Alex Massie

Andrew Sullivan and Sarah Palin

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Let me make something very clear: I like, admire and respect Andrew Sullivan and his writing. I can’t remember when I first started reading his blog, but I think it must have been in early 2001. Certainly before 9/11. Since then I suspect I must have read more words written by Andrew than by any other journalist or blogger. Before his blog moved to Time and, subsequently, The Atlantic, I regularly contributed to his bi-annual pledge drives. I’d recommend his book, The Conservative Soul to anyone interested in the subject.

Heck, he’s often been kind enough to link to this blog  and, indeed, I once helped fill-in for him while he took a well-deserved break. In other words, I owe Andrew rather more than the nothing he owes me. That goes for most bloggers, mind you, even those to whom he hasn’t sent his readers. Any history of blogging - and its interaction with “traditional” journalism - that fails to include a lengthy passage on Andrew’s career is unlikely to worth reading. He’s done more for blogging than almost anyone else. I mean this.

From this you will surmise that there must be a rather hefty “but” on the way. And you would, alas, be correct. Nevertheless, the existence of this "but" does not in any way invalidate anything I've written here.

There are plenty of long-term Sullivan fans disappointed and even, in some cases, infuriated by his reaction to John McCain's decision to put Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket. That's everyone's prerogative of course and, equally obviously, Andrew can and should write whatever he damn well pleases. (Equally, I'm sure there are thousands and thousands of people who admire his recent writing and consider it the best stuff he's ever produced.) 

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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