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Reason.tv: Hot Air's Ed Morrissey on Not-So-Radical Republicans and Life Outside the Beltway

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Along with the anonymous "Allahpundit," Ed Morrissey is the key to the success of Hot Air, one of the biggest commentary and video sites on the glorious system of tubes we call the Internet. Day in and day out, Morrissey, who also hosts a web radio show and has recently started writing for The Week, weighs in on politics and culture from a center-right POV that is, he says, getting more and more libertarian out of deference to reality.

An L.A. ex-pat who landed in Minneapolis, Morrissey's rise to blog stardom exemplifies how new media has leveled the playing field and given everyone a shot at an audience. Earlier in the decade, Morrissey was working as the manager of a call center when he started the blog Captain's Quarters. The success of that site—he was even named The Week's "Blogger of the Year" a few years back—led to a contract with the experimental Blog Talk Radio and, in 2008, the Hot Air gig. Morrissey still dials in from the Midwest, a location he says gives him a different perspective than many commentators in the BosWash corridor.

Morrissey recently talked to Reason's Nick Gillespie while visiting Washington, D.C.

Approximately 8 minutes. Filmed by Jim Epstein and Joshua Swain. Edited by Swain.

Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions of this and all our videos, and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new content is posted.

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  1. If anything, Ed has a tendency to totally geek out over polling minutia, and sometimes over analyze the often inconsequential aspects of the culture wars, while very obviously attempting to remain neutral for the sake of objective appearances. His biggest hit, Hot Air can often turn into quite a circus of barely contained fever swamp when he or Allahpundit post items that push the hard-core conservative (particularly SoCon) buttons – something that AP seems to absolutely revel in. At such times it becomes easier than shooting ideological fish than in a HuffPo or DKos created barrel, with on display commentor hypocrisy being a very target rich environment. I’d guess that it’s the abundance of this un-self critical hypocrisy by the fringes of the SoCon/Conservative landscape quite at home at Hot Air that may be doing some of the driving of Morrisey towards a more Libertarian path. Especially the volume he must encounter on a daily, if not hourly basis.

    All in all, Ed’s a pretty good, and fair minded guy, about a lot of things. I’ll admit I’m biased, in that he hasn’t swung the ban hammer against the side of my head, even though I gave him good reason (by his standards) on more than one occasion.

    1. The Palin Jihadis really hate AP.

      1. True – ingeneral, IF SoCons were prone to violence (in reality, not just fevered projection wailing), AP would probably be the most hunted man in America, moving from bunker to bunker, never sleeping the same plae or using the same IP address twice.

  2. Isn’t Allahpundit the “conservative” who wanted the government to forgive all student loans as “stimulus”?

  3. New media has leveled the playing field and given everyone a shot at an audience

    I am not a narcissist!

    1. Right, narcissists are obsessed with themselves, not strangers on the internet.

      1. Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

        * Believing that you’re better than others
        * Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
        * Exaggerating your achievements or talents
        * Expecting constant praise and admiration
        * Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
        * Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
        * Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
        * Taking advantage of others
        * Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
        * Being jealous of others
        * Believing that others are jealous of you
        * Trouble keeping healthy relationships
        * Setting unrealistic goals
        * Being easily hurt and rejected
        * Having a fragile self-esteem
        * Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

        Sounds like H&R’s serial commentators to me. Nothing personal, heller.

      2. Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

        * Believing that you’re better than others
        * Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
        * Exaggerating your achievements or talents
        * Expecting constant praise and admiration
        * Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
        * Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
        * Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
        * Taking advantage of others
        * Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
        * Being jealous of others
        * Believing that others are jealous of you
        * Trouble keeping healthy relationships
        * Setting unrealistic goals
        * Being easily hurt and rejected
        * Having a fragile self-esteem
        * Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

        Sounds like H&R’s serial commentators to me. Nothing personal, heller.

        1. Sounds like about 70% of people I know.

        2. A few weeks ago I showed that most non-libertarians could be seen to fit the clinical factors for sociopathy.

        3. Sounds like a politician.

  4. We just celebrated Fred Korematsu day here in California, in memory of Fred Korematsu who stood up to FDR’s internment of people of Japanese descent.
    Hot Air’s founder wrote a book defending those concentration camps and even suggesting that we throw Arab-Americans in camps. What a disgusting human being. Why do we constantly see people associated with those fascists interviewed on reason tv?

    /Jay

    1. Malkin sold HotAir, you fucking half-wit. She has nothing to do with the website.

      1. She founded it right? And I wrote “Hot Air’s founder” right?
        So fuck off.

        /Jay

        1. Your still a fucking half-wit.

          1. You mean “you’re”.

            Malkin the anchor baby loving the idea of rounding up other slant eyes into camps. Just adorable.

            1. go blow /Jay

      2. True, Malkin founded it and had the original concept. Turns out her selling it was probably a stoke of good luck for Morrisey and AP – she’s a pretty much lesser known screeching harpie in the Ann Coulter mold, with additional doses of self righteous moral indignation tossed in to boot. She also has a much stronger tendency to take mud slinging personally, which quickly becomes and constantly became pretty tedious and boring. Aside from ‘creative energy’, her philosophical and ideological spectrum is pretty limited to the red-shift end of the scale.

      3. Also, IIRC, HA was originally started as her (Malkin’s) internet video venue to snark about Cindy Sheehan during her 15 minutes of camera whoring pseudo fame – a part of the whole concept that rather quickly ran out of relevance or even slightly funny material.

        1. The Cindy Sheehan camera whoring lasted much longer than 15 minutes. Actually it was until Democrats won the White House, what a coincedence!

    2. Ed Morrissey, deconstructed by Glenn Greenwald. Morrissey’s libertarian cred is recently acquired icing on a big statist turd.

      1. Greenwald was quite butthurt at a lot of conservative bloggers that ruthlessly mocked him while he dabbled in sockpuppetry as a key to traffic numbers and fame.

        1. I was gonna ask about that…that “sockpuppet” stuff really happened?

          1. The evidence seems to indicate he did – several commentor persona IP’s oddly resolved to Greenwald’s own, IIRC. And they would oddly show up in rapid and psuedo coordinated succession in the heat of discussions that Greenwald was ending up on the short end of the stick over.

            1. Greenwald said it was his Brazilian (he lives in Brazil) live in boyfriend that rose to his defence and not him doing ‘socks’. I think that fits, though I have no idea if it’s true.

              1. Which is pretty much the excuse that now stark raving looney tunes early warblogging convert Charles Johnson trotted out when folks began to notice he commanded a virtual stable of flying monkeys that never failed to show up and defend their cyber bike riding god. The biggest diff was that Johnson actual did apparently succumb to a form of madness, accomplishing a total ideological jiu jitsu self takedown, whereas Greenwald was just quite aggressive about his beliefs, which remained consistent.

        2. Calling Greenwald names does not change Morrissey’s history.

          Decide for yerself:

          Patterico’s claims, Allahpundit’s name-calling nonsense (“A bona fide nutroots hearthrob, Greenwald rises through the nutroots ranks thanks to his magical mix of turgid, dreary rants about creeping fascism and hysterical polemics against right-wing bloggers”, as though due process and habeas corpus weren’t written in the Constitution these Bush fans were eviscerating). I haven’t seen from Morrissey anything other than a willingness to paint a different pinstripe here and there on his ideology in the Obama era, but I suppose I could be wrong and this amounts to a real recanting of his former unchecked executive-ism.

          1. Interesting. Seems that I name called so subtlety that even I’m missing exactly which name was even implied. Damn, I’m good like that sometimes. Yay me!

          2. Although, to be fair, you’re accurate in pointing out that while Greenwald has basically been fairly ideologically consistent, Morrisey’s views have slightly. . .evolved. . .as it were. Mostly because, although he claims to have a long interest in ‘politics’ in the vid, a lot of Ed’s background comes from being a drum beating “warblogger” from the early post 9/11 era – with his passion being more about that than strictly red/blue partisan cheerleading across the spectrum. I’d chalk that up as leading to his arguable blind spot with regard to Bush era encroachments in the civil liberties arena.

            With the point counterpoint of all that basically boiling down to a choice of the lesser foul of false justification – that it is more permissible to trample on rights for the greater good of national defense to perceived threat versus running roughshod in pursuit of utopian ends as a viable means. In which case, no, Ed would unlikely be a ref to throw a flag on both types of play.

        3. Greenwald’s response, since I can’t post more than two links in a single reply.

    3. Bullcrap. She wrote a book looking at FDR’s decision to sign the internment bill (I didn’t read it and neither did you) in order to see if there was validity to the decision or if it was based on simple racism/revenge. The book had nothing to do with locking up Arab Americans as far as I know, though I remember that when it came out lefties claimed it was implied. Because looking at possible racism is itself racist.

      Malkin’s a piece of work but recommending that Arab Americans get locked up in camps? Come on. You’re making Jays look bad.

  5. It’s “You’re” not “Your”

    /Jay

  6. a center-right POV that is, he says, getting more and more libertarian out of deference to reality

    Yeah, that’s not true. Or he’s concealing it brilliantly. What he writes is becoming ever more deferential to Beltway “reality.”

    He’s certainly become more reflexively obsequious to Democrats (as “center”) and to progress-as-they-define-it, a neurotic tic that’s somehow become a defining characteristic of libertarianism, too. If that’s what he means, fine.

    Otherwise, bullshit.

  7. My two favorite blogs are Hit & Run and Hot Air.

    And I can’t stand Malkin, either. But the two guys who run that site are nothing like her, especially in tone.

  8. We can defend Rhode Island ourselves Gillespie! Damn you.

  9. I must say that the mustache on Nick conjures up all kinds of twisted sex that might be popular in the Washington Blade. It’s distracting and calls to mind a dungeon. The only question is whether Nick is a top!

    1. He’s a power-bottom.

  10. Confirmed! Nick Gillespie is Mr. Slave!

  11. Oh, Jeesus Christ!

  12. Ed is of course one of, if not the only, blogger to be able to say he took down a G8 government. Do they still tremble up in Canada at the mention of his name?

    1. That’s a great point. I had entirely forgotten about that.

      1. I forgot about it because Ed routinely portrays this as his storming the barricades moment. . .which is a little. . .overblown, imho.

  13. Ok, Nick, now it’s obvious who cut that moustache shaped hole in my carpet.

  14. Ed’s a good man. A GOP cheerleader, and sometimes obnoxiously so, but a good man.

  15. The phrase “not-so-radical republicans” was used 12 years ago for this article that explained their failed attempt to at limited government. https://reason.com/archives/199…..epublicans

  16. I’m gonna share it in Facebook, this is really awesome

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