1. Friday, January 14, 2005

    the world’s most popular blogger, the instapundit 

    opened up a special comment thread last night so that his readers could debate the question of Blogger Ethics.

    this morning my gmail was bursting with emails from people letting me know that i had been mentioned by a commenter and then dissed by prof. reynolds.

    an anonymous [tisk, tisk] commenter named “jerry” questioned the instapundit, got a few facts wrong (glenn in october admitted to being biased, not neutral; and glenn has been often marked as a Moderate, but when asked he declines to state), and got an instareply.

    I think your ethics are far worse Professor.

    For several years you claimed to be neutral. Recently when Tony Pierce called you out on it, you admitted you were very much not neutral.

    Even now, Tony would like to know how you cannot have commented on the WMD story.

    How can a Professor of Law, presumably someone who is ethically bound to seek the truth, and a lawyer, presumably someone ethically bound to seek the truth, have lied to the public all of this time? You claimed you were neutral, then you admitted you were not.

    Isn’t it time to hangup your blog?

    [FROM GLENN: I “claimed to be neutral?” When did I do that? I said I wasn’t a Republican, but I was right out there with my doubts about the Democrats all along. I tried to be polite about it, and revealingly enough the likes of Oliver and Tony can’t comprehend taking sides and being polite at the same time, but politeness isn’t neutrality.]

    youd think in a thread about Blogger Ethics, if my name came up it would be in a positive way.

    i have refused blog ads over the three years that i have had the always-popular busblog, and when i do receive monies from readers or through promotions i have noted publicly each dollar and who it came from. if the donors had a website or blog i linked to it.

    when i sold 100 copies of How To Blog, i mentioned it. Today i have sold the 200th copy. i make about $5 a book. what other bloggers are openly disclosing ALL of their finances?

    how much more transparent could a blogger could be?

    in May of last year i created the Honest Bloggers Quiz where i revealed personal voting habits, political beliefs, religious beliefs, and my stance on current drug laws. in october, i believe i posted it again, and invited all bloggers to be just as transparent.

    i have conducted dozens of interviews where i have answered pretty much every personal question and political belief that one could ask.

    the only question that i denied was when the new york times asked me my age and occupation. neither of those questions or answers were relevant to anything.

    i have comments which i rarely delete and on only one occasion have i ever edited what someone has said in my public forums, and ironically that one time was last night when an Oliver Willis reader reposted a comment from Odub’s blog that included some personal attacks on Glenn’s wife and his sexual behavior. when i edited the comment i marked it as edited, publicly.

    still, somehow, when Glenn mentioned me last night he did it in a negative way despite the fact that when i criticize him i do it solely on the subject matter that he chooses to write about and/or ignore. apparently, Glenn doesn’t think I do it in a polite way, which is funny because one commenter yesterday said just the opposite he said, “i don’t know why you are so polite to the Instapundit.”

    im polite because theres no reason not to be polite. all criticism is is debate. if one feels confident about his point of view, he can present it soberly and rationally.

    im also polite to Glenn because i have met him and i read him and i know enough bloggers personally to know that sometimes the blog doesnt fully reflect the person.

    i have my problems with how Glenn covers politics. i think he’s enormously one-sided as far as criticizing the Left and the perceived Left, and i think he gives the Republicans a free ride. i dont know why he is like that. i dont know why he wouldnt want to discuss the White House’s official statement that they have given up searching for wmd, the main reason why we went to war with Iraq.

    yes i use grittier language on my blog, but its careful gritty language. in my recent critique of his glaring omission of the white house’s admission that they were dead wrong about wmd, i said that by burying his head in the sand over big news stories like this makes him look like a tool.

    well, sorry. it does.

    it doesnt mean that he is a tool, but it does make him look like one. and i said then and i’ll say it now, i dont want him to look like a tool. i want him to be a strong, believable, better blogger.

    are my wants impolite?

    Glenn and i had an email discussion about a month before the elections that i asked if i could post because it was fascinating. he asked that i didnt post it. i obliged. that wasnt polite?

    quite frankly i dont know how much more polite i could be in regards to my criticism about the worlds most popular blog. i give free advice, i do it constructively, i provide examples and i ask serious questions and respect his answers.

    is he suggesting that its impolite to criticize him at all? i dont think so.

    in his piece today on msnbc glenn writes that nobody is perfect nor do they need to be. he says “it’s the track record that matters.”

    bro, i’ll go head-to-head with you any day in regards to ethics, transparency, and politeness.

    is it polite in tennessee to tell someone to sod off?

    in most blue states it’s not.

    meanwhile my offer for an unedited AOL IM interview is still out there.

    somehow though i have a feeling that even a law professor wouldnt want to enter a chat with a guy who rides the bus.

    and thats the greatest compliment i could receive.

    instapundit + it’s thirteen + the unknown column + the comedian