The other day, we all received one of the best question we have ever received. The Czar makes this claim because all six of us were quite excited by the nature of the question:
To the Gracious, Learned, Infallible, and Metallic Gormogons-
Being semi-all-powerful, unconfined by time, and graced with dizzying intellects, it may not occur regularly to you that your minions, not so blessed, may have difficulty keeping up with all the particulars of breaking news.
I freely and openly admit that I rely on your website to keep me abreast of all important happenings. But I sometimes feel that I do not fully appreciate all of the subtleties of your droll allusions and that if I read a bit more widely I could give more just praise to your collective wit.
So, I deferentially ask if you would deign to disclose the sites you visit first to verify that others report accurately events about which you obviously already know.
With a curious mixture of humility and pride, I remain
your faithful reader,
What a fascinating question, because if there is one think we like more than discovering things we did not know about each other, its having people ask us to talk about how ridiculously smart we each are.
The message was well-timed because today was one of the rare days we were all at the Castle at the same time, and eating breakfast at the same table.
One thing we do share is a fascination with primary sources, rather than just plugging news summary sites. We all generally shun Wikipediaalthough we probably use it more than we realize just to get a flavor of an argument or counterargument. Most of the time, we do check multiple sources because each one can add an interesting tidbit or slant the other two missed.
Also, each of us network pretty well with a variety of interesting people. Very interesting people, and many of whom you might recognize by name. Of course the Czar is not going to name names. But its funny how fast you can make connections in the punditry business even so.
So what are our sources for news, information, and entertainment?
The Volgi: Sources. Man, these days, I am way off the reading material that I used to be. But, given the time, I prefer longer form stuff from magazines like National Review, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, First Things, and The New Criterion. The New Atlantis does some nice stuff online on science and philosophy and the like. I never watch TV news, barely read newspapers, except ad hoc as web links. I do read the Wall Street Journal editorial page online pretty regularly. I read a fair bit of the WaPo until they put up the x-articles-a-month paywall. Now I tend to save up my articles and as a result forget to ever read anything there.
I used to watch Red Eye a lot, but got out of the habit somehow. Probably just too tired these days. But I like it a lot.
General influences include Hayek, von Mises, Robert Conquest, François Furet, Hilton Kramer, early P.J. ORourke, Adam Smith, a whole library full of stuff on Communism and Fascism, Horowitz & Collier, George Weigel, Camille Paglia, Bálint Vázsony, Joseph Epstein, Mark Helprin, Richard Dooling, Stephen Hunter, and oh hell, I dont know, Erasmus of Rotterdam.
Conservative pundits I particularly listen to are Jonah, Jonathan Last, Vic Matus, Kevin Williamson, Charles C.W. Cooke, Jody Bottum, Dr. K., Joseph Epstein, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes, Michael Walsh, John Podhoretz, especially on film, and of course Claire Berlinski.
Ghettoputer: I generally get my post ideas from either watching Morning Joe in the AM or from reading the WaPo or NYT editorial pages. I then sift it against what I know to be the case from, well, education and life experience. Next, I proceed to dismantle the patently false narrative set by the mouthpieces of record. Either that or from the six-foot talking rabbit I occasionally see.
Must read sites? Sites I rely on? Not many. Instapundits OK every once in a while. SCOTUSblog is essential when Courts in session. Very smart commentary. For foreign stuff, BBC cant be beat (overview, not specifics). Of course, I dont read/speak/write 43 different languages like some people around here. I find CBS news coverage to be the least biased of the major networks, which isnt saying much.
Turnoffs include dumbassed paywalls for out of market newspaper readers. As mentioned yesterday, Id read NRO more if their site wasnt so gosh-darned horrible. Same with Daily Caller, Politico. Cut the autoload ads, popups, et cetera.
For actual sources, its important to go to the original, not a recap (e.g., Constitution, Shakespeare, Federalist Papers). Go to the primary texts when possible. Same with law. Senates website actually has the US Code available. As does GPOs.
I guess thats it for me.
Suck it Czar.
GorTechie: Eh, Im pretty eclectic in what I source. I try to go to the original source and do a quick double check from another source. Ive found too much lame journalism from both sides. Im actually not a fan of Fox News site nor NROs for much of what Puter saysstupid popups…heck, they might still be rocking the <blink> tag from HTML 1.0. I like some of the UK sourcesGuardian, BBC UK, etc.
Lately, I have to admit that Im taking various posts on Facebook by liberals/democrats and then doing some due diligence on it and disassembling the nonsense.
Finally, Im a fan of The Five on Fox News. While I dont go overboard with all the stuff they put forward, I think some of them are pretty reasonable (and are easy on the eyes). Particularly Dana Perino (who Mrs. GorT thinks is my alternate life spouse).
Dr. J.: I sometimes am inspired by a Fox and Friends or morning talk radio/news topic that I make a note of during my morning chores or drive in. Matt Drudges site is also a useful starting point. When I arrive to work I start looking for multiple, if not original sources for the story, and for background. Similar to GorT, I will also make note of a Facebook friends left-wing prattlings and then use it for a springboard for dismantling it.
Medical news making headlines or getting buzz at the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, or European Society of Cardiology meetings, or being published in one of their house organs (JACC, Circulation and Heart respectively), the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association will also be on my radar. Similarly, living in the ivory tower, stuff just trips and falls onto the radar.
The goings on at the Jedi Academy and the Bene Gesserit Chapterhouse inspire the majority of my education postings.
Regarding my more whimsical, or pop-culture posts, a number of them land on my radar courtesy of my childhood BFF Secret Operative SWK (so secret he doesnt know hes an operative), or from Spooky Witchy Facebook Friend but a lot of them come from sites like Geeksaresexy.com, Nerdbastards.com, Geekosystem.com, the Cheezburger network (My Little Brony). and xkcd.com.
The Mandarin: The Mandarin frequents the following websites:
Townhall, and in particular the excellent cartoons there
The various sites at Breitbart.com
Fox News, unlike some of the other guys here who are overly apologetic for it
Frontpage Magazine also gets my attention from time to time.
Additionally, the Mandarinbeing a product of a Jesuit educationis happy to call on a wide variety of arcane shout-outs from the arts and sciences when needed to make a scathing joke about popular culture.
The Czar: The Czar, truth be told, watches very little television news and rarely, rarely, rarely reads fiction. Most of the Czars reading is history, biographies, and science philosophy. We used to subscribe to National Geographic and Scientific American, but let us be honest: the annual cost is not justified by the increasingly liberal political viewpoints finding their way into feature after feature. The Czar is also cancelling his lengthy membership to the Planetary Society and its flagship print publication The Planetary Report due to Bill Nyes intellectual descent into hell and his tendency to drag down everything he touches with anti-conservative politics.
Online sources include the following daily reads:
Minions and operatives, please note that you should not be disappointed if the Czar did not list your blog here; these last two folks post stuff pretty much every day and require much more of the Czars attention as a result. Trust uswe keep an eye on your stuff, too.
|Dat Ho: I try read boy life but Mr. the Czar say jokes no funny and he even hate Gus the Dog cartoon. Any time I read boy life, Mr. the Czar roll it up and beat me with it.|
|Sleestak: Sssss! Sssss! Ssss sss ssssss ssss! Ssssss; sss ssssssss? Ssss! [Laughter]|
Bottom line, we do a lot of the work for you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, because we frequently post links to the best stories to all of the above sources as well as a whole bunch of other sites way too numerous to list here.
Also, you really should check out our Amazon store up and to the left, where we provide our favoritest books and stuff that we recommend you read.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.