Opinion Brief

Have conservative blogs gone 'brain dead'?

Liberal columnist Paul Krugman says he avoids the mindless feedback loop of conservative blogs. But which side of the political commentariat is really more closed-minded?

In a blog post about his reading habits, liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman acknowledged that he doesn't habitually peruse conservative websites, because he can't think of any "that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously." Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic says that Krugman isn't alone, and that the "brain dead right" is "paying a high cost for its unholy marriage to Limbaugh-style rhetoric." Is the conservative blogosphere really so polarizing and light on substance?

Even moderate right bloggers are a waste of time: It's a lose-lose situation, says Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. The only reason to read the "loony blogs" is "entertainment value." And, while the "non-insane conservatives" on the moderate right can make interesting points, they're "so out of touch with mainstream conservatism" (which won't concede that cutting taxes reduces revenue, or that climate change is man-made) that they feel irrelevant, too.
"The conservative Catch-22"

Krugman's admission is appalling: It's not just that Krugman won't read "truly excellent right-of-center blogs," says Pejman Yousefzadeh at A Chequerboard of Night and Days. He also cops to reading "potty-mouth" lefties like Atrios. That "determination to put fingers in one's ears" to block out other views is "intellectually stunted and bigoted" for a Nobel-winning economist, and proof that "epistemic closure" isn't only a problem on the Right.
"The epistemically closed Paul Krugman"

The Right could open its windows a bit: I not only read "plenty of conservative pundits," I "consider myself one," too, says James Joyner at Outside the Beltway. I also prefer "rational, facts-based analysis," and sadly, I "find more of it across the aisle than on my own side." That's partly because "academics and policy wonks" tend toward liberalism, but the right does itself no favors by writing off the David Frums and Daniel Larisons as "RINOs angling for invites to liberal cocktail parties."
"Which conservatives are worth reading?"

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