for Tina Brown, I think, in that she'll get a lot of traffic from people who don't give a flip about Daily Beast or Newsweek. I think it'll be a bad move for Sullivan, though, who won't be able to write material for the audience Brown is hoping to attract. I just don't think there is a large audience for people who enjoy long-form journalism and celebrity gossip.


People cared in 2002?

Comments here are drivel.

I don't care where he goes. I never click around too much where ever he i, and when he moves I always follow.

I think most of the commenters are missing what he has been doing. When you write everyday, you are going to be wrong a lot. He owns up to that on a pretty consistant basis. How many of you have never been wrong in your ideas? Anyone? Anyone?

That's what I thought.

I often feel like there must be some contractual obligation that forced Atlantic writers to link to each other. Maybe its not an obligation insomuch as a sense of "what helps the Atlantic, helps me." Either way, there were numerous times Sullivan linked to articles by others (a few my McArdle come to mind) that were not only dumb, but outright factually wrong or riddled with errors, errors pointed out by numerous economic blogs (probably including this one, although no example comes to mind immediately). I'm curious to see if such links continue now that Andrew is no longer a part of the Atlantic family.

C'mon, this is an econ blog, let's get to the bottom line: how big is Sullivan's contract?

The major point is people do care about Sullivan. The fact that we are in fact discussing a guy is the key. The dudes (and dudettes) are the stars and it barely matters where they hang their shingle.

"Her own "reality" show revealed she needs her father's help (as a grown adult) to load her rifle and nervously asks "Hey Dad, does it kick?""

That's fine, but why does that tick off The Left? How do people on The Left know what I should find hypocritical?

"How many of you have never been wrong in your ideas? Anyone? Anyone?"

We don't have a million people responding to our ideas. I have Bill.

This deal is very different from the previous ones the Dish did, isn't it?

When it joined Time, or The Atlantic, there was a new media/old media alliance: the old media enhanced its "modern" feel by hosting a top blogger, and the blog would borrow from the respectability of old media.

Would there be comparable sinergies in the TDB/TDD deal? I don't see it, unless, again, the Newsweek brand comes into play.

It's a big loss for The Atlantic, though.

Andrew, the first question to ask is not why people hate Palin, but rather why anyone should support her in a bid for higher political office. The reasons typically offered are that she is e.g. self-made, down-to-earth, likes hunting and fishing, in touch with Real America, etc. and that so many people already like her so there must be some reason to like her and support her. If the former reasons turn out to be based on a false premise then the latter becomes self-referential.

I have no beef with Palin being a Fox News Channel personality. In my opinion, that's precisely where she belongs as a charismatic, attractive conservative who seems to pull in ratings. I can safely ignore her just as one can easily ignore Paris Hilton or any other vapid celebrity figure. If she becomes commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States, though, she is a bit more difficult to ignore.

Has Obama quit smoking yet? On the one hand it's stressful job, but on the other hand the leader of the free world can bring considerable resources to bear. There is noone more privileged than the prez.

A Fox News personality is exactly where Palin is. That's where she wants to be.

If one considers that part of Palin's popularity with the right, and maybe the biggest, is that she drives the left nutso, then that might be the first question to ask.

That presents a seeming paradox as it's not clear that she ever drove the left in Alaska nuts before 2008 and it wouldn't explain why key Republicans promoted her as a national candidate before anyone had heard of her (Bush's alleged reaction upon hearing of her was to jokingly ask whether she was governor of Guam).

A better explanation would be that Palin was chosen by Kristol et al. because she simply has a way of inspiring emotional levels of support among white Americans who don't live in metropolitan areas, a key Republican constituency. However, Palin employed a public strategy of embracing the culture war and, as you say, simultaneously alienating one side while enhancing her support on the other, leading to a virtuous (or vicious?) cycle.

This strategy did not pan out as most Americans do not support her as a serious candidate as she has little else to go on aside from visceral feelings of support and even a large number of former Alaskan supporters appear to be alienated by her. On the other hand, if the Republican Party is as fractured as conventional wisdom says it is, a nomination is not completely out of the question.

I clicked on this thread despite my gut instinct saying it would inevitably devolve into a flame war on the merits of Sullivan's commentary.

The lesson? I should trust my gut more.

Although, I'm sure he goes for an oral dose as well (sword swallowing).

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