When I was in Washington DC three weeks ago, Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie invited me to their offices to sit down for a short interview. Nick, here with his biker moustache, talked with me for about eight minutes on camera, and for a while off camera as well. When I left, I tweeted something to the effect that there wasn’t nearly as much pot in the office as you’d expect, but in reality … no, there really wasn’t. We did have a great conversation about Hot Air, living outside the Beltway bubble, and the opportunities that the era of New Media have provided:
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, is getting more and 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 night 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.
That’s the Reason TV description of the video. I liked this comment it received on the YouTube channel:
Best intro to a ReasonTV vid ever. Ed Morrissey is wondering if he’s really getting a ReasonTV interview or if he’s just getting punked by Gillespie.
Nick and I have known each other for a while, and I know his sense of humor. The point Nick wanted to make was that the democratization of the media has allowed many more voices to come to the fore, and to provide a market with low enough barriers to entry to discover and develop those voices outside of the established media elite. Reason argues for free markets for that very purpose, which is why I enjoy the magazine so much.
Or, heck, maybe Nick was trying to punk me, but with that moustache, I think he knew he was on shaky ground ….
Addendum: One very minor correction: I was actually the overall manager of the call center, not the night manager, but I was on call 24/7.
Update: Reason updated the description.