• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    I know you’re feelin’ me ’cause you like it like this

    The reactions to Andrew Sullivan’s current pledge drive have been snarkily cute, but I have to say they seem to jump the gun a bit. When I first read his post saying he was starting this year’s pledge drive, I saw the part about the bandwidth and interpreted it completely differently, it appears, from everyone else I read. I didn’t get the impression that he was asking for a few thousand dollars all to cover bandwidth. My understanding was that the money that was left over from last year’s pledge drive had dipped below the point at which he could afford his new bandwidth charges without using his own money–not the same thing.

    Sullivan’s site was never run like most people’s blogs. From the beginning, he had backers who were helping him to set it up as a way to make his archived writings available and make him a web presence as a commentator–remember, he’s been around longer than almost anyone else. The Daily Dish was originally just one element of the whole. Perhaps it still is in conception, though I’d bet that the Dish is the only page that most of his readers look at, except when he has a new article of his linked. From the beginning, andrewsullivan.com was presented almost as a foundation. It had different membership levels for different donated amounts, like a museum or the opera. He made it clear that donations were going to go to wages for his webmaster and editor and…an intern, I think?…and whoever else he was going to hire to help with it. He has also always said, up front, that he does quite a bit of research to keep the Dish up and didn’t feel embarrassed about being modestly compensated personally for it. Looked at that way, I can see how he could go through nearly $100000 in a year; it’s not easy to imagine, but it’s not impossible, either.

    You can say it’s pompous of him to act as if he were PBS. You can say that having a staff for his website is excessive and that it’s cheeky of him to expect people to shell out for it. I’ve sometimes felt that way myself and have never contributed as much to andrewsullivan.com as I have to some other people who were just folks taking time out of their lives to build, for the hell of it, a site people would enjoy and learn from and maybe want to discuss things on. I’m not…well, I was going to say that I’m not very self-aggrandizing, but there’s someone who knows me in person who reads this site, so that won’t fly. I’m not the Gold Circle Donor type–let’s put it that way.

    But if others are, I don’t see why Sullivan is necessarily being dishonest in asking them to kick in. It’s not as if they don’t know what they’re contributing to.

    3 Responses to “I know you’re feelin’ me ’cause you like it like this”

    1. I like Andrew Sullivan, and I dislike Bush for the same reason he does, and I agree that Bush is not conservative, but I disagree with Sullivan that the Democrats are conservative. That’s stretching it past the breaking point.

    2. He’s having some _third_ thoughts about Kerry now, though, after hearing that speech.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      A lot of his writing lately seems to be his thinking out loud–people keep saying he’s going to vote for Kerry, but unless I’ve missed something, he’s been very tentative. The whole thing about the Democrats possibly being the better conservative choice, I don’t get (not that I’m a conservative, anyway).
      BTW, now he’s getting slammed for going on vacation. Do these people get their memory banks wiped out every New Year? He always goes on vacation in August and just checks in occasionally; anyone who’s been reading him for a few years knows that. It may not be politic to do so right after asking people for contributions to keep the site going, but to hear people talk, you’d think they’d paid for a lap dance that he was now declining to give. Sullivan’s been irking me big time lately, but I have to say, I don’t get what everyone’s so het up over in this instance.