I was going to take the whole weekend off, but I couldn’t just leave Caleb Howe’s hacker post at the top of my page, and I’ve been looking to do a roundup of my favorite blogs anyway.
I’m breaking them down into several categories, with the disclaimer that I don’t get to read that many blogs. As you all know, I am super-duper-effing-busy all the time, even in my current underemployed state. Most of my blog reading consists of looking for clickable things to pitch to Asylum and Mediaite, with very little time devoted to actual reading, and even less time available to read for pleasure.
That’s why I want to make that my first category:
Blogs I Read Purely For PleasureThis promises to be a short-ass category. I’m excluding all political blogs here, because that’s not purely for pleasure, is it? First on my list is:
I don’t remember how she got on my radar, but HPS is, hands-down, the best writer I’ve seen on a blog, anywhere. She’s funny, sexy, provocative, and the kind of feminist I can really get behind. How much do I love her blog? I read it even despite the occasional “Truther” post.
She writes about whatever pops into her head, including politics sometimes, but it all comes out a pure pleasure to read.
Alan Sepinwall, TV critic for the Newark Star Ledger, writes this insanely good TV blog. His writing is so good that I end up reading reviews of shows I don’t even watch. He’s also got a very detailed no-spoiler policy, so you’ll never curse at your computer screen again at having your favorite show ruined.
Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to read Sepinwall every day, but I recommend you do.
This guy just writes what he thinks, unfiltered and unvarnished. The results are frequently offensive, and almost always hilarious.
Totally un-PC, totally hilarious.
I know, this seems really narcissistic, but I”m just being honest. Every once in awhile, I find myself digging back through my old posts to grab a link, and I’ll start reading a few. Invariably, there will be at least one line that makes me spit my drink. It reminds my why I write.
Political Blogs: Daily Reads
These are the blogs I check to keep myself caught up on a daily basis. Often, I’m looking for money quotes, or to see if what I’m planning to ask at a briefing has been asked already, or to identify emerging memes.
HuffPo is a reliable one-stop shop for political, media, and pop-culture reporting. They put a lot of content on the front page, and keep it updated frequently. They’re also usually pretty early to have the hot, quotable video of the moment. It’s also one of the few places where I can find fodder for both Mediaite and Asylum.
Jake Tapper’s blog is a great way to keep up with the White House when I’m not there, and Tapper’s daily fencing matches with Robert Gibbs are often the threads that make up emerging White House memes.
I usually avoid commentary-heavy sites because I like to get a clean read on a story before I write my take on it. Hot Air is invaluable, though, as a way to pick out the stories that the right will be focusing on, and the left will be pushing back against. They don’t usually waste their time with extremist crap, and the commentary is light enough to sometimes engage with.
A more strident site, like Redstate, is a little tougher to read, and a little more scattershot with their subject matter. Their better writers have their own blogs, anyway.
The home of my pal, Meghan McCain, is similar to HuffPo as a one-stop shop, with an edgier attitude and more political content. When it first started, Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet was way ahead of other blogs in picking the hot stories, but that has leveled out somewhat.
These are great sources for liberal red meat that’s not overcooked or overseasoned. Their picks of media clips are reliably useful.
Friends/Frenemies With Blogs
I made this its own category because it saves me having to explain that, for each of these, you can evaluate my level of bias for yourselves, but my assessments are honest. Not included are friends, like Ed Morrissey and Lee Stranahan, who write for big blogs in the other category.
Caleb Howe’s site was designed by the same person who designed this site, and it shows. Caleb had a long spell where he wasn’t writing much, but he’s kicked into high gear, and has taken on several heavy-hitting contributors.
For conservatives, it’s essential reading. For liberals, I recommend it if you’d like to shadow-box with the best arguments the other side has to offer.
Either way, Caleb is a great writer, and the funniest conservative I know.
Currently, the best place to find exhaustive, up to the minute coverage of the Birther movement (they were way ahead of the curve on this story), Christina Cedeno’s site was also the first, and best, blog to cover and combat the PUMA movement. Broader political coverage is on the way.
Run by libertarian Doug Mataconis, this blog has one of the greatest names in small blogs. Prolific and unpredictable, Doug’s blog is a good place to go for a dose of reason.
One of my favorite tweeps, TenGrain, writes for this funny, gaycentric political site.
My former colleague, Jay Allbritton, is on hiatus for now, dropping in on my blog from time to time. This is a shame, because Jay was very prolific, had great instincts, and an easy temperament. He’s a liberal that anyone can read.
Think of a smarter, more liberal Wonkette with a special place in it’s heart for PUMA.
The Redstater who banned me (after I resigned) is fun to spar with sometimes, but I find a lot of common ground with him on pop culture. He’s another funny conservative, and a good follow on twitter.
One of the best people I know, Lizzy is also a great writer and a relatively reasonable conservative. Her “Beautiful, Successful, and Hated” is a must-read.
Another excellent blog by an excellent liberal tweep, the commentary on this blog is almost uniformly productive.
Highly detached, frequently offensive satire that’s like nothing you’ll read anywhere else. Recent forays into his wheelhouse have yielded some excellent writing.
Totally unique, provocative writing from the left coast. Xan is a kick to the head that you’ll either love, or just not get at all.
I have several friends at this commentary-heavy conservative blog. It’s a good place to go if you find that you used to like Redstate, but don’t anymore.