I never get tired of the epistemic closure debate!
One my favorite misguided Slate contrarians, William Saletan, has an earnest piece about how the right can get out of its echo chamber, the way that David Frum and Julian Sanchez and the rest want them to. The suggestions he makes would be perfectly reasonable if they were being made to people who wanted to get out of the conservative echo chamber. The trouble is that contemporary conservatives enjoy living in an echo chamber, much as Saletan and Mickey Kaus enjoy living in a world of smug, facile contrarianism.
By chance, another journalist I spoke to recently told me that he thought that the Daily Caller would one day be the conservative conservosphere’s answer to TalkingPointsMemo. Now, it may be that Daily Caller will survive. Conservatives are often happy to spend money supporting such things; maybe the bloggers there can support themselves with Bradley prizes. And I’m pretty sure that Politico, Howard Kurtz, et al. will continue to promote it the way they have with the Washington Times, regardless of whether or not it ever rises above the level of Potemkin journalism. But there is no way there can ever be a conservative version of TalkingPointsMemo (or any of the other blogs like it), because conservatives aren’t interested in reading things like that.
Erick Erickson has made it onto The Most Trusted Name in news running a completely fact-free blog, which surely takes almost no time to maintain. He gets to do fun things like send representatives silly putty…while being taken seriously by both the media and the conservative establishment. Why would he want to get all Columbia Journalism Review now?
I don’t understand why journalists want to project their own interest in journalism onto conservatives. What part of “the facts were in the ballpark” don’t they understand?