The American Prospect hired Brendan Nyhan to blog for them. Good idea. Brendan has a sterling record as a non-partisan blogger who calls things as he sees them. So he criticized some left-wing blogs for hyperbole. This is what then happened:
Last Wednesday, controversy broke out when I slammed two liberal blogs for using an airline employee's suicide after 9/11 to take a cheap shot at President Bush. My post, which initially contained a minor factual error, prompted one of the bloggers, Atrios (aka Duncan Black), to label me the "wanker of the day" and to call on TAP editors to "rethink things a bit." Hundreds of Atrios readers filled the Prospect's comment boards with vitriol. In an email Friday morning, Sam Rosenfeld, the magazine's online editor, asked that I focus my blogging on conservative targets. He specifically objected to two posts criticizing liberals (here and here) that I wrote after the Atrios controversy. I refused and terminated the relationship.
Why was I asked to slant my work to the liberal party line? In an email statement, TAP editor Michael Tomasky said that "[t]he Prospect is hardly averse to criticizing liberal verities" and that the magazine had no problem with my initial posts criticizing liberals, but "there were a few posts in succession that struck us as either inaccurate or an effort to draw equivalencies where none existed. The Prospect has always opposed a 'pox on both houses' posture, and that's what we came to believe you were doing."
Sorry, Michael, but that's pathetic. The blog partisanship on the right is often depressing - and boy would I have been fired long ago if I had ever been blogging on a "conservative" site. But the politburo on the left is no better. And to think we once believed the blogosphere could liberate independent thought. Yeah, right. You can now read Brendan, freed from the liberal thought police, at his own blog. Support free thought. They won't.