Back From The Desert, Ctd


From an assortment of emails that came in during the past month of guest-blogging:

Freddie deBoer’s blogging is the reason I finally renewed, specifically his Gaza posts, because he was saying such obvious things that no one else was saying, and I wanted to keep reading after the jump. He’s a really, smart clear writer whom I’d never heard of before. Nothing was annoying me about the Dish previously; it’s just that I’ve been reading Andrew since he started, and while I obviously like his writing, I’ve been reading him long enough to know what he’s going to say or think about most things, so I rarely feel the need to know what he’s going to add after the jump. In general, the guest bloggers have been better this summer than past years. If you’re looking for suggestions on how to improve the blog, you might think about having guest bloggers more often, even when Andrew isn’t on vacation.

Another joins the readers pictured above:

I have missed you. I wore my brand new shirt today (Meep Meep) and my subscription was renewed. I hope that you are renewed as well. Your sous chefs did a fine friggin job, so don’t sweat wearing the big hat again. The ball is still rolling, and in my opinion, it’s in your court.

You can buy your own Dish shirt here. More props to the guest-bloggers:

I’ve really enjoyed the posts from Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Andrew is great, but the thing I love most about the Dish has always been the different points of view and openness to those different points of view that show up everyday. That’s the magic that keeps me coming back again and again. In a media filled with people acting in bad faith, the Dish is a breath of fresh air. Seeing different people honestly engaging with their critics is a great example for the world.

On that note, a critic writes:

Although I’d been following Andrew since discovering him on Bill Maher’s show, his contempt for Hillary Clinton signaled to me that it was time for a divorce.

I’ve loved the Dish wherever I found it.  I bought the Atlantic magazine subscription when Andrew asked, kept the Dish in the first spot on my Google favorites bar even when it was at the Daily Beast, and I regret none of the thousands of hours of non-billable time I’ve spent here. Because of my long and happy fanboy relationship with Andrew, I’m glad I was an original subscriber and when I re-upped, it felt like I was doing my part to maintain my sanity and that of hordes of other Disheads.

But the Clinton contempt is too ugly, too personal, too unhinged.  I can’t make myself like her, but at least I understand she is a pol and hold her to the standard of pols, not the absolutes Andrew applies to her.

I’d been making mental preparations to find another site to check the ten times a day I’d otherwise be here. I was trying out Rolling Stone and Outside magazine.  And then you brought on Bill McKibben and Alex Pareene as back to back subs.  Climate change has never been covered enough here, even if you count the thought-provoking series about eating farm animals which is generally presented as an ethical, not environmental issue. But you brought on America’s foremost climate change writer and pretty well made my August. And, well, Pareene is a terrific and incisive writer and I’m glad he’s getting more exposure here than he gets at Salon.  When he criticizes what some pol thinks rather than what they’ve said, he really offers a sparkling grasp of history and policy.

So, I may not keep the Dish as my first favorite on my bar and I may not even stop by very often once the 2016 campaign begins, but out of respect of the editorial decision to bring on McKibben and Pareene, I’ll re-up again in February.

More criticism from a different angle:

I hope you are having a great time on your break. I would never begrudge you your hard earned vacation time … but, it comes at some cost. I read the Dish virtually every day. It is a site unlike any other I know. The mix of politics, culture, art, science, and pure whimsy make it a joy to experience. I opened it today and was struck by what a difference your absence makes. I know your replacements are doing their best, but when you are gone, The Dish becomes just another rag. The whole feel and look of the site changes dramatically when your touch is absent. You have a brevity and economy of expression which is very rare. Your fill-ins write like they are paid by the word. I don’t mean to be harsh. The difference is just so stark … and inferior.

When you are gone, it’s like someone left the door open in mid-winter. Although, as I have said, I want you to have time off and thoroughly enjoy yourself, I am very much looking forward to your coming back and closing that damn door.

I’m both glad to be back and thrilled that the Dish can thrive – and even improve – in my absence. This blog is about the conversation, not me. But I can’t wait to be a full part of it again.