The Exhausted Blogger Eats Lunch

My interview with Vanity Fair‘s John Heilpern is up:

“What have you done for pleasure lately?” I asked.

“You mean apart from the occasional sodomy?” he replied.

We also talked blogging models:

He conducts an ongoing conversation with more than a million people a month about such topics and hobbyhorses as the intransigence of Republicans versus Obama (which he nicknames Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner); the moral shamefulness of government-sanctioned torture; pedophilia and the lost credibility of the Catholic Church; and Montaigne’s essay on why we bless someone who sneezes.

“Montaigne was an early blogger,” he pointed out, for he wrote about everything under the sun. And doubtless Pascal too—for what else are prototype blogs but spontaneous pensées? Sullivan himself was a born blogger before blogs existed. Among the brightest and best of his Oxford and Harvard generations, he was weaned on the old print media of Fleet Street when he left Oxford to join The Daily Telegraph in 1984—an unapologetic Thatcherite and novice editorial writer among the gilded newspaper palaces along the Street of Shame.

“People forget that we churned out an editorial a day at newspapers. When I went to the Telegraph, the editorial conference took place at 4:30, and there was tea afterward, and gin. They’d already demolished two bottles at lunchtime. Copy was due at seven P.M., and you had to write it on deadline, very concisely, very solid.” He began to laugh. “That’s how I learned how to blog—in the most traditional setting ever.”