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Posted by Brian at 03:01AM, Monday, November 01st, 2004

A quick guide to the liberal blogsphere

During the height of the recent Plame-gate speculation, a friend remarked to me how out of touch he felt about all the rumors and innuendo floating around. Where was I getting all the dirt, he wanted to know?

The blogsphere, of course. It's the only way to get the between-the-lines story behind the news and the frequently off-base rumors that can really beef up your casual political conversations.

Here's a rundown of the essential sites I recommended to him:

Eschaton: The once-anonymous Duncan Black has become a heavy-hitter on the left for good reason -- a sharp wit and a strong instinct for what's important to progressives. His cavorting around the country sometimes interferes with his posting schedule, but when he's on, Eschaton is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know.

Talking Points Memo: Josh Marshall doubles as a 'real' journalist and often has more in-depth coverage of issues. He stands out in the blog world for actually generating original reporting rather than just dishing about it.

Drudge: Matt Drudge is a closeted, trashy dirty pleasure. He's the People Magazine of right-wing politics, where you'll often get find trial balloons floated by the right's heavy hitters before they're flogged onto the Sunday talk shows or other mainstream outlets.

Peripheral sites:

Daily Kos: I've never really been engaged by Kos, but he's unquestionably a player. The other half of c75 reads Kos daily.

Americablog: A little bitchy, but as progressive as they come. I often find the coverage here frustrating and a bit less well thought out than that in Eschaton or TPM.

Aaron adds:

I'd add a couple more:, because there's no insight into wingnuts like that from reformed wingnuts; and Wonkette, because, well, sometimes it's healthy to mix in a little humor, and her takedown of the cock-headed manwhore at that blogger panel was pretty damn funny.

Personally, TPM pisses me off a bit. I don't want to give drudge any page hits that he can brag about. Eschaton is the best. Americablog sometimes has coverage before anyone else -- he exposed Jeff Gannon, the cock-headed manwhore posing as a journalist who got a regular series of day-passes to White House press briefings even though he used a fake name in violation of security protocols, and even though until weeks before he started attending he had a website where he marketed his own uncut gay escort services. That's the kind of, um, juice that keeps wingnuttia entertaining.

For all the straight folks out there, I'd also emphatically recommend at least weekly perusal of The Advocate. Why should you care about gay rights? Well, because that's what the fundies have declared war on. We feel the wrath of the wingnuts before you do (but don't worry, you'll get yours, too), so pay attention. The religious right didn't scuttle Bush's nomination of Miers for the Supreme Court because of her views on straight sex.

Others I check out less regularly are: SeeingTheForest; Hullabaloo; and First Draft. It's also worth keeping an eye on The New Yorker -- that's had some of the best political coverage since 2000.
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