erik lundegaard

Married to the Beast: Andrew Sullivan and the Carrie Bradshaw of Websites

As soon as I heard about it, I had a bad feeling. She seemed too slick, he too homey. This feels wrong, I thought.

No, not Will and Kate. I'm talking Andrew Sullivan and The Daily Beast.

Sullivan was my main blog source for so long, a fiscal conservative who backed Obama early, memorably labeled Sarah Palin's nomination “a farce,” and gave us a blow-by-blow of the Iranian green revolution on a Saturday afternoon while the mainstream media slept. He was bald, bearded, British and frumpy, and thus seemed perfect for the Atlantic monthly site, which has something almost ink-stained about it. You get the feeling the folks there are still trying to edumicate us. You get the feeling its writers don't have to craft first sentences in accord with SEO best practices.

Not so the Daily Beast. It's a slick site whose slogan, “Read This Skip That,” borders on stupidity. It features slideshows, news on Will and Kate, forms of titillation.

You know the way Republicans are obviously privileged but portray themselves as put-upon? I get that same vibe, that same disconnect, but from a female perspective, on the Daily Beast. “Frat Culture's Woman Problem” in one corner, “What Turns You On?” in another. It feels like the Carrie Bradshaw of websites. It's all about her.

Here are the latest promiment headlines on the Atlantic site:

  • Barbour Won't Run for President
  • Is Congress Going Too Far to Protect Women in College?
  • “Do I Have Knees?”
  • America's Post-Ownership Future
  • The Ongoing Disgrace of Gitmo

Here are the latest prominent headlines on the Beast:

  • What Turns You On? New Book Finds Some Surprises
  • Who's In, Who's Out? (At the Royal Wedding)
  • Obama's Awful '70s Show
  • Serial Killer Victim's Secret Life
  • The Vote Igniting the Middle East

So what do you do when a friend winds up with someone who's obviously wrong for them? Play along? Smile?

I love you, Andrew, but ... I don't know. That place you're staying ain't you. I'll still check you out, but mostly I'll be hanging over here with the ink-stained wretches. While they last.

Andrew Sullivan, stuck on the Carrie Bradshaw of websites

Andrew Sullivan, stuck on the Carrie Bradshaw of websites.

Posted at 09:44 PM on Mon. Apr 25, 2011 in category Media  


Uncle Vinny wrote:

Ugh, and I feel the same way about Huffington Post.

Comment posted on Mon. Apr 25, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Patricia Bradbury wrote:

perfect comparison.

Comment posted on Tue. Apr 26, 2011 at 05:53 AM

Reed wrote:

I'm inclined to agree with you, Erik. However, I just popped over to Sully's new site, and it struck me that there is a worthwhile counter-argument to this. What if he's able to rub off on them a little bit? Perhaps people strolling around the internet wanting to read some fluff actually learn something? Yes, the Atlantic makes a lot more sense, but perhaps this way some of Sullivan's words end up in a different echo chamber.

We'll see...

Comment posted on Tue. Apr 26, 2011 at 08:53 AM

Tim wrote:

The Daily Beast's merge with Newsweek has been a bummer for that magazine, too, though I will concede things have improved since the first issue under the new regime. I referred to it as the “USATodayifying of Newsweek,” but Carrie Bradshaw works even better.

Comment posted on Tue. Apr 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM
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