Sunday, August 22, 2004

Blogs: The "Must Reads" List (Top Tier)

I will be posting several lists of blogs and websites that I consider necessary for you to read on a regular basis. I will be grouping the lists in various categories: Must Read (Top Tier), Must Read (2nd Tier), War on Terror/Military, Faith-Based (Catholic & Non-Catholic), etc.

The following blogs are what I consider the Top Tier "Must Read" blogs - blogs that should be read on a daily basis. The first four I affectionately call "The Four Blogmen of the Apoplectic":

Hugh Hewitt - Hugh is long-time political commentator, lawyer/law professor and a television/radio/print journalist. Based in California, I consider him the Dean of the Blogosphere. He has inspired many.

Captain's Quarters - Ed Morrissey & "Whiskey." These guys are tough and unrelenting in their dogged determination to get to the truth of matters at hand.

PowerLine - John Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff (all lawyers, and astute political commentators).

Instapundit - Glenn Reynolds is another lawyer/law professor and political/news commentator.

ALL of the guys are sticklers for accuracy.

Betsy Newmark - She is amazing. She just scours the internet and links to tons and tons of relevant news articles and commentaries, making it easy for you to track down and find something that you may have missed.

As Hugh has recently stated on his blog site:

"It takes a great deal more intelligence and discipline to be [a lawyer/law professor] than to be [a television/radio/print journalist], which is why the former usually pays a lot more than the latter. It is no surprise to me, then, when lawyers/law professors like those at Powerline and Instapundit prove to be far more adept at exposing the "Christmas-in-Cambodia" lie and other Kerry absurdities than old-school journalists. The big advantage is in research skills, of course, and in an eye for inconsistencies which make or break cases and arguments. Lawyers turned amateur journalists are going to be much better at it than time-serving scribblers, and even non-lawyer bloggers with superior research skills --think Captain Ed, Tom McGuire and Polipundit-- are going to run rings around "pros" who aren't in a hurry to bring down their favored candidate. They will be assisted in their effort by the full-time labors of "new media" pros like Jim Geraghty and John McIntyre. The only difference between professional and amateur journalists is that the former get paid to practice their trade. As with athletes, the purer effort comes with the amateurs, though some of the pros keep their ideals front and center.

"The late Michael Kelly, who would appear on my radio program every Wednesday before he left on his last assignment to Iraq, rejected the idea of journalism as a profession, as there was no licensing body. The child of journalists and among the most respected journalists of our age, Kelly often described journalism a "craft" to me, one in which there were both excellent and terrible practioners."

NOTE: With the exception of Betsy, the above blogs have been recently doing heavy investigations into the growing story about "Kerry in Cambodia." If you're interested in getting that story in context, I suggest that you go into the archives of each of these blogs (to late July would be sufficient) and then read forward from there. Tom McGwire's Just One Minute blog is another that is tackling this issue.

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