Greenwald joins Salon.
In response to some reader complaints Glenn wrote:
But there is a more nefarious sentiment underlying some of these complaints, and it is pervasive and significant. There is a strain of belief, found among some on the left (and again, I think it’s a very small minority), which perceives issues like funding and income-generating models as some sort of insult, as something unethical and impure. And then there is another strain which is about unbridled personal entitlement — the belief that they are entitled to access whatever they want, and have everything they want, without the slightest amount of expenditure or effort on their part (all the effort, expenditure and sacrifice should be from others).
I’m sorry that there are people who think that clicking through an ad (or subscribing to avoid it) is a grave insult and an outrageous imposition. It also can be an inconvenience for bloggers (or political analysts or activists of any kind) who — driven by passion and a desire to contribute in some way to improving the state of the country — spend 3 hours per day or 8 hours per day or 12 hours per day on their work without being able to earn a living. To begrudge someone the ability to do so — or to act as though they are engaged in an act of betrayal or even some kind of corruption — because they find a way to work on behalf of their political ideas and earn a living doing it is truly bizarre.
I have a hard time understanding this “controversy.” The blogosphere isn’t one uniform place. There isn’t one way to be a blogger, there isn’t one way to be a liberal blogger (whether Glenn is actually liberal is a topic for another day). Nobody has written a uniform blogger code of conduct, and if someone did nobody would sign it.
However, the small number of talented bloggers who have decided to make their writing into a primary career have to pay the mortgage, feed kids and occasionally see a dentist using nothing more than money that comes in from words that they put out for free. It seems like a positive development in terms of the quality/quantity of their output and a good sign for the growth of our medium that people are even able to do that now. Take it as a sign that traditional forms of media know that we’re important. Whatever means (legal of course and if conflicts may be involved, disclosed) that full-time bloggers find to pay the bills and keep free words coming strikes me as entirely their prerogative.
As for me, I have a career that I enjoy quite a bit. I don’t take any money from blogging and if somebody offered it to me I would turn it down. The last thing my busy day needs is more pressure on top of the expectations of my readers and that annoying writer’s itch. But it seems like nothing but good news that the medium has matured enough that the best can go pro.
I think Glenn is missing the point a little, but on the other hand, I’m planning on continuing to read his blog regularly, ads or not. Then again, their ‘ad’ usually ends up just showing up as a link to the cookie page in my browser, because I use a non-standard one that doesn’t have Flash installed, either.
But I remember when the Internet didn’t have ‘ads’–or for that matter annoying blinking images, or unsolicited sound files–and I do resent their presence, for the commercialization, for the annoyance factor, for the frequent attempts to collect and compile data on me and my browsing habits without seeking my consent, etc., etc. There are a lot of issues rolled up together here.
And on the other hand, you have the question of how beholden the recipient of the advertising dollars is to the advertisers. Glenn assures us that isn’t the case here, but obviously such considerations still exist–for example, if for some reason he hurt Salon’s revenues enough at some point, they might drop him, or try to change the original terms, etc., etc. Now I doubt that would happen, and I’m confident that in that case, Glenn would just leave, but you get the idea. Ads on the internet are often an eyesore and a pervasive and corrupting influence.
The only exception I’ll make to this (thus far) are text ads, which I don’t mind nearly so much. And Google’s context-sensitive text ads are almost helpful! But the run-of-the-mill graphical, blinking, moving, tracking, shouting ads out there… must be destroyed.
Well worth it. Since I often go to Salon for the Daou Report anyway, I don’t mind going through those ads. If it exposes Glenn’s work to a larger audience, I’m all for it.
Didn’t some of his work make it into the Congressional record? Didn’t he have a book make the NYT best-sellers’ list? Or was it Amazon? What took Salon, or any other left-leaning rag, so long to snatch him up?
Well, I think Glenn did, for one. He said in his announcement that he had been negotiating with Salon about it for a while. Also, his time had been eaten up lately, finishing up writing his second book!
Good for him. He is one of the best. Perhaps Salon is on the road to relevence. I would love to be able to justify the $35* membership again.
(*Is it still $35? I quit reading when they introduced such lovely items as “Video Dog” and “Broad Sheet.” And as my work firewall won’t allow their ads, I’ve been Salon-less for about two years.)
I don’t know why people whine about the ads — I read Salon every day, and waiting for the ad to finish before going through to Salon takes…what…5 seconds out of my life? Big whoop. I say, good for Glenn, and good for anybody who finds a way to put food on their table while doing something they love.
Any ad that attempts to hijack your computer – via dominating your display, pumping unwanted and highly work-unsafe noise through your speakers, or just attempting to visually pester you (no, I will not punch your monkey! stop asking!) – needs to get whatever the digital equivalent of being covered in bleach is.
I don’t mind the banner ads or even the enterance ads, but the spontaneous pop-up/under/around ads are hella annoying. And anything that produces noise gets an instant “fuck you” rating from me.
Fortunately, I haven’t seen too many of those from Salon, so I don’t see what the big deal is.
Glenn’s book– “How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok” did indeed make the NY Times bestseller list. It was a great read. And his writing (from a blog post on the wiretapping scandal) was quoted by Sen. Feingold at the censure hearings (remember that?) last year.
He’s one of the blogosphere’s best assetts and if he thinks Salon is a good way to expand his readership, more power to him. Salon also has Tom Tomorrow’s excellent cartoons every Monday morning. The ‘War Room’ blog is also a pretty good way to keep up on daily events.
FYI- Glenn’s second book– “A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency”– is due out this June. Mark Noonan already gave it two sucked thumbs down!
Yes, and also, “Salon Premium members receive a 30% discount on all gift subscriptions”.
Salon’s still a great site.
Want to miss the ads?
You get what you are worth. Now post some more, pls. I am busy.
…but, but, but, but…capitalism is baaad. Baaad! I tell you and Glenn is selling out!
ROFL–now that was funny!
You’re kidding, right? The next time you have…oh..say…40 minutes, you should read one of his posts. It’s about as liberal as what you see here (Mr. Cole just reflexively trembled and shuddered…)
I thought John wasn’t a Republican anymore.
See, that’s just it, Punchy. Glenn and John both believe in accountability, competence, and the rule of law. Doesn’t make them liberals, though it will get them excommunicated from today’s conservative movement.
I resent Web ads in much the same way I resent TV commercials. I’d be happy to pay for the content I want to see, without ads. (I subscribe to Salon, though, so I really don’t know how intrusive their ads are since I never see them.) On the other hand, I think we all understand why ads exist, and how hard it would be to change the system so that they wouldn’t play the role they do now.
Crazed moonbats–they probably want ‘clean air’ and ‘potable water’ too!
And a leather glove from which to drink.
He should get more money.
But if you’ll have to sit through an ad every time you want to check if he’s written something new och you want to check any new comments, then I guess people will turn away.
For example, you only had to remember a new url to get to Drum’s blog and I don’t know about the url for Sullivan’s blog before Time offered him some cash, but neither of those is behind an ad-wall…
Ad-wall? Is that a new word? Have I created it? Dibs!
ZING! Seeing as how Noonan is terrified of proper research and properly-reasoned arguments, Glenn Greenwald must scare the living shit out of him.
“But if you’ll have to sit through an ad every time you want to check if he’s written something new och you want to check any new comments, then I guess people will turn away.”
Im pretty sure you only need to watch one ad per day. It only takes a couple of seconds, you dont need to sit thru the full add, the “enter salon” button appears before the ad is finished. Thats how I remember it anywat
See, I have no problem with blogging for money (though I prefer the “amateur” model since I’m old school like that.) I just think Salon’s business model is awful. How many other pro bloggers are locked away behind a pay wall? The Gawker empire is all freely accessible and they seem to be doing okay.
Ya know, that’s the first thing I thought of when I read that line too. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that everything I read from Glenn was really more pro-civil liberties than “liberal”. Granted, I don’t read him all the time, because my attention span is far too short for his long posts, but I, personally, haven’t read anything from him about greater progressive taxation, or opposing capital punishment, or a host of other issues that I would consider to be “liberal” issues. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t written on those subjects.
Based on the subject matter that he tackles, he’s definitely in line with the left side of the blogosphere, but I have no idea where he comes down on a lot of “liberal” issues. I don’t consider transparency in government, rule of law, and civil liberties to really be “liberal” issues.
Yep, there’s the trick. Run down Greenwald’s archives and try to find how many posts identify him ideologically, as opposed to just being someone who expects legal behavior from government and decent behavior from pundits. The well is surprisingly dry.
Tom in Texas
I tend to agree wtih Greenwald most of the time on the issue at hand, as we are both strong civil libertarians, but his posts tend to run far too long and he references himself and his own essays too much for my taste. On the other hand, the alternative seems to be shrieking heads who reduce everything to a one sentence sound bite, so I’m willing to watch a short commercial to see what Greenwald is on about today.
And I fully expect both Greenwald and Josh Marshall to lose friends steadily as the Democratic presence in Washington increases (a point I seem to recall Tim or John making a few days back).
It is a bit of a hassle for me, but I think I’m in a unique position. I’m a Peace Corps volunteer who reads everything more or less through an RSS reader. I plug my computer in, download and receive my email, refresh my RSS reader, and I’m on my way. While I thought Greewald was a little snide and shrill at times, I really do appreciate his perspective though. I’m not condemning him for moving his content behind some click through ads. However, I personally will be reading a lot less of his content.
I do congratulate him on his success.
Greenwald also doesn’t seem to be fond of authoritarian cultists with no critical thinking, so that makes him an evil liberal right there!
The controversy stems from a simple source: clicking on the ads doesn’t work.
The ads go into an endless loop and you never get to the content.
This has never changed. I emailed the assholes at Salon and the IT clown in charge told me to spend $2000 on a new computer. Thank you, but I’m using a new computer, I just prefer not to run Window$ on it.
This kind of contempt and disdain for potential readers leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and pisses in the faces of everyone who comes to Salon.com. It’s a perfect model of how _not_ to run a website.
The fact that you can read through all of Glenn’s posts and still not know his political bent is exactly why his work is so powerful. He does not defend an ideology but rather the constitution and what it affords us, or should afford us; “transparency in government, rule of law, and civil liberties” as someone else articulated, and which shouldn’t be exclusively right or left issues.
What’s your OS and browser? And what does this link do?
Heeeeey–that link works! There goes my only objection to following Glenn to Salon.
Ah yes, Glenn is such an free thinking “libertarian” who focuses 90% of his posts over Bush shredding the constitution, that I’m sure you had no clue what his political bent is. That he from time to time, finds himself occasionally able to criticize a democrat, in your view, no doubt establishes his “maverick” libertarian bona fides.
You mean John doesn’t cut you in on even a tiny bit of the Pajama Media booty he gets every month? Not even a scrooge-like Christmas bonus of a few pence to buy beer?
Good day to you, sir!
Hmmm, Darrell says sockpuppet is a “libertarian.” I guess it must be true. Libertarians hate everyone, especially those in power.
Except when they’re stoned.
The Other Steve
Because wasting your time getting your computer to actually do something useful is so much more cost effective.
The Other Steve
I never understood this desire to equate Bush with Republican. That if you don’t like Bush, then you can’t be a Republican.
Especially now with Bush down into the 20’s approval ratings, and the opinion of the nation that they just want Bush to go away.
So what are people to think? That they want Republicans to just go away?
I guess I’m all for that. The party has decayed and become corrupted and immoral.
I never understood this desire to equate Bush with Republican.
Bushism is the logical extension of Reaganism. In fact, I see very little difference between Bush II and Reagan, except that in foreign policy the Reagan administration was a little less dumb. From a domestic (social and fiscal) standpoint, there’s really no difference between Bush II and Reagan.
So, as far as I can tell, the Bush administration pretty much currently defines the Republican party. At the national level, of course.