The Real Ugly American interviewed Lorie Byrd, and reading through the interview, I was struck by several things I think I need to write about.
First up, I want to say how fortunate I and other bloggers have been to know Lorie Byrd. A perceptive blogger, intelligent and a total class-act, Lorie has been good for the Blogosphere and for every site which was lucky enough to bring her aboard their staff. It’s a rare and significant point about Lorie, that absolutely everyone who crosses paths with her always compliments her character and writing. Mother Teresa had more enemies.
Next, I want to echo some of Lorie’s sentiments with regard to Polipundit, the site owner of the Polipundit site. The four “guest writers” at Polipundit – myself, Lorie, A.K. McClure and Jayson Javitz – were unknown to the Blogosphere when Poli asked us to fill in as guest writers during his vacation, and then stay on as part of the Polipundit team. Poli’s generous offer to give us a national stage established us as players; frankly only a handful of people would have ever heard of me if it were not for Poli. Lorie, I figure would have been a smash hit sooner or later no matter what, but the other three of us were quite mortal, and so owe a debt of respect and gratitude to Poli no matter what.
But I must disagree with Lorie to some degree. While I owe a debt of respect to Poli, that does not mean that his actions were well-chosen or honorable in all respects. While as the site owner, Poli held the trump card in all decisions, he nonetheless made promises and certain assurances to us as writers, some of it set out when we started, and some of it created by the conditions developed as we helped the site grow. It cannot be ignored that the Polipundit team of five talented writers with a variety of viewpoints and methods of expression, helped the site explode from a relatively modest position, to one of the leaders in blog community talk; during the climax of the 2004 election season, we sometimes pulled in excess of a hundred thousand visits a day. We, not one, made the site a great success, and we are all of us owed something for that. I will not go into private details here, but I will say plainly that at the time we parted ways, the site owner made certain specific promises, promises which he quickly broke. I only mention this because now that some time has passed and his emotion has cooled, he may want to consider making amends for that betrayal, as best he can and as best he sees fit. I hold him personally to no standard, knowing from my own experience how difficult it can be to promise something in haste which may be regretted later, but still, I would remind him that honor is difficult to reclaim once lost.
The resolution of the former Polipundit staff and site are fairly well known. Lorie has enjoyed the most success, which is as it should be, talent and character deserving their wages. The Polipundit site is recovering well enough from the events of May; while the numbers are far below where they were in its heyday, the site has added some talented writers with interesting perspectives, and should get a visit once in a while on its merits. Unless the site owner has adopted a persona, he seems to not be posting all that much, but that’s his choice. I hope he is enjoying the present mix. Mr. McClure is continuing to post at Wizbang’s various channels, while pursuing his degree in World Domination at Rove University. Mr. Javitz is sort of on hiatus from blogging, while he focuses on his law practice and teaching, though I and others hope to lure him into at least a couple “Hooverville” posts this year. And I post here and at some of Wizbang’s less-particular sites, while pursuing an MBA and trying to keep my full-time job and family. If my writing should suddenly improve in quality, this will mean my daughter Jagan has taken over the keyboard.
Moving on, I realize that I owe a lot of thank-you’s to many people, who sent me offers and appreciation immediately after the PoliNova. I got busy and frankly dropped the ball. Expect an article or more on those fine people later this week. For now, I want to say thanks again (I think I sent thank-you messages at the time) and say how much it means to be part of a community where you remain a personage, whether or not you have a gig on a major stage. This is especially important to someone like me, because I have never been timid about stepping on toes when they seemed to need stomping – indeed, I have sometimes aimed to prick the bloated egos of certain celebrities, who have made themselves into their own idols, so that no elected official or duly authorized specialist is to be considered their equal on any issue. There is all but no chance at all, that I will ever be the fortunate subject of attention or a link from Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill Bennett. Then again, one never knows; I must award kudos to Hugh Hewitt and John Hawkins, who have linked to me from time to time, despite my sometimes critical articles about their politics and a few odd opinions and differences. Of course, that may be that they simply ignore me, rat that I am, unless and until I post something worth their attention. But I found their courtesy refreshing and it builds my confidence in the Blogosphere, that its leaders do not rely on playground-style favoritism to advance good stories and writers.