Tuesday night, I went to an LA press club gathering of bloggers at the L.A. Athletic Club. And there I was fortunate to meet many people whom I had only previously known from their words on the screen. I didn’t at first recognize Roger Simon as he wasn’t wearing the hat he sports in his blog photo. A decent fellow, Roger asked about this blog’s founder. The ever charming BoiFromTroy was there as well. Hugh Hewitt was as gracious, friendly and engaging as I imagined him to be.
Hugh was familiar with this blog’s recent controversy and was delighted to learn that the blog is still going strong, saying, “Glad you’re keeping the flag raised.”
I also met blogress Cathy Seipp, whose wise and witty blog I only recently discovered, thanks to the “ADVOCATE.” (Although not a lesbian, she was the one conservative on their must-read list of bloggers.) And I was impressed that the L.A. TIMES Sunday Opinion editor Bob Sipchen showed up at a crowd largely hostile to his paper. Indeed, Patterico, one of the toughest critics of the Times, was a featured speaker at the event.
Giovindini Murty updated me about the Liberty Film Festival; conservative film-lovers should bookmark her site. Impressed by the quality of conversation of the bloggers I met, I discovered some great new blogs, including SoCalPundit, Baldilocks, Luke Ford and Matt Szabo. I met other great people, but did not alas write down all their names. (MEMO to Bloggers–next time print up cards with the name of your blog.)
And I met Mickey Kaus whose blog was the first I linked as a blogger. I liked Mickey. His intensity, in some ways, matched my own; he was eager to engage me in conversation on gay marriage, particularly speculating why many people, including those tolerant and accepting of gay people, oppose gay marriage. We also discussed our shared passion for driving cross country and I impressed upon him the beauty of North Dakota, a state which I drove across last August. So, let me give his blog a plug, even as I note that our styles are quite different, he, more stream of consciousness, I, essayistic.
It was a great event. And it was good to meet the faces behind words which educate, entertain and enlighten me. Hugh talked about how the media marketplace is changing and bloggers are becoming increasingly important as sources of news and commentary, the theme of his book (which I reviewed here). Given the quality of last night’s crowd, that’s a good thing.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UPDATE: Hugh provides a more complete list of the bloggers at last night’s shindig.